The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” - Revelation 21:7-8 (ESV)
For those of you who are in my generation, you likely well remember when a parenting trend was popular called Tough Love. Tough Love was an approach to dealing with a child, usually a teenager, who was out of control and thought they could do anything they wanted and that the parent was helpless in dealing with it. Now, it came in many degrees, but it was designed to teach the error of bad ways and habits and instill respect for the parents who, after all, paid the bills for the child and gave them shelter, food and clothing. I can tell you that I went to a training session on the concept and had to use it on one of my own. Frankly, I think it was harder on me in the end than it was on them and sometimes I questioned its use. Today, however, seeing that child of mine as a grownup who is faithful and true to our Savior, I know it was the right thing to do for it did help get them back on the right track.
But what about the way things are today, when so many in our society try to tell us there is no right or wrong and that everything is relative. No, it is not, and just look at the rest of nature and it becomes very clear that is not the case. There are consequences for everything all living things do, but in the case of mankind we have a conscience which when engaged with the Holy Spirit, tells us what is right and wrong. Yet, so many decide they don't care, they don't want God's help, they just want Him to go away. Nothing good comes from that and, in the end, the consequences of Good or Bad, leaves us accountable for whichever we do and unless we come to grips with the bad before this life is through, the road to destruction takes hold and there is no turning back, and we face the fate as discussed in the biblical passage shown above.
Now I was led to the passage from Revelation above when listening to the short morning devotional of Max Lucado which used Revelation 21:7 as a major basis for his presentation. Max, a soft spoken man with an approach more like a big brother of a good father, talked about why we have so much trouble dealing with sin. Well, it is, of course, because we are sinners and all Christians are sinners for we are imperfect. So, why do we work to change and be better? We do so because we want to be with Christ when this world is over because we believe in Him as our Savior, and therein lies the answer to how to get there. But then he changes tack and discusses the fact that many don't want to be bothered by Christ and have no intention of following His way. These are the people who, in my opinion, drew my attention to tough love, for God loves them just like those of us who profess belief, yet He wants them to know that there are consequences for what we believe or don't believe and the actions that we take. In such case, when tough love has not been applied, the cold heart will follow and God will never force us to believe anything. No, it must be our own choice.
So, read the passage above from Revelation and take it to heart. Then look closely at the picture shown for a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, when you read the words and look at the picture, which option for life will you choose? Will it be the one of Goodness and Light or Evil or Darkness? Make it carefully, for remember, if that is your choice and it is the wrong one before this life is through, the next life will be the end of life and your Eternity. A lifetime on earth is a miniscule moment in that life, but Eternity is forever. Fire, pain and suffering or riches and joy beyond any understanding, which will it be? It is all up to you and me.