ETERNAL DESTINY: GOD’S CHOICE OR
OURS? 2 Peter 3:9
There was once a tragedy in a coal mine in England.
Many had died in the flame and the smoke. The whole town was filled with discouragement. The town was poor and the main source of income was working in the mine. Atheists were using the disaster to reaffirm their unbelief that there was no God or He would not allow this to happen. Also many of the mothers and widows who were believers were asking God why He had allowed it. The day of the funeral came. A man of God moved by the Holy Spirit asked to speak. He said “I have a silk book-mark which my mother made for me, I use it for my Bible. My mother has woven some words on it. If we look at it from the wrong side all we can see is the confusion of the sown tread. But when we look from the right side we read, ‘God is love’ and we forget the ugliness that is on the wrong side. We must not look at this tragedy from the wrong side, but from the right point of view: “God is love” and as it is written in Romans 8:28; “All things work together for good for them who love God!”
This true story well illustrates our despair, when we don’t understand why God allows bad things to happen to us and to our loved ones. The Apostle Paul admitted, “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall fully know even as I also am fully known.” (1Co 13:12) There are many terrible things happening in the world. Many people believe that since God is all-powerful, then it must be His will to “allow” things such as sufferings, children born handicapped, deaths, wars, world disasters, etc.. But… are we sure that God is to be blamed for these things?! The sacrifice of Jesus the Son of God, on the cross proves unmistakably that the scripture is correct which says, “God is love”. (1Jn 4:16) Now we believers can shut up the mouth of the Devil who is always blaming God for the evil that he, and not God, brings upon the world!
The Bible shows that God has given each man the power to choose to determine his own eternal destiny. In 1Kings 18:21 we read what Elijah told Israel, who had forgotten God and was worshipping a demon called Baal and sacrificing their children to it: “Elijah came near to all the people and said, How long will you halt and limp between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal (the Devil, is your God), then follow him!” In 1500 bC., Moses came down from Sinai and saw that Israel had CHOSEN to worship a cow, instead of God. He got so upset that he destroyed the Ten Commandments. God said to Moses to tell them: “CHOOSE you this day whom you will serve…I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live!” (Deu 30:19)
This scriptures are clearly saying that we and not God, decide our destiny. We choose between good or evil, love or hate, Christ and eternal salvation or atheism and eternal Hell. A practical example? Let’s think back. To our own memories, when some of us may have sinned or misbehaved. For instance, cheated our spouses, been dishonest to our employer or employees, stolen something, lied to our friends, etc.. Haven’t we all sinned in some ways, at one time or another? Let’s ask ourselves, did God decide for us? Or did we choose independently? I believe that the choice was all ours!
In fact, if God would be the One deciding for all of Humanity, then, He would surely have decided long ago that all people would love and be honest one another; no one would not commit adultery, nor murder and so on, just as He commands in His Word! Easy! Certainly much easier, but not what God wants. God loves us and He to teach us all to decide from the heart to choose right, in honesty and love toward God and each others. This is why He created man in His (God’s) likeness and not in the likeness of some animal or robot. As all world’s dictators found out, usually at their own expense, that, aside from the official “honors” and pomp, people always go back to what they truly have in their heart, regardless of it being right or wrong.
When the people of Israel wanted to “elect” Jesus as their king, He Jesus refused, went and hid in the mountains: “When Jesus perceived that they would come and take Him by force, that they might make Him a king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain alone by Himself.” (Jn 6:15) Quite a difference with what is happening in the world today.
Jesus didn’t want to reign on an un-regenerated world and people who hadn’t yet decided if they wanted to be Christians or atheists. As Jesus told Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world…”. Christ will rule only in the next world. Where there will be only born- again people, regenerated by the Holy Spirit (Tit 3:5; Rev 21 and 22). This is why Heaven will be such a wonderful place (1Cor 2:9); there will be only people who have chosen to receive Christ and follow Him, from their hearts, and not because forced by laws. People who choose to seek peace and not war, who offer their cheek and not to smite that of others, who suffer for righteousness sake and not to make others suffer for it and who were willing to live, and die if necessary, for the truth.
Let’s remember: CHOICE and not chance, determines our destiny. Let’s choose, and choose right, the light. In darkness there is no choice. It is the light that enables us to see the differences between things. And that light is Christ; He is the One that is and that gives the light! “The people which sat in darkness saw great light (Christ);to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up!” (Mat 4:16)
Love overcomes evil
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with
good!” (Romans 12:21)
A prophetic application of the story in 2 Kings chapter 6:
It was the year 893 BC. Israel was in deep sin against God. Instead of worshipping God they were worshipping some demon-idols and sacrificing to them their children. God could no longer protect them from their enemies The chariots and the horsemen of the king of Syria were riding through the land of Israel terrorizing, killing and stealing all they found. Similar to the terrorism and the other problems that afflict the atheist world of today. God mercifully sent the prophet, Elisha to save the king of Israel. Elisha was a form of Christ; Our Savior is the only One Who can save the world from His sins of worshipping the modern demon-idols. Such as materialism, drugs, crime, atheism, selfishness, violence, witchcraft, abortion…
Elisha was prophesying to the king of Israel, in advance, of the battle plans of the king of Syria. These represents God’s prophetic Word in the Bible, warning us of what the Devil is plotting against us. From then on the Syrians could no longer take the Israelites by surprise and these were able to defend themselves! Israel and its king, represent the nations and their leaders of today. If these would listen to God’s prophet and his Word, that is Christ and His prophetic Word in the Bible—by means of the Holy Spirit—they would know what to do against the plans of the “king of Syria”, which today is the Devil.
The king of Syria was furious! Having discovered of Elisha, he sent a great army of horses and chariots to destroy him. They surrounded the town of Elisha. Elisha’s servant was scared and screaming! The prophet told him: “Fear not! They that be with us are more than they that be with them!” Then God opened the eyes of the servant and he saw, on all the surrounding mountains, God’s army of Angels mounting on heavenly horses and chariots of fire! Don’t we all sometimes feel scared by the many problems, debts, enemies, sickness, death? Let’s look to Jesus! He can and will help. (Hebrew 13:5)
The prophet prayed and the enemies became blind. He then led them to the camp of Israel’s army. When the shocked and speechless king of Israel saw the scene he asked: “Shall I KILL them?!” The prophet said: “You shall not slay them! Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and return to their master! …When they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away… And the bands of Syria CAME NO MORE into the land of Israel.”
What a picture of Christ! The Spirit of Christ, through Elisha teaching Israel, 3000 years ago to love their enemies! All this under the, “eye for an eye” law! How much more we, all of us in the world, having had since 2000 years the revelation of the love of Christ, should overcome evil with good!
There are many reason why today there are wars political demands religious hate, terorristic threats because of reasonable or unreasonable requests. Jesus would have solved all these problems by giving the following answer: “My kingdom is NOT of this world: IF my kingdom were of this world, THEN would my servants fight…but now is my kingdom NOT from hence! 38 …It hath been said, An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth: But I say…resist not evil. Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away! 44 LOVE your enemies, BLESS them that curse you, DO GOOD to them that hate you, and PRAY for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 that ye MAY BE the children of your Father which is in heaven…!” (Jn 18:36; Mat 5:38-45)