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"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

Evangelism:
The Time Is Now!

Section 8, Chapter 2

Jesus Taught The Existence of

A Literal Heaven & Hell

 Back to Chapter 1
Study Questions

Jesus taught the existence of a literal Heaven and Hell. When a person dies He goes to Heaven or to Hell forever!

CONCERNING HELL

Jesus said Concerning Hell:

"Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into the fiery hell." (Matt 18:7-9).

The first mention of hell is in Deuteronomy 32:22 "For a fire is kindled in My anger, and burns to the lowest part of Sheol, and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains." The first mention of Hell in the New Testament is Matthew 5:22 "Whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fire of hell."

Hell is a real place and its location according to the Bible is in the center of the earth (Num 16:31-33, Eph 4:8-10). When Jesus died He went into hell where at that time there were two parts: the hell of fire and torment where the lost go; and Paradise, where people went waiting for Jesus to die on the cross and set them free of their past sins so they could enter heaven. No one entered heaven until after Jesus died on the cross. Before that they went to Paradise, also called Abraham’s bosom.

"Now there was [not a parable] a certain rich man. . . . And a certain poor man named Lazarus. . . . Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. And in hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And in all these things, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us." (Luke 16:19-20, 22-26)

Jesus said in Matthew 12:39-40,

"An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the large-fish, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

When Jesus died He went to hell and set free those in paradise to go to heaven.

"And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. . . . And the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many." (Matt 27:50, 52-53)

Hell is a real place in the center of the earth. Hell has sides (Isaiah 14:15). Hell has a gate (Matt 16:18). To open the gate requires keys which only Jesus has (Rev 1:18). Hell is a furnace of fire (Matt 13:42). Hell is a lake of fire and brimstone (Rev 20:10). People in hell weep and wail from the pain (Matt 13:42, 22:13). People in hell beg for mercy (Luke 16:24). People in hell pray but it is too late (Luke 16:27). People in hell see, hear, talk, and remember (Luke 16:19-31, Mark 9:43-48).

The words in the Hebrew and Greek for Hell are the following:

1.  Sheol, l/av] in the Old Testament; and Hades, @Adh" in the Greek Septuagint97 (O.T. translated into Greek) and in the New Testament. So called because of its devouring and ever craving character.92, 93 The Greek Septuagent makes it plain that the O.T. word "Sheol" and the N.T. word "Hades" are one and the same thing.99/493

"Sheol and Abaddon lie open before Yehovah, How much more the hearts of men!" (Prov 15:11)

"And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day." (Matt 11:23)

2.  Avaddon, @/Db'a} meaning: destruction, place of destruction, abyss.94

"Sheol and Avaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied." (Prov 27:20)

3.  Gehenna, !NOh' ayge in Hebrew95 and gevennan in Greek96 meaning: Valley of Hinnom.

This was a valley south of Jerusalem, once celebrated for the horrid worship of Moloch, and afterwards polluted with every species of filth, as well as the carcasses of animals, and dead bodies of criminals which were burned in order to prevent pestilence and disease. These fires were kept burning continually. Thus, when the Bible refers to Hell it refers to Gehenna also known as the fires of Tartarus, the place of punishment in Hades. Gehenna is a compound word: Geya, ayge meaning: Valley, a low plain and Hinnom, !NOh' meaning: the name of a person of whom nothing is known but that he had a son whose name is not given, from whom a valley that lay on the W. and S.W. of Jerusalem was named, and in which human sacrifices and filth were burned.5/484, 95 Joshua 15:8 reads:

"Then the border went up the Valley of Ben-Hinnom to the slope of the Jebusite on the south (that is, Jerusalem); and the border went up to the top of the mountain which is before the Valley of Hinnom to the west, which is at the end of the valley of Rephaim toward the north."

