THE ONLY VOTE THAT COUNTS FOR ETERNITY
“Life is relationship!”
We are created for relationship by the triune God who has enjoyed intimate relationship from eternity past, prior to the creation of anyone or anything else. He has always been Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And He designed us to be in healthy, rewarding relationships with Him and each other. So He gave us His Word (the Bible) so that we could know the truth about Him and how much He loves us. He wants to be in a personal relationship with each one of us forever, and He took the first step toward us.
He also endowed us with the gift of free will. Don’t take that for granted either. It’s a dangerous and formidable gift. Use it wisely. Despite our attitudes and behaviors, God absolutely adores us, no strings attached. And because of that incredible love, He gives each of us the choice to either love Him back or reject Him. We are each given the power and responsibility to choose for ourselves what our response to Him will be.
Some people simply prefer not to think about it. They just don’t want to deal with that decision. But, as someone famously said: “Not to decide is to decide.”
All of us will continue to consciously exist for eternity, long after these bodies give out. Nobody just “dies” and stops existing. So, it is really important to understand that when we choose to ignore God, we’re stating our preference for Him to ignore us forever. When we distance ourselves from God, we’re choosing to be distanced from Him forever. And forever is a very long time. Be assured, God never forces us to conform to His will.Instead, He respects our decisions and their consequences, even when those decisions break His heart.
What I’m about to say is not pleasant or popular, but it is true, and it’s essential for all of us to understand. For those who choose to ignore God or reject His gift of salvation, Scripture clearly informs us that they will not live with God in Paradise. Instead, they will consciously exist forever where God, Himself, and every good thing that God created (love, joy, relationships, peace, beauty, comfort, ecstasy, profound satisfaction, and so forth) will be absent. Scripture is clear that their dwelling place will be in “The Lake of Fire,” along with Satan and his followers. And their torment will be forever ruthless, because Satan, with whom they chose to cooperate, is evil and ruthless.
It is crucial to realize it’s God’s will that NOBODY should end up there. SecondPeter 3:9 clarifies: The Lord... is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent (NLT). That is exactly why He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for every person’s sin. John 3:16–17 says:For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
When we do not intentionally choose to cooperate with God, we inadvertently choose to cooperate with the enemy of our souls whose job description is “kill, steal, destroy.” And God will sorrowfully respect our choice and allow us to continue living out that decision for eternity. When we choose to cooperate with God, to receive His forgiveness and submit our will to Him, He not only respects that choice, He is thrilled by it, knowing that He will get to experience a personal, intimate relationship with us forever, starting here and now, and continuing after our death, in Heaven. Scripture tells us that the angels rejoice over each one of us who makes that decision. These choices cannot be reversed once we die and the unseen spirit world becomes visible to us. When we are exposed to the tangible realities of heaven and hell, it is too late to change our minds.
If you have not admitted to yourself or God and confessed to Him that you are living life independently from Him, imperfect and in need of a Savior, then your eternal future, as it stands right now, is decidedly terrifying. But you can change all that in an instant as you throw yourself on His mercy, right where you are as you read this.
God is there, present with you, even though you can’t see Him. He loves you more than you love yourself; and He can take better care of you than you’re able to take of yourself. He has an eternal future for you that is nothing less than absolute perfection. Tell Him that you’re sorry for ignoring and rejecting His love, sorry for all the ways you have offended and hurt Him and other people. Sincerely ask Him to forgive you, rescue you and make you “a new creation in Christ.” (Second Corinthians 5:17assures: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.) Let Him know that you are finished living independently from Him and you’d like to start cooperating with Him. Let Him know that you’re choosing for Him to become the most important priority in your life.
Now, sit back and receive His forgiveness; experience His love. Invite Him to transform and guide you into the life He has designed for you, and begin to enjoy an amazing, close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ forever.
That’s all it takes. You have put a smile on God’s face! And, no doubt, He has put a smile on yours. He knows you better than you know yourself and cares about every aspect of your existence, here on earth, and throughout eternity. Tell someone who loves you what you just experienced! And this weekend, go celebrate and worship with people whose perfected friendship you’ll get to enjoy for the next gabillion years!
For practical, biblically-based help in sorting through false beliefs and unhelpful feelings, you can contact me at email@example.com. Transform your life and your relationships today.
God bless us, everyone!
P.S. If you would like to contact me for a counseling appointment, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 612-239-4178. My office is located in Rocklin, CA.
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Dear friends, many of my clients live on Social Security or otherwise cannot afford the suggested donation amount of $135 for each 80-90 minute session. PTLB is in dire need of tax-deductible donations toward the counseling scholarship fund of Holly Eaton. Please consider making a monthly tax-deductible donation to the PTLB counseling scholarship fund at www.ptlb.com/hollyeaton. If you prefer, you can mail a check to PTLB, P.O. Box 214, Roseville, CA 95661, specifying "Holly Eaton" in the memo. Thank you!