The House Rules of Heaven
By Rick Warren
“I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life.” Deuteronomy 30:19 (GNT)
People ask all the time, “How could a loving God send people to hell?”
Let’s suppose you’re addicted to drugs and living on the street. Your life is falling apart because of addiction, and you don’t have a home or even a place to eat or bathe.
Then someone comes along and says, “Let me help you out. I will take you to my house and help you get cleaned up and give you a new set of clothes and a good meal. And you can live at my house. You can become part of my family. In fact, I’m going to adopt you. You can take my name! I’m going to pay off all your debts. You can even have my credit card and access to the entire resources of my family. You don’t have to earn it or work for it. I’m doing this simply because I love you and want to show you grace.
“However, if you live in my house as a part of my family, there are some house rules that you have to follow. We respect each other and help out with responsibilities around the house. And we don’t do drugs in this house.”
Is it reasonable to expect you to abide by the family’s house rules? Of course. If they’re extending an offer like that, the least they can expect is for you to respond to grace by showing respect.
You may choose to say, “Thank you, but I’m going to choose to live on the street because I don’t want to walk away from the drugs. I’m not willing to give them up to be part of your family.”
If you turn down the offer, the fault is on you for the effects of your choice, not on the person who extended grace. That person did the loving thing to offer to help you get out of the situation. You cannot say that they were being unloving.
God doesn’t send people to hell. People choose to go there.
When you choose to follow Jesus, there is only one house rule: Jesus has already paid for your ticket into heaven. He’s already forgiven you! All you’ve got to do is accept it.
If you want to do your own thing and reject God’s offer of grace, then he is not being unloving. You are choosing to ruin your life.
God has the right to make house rules for his home in heaven. The choice to follow is up to you.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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