The difference between Heaven and Hell is simple. Everyone in Heaven has repented. No one in Hell has. But if salvation is that easy, why doesn’t everyone repent? Unfortunately, it’s easy to see other people’s sins, but not so much our own.
Have you ever thought…“Boy, these people sure are evil.”
Romans 1:29-32, Living Bible – Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness and sin, of greed and hate, envy, murder, fighting, lying, bitterness, and gossip. They were backbiters, haters of God, insolent, proud, braggarts, always thinking of new ways of sinning and continually being disobedient to their parents. They tried to misunderstand, broke their promises, and were heartless—without pity. They were fully aware of God’s death penalty for these crimes, yet they went right ahead and did them anyway and encouraged others to do them, too.
Then you realized… “Oops, I think I did that too.”
Romans 2:1, Living Bible (TLB) – “Well,” you may be saying, “what terrible people you have been talking about!” But wait a minute! You are just as bad. When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are talking about yourselves, for you do these very same things.
In the meanwhile…God is patient, giving us all time to repent.
Romans 2:2-4, Living Bible (TLB) – And we know that God, in justice, will punish anyone who does such things as these. Do you think that God will judge and condemn others for doing them and overlook you when you do them, too? Don’t you realize how patient he is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.
So let’s repent (change our ways)… while there is still time.
2 Peter 3:8-10, Living Bible – But don’t forget this, dear friends, that a day or a thousand years from now is like tomorrow to the Lord. He isn’t really being slow about his promised return, even though it sometimes seems that way. But he is waiting, for the good reason that he is not willing that any should perish, and he is giving more time for sinners to repent. The day of the Lord is surely coming, as unexpectedly as a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the heavenly bodies will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burned up.
Back then (without Christ) …our sorrows led to death.
2 Corinthians 7:10, GOD’S WORD Translation – In fact, to be distressed in a godly way causes people to change the way they think and act and leads them to be saved. No one can regret that. But the distress that the world causes brings only death.
But now (in Christ)…our troubles lead us to repent and receive everlasting life.
Colossians 1:12-14, Living Bible – “…and always thankful to the Father who has made us fit to share all the wonderful things that belong to those who live in the Kingdom of light. For he has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins.