In “finishing the race together” Jefferson Vann explains why the Christian hope is not heaven at death.
Hebrews 11:39-40 (KJV)
“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
finishing the race together
The famous hall of faith chapter talks about Old Testament believers who lived their lives for God. You would think that the chapter would end with an assurance that these saint are now enjoying heaven, wouldn’t you? But it says the opposite. It says that these winners have not yet crossed the finish line. In fact, it says that they are waiting for their reward so that we who are living today will cross the finish line together with them.
Here is how Shirley Ross puts it:
“Outside the walls of Jericho, thousands of God’s people marched around the city by order of their leader. Meanwhile, inside the walls, a woman steeped in a life of sin held her breath, in secrecy, awaiting her salvation. That was FAITH in both cases. They (and others) “received God’s approval because of their faith.” They saw an awesome act of God, but still “none of them received all that God promised” since “they can’t receive the prize at the end of the race until WE finish the race!” One of these days we’ll join faithful Israelites and even Jesus’ ancestor, Rahab, at the finish line and receive our rewards.”
The Bible does not promise that when believers die, they go to heaven. Instead, it promises that Jesus will return and raise the dead, and transform those who are living, and THEN we will be with the Lord!
For more about the true hope of the believer, see:
 Shirley Ross “A Big Finish” Maranatha Advent Christian Devotions. Tuesday, February 27, 2018.