“A job half done is as good as none.”
Have you ever felt like a failure in your service to God?
Have you ever counted the time that you wasted, thought about the things you’ve left undone, and wondered how that might affect your eternal standing with God?
Moses surely felt that way. Although he was a faithful and mighty man of God, nevertheless, he also spectacularly failed to do the job God had given him to do. Moses led Israel out of Egypt (that was half the job), but he did not lead them into the Promised Land (that was the other half). And for that, he was severely punished.
As you know, instead of entering the Promised Land, the people rebelled, Moses disobeyed (Num 20:1-13), and as a result, neither that first generation, nor Moses himself, were allowed to enter Canaan. Instead, Moses died in Moab, outside of the Promised Land (Deut 34:5).
The question is, what did that mean for Moses’s eternal standing with God? Did he lose his eternal salvation? Does it mean Moses went to “hell”? After all, he suffered a severe punishment from God!
Not at all.
Centuries later, Moses appeared to the apostles Peter, James, and John:
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid (Mark 9:2-6).
I find Moses’ appearance at the Transfiguration to be very encouraging. Even though Moses ended his life having failed in the major task he was given, with his work left unfinished, and even after suffering God’s temporal judgment for his sin, Moses was still with the Lord Jesus.
Here is the truth—whether or not you have everlasting life depends on believing in Christ, not your consistency in obeying Him (John 3:16, 36; Gal 2:16). Believers can fail…hard. They can also be punished severely in this life. But as Moses demonstrates, believers are eternally secure. The amazing truth is, even if we are faithless to the Lord Jesus, He is still faithful to us, just as He was to Moses:
If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim 2:13).