You have friends – I have friends who honestly believe that because they are of the generation of flower children and embrace love, joy and peace that they are headed off to heaven when they die. I puzzled about this because I noticed that no matter how cogent my arguments, how based in solid Biblical theology and the experience of the ages, they didn’t budge an inch.
I agonized about how to approach one such psychology graduate of Berkeley in the 60s, and then it hit me. This man believes, he really believes that after dies he will have free choice. He can choose his own heaven, he can choose to play rock music with his buddies in a comfy place surrounded by always blooming hydrangeas, rose bushes without thorns and cooling streams – a dream straight out of the Sierra Club brochure.
But – there’s always a but. The whole purpose of free will in this life is to prepare for the next. Free will is not needed in heaven because the essential decision was previously made. Of course we expect God will allow us to choose what to enjoy in heaven. I want to hit the books and talk to the authors from the ante-Nicene era. Hey – to each his own. You may want to talk to your ancestors from Europe, or Peru. You may choose to spend time with the animals or learn what happened to the lost colony at Jamestown.
But if you are in hell, choice is gone. On the contrary, God has many versions of hell from fiery flames to total isolation and blackness, without sound, without access to a single human voice. Your choice? No more.
No I’ve not spent any time on the other side but there are dozens of people who have gone and come back both to heaven and hell. Their stories are in books and online.
Make your choices here and live. God says always. “I put before you life and death. Choose life.”
Isn’t that neat. He gives you the question and then the right answer.