Heaven and Hell – Reality or Fiction
By Dennis Huebshman
This is a good news, bad news post. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.
There is a movement today that says there is no hell. Some say there is a place of “punishment”, but it isn’t forever because God would never do that. I could tell you my personal thoughts, but what authority would that be? Instead, I will give you what God’s letter to us (Bible) says. It is the Absolute Word of God.
Starting with Luke 16: 19-31, we have the “parable” of the rich man and Lazarus. A parable is a story to illustrate Jesus’ teachings, so all could understand. I believe this parable may be an actual story because it’s the only one where Jesus uses a name. Jesus was very specific with this illustration.
Lazarus, a poor beggar, had found favor with the Lord in this life, and when he died, he was taken to “Abraham’s Bosom” by angels. This refers to a peaceful place of rest before Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. After Jesus’ sacrifice, the righteous souls who have died go directly to be with Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1: 21-24; Revelation 6: 9-11).
The rich man died and went to “hades”, a holding place for the unbelieving and unfaithful to be there until the “White Throne Judgment”. (Revelation 20: 11-15) He didn’t go because he was rich, but because he relied on his riches rather than God. The world and money were his gods.
Hell is a place of ETERNAL TORMENT (Luke 16: 23-28; Psalm 116: 3; Isaiah 14: 9-11; 2 Thessalonians 1: 5-9; Revelation 20:10) A place without mercy. (Luke 16:24; Revelation 20: 10-15). A place without escape. (Luke 16: 26)
Souls are immortal in Heaven and Hell. (Luke 16: 22-32; 20:38) We will have bodies designed to last all through eternity. For believers of all ages, this immortal body will experience all the Joy and Holy pleasures and being with Jesus and the Saints forever.
The unbelievers and unrighteous souls will have a body designed to suffer punishment forever. By the way, when God says FOREVER, that’s just what He means – a time without end.
In today’s terms, “Hell”, “Hades” and “Sheol” are all the same referring to the holding place until the appearance of the occupants at the White Throne Judgment, just before being thrown into the “Lake Of Fire” or the final hell. (Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14-15) It should be noted, there is no one in the Lake of Fire yet. The final Hell/Lake of Fire was made by God for Satan and his demons/fallen angels. The first occupants will be the anti-christ and the false prophet of the tribulation (Revelation 19:20). Satan will be next 1000 years later, and then all from the White Throne Judgment after that.
The main point to all this is: Each of us Chooses which path we will take and what Judgment we end up at. (I gave the judgments in a previous post.) You will either decide to accept Jesus for an Eternal Heavenly Home, or you will choose to reject Him and forever be in darkness, pain and suffering as there is no light in the Lake of Fire. Anyone there will be shown through all eternity the opportunities they had during their life on earth to not be there. There is no other option.
Joshua 24:15 says, “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve; whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
The “gods” mentioned in this passage refer to anyone or anything that takes the place of Jesus in your life. It’s ok to enjoy what the Lord has provided, and we are to love each other; but our dedicated worship is reserved for Jesus, period. James 4:4 says “Friendship with the world is enmity with God.” Reading His words in the Bible and getting to know Jesus is a wonderful way to get to know the Father better.
And now, about Heaven.
Heaven is not a place where people float around on clouds with wings on their backs and play harps all the time. That’s secular silliness!
Isaiah 65:17-19: For behold, I create a new Heaven and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create for behold I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people. No more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.
This will come about after the 1000-year reign of Jesus on this earth, and after the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.
When the millennial reign of Jesus ends, God will purge (destroy) the present earth and heavens and will create a new one for us that is pure and has never been afflicted by sin. (2 Peter 3:10 and Revelation 21:1-4)
Revelation 21 and 22 gives a description of what the “New Jerusalem” will be like. For those who say it will be crowded, the dimensions are about 1500 miles long, 1500 miles wide and 1500 miles high. That would cover an area from Maine to Florida and west to the Rockies and go up 1500 miles in the sky! Just how much room does one need?
We will be in a place of praise (Isaiah 44:23; Revelation 14:3, Revelation 15:3) and a place of pure fellowship. Imagine being able to talk with Moses, Jonah, Daniel, Esther, Ruth, David and all other faithful believers that have existed since the beginning of time.
All the babies and children who died before the age of accountability (God knows what this age is for every individual) will be there. (2 Samuel 12:23; Matthew 18:1-6; 10; 19:14; Luke 18:15-17) Please remember how much Jesus loved children. He even told his disciples to not hinder them from coming to Him.
Heaven will be a place of Joy and Perfection (2 Corinthians 4:14-15). A place where we will have a home built by Jesus (John 14:3), and it is a real place. (Acts 1:11 – Angels told apostles Jesus was taken up into Heaven.) We will be citizens (Philippians 3:20) and our names are written there (Luke 10:20).
Colors and nature’s most beautiful scenery of this earth will pale in comparison. Our bodies will be designed to never grow weary; be free from all disease and pain; eating will be a pleasure and we will never age.
What age will we be there? No one knows, but there will be no new births as this will end at the end of the millennium period. It really won’t matter though as we will all have mature healthy bodies forever. Sin and death were conquered on the cross by Jesus, and this will be finally and totally fulfilled there.
I look forward to once again being with my loved ones that have gone on before me. However, the Greatest Joy I will ever be able to experience is finally being able to see Jesus, face to face, and be able to bow down at His feet and thank Him for loving a sinner such as I.
The song, “I can only imagine” comes to mind here. Will I dance for Him; will I cry out with Joy; will I even be able to move or speak? I don’t know the answers to this, but I cherish the thought of just being in His presence. The best part is, He paid my admission price in full! My only requirement is to accept His most generous gift, and to just ask Him to be my Savior (which I have already done). Almost too good to be true, but in this case, it actually is.
I do have the right to say, “No, thank You”, but to do so would put me back to the first section of this message. So, I have a final question: Why would I give up eternity full of Love, Joy, Wonderful Fellowship, no more sadness, illness or having to say goodbye to loved ones when the only cost to me is accepting Jesus? Seems like a no-brainer, yet unfortunately there will be many that go to destruction because they choose this world over the Savior.
The straight and narrow isn’t hard, just hard for some to accept. John 14:6 – Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me. Very simple. Joshua had the right idea, and I will follow what he said. While all who are around me may be caught up with the things of this temporary earth, I will accept the Savior and His very generous offer. Hopefully, any and all who are reading this message will do the same.