As a pastor, I’ve been called upon numerous times to minister to families in times of physical death. In presiding over funerals, I have encountered many disturbing things, such as, shouting angry people, individuals coming close to physical blows, intoxicated individuals, feuding families, the deceased purposely buried in the wrong plot, and people objecting to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
However, the one thing, which is most disturbing, is one particular comment often expressed by Christians and lost people alike, which is to the effect, that every deceased individual, professing Christian or not, is in a better place (Heaven) or they are no longer hurting physically, again, because they are “in a better place”.
This alarming remark reveals an incorrect understanding of biblical salvation, and indicates that scores of people in our society have a latent belief in universalism. What does universalism mean? Universalism is the belief that ultimately everyone will be saved by God regardless of whether they were a genuine follower of Jesus Christ or not. It is all too common of an occurrence, while attending a funeral service held for a non-Christian individual, to hear others state that the deceased is now in Heaven with God; or stating that the deceased is in a better place. Lost people are those who do not possess a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus. In reality, unconverted or lost people do not go to Heaven under any circumstance.
For a professing Christian to make such a statement is extremely alarming and appalling! Every person who claims to belong to Jesus Christ should know better than to make such a false and potentially damning statement. It makes one question the validity of the salvation of the professing believer. Furthermore, lost people regularly repeat the same false mantra that all people are in a better place now, which is Heaven. If you evaluated the spiritual condition of every deceased individual based on what most people say about their final destination, you would come away thinking that all people go to Heaven.
However, the Bible declares that before any individual can enter Heaven, they must be spiritually born again (John 3). That is, only those who have come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, on His terms of repentance and belief in Him, are allowed into Heaven. People who were religious, but were never spiritually born again will not be allowed into Heaven. Also, the individual who lived a good moral life, yet never came to faith in Jesus Christ, will never enter Heaven. The sobering truth is they will spend eternity suffering in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15). The Apostle John wrote, “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:12). If an individual has come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus their life will be transformed and they will bear the fruit of biblical salvation.
In conclusion, only those who have been spiritually born again are allowed into Heaven, all the rest who die in their sins are ushered immediately into Hell and after the final judgment of the lost, they will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:15), where they will suffer eternally. At death, not everyone is in a better place now! I urge you to make sure that you are ready to die.
Jesus stated, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6).