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Heaven or Hell?

Everyone thinks they want to go the heaven, but in reality they don’t. Heaven is for those who actually want to be like God, and who embrace his qualities of character—truth, mercy, graciousness and justice. It is a place where forgiveness reigns and the meek are celebrated as the greatest.

If the angry, brooding masses of the earth were allowed to enter heaven, they would be disgusted! They would feel like they were being tortured. They would loathe it because there would be no place for hate, racism, greed, or lust. All of the qualities of character that they have cultivated and refined would be foreign and out of place.

Their exclusion from heaven is not an arbitrary thing. It is exactly what they would choose.

At some point God accepts what his estranged children have chosen and acknowledges that they are incurable. “They have no disposition to submit to divine authority. Their will has been exercised in revolt; and when life is ended, it is too late to turn the current of their thoughts in the opposite direction, too late to turn from transgression to obedience, from hatred to love” (Great Controversy, p. 543).

“Could those whose lives have been spent in rebellion against God be suddenly transported to heaven and witness the high, the holy state of perfection that ever exists there,  — every soul filled with love, every countenance beaming with joy, enrapturing music in melodious strains rising in honor of God and the Lamb, and ceaseless streams of light flowing upon the redeemed from the face of Him who [sits] upon the throne — could those whose hearts are filled with hatred of God, of truth and holiness, mingle with the heavenly throng and join their songs of praise? Could they endure the glory of God and the Lamb? No, no; years of probation were granted them, that they might form characters for heaven; but they have never trained the mind to love purity; they have never learned the language of heaven, and now it is too late” (Great Controversy, p. 542).

Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference.

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