Today's culture seems to think hell will be a party for all eternity while heaven will be a boring time playing harps, floating on clouds and living without any fun.
Today's culture doesn't take heaven—or hell—seriously. But we should. In fact, the more you investigate both these eternal destinations, the more serious you will be about your decision to accept Jesus or not, and how you choose to live out your life on earth.
But how often do you get together with friends to talk about what happens after death? Probably never, right? Couldn't heaven and hell provide the ultimate motivation for life on earth? Yes.
The key to living a meaningful life is knowing the real truth about death. It's like an eternal life insurance policy.
The hope of eternal life in heaven can create a daily source of motivation to live differently; a life of love, grace and truth; a life that seeks to know, obey and serve God as our eternal father; a life that loves others.
"And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again" (2 Cor. 5:15, NIV).
The alternative is to avoid God, ignore the reality of hell and live life assuming there are no consequences for your behavior. Others may choose not to believe in heaven or hell and just try to be "good people" for the sake of being good contributors to society. But both of these decisions have dire consequences.
A decision to live separate from God in this life is a decision to live separate from God in the next.
Jesus called heaven, in Luke 23:43, "paradise." And hell, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. The Bible says hell is a place of never-ending physical torment, torture and anguish.
So how can you be sure you won't spend eternity in hell? What crime does a person have to commit to be sent to such a horrible place?
The answer is not murder, cheating, adultery, abortion, lying, drinking to excess, using drugs or anything else people might categorize as sin.
The answer is rejecting Jesus as the Son of God, the Savior.
God does not send people to hell. We do that to ourselves because of our choice to accept or reject Jesus for who He said He is.
"Therefore he [Jesus] is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf" (Heb. 7:25, NLT).
Between heaven and hell is Jesus. This is one decision not to leave to a coin toss. Don't reject His personal offer, personal sacrifice and personal love for you—honor it and say yes to Jesus. Start your eternity now.
Jesus, right now I want to personally recognize what You did for me so that a way to heaven could be possible. Thank You for dying for my sins. I say yes to You and to forgiveness. I give You all that I am, all that I have and all that I hope to be. I release myself to Your purposes. Take control of my life and help me to always remember Your sacrifice. Make me the man You created me to be now and forever. Amen.
If you have started a relationship with Jesus today, it's time to get to know your Savior and start spending time with Him. To do this, simply click here and enter the coupon code "newbeliever" and get the Face Time four-part series for free. This series will show you how God wants a personal relationship with you!
Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries, men's pastor at Saddleback Church, and ChristianMingle advisory board member, provides biblically oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God's men. Follow Kenny and Every Man Ministries now on Facebook, Twitter (@everyMM) and YouTube.
For the original article, visit everymanministries.com.
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our "Life in the Spirit" devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?