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March 6, 2023

Straight Talk About Your Eternal Destiny

Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.
–Jeremiah 21:8

Presidential speech writer and opinion columnist Peggy Noonan attended the state funeral service for former president Ronald Reagan. While she was there, she jotted down some observations about other members of President Reagan’s administration. Regarding Jeane Kirkpatrick, who served as Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Noonan wrote, “Somewhere along the way, I have always felt, she made a decision. She chose to follow the academic and analytical part of her nature . . . and not perhaps other parts of her inner self, parts perhaps less definitive and constructive and perhaps more merry.” Noonan then concluded, “Life is options up to a point, and then it’s decisions made.”

Most decisions we make are inconsequential: what we are going to have for lunch, what we are going to wear. Some are more important: which university to attend, which job offer to accept. And some decisions are life-altering: whether to get married, whom to marry, whether to have children. But no decision we make is more consequential than choosing where we are going to spend eternity.

Because the truth is, everybody is going to live forever. The decision is not whether you are going to live forever but where you going to live forever. And it is a decision you cannot put off indefinitely. If you wait until you die to decide where you are going to spend eternity, then you will have waited too long. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “The ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation” (NLT).

It is no accident that Jesus saved this most important topic for last in His Sermon on the Mount. He made it clear that we have only two choices when it comes to the next life: we can either spend eternity in the presence of the one who created us, in a place free from the curse of sin (Revelation 22:3), or we can spend eternity “away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,” in a place of “eternal destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). And where we choose to spend eternity will be reflected in how we live our lives right now.

To illustrate the two choices before us–and the consequences of our decision–Jesus drew four sharp contrasts: between two roads, two kinds of prophets, two kinds of followers, and two very different houses.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Straight Talk About Your Eternal Destiny” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2022.

Peggy Noonan, “The Time of Our Lives: Collected Writings” (New York: Twelve, 2015), 302-3.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org; (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

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