Posts tagged ‘Hell’

HEAVEN

A couple days ago I took a look at what Hell is. Bottom line? Without the presence of God, and all the goodness that He is and brings, it is not a place I want to be…ever, and certainly not for eternity. All people are spiritual beings, and will live eternally somewhere (even though our physical bodies die). The question, then, is where? Is Hell the only option? When we die, are we all just doomed to eternal life in Hell? If that is the case, it is no wonder people flee death with fear and trembling!

I have good news, though. The best possible news ever. Hell has a counterpart! It is called Heaven. Just as Hell is pure darkness, evil, and everlasting torment; Heaven is pure light, goodness, and everlasting joy and contentment. It is the complete opposite.

The book of Revelations, in the Bible, tells us a little about what is in Heaven. Chapters 21 and 22 talk about a new Heaven and a new earth, the new holy city of Jerusalem. There will be no darkness, so no night, no fear of the bad things that can happen in cover of darkness. There will be no sun or moon, because God will be present right there, and the light that comes from Him will light the entire city. Hey, guess what? No sunburn!!!!

Revelation 21 & 22 also talk about the city being made of gold so pure it looks like glass. Streets of gold. The walls of the city decorated with any number of precious jewels (you think they are pretty in this world, imagine them in Heaven with absolutely no impurities!). The River of Life that shines like crystal. Trees that produce fruit every month, 12 times a year. And the gates to the city will never be closed because nothing evil will be allowed to enter in.

Since God will be physically present in this new earth, what will come with that? We know that no sin or evil can be in His presence. That is why Jesus died for us, to redeem us from the sin that permeates our lives now. When God looks at us now, He looks through Jesus’ sacrifice to see a righteous you and me (provided you have accepted Jesus as Savior). So what does no evil or sin in the new world look like? We already talked about no darkness. There will be no pain, no sorrow, no sickness, no fear, no death. Angels and people will sing continuous praise to God, beautiful music filling the air.

I think of Heaven in terms of the Garden of Eden. There was no death before sin entered the world. That means animals did not eat each other, or people. Which also means there was no need to fear them. I can’t imagine not being afraid of spiders and snakes, but I won’t be. The earth was new and wasn’t going to get old. There would have been no earthquakes, volcanoes, deadly storms. No hail to ruin crops, no bugs that destroy them. And no weeds!!!! Work was fulfilling and enjoyable, not a thing to be dreaded. Because there was no sickness, and work was not laborious, Eve didn’t worry about Adam having a heart attack while he was slaving away. Trees and plants didn’t die. Mosquitoes didn’t bite. Skunks didn’t sting, and porcupines didn’t shoot quills. The color of everything was vibrant and pure beyond what any of us can imagine today. All of the Garden of Eden and more, so much more, beyond what our feeble minds can embrace, will be in Heaven.

To me, the very best thing will be the presence of God Himself. God walked in the Garden of Eden. I don’t know if He did it every day, or only once, when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil. But He did it. Adam and Eve hid because they knew they had disobeyed God. But He spoke to them face to face…for the last time. Remember when Moses asked to see God’s glory (Exodus 33:18-23)? God told Him he could not see His face because He would die. The full glory of God would be so great that Moses, in his sinful humanity, would not be able to tolerate it. So God covered his eyes, and passed before him. Moses was then allowed to see the back of God and His glory. And even then Moses glowed like a lightbulb for days afterward! In Heaven, we will see God face to face, in all His glory. We will not only be able to live through it, we will rejoice in it. We will glory in it. We will bathe in it. And we will live in the presence of it for all eternity!!

The question is, which do you choose? You have to make a choice. There is Heaven or Hell. By choosing not to choose, you simply choose Hell by default. If you are going to go to Heaven, then you must choose Heaven. You must choose Jesus. How do you do that? Believe that He is the only way. He is the only Son of God. His death on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins, and His resurrection back to life after 3 days, made the way for you to go to Heaven. But you have to believe it. When Jesus hung dying on the cross, 2 thieves hung on crosses on each side of Him. Luke 23: 39-43 tells how one of them recognized Jesus as God. He asked Jesus to remember him when He entered His kingdom. That is all he did. And Jesus’ answer? Verse 43: Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

What do you choose today? Paradise with Jesus, or Hell? There is no other option.

HELL

Have you ever thought about Hell? No, really. More than just a passing thought. Have you ever really thought about it? What is it like? Where is it? Is it real?

The Bible doesn’t tell us a whole lot about it. But it does tell us that it exists. Matthew 13:50 tells us it is a “…blazing furnace, where people will cry and grind their teeth in pain.”

2 Peter 2:4 says that angels who sinned were sent to hell and put in caves of darkness.

Mark 9:48 says that in hell the worm never dies, and the fire is never put out.

Revelations 14:10-11 say that the smoke from the pain of those who are in hell will rise forever. And also that there is no rest day or night.

Already it doesn’t sound like a pleasant place. Let’s consider it further. I know you may not want to, and your heart may be uneasy, but this is important.

Consider this one fact. God is not in hell. What, or who, is God? He is love. He is light. He is goodness, comfort, peace, truth, righteous, holy, pure, to name a few. If God is not in hell, then none of His attributes are there either. Take away love, and you have hatred. Complete hatred. Take away light, and you have utter darkness. Take away goodness, and you have unadulterated evil. Take away comfort, and you have discomfort. But not just discomfort, pain, sickness, sorrow that never ends. With no peace, there is war, all the time, between all the people. Without truth, there can be only lies, and thus not a single person to trust. No righteousness, holiness, or purity means no good, clean anything. Recall that Revelations said their is no rest, day or night. Without God in the picture, there is torment for all eternity, and not a single break from it…it never ends.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:46 (NCV) – “These people will go off to be punished forever, but the good people will go to live forever.”

Notice the key word? Forever. It applies to the good and the bad. Those who accept Jesus as Savior and those who don’t. The difference is where they will spend forever. I don’t want to scare you, but I want to scare you! Heaven is real, but so is Hell. God is just as real as you and I, and Jesus is coming to earth again one day soon. He will take those who believe in Him to Heaven. Those who denied Him while living here on earth will be sent to Hell. That is a place I don’t want to be. I don’t want my loved ones to be there. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, although I can’t say I can think of a personal enemy.

Tonight, for the first time, I did not pray for Jesus to come quickly. I asked Him to wait. I want no one to go to Hell. God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell either, but He is a just God, and He will punish those who sin by rejecting Him. Turn your heart to Him now. He is waiting for you. He has been waiting since the day you were born. He loves you! If you are ready to choose Jesus, and secure a place in Heaven for eternity, see my previous post, “Do You Have The Luxury Of Waiting?”

walking on the narrow path.

walking on the narrow path with Jesus

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It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell; it is this at which the demons hurl their mightest weapons. ~ William Gurnall

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