Wednesday, 20 March 2013

THE FINAL DESTINATION

After everything is done and our short sojourn on earth is over, one crucial question remains: “Where we will spend eternity?”

With medical advances, such as stem cell therapy which offers hope of organ replacement, we might even be able to extend our lives beyond the biblical life span * to ninety or even one hundred. But that does not mean we can run away from reality; we will eventually arrive at our final resting place like our forefathers.

The philosopher and scientist, Blaise Pascal, wrote: “The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence to us and which touches us so profoundly that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about it.”

In our busy lives, filled with countless tasks and pleasures, how many of us would care to spare a thought about our final destination?

                                                                      


Those who choose to skip answering this question early on in their lives may be suddenly confronted with it when they are struck by an incurable disease.

Some senior citizens travel round the world and splurge on the best cuisine while others pamper themselves by purchasing luxury cars in the last lap of their lives. With such pleasurable distractions, they hope they can put this grim question on the back burner.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that enjoying the finer things in life is wrong. We should be grateful for whatever God has blessed us withhealth and wealth includedand take pleasure in the fruits of our labour (Ecclesiastes 3:13 and 5:18-19).


                                                                       
Those of us who have placed our trust in Christ need to realise that our final destinationwhether we land up in heaven or hellisn’t solely decided at the “point of entry” when we accept Christ.

On the contrary, our fate in eternity is based on our spiritual state just before we expire or when Christ comes again (whichever comes first).

man of God who performs great signs and wonders but commits adultery and apostasy at the last lap of life’s journey stands condemned whereas a dying thief who has faith and commits himself to Christ during life’s final moments passes into heaven with rejoicing. Our fate is NOT decided merely at the point of entry (conversion).

It's our current spiritual state which matters: When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?” (Ezekiel 18:26-29).

The Parable of the Ten Virgins emphasises the fact that we have to be watchful and prepared so that we are not caught off guard when Christ returns. Only the five wise virgins with oil in their lamps made it to the marriage feast (Matthew 25:1-13).

If we manage to pull up our socks, spiritually speaking, just before we pass away or just before Christ returns, then we will positively alter our final destination. O boy, what a difference that would make to our final resting placeheaven instead of hell!

Some live with a sense of regret that they have not given much thought to this question. By the time they realise it’s a most crucial question in life, it’s already too late to turn back the clock.

Pastor and public speaker Dr Tony Campolo cites a sociological study in which 50 people over the age of 95 were asked one question: “If you could live your life all over again, what would you do differently?” The answers that repeatedly came up were:

  • If I had to do it over again, I would reflect more.
  • If I had to do it over again, I would risk more.
  • If I had to do it over again, I would do more things that would live on after I am dead.
So while we have the opportunity to change, we might want to spend some time reflecting on the foregoing. Contemplating our final destination helps us to live purposefully and intentionally.

The days of our lives are seventy years;  * 
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom
.


(Psalm 90:10-12).


RELATED POSTS:

FUTURE SINS AUTOMATICALLY FORGIVEN?

Are the future sins of Christians automatically forgiven (FSAF)?


THE POWER OF VISION 

By embracing a God-inspired vision, we can live purposefully—by design and not by default.



SETTING OUR HOUSE IN ORDER

How many of us prepare ourselves to meet our Maker?


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