Day 5 – The Alternative: Where Else Would I Go?
When we receive an invitation to a celebration, we are given two choices: we can either accept it or reject it. Simply receiving an invitation with our names on it to an all-inclusive destination celebration will not provide us a confirmed reservation until we respond by saying yes. Our invitation to eternity in Heaven, paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, is subject to the same limitation. If we would like to be there, we must respond by saying yes.
What happens if we avoid responding? What happens if we don’t actually convey our regrets but are simply too busy with other things at that time to accept the invitation? We do not go. We never made our reservation and our names are not on the list.
This is true of God’s invitation as well. When we refuse to respond to His gracious request, we will not find a home in Heaven. What, then, is our alternative destination? Sadly, the Bible is very clear about where those who turn His invitation down will spend their eternity, and the answer is Hell.
No one likes to think or talk about Hell, but it is a bleak reality that we cannot neglect without severe harm to ourselves and others. The little that God’s Word does reveal to us about the atmosphere of Hell is enough to make us tremble in terror.
While Heaven is a place of beauty and healing, Hell is a place of raging fire and desperate suffering (Matthew 13:41-42). While Heaven will be filled with God and His angels and His faithful earthly followers, Hell will be filled with the devil and his demons and his earthly followers (Matthew 25:41). While Heaven will echo with the sound of joyful singing and celebration, Hell will echo with the sound of painful wailing and gnashing teeth (Matthew 13:50). Heaven will be a place of meaningful connection with others, while those in Hell will suffer alone (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).
Perhaps it seems funny now to some people who laugh at jokes about how they will be more comfortable in Hell than they would be in Heaven with “all those holy people,” but on that day, there will be no laughing. Eternity is not a laughing matter. Once we have died, our time on earth will be nothing more than a blip in our eternal soul’s history. Why then would we put off making a decision that affects not only our life here on earth but our eternal future?
Why reject a Savior who loved us enough to come all the way down to us, pay everything for us, and desires to bring us with Him to paradise? What pleasure or thrill in this life could ever be worth our embracing of eternal death and abandonment?
The God who made us wants infinitely more for us than a sin-filled life followed by a pain-filled death and eternity. He longs for us to accept the gift of His Son for a purpose-filled life and a hope-filled death and eternity. Through the person of Jesus, we can receive love and mercy now and peace and rest forever.
Come! Come to Heaven with me, and we can fall at His nail-scarred feet together. Do not spend your one short life in fear of devastation when you could spend it in the anticipation of a glorious new beginning with God—the God who gave up everything to bring you to His side.
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” … “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. … He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:12-13,16-17,20, ESV)