Heaven and Hell
The Word Of God – Lesson VI B
Heaven And Hell
When God created the first man and woman He told the man that if he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would die according to:
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the Garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.
Despite God’s warning the first man and the first did woman disobey God and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil according to:
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Their disobedience caused a separation between them and God, which has affected all of mankind born after them according to:
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.
However, God made a way for mankind to be reconciled to Him according to:
Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
And II Corinthians 5:21
“God made Him (Christ) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
God has given us this life to accept His free offer of forgiveness of our sins according to:
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement.
We must all one day die. At that time our bodies will be buried but our soul and spirit will either go to heaven or to hell.
If we have accepted God’s free offer of forgiveness because of Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross, we will enter heaven and our works will be judged according to:
I Corinthians 3:10b-15
……But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation, using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
People who have not accepted God free offer of forgiveness have chosen to be eternally separated from God. They will eventually be judged at the White Throne Judgement.
This means that at the time of death their bodies will be buried and their soul and spirit will go to hell.
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which was the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
We will study the subject of heaven first of all.
Heaven is a real place
There are several places in the Bible that refer to a “heaven”. We have three “heavens”. The first heaven is the sky above us. The second heaven is the outer heaven etc where the demonic realm exists and where angelic battles take place. The third heaven is the heaven where God resides.
Jesus descended from the third heaven according to:
For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me.
Furthermore, Jesus has said that He will prepare a place for believers in the third heaven according to
In My Father’s House are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.
Jesus has returned to the third heaven according to:
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”
The Apostle Paul writes about the third heaven in:
II Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
And II Corinthians 12:2-4
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows – was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.
And Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
And Ephesians 1:19b-20
That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.
Paul writes about the second heaven in:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Believers will be glorified in heaven
Believers actually posses eternal life the moment we receive Christ as Lord and Saviour. However, it is only fully realised after we have receive our resurrected body according to:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of he Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
And I Corinthians 15:42-44
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
And II Corinthians 4:16-17
Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away; yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
And Colossians 3:4
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Heaven is a place of rest
The Apostle John writes about a rest for believers in:
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes”, says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them.”
This means freedom from the pressure, pain and persecution of this life. Rest does not mean to quit all activity because there will be great activity in heaven. It is not rest from activity but rest in activity.
Heaven is a place of knowledge and understanding
Paul writes that we will have full knowledge and understanding of things in:
I Corinthians 13:12
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully; even as I am fully known.
Heaven is a place of holiness
In heaven believers are free from the presence of sin according to:
I John 3:2
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Heaven is a place of service
Believers will serve Christ in eternity according to:
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him.
Heaven is a place of worship
John writes about worship in heaven in:
“After this I heard what sounded like a great multitude in heaven shouting:
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are His judgements. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.
He has avenged on her the blood of His servants.”
And again they shouted:
Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
“Praise our God, all you His servants, you who fear Him, both great and small!”
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
Heaven is a place of community
In heaven believers will not marry but will be in close fellowship with others according to:
Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”
John writes about a new heaven and a new earth in which God’s people will be living together according to:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and here was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
Heaven is a place of communion with God
John reminds us that God will be among His people according to:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
Heaven is a place of peace
Paul writes of his longing to be in heaven with Christ according to:
I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
John writes in:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Heaven is for ever and ever
Believers will be in heaven for eternity according to:
Then they will go to eternal punishment but the righteous to eternal life.
John writes in:
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
We will next study the subject of hell.
Hell is a real place
Hell was originally designed for Satan and his demons according to:
Then He (Jesus) will say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
And Revelation 20:10
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Hell is a place of punishment
Those who have rejected Christ will enter hell at the time of their death according to:
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body then for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
And Matthew 10:28
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
And Matthew 18:8-9
If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
And John 3:18
Whoever believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
And Revelation 20:11-15
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who is seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
And Revelation 21:8
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
Hell is conscious torment
Unbelievers will suffer real torment in hell according to:
This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And Mark 9:47-48
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better 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.”
And Revelation 14:9-10
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
Hell is eternal and irreversible
Unbelievers enter hell which will be for ever and ever according to:
“Then He (Jesus) will say to those on His left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
And Matthew 25:46
Then they will go to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
And II Thessalonians 1:8-9
He (Jesus) will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power.
And Revelation 14:11
“And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever….”
Both heaven and hell are real places.
God desires for all people to spend eternity with Him and has made that possible according to:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
However, people who refuse to accept God’s free gift of salvation will be eternally separated from God according to:
Whoever believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
God does not want anyone to perish. Therefore, let us go out and share the wonderful plan of salvation with the lost, who are on their way to hell, in the hope that they too will accept God’s free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus.
In our next study we will look at the subject of the Second Coming of Christ.