[Who's Your One? Series] Heaven or Hell

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading


The gift of free will and your eternal destiny

Are we, human beings, eternal beings? What happens to us after death? Where will we spend eternity? Is there such a thing as an eternal destiny for each one of us? And if there is, what or who determines who goes where? What is the basis for such a decision? Would you say that you have asked yourself, or heard someone pose, these same exact questions at least once in your life? I certainly have. 

All through these devotional days, we will take a glimpse at the afterlife. To help us answer these questions, we will take a closer look at a compelling story we find in the gospel of Luke. In chapter sixteen, we read about two men who found themselves in opposite places after their death—one in Hades, the other one at Abraham’s side: Heaven and Hell. 

They both lived utterly different lives: one was rich, and the other one was poor. One spent most of his life feasting, while the other was sick and begging for money. Nevertheless, it is essential to notice that being poor or rich did not determine why they ended up in Heaven or Hell. Jesus does not condemn the rich man for his riches; being rich did not determine his eternal destiny, just as being poor and sick did not determine Lazarus’s peaceful stay in Abraham’s bosom. 

What then determined the different eternal outcomes? Jesus’s story reveals that the outside can be very different from the inside (Proverbs 14:13; 1 Samuel 16:7). As human beings, we tend to focus our attention on the exterior. However, the Bible tells us that God is interested in what is happening in our innermost being—He looks at our hearts. Although we may be very good at covering up our interior and hiding our real selves to others, our core being is known by God. He knows us because He created us and put eternity inside of us. 

Sometimes we do not realize how blessed we are for having been created as beings who can choose their destiny for themselves—the gift of free will. But, the fact that we are free to choose does not mean that we are free from the consequence of our choices. Our choices here on Earth will have a direct and definite impact on our eternal destiny, as well as on the future of those that God has put in our lives. They most definitely need to hear the good news about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Who are those people that are waiting for you to share God’s love? Who is your One?