“Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Matthew 13:49-50
Each passing day our world grows more secular. Each passing day, sin grows with it. Each passing day, the world nudges us to call the immoral, moral. Each passing day, morals that we were taught seem to become twisted and used by others to justify deviant behavior.
But we must never forget that there is a connection between how we live in this world and our ultimate destiny in the next life. The two are undeniably linked. During our earthly lives we have many opportunities to learn how to know and love God. God is the Just Judge and Merciful Father who desires that we journey towards our true home in heaven by freely choosing to avoid sin and being faithful to the gospel.
If we knowingly and freely choose sinfulness and evil throughout our lives, without ever repenting, our eternal destiny will be alienation from God. We sin when we refuse to respond to God’s loving presence in our lives and in our world. We also sin when we choose estrangement from God. While God always invites us to return to his loving presence, he will not force us to do so.
How we choose to live in this world has a bearing on the next life. We cannot be with God for ever in heaven unless we are with him during this earthly life. We prepare for the next life — a life enjoying the eternal happiness of heaven — by living this life as fully as possible in the presence of God. We are challenged to be faithful to Christ’s teaching and example, keeping his commandments.
We can freely choose: we either seek God and make goodness a part of our life, or we prefer to stand on the precipice of death. Or with Christ or against him. To convert ourselves means to freely opt to become one of the upright ones and live a life worthy of his sons. However, within us we have the experience of sin: we realize the good we should do but we do the evil, instead; what do we do to provide our lives with a sense of true unity? We, alone, cannot do much. Only if we place ourselves in God’s hands shall we be able to attain the goodness and be counted amongst the upright ones.
Reflect, today, on how strongly you are opposed to sin. Sin is evil and destructive. You must always love the person who commits sin, but you ought never offer support or approval for their actions that are contrary to the law of God. Standing strong in the face of cultural opposition is a great act of love and may free some, one day, from the “wailing and grinding of teeth” of which Jesus spoke.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, where sin abounds grace abounds all the more. Your grace is so needed today in our world and in my life. Help me to stay strong in my opposition to evil and sin so as to be among those who are gathered into Your Kingdom. Give me courage to do all I can to help those on the path of destruction. Jesus, I trust in You.”
During our earthly lives we have many opportunities to learn how to know and love God. God is the Just Judge and Merciful Father who desires that we journey towards our true home in heaven by freely choosing to avoid sin and being faithful to the gospel. Building His kingdom on earth means living our lives in His light and following His commands. If more of us tried to build that kingdom, more of us would know the ultimate rewards.