Why should we obey God if we’re assured of going to heaven anyway?

Do you ever find yourself treating God’s commandments lightly because God is full of grace and you are assured of going to heaven whether you do the right thing or not? There are several ways to answer this question. This post will contain just one answer.

Genesis 22 tells us about a time when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, and Abraham obeyed. Who benefitted from Abraham’s obedience? Notice the word “because” in the following verses.

Gen. 22:1 ¶ Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”

Gen. 22:2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

Gen. 22:9 ¶ Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

Gen. 22:10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

Gen. 22:11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”

Gen. 22:12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

Gen. 22:15 ¶ Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,

Gen. 22:16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,

Gen. 22:17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Gen. 22:18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Gen. 22:19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham lived at Beersheba.

Abraham’s descendants benefitted from Abraham’s obedience. Also, all the nations benefitted. That includes us. We benefit from the fact that Abraham obeyed God 4000 years ago.

When you are in a situation where you are trying to decide the right thing to do, do you think about how your decision might affect your descendants, your neighbors, and your society? Do you think about how your decision will affect people 100 or 200 years from now? Abraham obeyed God and people have been benefitting from that decision ever since. So too, it is possible that our moral decisions will affect people 100 years from now. So one reason for obeying God is the positive impact our obedience could have on our children, our grandchildren, and other people.


Further Reading

Do our actions match our interpretation of the Bible?

How much can we push God?

What happens if we ignore God?


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“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”