The other night during my class on grace, I was talking about how I hope that I will be able to go to heaven. My instructor laughed and said, “Of course you are going to Heaven, Lori!” I looked at her quite puzzled, “What do you mean? It is by the grace and mercy of God, his choice if I go, not mine.” Then she told me something I had heard before from Father Robert Barron about heaven and hell, in much greater detail, but with a simple wisdom to it. She said, “Jesus Christ died for our salvation, he conquered sin and death. In the end God will ask you if you want to be with him. What will you say?” I answered, “Of course I would say yes. But it can’t be that simple! Look at everything the Catholic Church has told us to do and not to do to get to heaven!!” Then we had a long discussion about how everything that the Catholic Church does, obligates and prohibits actually is leading us to become closer to God. The deeper we know God the easier it will be for us to recognize him when he invites us to live with him for all eternity. But who would say no to God and yes to hell, was my response. She said, those who live in sin, and are mired down by things not of God become comfortable in the waste and all of their vices. When they hear the voice of God they may not recognize it but even if they do, they many want no part of God because they believe they are happy in their own waste. In essence they will send themselves to hell.
I was dumbfounded! It is so true!! The more we sin (distancing ourselves from God) the more comfortable we become with the distance and our selfish choices. We may get to a point where we no longer feel a need for God and think we can do it all on our own and reject God completely. If we do this in our life why wouldn’t we in our death? After all hell is truly the absence of God!
So, it’s your choice!! Rejoice, you can choose to form a relationship with God. You can go to Church weekly to be reminded of how to have virtues instead of vices. You can take part in the sacraments to experience the presence of God. You can pray and talk to him daily. You can bring God to others and learn more about his love. If you do this on earth why wouldn’t you want to be this close and even closer in your death?
It’s just that simple, live your life with God and for God and you will recognize him in the end and choose him for eternity. But if you don’t know him and listen to his voice in your lifetime then in the end you will reject him and send yourself to hell. What’s amazing is WE ALL HAVE THE CHOICE!
The question is what will you choose?