We usually tend to become apprehensive or fearful when we face the final exams of our scholastic studies. But what about facing God’s final judgment at the end of our lives when the final reward or punishment is either heaven or hell, depending on your behavior in this passing life (see Mt. 25:31-46). Perhaps we should really think it over, why did God’s only begotten Son, Jesus, who came to our world as man, why did He have to suffer such cruel sufferings at His passion and crucifixion? It was a sacrifice for the love of each one of us. He paid for our sins and opened heaven’s gate for us. He died to save us, but still we have to do our part of repentance and conversion and live the new life in Christ, a life of justice, love, mercy, prayer, and forgiveness.
Surely, it is because when one is punished in the fires of Hell for grave sins, the torments there are for an eternity while the rewards in the heavenly bliss are also forever and ever as reward of a life faithful to God’s laws and commands. No wonder Jesus had left us a clear admonition: “What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life? (Mt. 16:26). With the help of God’s grace we can change. St. Paul was previously a rabid persecutor of Christians. At the time when his life changed he exclaimed: “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).