Jesus said:

"And if your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:47-48)

Jesus taught that hell is a real place where lost souls are and where they never die for eternity. He further taught that Hell is a place of fire, a fiery hell, a fire that is eternal and will never be quenched or put out.102 The Apostle Paul said about hell, "And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." (1 Thess 1:9)

The Apostle Peter described hell as a pit of black darkness, therefore it is an eternal fire that does not give off light.103 Jesus not only described it as outer darkness but said that there would be there weeping and gnashing of teeth.104

Jude, in the Book of Jude described hell as black darkness and an eternal fire.105

James, the brother of Jesus, in the Book of James states that the tongue will be set on fire by hell.106

One man who had a visit of hell said that when a non-saved person dies he passes through the gates of Hell. Deep groans, cries for water are heard. A person hears the horrors of Hell, then is taken to an open plain where he sees what he might have enjoyed instead of what they must suffer. Here the person's strength leaves so he cannot move. They then see in the distance the beautiful city spoken of in the Bible, vast plains of beautiful flowers, the river of life and the sea of glass, vast multitudes of angels passing in and out of the city, singing beautiful songs, they see loved ones. On the door through which one enters is written: "This is your doom; Eternity never ends."80

A man condemned to hell described the hell of hell to a visitor:

"Our miseries in this infernal dungeon are of two sorts: what we have lost, and what we undergo. And these I will name under their several heads. First then for what we have lost.

"1. In this sad dark abode of misery and sorrow, we have lost the presence of the ever blessed God. And this is that which makes this dungeon hell. Though we had lost a thousand worlds, it would not be so much as this one loss. Could but the least glimpse of His favor enter here, we might be happy; but we have lost it to our everlasting woe.

"2. Here we have likewise lost the company of saints and angels, and in their room have nothing but tormenting devils.

"3. Here we have lost heaven, too, the seat of blessedness. There is a deep gulf between us and heaven, so that we are shut out from it forever. Those everlasting gates that let the blessed into happiness are now for ever shut against us here.

"4. To make our wretchedness far yet more wretched, we have lost the hope of ever being in a better state, which renders our condition truly hopeless. He that upon earth is the most miserable, has yet hope left as a reserve. And therefore, it is a common proverb there that were it not for hope the heart would break. Well may our hearts break then since we are here both without hope and help. This is what we have lost; which, but to think on, is enough to tear and rend and gnaw upon our miserable souls forever. Yet, oh, that this were all! But we have sense of pain as well as loss. And having showed you what we have lost, I am now to show you what we undergo.

"1. And first, we undergo variety of torments; we are tormented here a thousand, nay ten thousand several ways. They that are most afflicted upon earth have seldom any more than one distemper at a time. But should they have the plague, the gout, the stone and fever at a time, how miserable would they think themselves? Yet all those are but like the biting of a flea to those intolerable, pungent pains that we endure. Here we have all the loathed variety of hell to grapple with. Here is fire that is unquenchable to burn us with; a lake of burning brimstone ever choking us; eternal chains to tie us; here is utter darkness to affright us, and a worm of conscience that gnaws upon us everlastingly. And any one of these is worse to bear than all the torments mankind ever felt on earth.

"2. But as our torments here are various so are they universal, too; afflicting each part of the body, and tormenting all the powers of the soul, which renders what we suffer most insufferable. In those distempers you men are seized with on earth, though some parts are afflicted, other parts are free. Although your body may be out of order, your head may yet be well; and though your head be ill your vitals may be free; or though your vitals be affected, your arms and legs may still be clear. But here it is otherwise; each member of the soul and body is at once tormented.

"The eye is here tormented with the sight of devils who do appear in all the horrid shapes and black appearances that sin can give them. The ear is continually tormented with the loud yellings and continual outcries of the damned. The nostrils smothered with sulfurous flames; the tongue with burning blisters; and the whole body rolled in flames of liquid fire. And all the powers and faculties of our souls are here tormented. The imagination, with the thoughts of present pain; the memory lost with reflecting on what a heaven we have lost, and of those opportunities we had of being saved. Our minds are here tormented with considering how vainly we have spent our precious time, and how we have abused it. Our understanding is tormented in the thoughts of our past pleasures, present pains, and future sorrows, which are to last for ever. And our consciences are tormented with a continual gnawing worm.

"3. Another thing that makes our misery awful is the extremity of our torments. The fire that burns us is so violent that all the water in the sea can never quench it. The pains we suffer here are so extreme that it is impossible they should be known by any one but those that feel them.

