KJV: I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deut. 30:19.
Four of my neighbours and myself were having a discussion about God's abundant mercy one evening in the front of our compound when one of them asked these questions in succession, 'if God is so merciful like some of you are claiming, why would he send people or so called sinners to hell where they would have to be burning forever?' 'Is that not wickedness?' 'How can such a being be described as merciful?'
After he asked these questions, everyone went mute, waiting for who is going to respond first and the whole place that was vibrating with our arguments a short moment ago was taken over by a very deafening silence. While we were still quiet and thinking of what to say, I could sense a excitement and satisfaction in the countenance of the one that asked the question. Suddenly i responded impulsively, "God will not send anyone to heaven or hell, we are the ones that would decide if it's heaven or hell that we would like to live after we leave this earth"
I could see a surprised look on the face of the questioner. It seems he is yet to grasp the response I just gave. I looked at him and I asked him, "why are some people in prison at this moment while we all are here enjoying this fresh air and wonderful time together?" He looked at me with a frowning face and responded harshly, "they committed crime na!" But...... He was trying to add something else when I interrupted him by asking, "do you think such people would have been in prison if they had not gone against the laws made by the government for the protection of the society?"
He looked at me with a smile and responded; "i can now see the direction you are going to with this! That's a different scenario. Government is not as merciful as you people are claiming that God almighty is. Government put laws in place to create orderliness in the society and anyone that breaks such laws doesn't want the good of the society and they should be made to face the consequences of their act....." He was yet to complete the word 'action' when I cut in by shouting "THANK YOU! You just answered your question by yourself.
Look, whether a man is going to be walking and living freely in the society is dependent on him or her. The moment a man chooses to break the laws of the government, that is the moment he/she has decided to give up his/her freedom because the consequences of breaking government laws are spelt out boldly in the laws. As we are here now, government can't just come and arrest any of us and put us in prison for doing nothing. If they do that, it will be seen as an oppression. But even though we all know that governments could be oppressive a times, we all also know that God is just and can never punish anyone for doing or living right".
From the way he and the others were paying attention to my explanation and nodding in aggreement without any objection, i continued with my explanation. "God has already shown us the way to heaven and the way to hell, and he will never force or compel us to choose either of the way even though he has the power to do that. He allows us to make our choice because he knows that we are going to be accountable for whatever choice we make.
Just as the government have put in place laws to maintain an orderly society and foster unity and development, so has God also put in place laws that would determine who will be spending eternity with him in his kingdom - heaven and who won't. And we all have a choice to make if we'll be following God's laws so that we can be in heaven with him or do the contrary and go to hell. Thus, it's our action that would determine whether we will be spending eternity with God in heaven or with the devil in hell.
People deciding their eternal fate by themselves have nothing to do with God being wicked or merciful. God is so merciful that he keeps giving us opportunity each day to amend our ways and live godly lives. He constantly overlooks our wrong doings and withhold himself from giving us the immediate judgement or punishment that some of our wrong doings deserve because he's hoping that we would change our ways.
That's why the scripture said in the book of 2peter 3:9, that;
" KJV:The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
God doesn't want any man to die in his/her sin and go to hell because he knows that hell is not the type of place that anyone would want to be in. He has made a way of escape for us in the person of Jesus christ. But, should any man choose to ignore God's way of escaping hell, abuse God's daily mercies that he is showering on us and choose to die in his/her sins, then such a person is responsible for his/her eternal fate.
Every action has consequences - whether good or bad. So should we consciously go against God's law and ignore the salvation that he has granted unto us freely in Christ Jesus, then whatever befall us when we leave this earth is our own making, not the making of God. Full stop!"
The moment I exclaimed 'full stop', I could see him nodding in agreement. We discussed other things that night before we dispatched to our various homes. And I felt great joy that I could make him understand that his eternal destination is in his hands and he alone can decide where he wants to spend it. It was truly an awesome evening!
So folks, you are the decider of your eternal destination. Who you live your life on earth to please will determine whom you will be spending eternity with. And I pray that God give us the grace to choose right and live for him, so that we won't have any regret when our time here has ended.
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