To Seek Heaven and To Escape Hell

This devotional comes from “Solid Joys,” the Android and iOS app from Desiring God that features daily devotions by John Piper.

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Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, no moth destroys. (Luke 12:33)

Jesus had a lively, daily awareness of heaven and hell. These awesome realities were always relevant for the way he lived and taught.

He was radically reasonable about these things. If we will live forever in bliss or torment, then securing the one and escaping the other is more important than most of what we think about.

So he motivated loving actions with the hope of reward in heaven, and he motivated radical purity with the fear of hell.

The motivation for sacrificial generosity

But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (Luke 14:13–14).

For loving your enemies

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High (Luke 6:35).

For simplicity and charity

Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, no moth destroys (Luke 12:33).

For evangelism and missions

Make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness (= money); that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings (Luke 16:9).

For enduring persecution with joy

Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great (Matthew 5:11–12).

For avoiding lust

I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell (Matthew 5:28–29).

For not fearing death in the cause of the gospel

And I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the one who after he has killed has authority to cast into hell: yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:4–5).

For bearing good fruit

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (Luke 3:9).

For being doers and not just hearers of Jesus

But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great (Luke 6:49).

For giving our lives away for the gospel

For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? (Luke 9:24–25).

“The Present Power of Heaven and Hell”

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It is hard for us to accept that heaven and hell have powers when we do something. Well, this devotional reminds us that they are present in our life.

These are the commandments of Jesus; if we love and believe in Him, these things are what we ought to do in our daily lives.
Lord Jesus blesses you!

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