"4. Another part of our misery is the ceaselessness of our torments. As various, as universal, and as extremely violent as they are, they are continual, too. Nor have we the least rest from them. If there were any relaxation, it might be some allay. But this makes our condition so deplorable that there is no easing of our torments, but what we suffer now we must forever suffer.

"5. The society or company we have here is another element in our misery. Tormenting devils and tormented souls are all our company; and dreadful shrieks and howlings, under the fierceness of our pain, and fearful oaths, is all our conversation. And here the torments of our fellow sufferers are so far from lessening our misery that they increase our pain.

"6. The place in which we suffer is another thing that increases our sufferings. It is the abstract of all misery, a prison, a dungeon, a bottomless pit, a lake of fire and brimstone, a furnace of fire that burns to eternity, the blackness of darkness forever; and lastly, hell itself. And such a wretched place as this must needs increase our wretchedness.

"7. The cruelty of our tormentors is another thing that adds to our torments. Our tormentors are devils in whom there is no pity; but being tormented themselves, do yet take pleasure in tormenting us.

"8. All those particulars that I have reckoned up are very grievous; but that which makes them much more grievous is that they shall ever be so; and all our most intolerable sufferings shall last to all eternity. ‘Depart from me you cursed into everlasting fire,’ is that which is perpetually sounding in my ears. Oh, that I could reverse that fatal sentence! Oh, that there was but a bare possibility of doing it! Thus have I showed you the miserable case that we are in, and shall be in forever."62/44-48

The book of Revelation describes Hell as only a temporary holding place until the great judgment.

"And I saw a great white throne and Him [Jesus] who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds." (Rev 20:11-13).

After the judgment, those whose names are not found in the Lambs book of life are thrown into a permanent eternal lake of fire which the Bible describes as the second death.

"And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Rev 20:14-15).

A man by the name of Thomas Welch, living in Brida Veil, Oregon was working for a logging operation as an engineer’s helper in July 1924. One day He was on a trestle fifty-five feet above a dam. He went out on the trestle to straighten out some timbers. When he did he fell off the trestle and tumbled down between the timbers and into the pond which was ten feet deep. He landed on his head on a beam thirty feet down and from one beam to another until he landed in the water. The mill was stopped and seventy employees searched for forty-five minutes to find his body. He was finally found by M. J. H. Gunderson.

During this forty-five minutes to an hour he was physically dead but alive in another world. After falling into the water, Thomas found himself suddenly, instantly at the shoreline of a great ocean of fire. It was a burning turbulent rolling mass of blue fire. No one was in the lake of fire. He saw people he knew on the shore who had died. An uncle who had died when he was thirteen of tuberculosis. He goes on:

"Another was a boy I had gone to school with who had died from cancer of the jaw that had started with an infected tooth while he was just a young lad. He was two years older than I. We recognized each other, even though we did not speak. They too were looking and seemed to be perplexed and in deep thought, as though they could not believe what they saw. Their expressions were those of bewilderment and confusion.... We were eyewitnesses now to the final judgment. There is no way to escape, no way out. You don’t even try to look for one...."78

Hell and the Lake of fire
Are an
ABSOLUTE Reality

CONCERNING HEAVEN

The words in the Hebrew and Greek for Heaven are the following:

1.  Shamayim, !yIm'V;, in the Old Testament meaning Heavens.100

". . . and I will make you swear by Yehovah, the Elohim of heaven and the Elohim of earth." (Genesis 24:3)

2.  Ouronos, oujranov", in the New Testament meaning Heaven.101

"Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matt 5:12)

Jesus taught that Heaven is a real place not on this earth.

"In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2).

Jesus calls Heaven his Father’s house. Heaven is a place, a place more real than earth. Heaven is the destiny of all born again Christians. When the Christians temporary body on this earth dies, he immediately goes to heaven. While this Earth is temporary, Heaven is forever.82

Why do I say Heaven is more real than this Earth? Because Jesus said that the galaxies and earth will pass away but that heaven is forever. In terms of eternity this earth is not even onetrillionth of one-trillionth of one-trillionth of a second. In terms of eternity this life and earth’s life spand cannot even be compared to the tremendous length of time of a blink of an eye. Concerning Jesus and Heaven, Jesus’ throne, God the Father states,

"Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.... And You, Lord, in the beginning did lay the foundation of the earth. And the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they all will become old as a garment, and as a mantle you will roll them up, and as a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same and your years will not come to an end." (Heb 1:8, 10-12).

