Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Finality of Heaven and Hell

  Consider for a moment that you know with a certainty the day and time of your death. How would you change? Would you change? What would you do differently than you are doing right now? How would you treat those around you - your family, your friends… your enemies? Now consider the truth - you are for a certainty going to die one day. Period. There is nothing you can do that will change that. So I ask the question, slightly reworded, once again… How will you change? What will you do differently? How are you going to treat those around you? 
  If you believe in God then you believe in Heaven and Hell. I don’t know much about what Heaven or Hell is actually like but I do know they share two qualities. First that they are permanent. There is no changing or leaving one to go to the other, once you are there then you cannot leave. Secondly they are eternal. In life if you don’t like a job you can quit and get a new one, if you don’t like your situation in life you can take steps to change it. Not so in eternity. Once you are in Heaven or Hell there are no second chances, no do-overs, no rebooting, It is final.
I know another thing about Heaven and Hell. Heaven is going to be joyful and we won’t have worries or cares, sickness or hunger and Hell is going to be a place of torment and anguish (Luke 16:19-28). It sickens me when I hear someone tell another to “go to Hell” or say “I’ll see you in Hell.” Our society tries to sell us on the idea of a fun Hell, saying “That’s where all the rock stars and porn stars are going to be. Wouldn’t you rather be there having fun instead of singing and playing a harp all the time?” Sadly those rock and rollers and porn stars who end up in Hell are not going to be partying, playing gigs and having huge orgies. The Bible tells us those in Hell are going to be in anguish and pain - and not just for a little while but for eternity (Revelation 14:11, 20:10). Remember eternity? That thing that will last forever, that will never, ever change, no second chance, no do-overs. That place.
  In this day and age the old “fire and brimstone” approach is said to be archaic and we need to be preaching love and forgiveness because we can reach more souls that way just like you can attract bees with sugar better than you can with oil or vinegar. Though I believe we should be teaching love and forgiveness we do a great disservice when we ignore the “fire and brimstone,” when we fail to teach the consequences of failure to humble ourselves, follow God’s word and love him. It’s not about trying to scare ourselves or others to heaven but about being realistic about the consequences of not following God.

  So I ask a third time. What will you do now? What will you do differently? How will you treat your fellow man, your loved ones and your enemies? Your God?  Man’s purpose on this earth is to fear God and keep his commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Are you doing so?

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