Too many people ask, “Is that a heaven or hell issue?” This question comes up when we are talking about things we should or should not do. For some of us, it is not enough to know that sin separates us from God. We want to find the line between what will send us to hell and what we can get away with but still make it to heaven.
Bad questions get bad answers
If we start with the wrong question, we are sure to get an inadequate answer. Many times people answer the “heaven or hell” questions by detailing a list of things one can and cannot do. While this satisfies our fleshly desire for self-justification, the Bible does not contain a list of does and don’ts like that. The Law of Moses no longer applies and the only replacement we get is the command to “walk in the Spirit.”
Let’s say a wife asked her husband, “Will you be able to mow this weekend?” If he asks, “Is this a marriage or divorce issue?” what does that tell you about him? Now the issue is no longer the issue, but the person’s motives become the real problem. Husbands and wives should not seek out bare minimums so as to not separate. A loving relationship compels people to do many things for one another without trying to get away with as much or as little as possible.
Reexamine your motives
Are you in love with Jesus? Or are you just an artful codger trying to get to heaven while getting away with as much as possible here on earth? The only Christian life worth having is a life of total abandon to His desires. If you want to fulfill your desires, first fulfill the will of the King.
Rather than asking, “Is this a heaven or hell issue?” ask instead, “Will this activity bring me closer to the Lord? Will I fulfill His desires or am I doing it out of selfish, godless motives?” Such thinking will revolutionize your walk with Him.
The cumulative effect
If the man skipped out on mowing one weekend, surely a loving wife would not leave him over it. However, ignoring her wishes once makes it easier for him to deny her again later. If he keeps shrugging off her desires, eventually they will end up in a divorce. It works similarly with God.
One sin may not end your relationship with God. But it will open the door to more and more godless living. Soon, you will be so trapped in sin that you will harden your heart to God and spend an eternity without Him. Get the right focus now. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Now, stop looking for the boundary lines and head for the goal!