From the desk of  ...  Preston H. Hazzard, Sr.  ... My Daily Blog    


Contending for the Faith
Are Heaven and Hell Real Places?
Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:00pm

Preface: As Christians we must stand for absolute truth, no matter how politically incorrect it may be. Christians must stop apologizing for the truths of God’s word. The world has a hard time accepting that a loving God could send people, even seemingly “good” people, to a place of eternal torment. Nevertheless, the Bible is very clear on this issue. In fact, the Bible devotes more space to the subject of hell than it does to Heaven!


Part 1: Heaven is indeed a real place.

The Bible tells us that “heaven is God’s throne (Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:48-49; Matthew 5:34-35).

After Jesus’ resurrection and appearance on earth to His disciples, “He was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55-56).

Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence” (Hebrews 9:24).

Jesus not only went before us, entering on our behalf, but He is alive and has a present ministry in heaven, serving as our high priest in the true tabernacle made by God (Hebrews 6:19-20; Hebrews 8:1-2).

We are also told by Jesus Himself that there are many rooms in God’s house and that He has gone before us to prepare a place for us. We have the assurance of His word that He will one day come back to earth and take us to where He is in heaven (John 14:1-4).

Our belief in an eternal home in heaven is based on an explicit promise of Jesus. Heaven is most definitely a real place. Heaven truly does exist.

When people deny the existence of heaven, they deny not only the written Word of God, but they also deny the innermost longings of their own hearts.

Paul addressed this issue in his letter to the Corinthians, encouraging them to cling to the hope of heaven so that they would not lose heart. Although we “groan and sigh” in our earthly state, we have the hope of heaven always before us and are eager to get there (2 Corinthians 5:1-4).

Paul urged the Corinthians to look forward to their eternal home in heaven, a perspective that would enable them to endure hardships and disappointments in this life. “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

"because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."     (Romans 1:19-20)

Just as God has put in men’s hearts the knowledge that He exists, so are we “programmed” to desire heaven. It is the theme of countless books, songs, and works of art.

Unfortunately, our sin has barred the way to heaven. Since heaven is the abode of a holy and perfect God, sin has no place there, nor can it be tolerated. Fortunately, God has provided for us the key to open the doors of heaven … Jesus Christ, the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity.

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'" (John 14:6).

All who believe in Him and seek forgiveness for sin will find the doors of heaven swung wide open for them.

May the future glory of our eternal home motivate us all to serve God faithfully and wholeheartedly.  

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”  (Hebrews 10:19-22).


Part 2:  Hell is Real.  Hell is Eternal.

It is interesting that a much higher percentage of people believe in the existence of heaven than believe in the existence of hell. According to the Bible, though, hell is just as real as heaven.

The Bible clearly and explicitly teaches that hell is a real place to which the wicked/unbelieving are sent after death.

  • We have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23).

  • The just punishment for that sin is death (Romans 6:23).  

  • Since all of our sin is ultimately against God (Psalm 51:4),

  •  and since God is an infinite and eternal Being, the punishment for sin, death, must also be infinite and eternal.

  • Hell is this infinite and eternal death which we have earned because of our sin.

The punishment of the wicked dead in hell is described throughout Scripture as:

The punishment of the wicked in hell is as never ending as the bliss of the righteous in heaven.

  • Jesus Himself indicates that punishment in hell is just as everlasting as life in heaven (Matthew 25:46).

  • The wicked are forever subject to the fury and the wrath of God.

  • Those in hell will acknowledge the perfect justice of God (Psalm 76:10).

  • Those who are in hell will know that their punishment is just and that they alone are to blame (Deuteronomy 32:3-5).

Yes, hell is real. Yes, hell is a place of torment and punishment that lasts forever and ever, with no end.

Praise God that, through Jesus Christ (2nd person of the Trinity), we can escape this eternal fate (John 3:16, John 3:18, John 3:36).


Conclusion:  Heaven is a place of “no mores.”

There will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more sorrow (Revelation 21:4).

There will be no more separation, because death will be conquered (Revelation 20:6).

The best thing about heaven is the presence of our Lord and Savior (1 John 3:2).

We will be face to face with the Lamb of God who loved us and sacrificed Himself so that we can enjoy His presence in heaven for eternity.

Selah

..may the Lord who is gracious above all, give us wisdom and understanding, and guide us all into the truth of His Holy Word.

Amen!


Source:  Adapted from various articles in Questions about Heaven, Hell, and Eternity at www.gotquestions.org


  "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."  1 Corinthians 16:13  

Call or email me if you have questions.

Amen and God bless you.

"Saint Pete", Sr.

 

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