God the Father tells us that the earth and the heavens as we know them are only temporary, that like a garment they will become old, worn out and perish. But Jesus and heaven, the throne and dwelling place of Jesus, will remain forever. God the Father also calls Jesus plainly God. Jesus is God, Yehovah Elohim of the Old Testament, equal and one in substance and Divinity with the Father.

The Apostle Paul tells us about Heaven that it is ". . . righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."107 Where as Hell is eternal torment, misery, guilt and total lack of any kind of peace, heaven is total peace and joy constantly and continually forever. It is just the complete absolute opposite of hell.

Dr. Richard E. Eby in his book titled Didn’t You Read My Book? shares how after falling two stories on top of his head on a cement sidewalk, his head was split wide open and he died after all the blood in his body flowed out. He then went on to share his immediately entering heaven:

"My earthly life on that July Day in 1972 was instantly interrupted by a blaze of unearthly light, by instant immersion in total peace. . . . I land from somewhere on my feet, suddenly, with a sharp thud, in a new body, amidst unfamiliar foliage. . . . Then to have no memory (of where I had come from, how I had gotten there, or why I was still "me" with a brand new body and mind) left me awed. Unbelievable!. . . . To see without my glasses a long valley filled with perfect horticultural specimens quietly emitting their appropriate colors; to hear heavenly music surrounding me, then to sense a permeating aroma of exquisite fragrance. . . . I gasped. The new body was painless, seemingly made of ‘abundant joy.’ I discovered that it reacted instantly to anything I thought–no delays. The mind had no sense of fear; instead, a total peace despite the newness and suddenness of landing there. I was more alive and awake in that glowing body than seemed possible. . . . where the presence of Jesus enfolded me." (pp. 3-4)

Other facts about heaven: A person’s first thought in heaven is to give pleasure to others which unites everyone. You never seek to gain reluctant consent for any pleasure. One never intrudes on another’s privileges or pleasures. There are rewards for faithful service. Nations retain their languages, but you instantly understand what is being said. There are periods, allotted times, hours, for duties, pleasures and for Holy praise; but all is harmony at all times in all conditions. You never lack time for social pleasures, feel no clashing of duties and have no unfulfilled desires. Joy and happiness are daily new and eternally progressive. You are freed forever from whatever can make you miserable. You are freed from the presence, power and desire to sin and the temptation to sin and from a corrupted sin nature and God’s wrath on sin. As our love for God grows so does our happiness. Everyone is perfectly amiable and perfectly enamored with each other. You understand the perfect harmony of every teaching of Scripture. We retain our sexual identity, but there is no marriage in heaven. Instead we are like the angels.81

Concerning our resurrected bodies, they will be cleansed of all gross alloys of corruption. The enjoyment of God, rather than food, sustains them. They are immortal and incapable of dying.62/23

Paul said that heaven is peace, joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit. The joys of heaven are the following: 1) The sight of God himself. 2) Enjoying God without measure. 3) Communion of God without interruption or intermission. 4) Perfect love without any fear whatsoever and perfect love for one another. 5) Children of one Father and truly brothers and sisters of each other. 6) The perfect knowledge of God. 7) Our capacities enlarged to accomplish the tasks assigned us. 8) You see God as He really is. 9) The reuniting and perfecting of body and soul.62/23

To have faith in Jesus means to make a willful decision to believe that Jesus loves you and that if you give your life to him and serve Him, even to the loss of this temporal world, that in the life to come not only will He give you what you could not have on this earth, but you will have it forever. Jesus said,

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matt 6:19-21)

If you are putting your trust in this temporal life, Jesus says that you are being a fool. "But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’" (Luke 12:20). You are being a fool because this life is temporary and will not last. You are a fool for a second reason: Jesus says that treasures on earth will not only not last but will be burned up with fire.

In another passage Jesus put it this way, He said,

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his soul shall lose it; but whoever loses his soul for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to His deeds." (Matt 16:24-27).

