Heaven and Hell
A few years ago, a well-known superstar was in a tragic accident. They were a good person who did good things, but they weren't a believer, and Christianity wasn't part of their lives. I wasn't surprised at all at the world declaring he was looking down on us from Heaven, but what stunned me was the number of born-again believers saying the same thing.
Now, I am not saying believers should have posted that this person was in hell. Not at all! That is cruel! However, we have to realize that:
1. Eternity is real.
While our bodies stop working when we die, our souls go on to spend eternity in either Heaven or Hell.
2. Hell is a real place, and good people who haven't accepted Christ as their Savior go there all the time.
In my opinion, we don't talk about hell enough in modern Christianity.
Hell does exist. It is a real place. The Bible makes this clear.
Jesus said that "If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:47,48, NIV).
In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus also described two men in the Bible, one went to Heaven, and another went to hell.
Revelations 20:15 tells us: "Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire." (NIV)
So many are confused about the idea of hell because they think of it in terms of "good" and "bad." But honestly, no one could ever be good enough to get to Heaven. That is why the only way to Heaven is through faith in Christ.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." (John 3:16-18, NIV)
No one could ever be good enough to get to Heaven. That is why the only way to Heaven is through faith in Christ. We are all sinners. But we receive forgiveness of sin because of Christ's death on the cross. If you accept this, ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins, and make Him your Lord and Savior, you go to Heaven. If you don't do this, you go to hell. So being good or bad has nothing to do with it. That is why we need to also know the following:
3. There is a Heaven, and bad people are there.
I love this point. Heaven has thieves, murders, criminals, abusers, and adulterers in it. Heaven is jam-packed with bad people, with sinners. How did these people get into Heaven? They realized they were sinners and turned to Christ for salvation. It is that simple.
One person who made it into Heaven was on the cross next to Jesus. (Luke 23:39-43)
Heaven is filled with bad people who realized they were sinners before they died and turned to Christ for salvation.
Do you know how a majority of these people came to this decision? Because another believer rose up, stepped into their calling, and shared the truth of the Gospel with them. They fulfilled the Great Commission!
You can make this kind of difference in someone else's life! You could be the one who shares the Gospel with them and helps them decide to spend their eternity in Heaven rather than Hell.
You could change their lives and their eternity. That's pretty legendary!
Memory Verse: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (John 3:16-18, NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.