God bless you and welcome to the website for Scriptural Study Groups, located in Central Ohio.
This website is designed primarily for the use and convenience of those who participate in Scriptural Study Groups, and therefore some sections might not be applicable to all visitors. However, we hope that the Scriptural resources will be of benefit to all who desire a deeper appreciation of the Word of God.
Over the past few centuries, it has become a tradition in Christian hymnody and song writing to compare the children of Israel crossing the Jordan river and entering the promised land to a Christian dying and going to heaven. Tradition can certainly be a good thing, but only to the degree that it is rooted in and promotes truth. I humbly suggest that this is a tradition that should be jettisoned.
Here’s why: the letter to the Hebrews (in chapters 3 and 4) has already given us a God-inspired and, therefore, God-ordained new covenant parallel to the crossing of the Jordan. It is not dying and going to heaven – it is believing the good news about Jesus Christ, thereby entering now into the land of his completed work to begin experiencing rest in the here and now. At best, the Jordan-River-as-a-symbol-of-death tradition muddies the waters (no pun intended) of understanding. At worst, it actively encourages Christians to believe the lie that they must wait for heaven to experience any true goodness or enduring change of life. Keep reading and I’ll make my case from the Scriptures.