What does Jesus mean by losing your soul? What is the Bible’s definition of the soul? Man’s Soul: vp,n<109, yuchv110 is his true self and the means by which he has self-consciousness. Second, it is the medium between the spirit and the body. Third, it is what man becomes and manifests through his physical body in personality, vocation, and lifestyle as a result of heart response to, one, what he has learned through his mind body, conscience, and emotions; two, through what he has received from God through his spirit; and three, as a result of those abilities and talents God has chosen to give him individually.78 This is the reason for the resurrection: so man can continue to give expression of his soul-life through his body. In hell one continues to have self-consciousness, but opportunity to give expression of that soul-life is forever ceased which is what is meant by the destruction of the soul: no means to develop or give expression of the soul-life. Both the body and the soul are bound and burned with fire for ever.

When you reject Jesus’ reign over your life, the soul life you develop is of your own doing and Jesus says that the day you die not only will you lose the soul life you wanted, but neither will you ever know the soul life He created you to have. You will never know your purpose for being created. But if a man surrenders to Jesus as Lord and seeks and submits to the soul life Jesus has for him revealed through man’s spirit by the Holy Spirit, not only will he find out why God created him and the soul life Jesus wants him to have, but he will not lose the soul life Jesus gives him and it will last into eternity.

Heaven is not three people floating on a cloud playing a harp as is popularly thought. Heaven is a real place more real than earth. Heaven is not the discontinuation of this life, but the continuance of this life as it was meant to be. Heaven is the continuation and development of your talents and abilities to their fullest potential. There is labor in heaven, but it is a perfect joy, not the drudgery and evil competitiveness that we experience here on earth. The Psalmist wrote about being in the presence of God in Heaven, "In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." (Ps 16:11). Heaven is fullness of joy and pleasures forever. God’s nature is love, joy and peace all the time, continuously forever. The Bible tells us that when You receive Jesus Christ as Your Savior and Lord, you are made one spirit with Christ: "But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him."111 Because this is true, since the Nature of the Holy Spirit is love, joy and peace continuously, all the time and forever, therefore, in heaven we experience God’s love, joy and peace continuously, all the time and forever without ceasing.

Our relationships here effect our life to come. "Every gentle word, every generous thought, and every unselfish deed will become a pillar of eternal beauty in the life to come." When you die and go to heaven, you take with you your same tastes, desires and knowledge you had before death. This is why what you do in this life builds for the next.82

When Jesus comes back, will he find faith on the earth? When you make your focus in life storing up the treasures of earth, you are saying to Jesus, "Jesus, I do not have faith that if I give up this world for service to You that You will give me greater reward in heaven that will last throughout eternity, than I can accumulate on this Earth now through my own efforts." You are saying to God and to the world, "This life is all there is. I better make the best of it." You are showing that you have no faith at all. "So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:21). Jesus said,

"Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him God the Father has set His seal." (John 6:27).

Heaven is an ABSOLUTE Reality

Further Reading:

  1. Bunyan, John. Visions of Heaven and Hell. Springfield: Gospel Publishing House.

  2. Baker, Harold Armstrong. Visions Beyond the Veil. Minneapolis: The Osterhus Publishing House, 1950's.

  3. Baxter, Mary K. A Divine Revelation of Hell. Springdale: Whitaker House, Copyright © 1998 by Dr. T.L. Lowery.

  4. Baxter, Mary K. A Divine Revelation of Heaven. Washington D.C.: Whitaker House, Copyright © 1998 by Lowery Ministries International.

  5. Baxter, Mary K. A Divine Revelation of the Spirit Realm. Whitaker House, Copyright © 2000 by Lowery Ministries International. 

  6. Joyner, Rick. The Final Quest. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, © 1996 by Rick Joyner.

  7. Lindsay, Gordon, ed. Scenes Beyond the Grave. Dallas: Voice of Healing Publisher.

  8. Rawlings, Mourice, M.D. Beyond Death's Door. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc., Pub., 1978.

  9. Schmidt, Kenneth R. The Other Side. Folsom: Kenneth R. Schmidt, 1973.

Study Questions
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