“. . . eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness — indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 2:7–10).
IN OUR HEART OF HEARTS, EACH OF US “SEEKS” SOMETHING. The evidence of our daily words and deeds may suggest that we’re actually seeking something different than what we say is most important to us (Romans 6:16), but the fact remains, we each seek something. By our nature, we are seeking creatures. We’re always moving, always growing in some direction or another.
Every kind of seeking that we may engage in has its own set of consequences. Ungodliness, for example, cannot lead anywhere except away from God. If a person travels that path and refuses to change, there is only one destination he can arrive at. Similarly, godliness has an inevitable destination, albeit a very different one.
Depending on what we seek, we will each arrive at a “goal” that is the ultimate outcome of our seeking. The Scriptures speak of the “end” of our choices in this world. In one place, for example, Paul asks those who had become Christians, “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (Romans 6:21,22).
So there is a sense in which our hearts will find their way to whatever home they have sought. It is senseless to suppose that a person can spend his lifetime seeking the things of this world and then in eternity find himself enjoying the things of God. No, the worldly heart will find its way to a very different home than the heart set on God. It will reap what it has sown (Galatians 6:7,8).
But our destiny is not determined by fate or divine decree. If we have to admit that our hearts have not been seeking God, we can decide to start doing so. We can learn to love God with all our hearts, and when we do so, we’ll begin moving toward the home that will someday be found by all who have truly loved Him.
“Every love has its own force; and it cannot lie idle in the soul of the lover. Love must draw the soul on. Do you, then, wish to know the character of a love? See where it leads” (Augustine of Hippo).