Two and Only Two

[265 words]

An elder in my home congregation once told me that back when he sold ice cream he would tell his customers, “We have two flavors: plain and vanilla.”

Years ago when you went to have your teeth cleaned, there were no flavor options. Now the dental hygienist asks if I prefer mint, cinnamon, or strawberry.

In 1953 we had only one TV channel, and it was black and white. Today we are overwhelmed with choices. From colors of paint to selections of greeting cards, from brands of breakfast cereal to college courses—the options are almost endless. In contrast, Jesus often spoke of two and only two alternatives—one good and one bad.

He spoke of the wise and foolish builders—those who do and those who do not act on His teachings (Matt. 7:24-27). He pictured Judgment Day with everyone on the right or the left, the sheep and the goats, each receiving one of two destinies: eternal life or everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:31-46).

He spoke of the five wise virgins who were ready when the bridegroom came, and the five foolish virgins who were not (Matt. 25:1-13). 

Wise or foolish. Right or left. Treasures in heaven or on earth. God or Mammon. Narrow way or broad way. Life or destruction. Prepared or unprepared.

To sum up, there are two and only two realms at the present time (Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13), and two and only two realms in the age to come (Matt. 25:46).

So it’s a matter of life or death, and the choice is ours.

David Gibson

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