Once, an elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife. He would miss the paycheck, but he wanted to retire, and he and his wife had decided they could get by on their savings and Social Security.
The employer was sorry to see such a good worker leave and asked if he would build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed, but in time, it was easy to see that his heart was not in his craft. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end such a fine career.
When the carpenter finished the job and his boss came to inspect the house, his employer handed him the key to the front door. “This is now your house,” he said. “It is my gift to you.” How terrible it must have been for the carpenter to realize that the house in which he would now live was one built so poorly.
Jesus also told the story of two house-builders in the Bible. In Matthew 7:24-27, He said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall.”
Jesus taught that we are all house-builders of a sort. We are not all necessarily building physical homes, but we are all building spiritual homes by the lives we live. If we hear and obey the words of Jesus, then we are wise, and we are building spiritual homes that will stand forever with Him. If we hear and disobey the words of Jesus, then we are foolish, and we are building spiritual homes that will collapse around us and leave us without the Lord for all eternity.
God gives each person the ability to choose where he or she will live eternally. However, that choice is not one that will be made at some future date; that choice is being made right now by the way we construct our spiritual lives. Thus, the question is simple: Are you building a home that will stand or one that will fall? For best results, follow the instructions of Jesus Christ, the greatest carpenter to ever live.