It is amazing how the world reacts to divine truths. The modern man responds to spiritual realities as though they were imaginative conjectures. While most people wouldn’t dare stand before a moving train (because the danger of doing so is so obviously real) rather they grin, chuckle and sneer at the revelation that there is truly a hell to shun and a heaven to gain. They never bother to think about eternity because they do not believe God’s word is true. Therefore, they live on in defiance of the Lord’s warning and admonition: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God…Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (Psalm 9:17; Matthew 7:13).
People’s unbelief, however, does not change divine truths. Hell exists, and heaven is real. Unrepentant sinners and backsliders will spend eternity in hell “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48). True believers who walk in holiness all the days of their lives will dwell in heaven forever, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall no more death, neither sorrow, now crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Now, what the Lord expects of all those who believe heaven and hell exists and desire to dwell in heaven at the end of their earthly life is to live their lives according to this conviction (I John 3:3). Live by what you believe. You cannot claim you are on your way to heaven and live like those who are headed to hell and still hope to end up in God’s kingdom. Heaven’s highway is narrow allowing only the minimum freedom needed to be holy, without any extra liberty to go astray. On the other hand, the road to perdition allows the travellers unbridled freedom to act out the works of the flesh which include“adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revelling and such like…” (Galatians 5:19-21).
Do you believe there is a heaven to gain? Then, flee these sins (and all others), and depend upon God’s grace to live above reproach every day. Do you believe there is a hell to shun? Then, dread sin no mater how little it seems. For “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump…For whatsoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (I Corinthians 5:6; James 2:10).
If you believe in a glorious heaven then ensure you live a blameless life always. Your thoughts, speech, comportment, attitude, actions, affections, appearance, desires and aspirations must conform to the standard of God’s words for those who desire to enter heaven (Psalm 15:1-5; 2 Peter 3:13, 14; Revelations 21:27).
What we need to understand is this: God’s standard for life eternal is high and unchanging. We must keep to it if we hope to see the Lord at the end. If we transgress and continue in iniquity “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).
Therefore, let’s not be deceived. There is nothing like eternal security for saints who go astray from the faith and live on in error till death. “Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity… he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered” (Ezekiel 3:20)
The only wise option is to live by what we believe (the reality of heaven and hell and the necessity of holiness for heaven’s pilgrims) and hold on to it till the end. We must be watchful, sober and prayerful, always abounding in the Lords work; lest the devil deceive and lead us away from the path that leads to life eternal (I Peter 5:8). The grace of God is sufficient unto us.