God has made great and precious promises and if one’s faith strong they know they can trust in God. Paul the great preacher of the gospel had such a faith. Hardships befell him (II Cor. 11:23— 28), yet near the end of his life he was able to say, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (II Tim. 4:6—8). A crown of life waits all who follow and trust in the Lord.
God being true to His promises is seen throughout the Bible. It is good to look back to these as one looks forward to the promise of a crown of life. To Abraham God promised, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram … and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:1--3). The fulfillment of these promises makes up most of the Bible.
The land promise to Abraham was that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan (Gen. 15:18—21, 17:8).
Abraham trusted in God. His descendants did inherit the land after their captivity in Egypt. Joshua recorded, “And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein… There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass” (Josh. 21:43— 45). Further proof that God is worthy of trust is seen in the writings of the prophet Nehemiah: Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous: (Neh. 9:7,8).
The promise to Abraham that all nations of the earth would be blessed was fulfilled in Christ (Gal. 3:16ff). Isaiah told of His birth, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). Matthew in the New Testament tells of the angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph telling him that Mary had conceived of the Holy Ghost. She would bear a son, calling Him Jesus for He would save His people from their sins (Matt.
1:18—25). Paul wrote that salvation is in Christ (II Tim.
2:10). One gets into Christ by being Baptized into Him (Gal. 3:27).
When studying about God’s promises, some seem to believe that the promises were without conditions. This belief is contrary to what is taught in the Bible. Joshua warned the people that the land in which they had conquered would only be theirs if they obeyed God (Josh. 23:11--16). When their trust in God failed and they began to worship idols, they were punished.
God sent His Son to the earth to bring salvation to all, but there are conditions that must be met. Jesus Himself said, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:21—23).
God has always demanded that His will be obeyed, and mankind must recognize this fact. The teachings of the New Testament tell of the new covenant that God has made with man.
Faith and trust in God and His promises leads one to be obedient and enable them to press forward to their goal. Trust in God, obey His commands and heaven will be yours for eternity.