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Choose Life!

God gave humans the power over life and death, that is to say, our own life and death. Salvation cannot be earned by "works" (see Works), but at the same time, God will only grant the gift of eternal life to those who repent and are obedient to Him (2 Peter 3:7,11-14). God explained the principle of "obey and live" to the Old Testament Israelites in terms of their potential entry into their physical promised land, but it was ultimately intended for all humanity's potential entry into the spiritual "promised land" (see The Last Day).

The Heavens Repent and Live

"And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where The Lord your God has driven you, and return to The Lord your God, you and your children, and obey His voice in all that I command you this day, with all your heart and with all your soul; then The Lord your God will restore your fortunes, and have compassion upon you, and He will gather you again from all the peoples where The Lord your God has scattered you."

"If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there The Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will fetch you; and The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, that you may possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. And The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live."

"And The Lord your God will put all these curses upon your foes and enemies who persecuted you. And you shall again obey the voice of The Lord, and keep all His Commandments which I command you this day. The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground; for The Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as He took delight in your fathers, if you obey the voice of The Lord your God, to keep His Commandments and His Statutes which are written in this book of the Law, if you turn to The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

"For this Commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it."

"See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. If you obey the Commandments of The Lord your God which I command you this day, by loving The Lord your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His Commandments and His Statutes and His Ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and The Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it."

"But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess."

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving The Lord your God, obeying His voice, and cleaving to Him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which The Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." (Deuteronomy 30:1-20 RSV)

Fact Finder: Is God patient? Does God prefer that all will choose to live?
2 Peter 3:9

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