God has done many things to provide for man’s eternal resting place.
He has prepared a place for those who love and obey him, and a place prepared not for man but for Satan, where those who refuse God will spend eternity. God desires for man to be obedient, but he does not make man follow him.
God made man a free moral agent. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Just as those of Joshua’s day had decisions to make, so man does today.
God provided the only sacrifice for sins, Christ. He has provided all that pertains to life and godliness (John 3:16; Hebrews 10:10; 2 Peter 1:3). It is up to the individual either to obey God or reject him. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9). These verses show that man has the ultimate power to decide where he will spend eternity.
When heaven and hell are compared, it is unbelievable that some live such lives of sin.
Heaven is described as a place of rest, no sorrow or crying, a place of joy, living with Christ throughout all eternity (Matthew 25:46 and 25:23; Revelation 14:13 and 21:4; John 14:13). Knowing the things men suffer in life, and the glories of heaven that await, who would not want to go to heaven? Hell, on the other hand, is pictured as a place of weeping with no rest, everlasting fire, without Christ, and a place of anguish (Matthew 25:41 and 25:30; Revelation 14:11; John 8:21). Who would actively seek this place as an eternal home?
The fact is that many are living lives that are going to lead to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). They refuse to obey the Gospel, which is the way of salvation (Romans 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 8). Paul wrote that the Gospel saves (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Some men believe their teaching is greater than God’s, but it is not (Matthew 15:9). God decides the requirements of admission to his kingdom. He provided the way, the light and the sacrifice — Christ (John 14:6 and 1:4-5; Hebrews 10:10).
God’s plan of salvation as told in the New Testament is hear — Romans 10:17; believe — Hebrews 11:6; repent — Acts 17:30; confess — Romans 10:9-10; baptism — Acts 2:38; and living a faithful life — Revelation 2:10. Their obedience or non-obedience to God’s word will settle one’s destiny.
So who determines where eternity will be spent? In the word of God, it is seen that an eternal destiny is a fact every person faces. It teaches of two places — heaven and hell. One of these will be the place of eternal destiny when this life is over. God prepared hell for the devil and his angels, but sinful man will find himself there if he does not obey God (Matthew 25:41). God also has prepared heaven (John 14:1-6, Revelation 21).