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“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7,8).

ONE OF THE WORST MISTAKES WE CAN MAKE IS TO DISCONNECT OUR ACTIONS IN THE PRESENT FROM OUR DESTINY IN THE FUTURE. The doctrine of God’s grace, for example, is sometimes misunderstood to mean that we will enjoy eternity with God in heaven no matter how we live our lives right now. But that is not true. If we persist in disobedience, we are going to be lost. “Do not be deceived,” Paul says. “Whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

Our destination in eternity is going to be the end of a path we have followed in this world. As long as life lasts, we are free to change paths (and that is what the gospel begs us to do), but when death overtakes us, then it will be too late. God’s judgment will be His unalterable ratification of the choice that we have made. For those who have obeyed the gospel and walked in Christ, heaven will be the “result” or “end” (Greek telos) of their journey (1 Peter 1:9). There will be nothing arbitrary or unpredictable about it.

There is a certain kind of fool, however, who ponders what has just been said and thinks to himself, “I will live my life right now in whatever way I please, but at the very end I will turn to God and be saved.” His foolishness consists of at least two dangerous assumptions. One is that his opportunity for salvation is not going to run out unexpectedly, before he has time to repent. The other is that his deathbed repentance is going to be genuine. God will always accept genuine repentance, of course, but how sincere do you think a person’s repentance will be who all his life planned to give God nothing but the last few leftovers of his life?

These thoughts are sobering, to be sure. But if we “sow to the Spirit,” they should also be encouraging; we can be confident that we will “from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8). Either way, the Law of the Farm is going to decide our destiny. While we can, let’s start obeying the gospel. It will bring us back to our Father — and He is eagerly waiting to welcome us home.

“He who lives in sin and looks for happiness hereafter is like him who sows cockle and thinks to fill his barn with wheat or barley” (John Bunyan).

Gary Henry — +

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