Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

August 2020 Issue

A World in Tears

From the Current Issue

Location Is Everything!

Location Is Everything!

When Frank Coburn bought three houses as rental investment properties in the 1970s, he never dreamed he’d be able to live comfortably off the income from two of them twenty years later. That’s because he never dreamed that the location of two of the houses—in San Jose and Sunnyvale, California—would become part of the real estate gold rush known as Silicon Valley.

In the 1990s, property values rocketed skyward in Silicon Valley, the heart of America’s hottest high-tech sector. Anybody who owned property there made out like a bandit, while anybody who needed to live there paid a king’s ransom for a pad the size of a postage stamp. Frank Coburn was one of the lucky ones who benefited from real estate’s number one rule of thumb: Location! Location! Location!

But things are not that complicated when it comes to the two eternal locations God has established for the future of mankind.

Frank paid a total of $83,000 for his three houses. Twenty years later they were worth $1,245,000. When he lost his computer chip manufacturing job in 1998, he was able to live solely off the rental income from two of the houses, which by that time covered his paltry mortgage payments many times over. “I just think I’m so lucky,” the 57-year-old Coburn said in 2002. “A little bit smart, but a lot lucky.”

Coburn is only one of thousands of people whose financial future was made rosy by being in the right place at the right time—Silicon Valley in the 1970s.

Fortunes are made in real estate every year by those who happened to be “in the right place at the right time.” The challenge is to know, twenty years before it happens, whether your property will be part of the next boom—or bust.

 

A Location Proposition

Make sure the home you choose for eternity is the one God has prepared for you in heaven—a home you’ll be happy with forever.

What if I came to you this week with the following real estate deal: “I happen to know a location that is going to be more valuable than any real estate in the history of the world—and it’s a location you can make an investment in right now. I also know a location that is going to be the least desirable place to live the world has ever known.

“At the desirable location, a city is going to be built that is like none the world has ever seen. It will be larger and more beautiful than any city ever built, ancient or modern. Free food and water, free healthcare, no crime or pollution—it’s a brand-new concept in living. Once it’s filled up with residents, there will be no more applications taken. People will actually be outside the gates of this city begging to be let in, wishing they had reserved space there when they had the chance.

“On the other hand, the place I know about that is going to go down in value will be horrible—terrible climate, filled with corruption, a dictator for a governor. Actually, right now a lot of people in the world are investing there, but they don’t know what I know. By the end of their life, when they’ve invested everything they have in this place, they’re going to realize they are totally bankrupt. They will have lost everything they ever thought was valuable.

“So, what do you say? Are you interested in investing now in the location that is going to appreciate in value, and pulling out of the one that is already going downhill?”

 

Locations in Your Future

If I came to you with that sort of real estate proposition, you’d have two questions: Where are these two locations? And how do you know with such certainty one is going to be a winner and the other a loser?

Fair questions—and if we were talking about traditional real estate, I’d be on the horns of a dilemma. No one can say with absolute certainty the degree to which any piece of land, and the buildings on it, will appreciate or depreciate in value. But you have probably guessed by now that I’m not talking about traditional real estate. I’m talking about the only two locations that residents of planet earth will have to choose between at the end of this current age: heaven and hell.

And why can I speak with such certainty about the two locations and their future value? Because the Bible makes clear that every human being that has ever lived will ultimately reside—forever—in one of these two places.

Think about how real estate developers make their plans. They spend months compiling data from demographic studies, government land-use regulations, climate trends, and business and economic projections. They crunch number after number, fill up large tables with land plats and surveys, travel to meet with zoning officials, sell the idea to investors, and lie awake at night trying to calm the butterflies in their stomach over whether the location they’ve chosen is one that will be profitable or not. Finally, they ink the deal. Groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies are held and the project is underway.

But things are not that complicated when it comes to the two eternal locations God has established for the future of mankind. Instead of computers, reams of data, and late nights around a conference table, all we need is one book—the Bible—to tell us the priority of choosing heaven over hell.

 

Hard Discussion, Easy Decision

We can all agree on one thing: Discussions about hell are not the easiest to have. Heaven? No problem! Surveys show that the vast majority of Americans think they are going there already. God is viewed as a Santa Claus figure who is making a list and checking it twice, keeping track of who is naughty and nice . . . but who, in the end, will fling open the gates of heaven with a big laugh and let everyone in. On the other hand, very few people think they are going to hell (if they think it exists at all). They just can’t see how a loving God could create a place where people are, well, “uncomfortable” for eternity.

The problem is, these modernized views of heaven and hell don’t square with Scripture—and they can lead to eternal bankruptcy. The equivalent would be to drive through an idyllic countryside and choose a homesite without doing enough research to discover the toxic waste dump just over the hill. If we look carefully at Scripture—and especially the words of Jesus Christ—there can be no doubt about the reality of heaven and hell.

In Jesus’ parable of the sheep (the righteous) and goats (the unrighteous), He said the righteous were destined for a “kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” The unrighteous, however, will go “into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” He concluded by saying that the unrighteous “will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:34, 41, 46). Christ, and other biblical writers, conveyed much more about these two eternal locations, some of which you will discover in this issue of Turning Points.

Many people invest their entire life’s savings into real estate, based on the advice of a trusted agent who supposedly knows the market—and that’s fine. But it’s just a house, a parcel of land. How much more important is the place where you will spend eternity? And how much more trusted should be the Word of the Son of God when it comes to investing your life?

When it comes to eternity, location is not just important—it’s everything! Make sure the home you choose for eternity is the one God has prepared for you in heaven—a home you’ll be happy with forever. 

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