Thursday, September 06, 2012

Online devotions: Long Term Goals - Luke 12:20

Luke 12:20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself ?’” 

I think it was C S Lewis who said it best: ‘There is no one in Hell who did not choose to be there.’

People don’t like to think, speculate, or talk about the existence of hell. It’s not a very positive subject to discuss and creates anxiety for some people. Everybody wants, like the crop owner in the parable (Luke 12:13-21), to build bigger stuff, take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ The mantra for a perfect life that most people seek to accomplish is this: ‘Don’t worry; be happy.’

The reality, however, is much more than just the refrain from a cheerful song. The reality is that we have one life to live with two ultimate destinations. One path leads to Heaven; all other roads end up in hell.

Already, you may be pushing back against the heart of this message. You may be thinking that I’m being narrow minded, old fashioned, and out of touch. That is your choice, but remember this: our choices determine our eternal destination.

I can’t make you believe in heaven or hell. I can only write and relate what this passage of scripture means to me. I will however express this: this parable (Luke 12:13-21) comes directly from the lips of Jesus, so its message and warning must have been important to Him.

Ultimately, the parable is about our long term dreams and plans. The challenge that we have to confront today is this: if today was my last on Earth, where would my soul end up?

Questions for personal reflection

Did Jesus actually believe in the existence of hell? Do I believe what He believed?

Prayer:                        Lord Jesus, we don’t like to think or talk about hell. We don’t understand why a loving God would allow such a dreadful place to exist. However, when we read the Gospels, You frequently talk about such a terrible place. Help us to believe what You believed. Enable us to make the right choice in our lives that will ultimately lead us to Heaven. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is an abstract that John drew called “Soul Fool.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link:

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