We live in a culture where almost anything goes. From the
and conservative to the "way out" and the bizarre, a
seemingly endless variety of lifestyles are represented in the
crosscurrents of Western society. But what lies beyond this life?
What lifestyle will we experience when the short years of this
life are spent? The question of final destiny is one that travelers
from all walks of life would like the answer to. Everyone at some
time ponders the prospects of the future; rich and poor, educated
and uneducated, religious and non-religious.
What will it be like? What will the choices be, or will there
be any? Many are taught to believe in some kind of hell, a place
of eternal torment. Some think that this life IS our hell, and
death the relief of non-existence. Some think everyone will
eternal ecstasy, regardless of how they lived on earth. Still
others believe we can continue in our present earthly lifestyle,
or choose a more favorable one. Some say we will disintegrate
and cease to exist, others that we are immortal by nature. What
is our future destiny? Will we become eternal spirits, suffer
endless pain, or maybe return as another form of life; a dog,
or maybe a turtle?
The subject of eternal destiny is a very sensitive one for many
people. In some bases it is even emotionally supercharged. Many
people are defensive regarding their beliefs about death and
afterlife. Others do not want their present attitudes and behavior
linked to future rewards or consequences. In the end, most people
will believe what they want to believe, regardless of the source
or quality of their information. But for those who are willing
to risk the time and effort of inquiry, the Bible claims to have
The Bible describes mankind's history, current condition, and
eternal destiny. It relates our present opportunities and
to our ultimate future. It maps out the roads we can choose from
in this life and tells us where those roads lead. But wait! Many
people have read the Bible and still do not agree about its
concerning eternal destiny. Could it be that people will ignore
contrary evidence in order to believe what they want to believe?
Is the Bible really ambiguous, or are people merely ingenious
in evading conclusions they don't like? There is only one way
to know for sure, and that is to find out for yourself. This lesson
will investigate what the Bible offers as our choices of eternal
It is 1,400 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. God is leading
His people (the nation of Israel) into the "Promised
of Canaan (today's Palestine). It has been forty years since God
split the Red Sea and led them out of slavery in Egypt, but because
of unbelief and disobedience, they have had to wander in the
between Egypt and Palestine. Now they are about to enter the land,
and God gives messages of instruction to the nation through His
prophet Moses. Within those messages is contained the following
warning in the verses
The message is clear; LIFE or DEATH. Was this message intended
only for those living in the days of Moses? Did Jesus teach a
similar message when He lived on earth? Is this message still
valid for the people of God today? Read the following texts and
answer the questions. Then decide for yourself what the Bible
teaches about our choices of eternal destiny.
How many ways does Jesus identify? What are the choices?
Helps and hints: Notice that you do not need
to "find" the road to destruction. The fact that some
"find" the gateway to life is indication that they
for it. That the majority will be lost is not God's preference.
It will be the result of their free choice. How many do you know
who are seriously considering eternity?
How many categories of men does Jesus identify in
How does He describe them?
Helps and hints: It matters not what the object
of your loyalty may be, you are either with Christ or against
Him. This is ultimately the factor that will determine your eternal
How many destinies are identified in the parable in
How are these destinies described?
Helps and hints: Notice that while the net caught
some of every kind that was in the sea, they were sorted into
only TWO groups, the good and the bad.
How many destinies are taught in the parable in
How are these destinies described?
How and by whom are they determined?
Helps and hints: Notice that the results of sin
are not something that we receive by choice. They are described
as wages because we have already earned them, as Paul says in
Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God." But we CAN receive as a free gift the
and forgiveness of Jesus Christ and escape the wages that we have
earned. We could say that we either accept the gift or we get
what we deserve.
what is the gift of God?
How many possible destinies are identified in
How are they described?
Helps and hints: Again the contrast is between
life and death. The word perish bears the meaning "to pass
from existence." (consult your dictionary). It seems strange
that this Bible text, probably the most well known of any, is
so often used to contrast two different conditions of life; an
eternal life of happiness, or an eternal life of
What two choices does Jesus offer in
Helps and hints: We will look at the meaning
of God's wrath in a later lesson. The point to be observed is
that some have everlasting life, and some "shall not see
How many destinies are spoken of in
How are they described?
What choices are offered?
Does this passage indicate that a person's destiny is decided
What decision does God hope people will make?
Does God continue to feel this way in New Testament times?
2 Peter 3:9
Helps and hints: The choices of eternal destiny
offered to mankind have not changed from one Testament to the
other. Neither has the character of God changed from the Old
to the New. His attitude toward us has always been the same. He
wants us to experience eternal life.
The contrast between life and death appears so many times in the
Bible, it almost seems to become repetitive. God wants us to know
for sure that there are really only two eternal destinies for
us to choose from. The teaching concerning the "broad"
and the "narrow" way is very descriptive. It indicates
that the road to destruction is broad and the gate is wide, in
order to accommodate many different lifestyles and philosophies.
There are many ways to run away from God, but the end is always
"There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is
the way to death."
But there is only one way to God. That way is through Jesus Christ.
We are either with Him or against Him. There are no
in the War of the Universe, though some may think themselves to
be neutral. Jesus Christ is the only valid sacrifice for the sins
of mankind and the only name under heaven through which we can
receive eternal life. It is important that we should enter into
a right relationship with Him. He desires that we should know
Him as a personal friend and Savior. He has given all for us that
we might not suffer eternal death. he invites us to be included
in His program for the restoration of the universe. No man or
woman need to thirst for a knowledge of their eternal destiny.
"If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who
believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall
flow rivers of living water' "
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