Tough Love


Jesus is pretty straightforward about the afterlife, so will we choose Heaven or hell? And will we love others enough to share Christ with them before it's too late?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

Raising three sons was no simple task. As you can imagine, my wife and I often warned them not to do something wrong or harmful. For example, when they were young and would go charging out into the street, we’d shout, “You can’t do that; you might get killed!” It wasn’t to be overbearing or controlling parents. It wasn’t because we didn’t care about them – the opposite, actually. We warned them because we loved them – tough love! 

Jesus does the same thing when talking about the afterlife. And He’s pretty straightforward in His warning: there are only two destinations, heaven or hell. When you die where will you be? This sounds harsh, especially in our all-inclusive “politically correct” modern society. But it’s out of Jesus’ love for you and for me that He speaks so plainly about such a controversial topic. It’s a little tough love that challenges us to examine our hearts, our lives and our faith – our eternity is on the line!

But it doesn’t stop there. For the Christian, Jesus asks us to remember our unbelieving friends, colleagues, family and neighbors. Just as Jesus had compassion on us, He wants us to communicate God’s love to others. So, what about you?  Do you think about the people in your life who don’t personally know the forgiveness and eternal assurance that comes from faith in Christ?

Maybe you don’t know how to approach a subject so personal like faith, religion, or God. Start small. Start by simply loving them as they are. Spend time with them, offer to pray for them when they share a problem or a concern with you and look for opportunities to share how God’s love has impacted your life.

We share Christ because we want others to experience the eternal assurance we have through faith in Jesus. We share because we are thankful for Jesus’ tough love that never gave up on us. We share out of love and compassion, in the same way that Jesus did. So who will you share this ultimate love with today?

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