Location, location

Location matters every moment of our day and night.  If my car breaks down on the side of the road, I hope I’m on a well-lit city road and not a rural country drive!

If I’m hungry, I don’t go to the nearest library to pick up food.  And when I wake up in the morning, I expected to find myself in my bed rather than in a swamp swarming with alligators.

  • Location distinguishes where we are, and what could happen to us there.

An astronaut isn’t going to be attacked by a bear while visiting the moon.

An oil refiner isn’t going to die of heat stroke in Antarctica.

A whale isn’t going to swim in the desert.

A cake isn’t going to bake in the freezer.

A prisoner isn’t going to find a Ferris wheel in a maximum security prison.

Location matters.

When Jesus was here on earth, He talked about location.  He talked about the most important location of all:

where we will go when we die.

I don’t know about you, but I for one am very interested in where I go after I die.  I have no idea how long I’ll live on earth, or if I’ll even make it through today.  Rarely does anyone have the opportunity of advance notice on the date they’ll die.  Even if I have a great lifespan, and I live to be a hundred, hey, I’m already almost thirty.  That’s only seventy more years.  That’s not very much time.

I hear people talk about estate planning, but I’m not nearly so interested in who gets my house and stuff after I die as I am in planning for where my posthumous estate will be!

What I want to know is where I’m going.  Where’s my location going to be?

According to Jesus, there are only two places I could wind up:

Heaven or Hell.

Jesus gave us descriptions and word pictures of what both places are like.  And He made it clear that our souls will go to one place or the other, and there’s no in-between.

Jesus wanted us to know where we are going if we die without Him, and what we can expected when we get there.  If Jesus had just stopped there, His purpose would have been to cause us terror, grief, and fatalism.  But Jesus didn’t stop there.  He told us how we could avoid Hell.

People who think Jesus was mean to talk about Hell are not really thinking it through.  If Jesus had told us we were doomed for Hell and that was it, He still wouldn’t have been mean, because that is, sadly, what we deserve.  But this is not what Jesus did!  Jesus warned us about Hell so we would NOT have to go there!

The way we don’t go to Hell switches our focus from location to Person.  Although we deserve to be in Hell like a guilty criminal deserves to be in prison, Someone already took our place of punishment.  Jesus endured true Hell on earth so that we wouldn’t have to.

Since we are finite, we would have to pay the consequences for our infinite sin  in an infinite amount of time.  But here’s a cool fact: since Jesus is infinite, He was able to pay the consequences for our infinite sin in a finite amount of time.

Jesus takes our focus from location to Person.  The best part of Heaven isn’t our rescue from the location of Hell, but that our new location will be with the Person of Christ.  We will be with our Rescuer day and night, without end.

Location matters.  Eternally.  But the most important news isn’t about a location at all.  It’s about a Person!

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.” (Revelation 21:3, NLT)

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