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2024-06-23 The Permanent State: Hell

 

Title: The Permanent State of Hell: What It Means for You

Have you ever wondered what happens after you die? It's a question that has puzzled humanity for centuries. Today, we're diving into a topic that many avoid but is crucial for understanding our eternal destiny: the permanent state of hell. This isn't just a theological concept; it's a reality that affects every one of us. So, let's explore what the Bible says about hell and why it matters to you.

The Reality of Hell

Hell is not a joke or a myth. It's a real place of eternal separation from God, as described in Revelation 20:7-15. The Bible paints a vivid picture of hell as a lake of fire and sulfur, where those who reject Christ will be tormented forever. This isn't a temporary state; it's a permanent residence for those who choose to live apart from God.

Why Should You Care?

You might be thinking, "Why should I care about hell?" The answer is simple: your eternal destiny is at stake. The Bible makes it clear that there are only two destinations after death—heaven or hell. Understanding the reality of hell should compel us to examine our lives and our relationship with God.

Common Misconceptions About Hell

Many people struggle with the concept of hell for two main reasons:

  1. If God is loving, how can He send people to hell?
  2. Hell seems like an overkill for the sins we commit.

These are valid questions, but they stem from a misunderstanding of God's nature and the seriousness of sin. God is both loving and just. His justice demands that sin be punished, but His love provides a way out through Jesus Christ.

The Purpose of Hell

Hell serves a crucial purpose: it is where God's justice is carried out. Sin is not just a minor mistake; it's a rebellion against a holy and righteous God. Hell is the ultimate consequence of that rebellion. It's a place where God's justice is fully realized, and His glory is displayed over sin.

What Can You Do?

Understanding the reality and permanence of hell should lead us to action. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Examine Your Life: Are you living in a way that honors God? Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior?
  2. Share the Gospel: If you know the truth about hell, don't keep it to yourself. Share it with your family, friends, and neighbors.
  3. Live with Urgency: We are not promised tomorrow. Make the most of every opportunity to live for Christ and share His love with others.

Conclusion

The reality of hell is sobering, but it also highlights the incredible love and grace of God. He doesn't want anyone to perish but desires that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). So, what will you do with this truth? Will you ignore it, or will you let it transform your life and the lives of those around you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing the truth about eternity. Help us to understand the seriousness of sin and the reality of hell. Give us the courage to examine our lives and share Your love with others. May we live with urgency, knowing that our time on earth is short. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Posted by David Hopkins with 1 Comments
in Faith

2024-06-16 The Intermediate State: Heaven

 

The Intermediate State: Heaven – Getting Ready for the Trip of a Lifetime

Have you ever wondered what happens the moment after you die? It's a question that has intrigued humanity for centuries. As Christians, we have a unique perspective on this, rooted in the promises of Scripture. Today, let's explore what the Bible says about the intermediate state—Heaven—and how it can transform the way we live our lives right now.

Where Are We Headed?

When a Christian dies, they go to what Jesus called Paradise, which is synonymous with the present Heaven. In Luke 16:22, we read, "One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried." This passage gives us a glimpse into the immediate transition from earthly life to a heavenly existence.

But what exactly is Heaven? It's the dwelling place of God and His angels. Erwin Lutzer describes it as "the earthly life of the believer glorified and perfected." Heaven is those things but it is not finalized. This means that while Heaven is a place of incredible beauty and peace, it is temporary, much like Hades is temporary. The final state for believers is the New Heaven and New Earth, as described in Revelation 21.

How Will We Get There?

The journey to Heaven is one of care and gentleness. Luke 16:22 tells us that angels carried Lazarus to Abraham's side. This imagery denotes a tender and loving transition. Angels, as God's messengers, have several responsibilities, including carrying believers into the presence of God. Imagine a loving parent gently carrying their child to bed after a long day. In a similar way, angels tenderly carry us to our heavenly home, ensuring we are never alone in our final journey.

Billy Graham once said, "Death for the Christian cuts the cord that holds us captive in this present evil world so that angels may transport believers to their heavenly inheritance." This perspective can bring immense comfort, knowing that we are in God's care even in our final moments.

What Will Life Be Like When We Get There?

Heaven is not just a place of rest; it's a place of continued growth and joy. We will have some type of recognizable physical body, as indicated in Luke 16:23-24, where the rich man and Lazarus are depicted with physical attributes. We will also retain and grow in our knowledge. Luke 16:25, 27-28 shows that we will remember our earthly lives and continue to learn and understand more about God's love and His plans.

Moreover, we will retain our love for family and friends. Your loved ones in Heaven still remember you and love you. There is biblical evidence that suggests they are in the presence of God, praying for you. Jesus intercedes for us in prayer (Romans 8:34), and the martyrs in Heaven are praying for God's justice to be done (Revelation 6:9-10). If these are praying for other martyrs and Jesus is praying for you, it is logical to conclude that your family and friends in heaven are praying for you right now.

We will also retain our emotions and feelings. While there may be moments of grief as we reflect on missed opportunities, this grief is temporary. Revelation 21:4 assures us that in the final state, God will wipe away every tear, and there will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain. Psalm 16:11 says, "In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore."

How Can You Know You Are Going?

The assurance of Heaven is not based on our works but on our faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-10 states, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." This is the judgment of faith, and it is the key to knowing that you will be in Heaven.

Conclusion

The point is clear: Jesus wants your whole heart. What will you do this week to give it to Him? Will you live with Heaven in mind, investing in what truly matters? Without taking this step, you’ll miss out on what Jesus wants for you. So, I’m asking you to take a moment today to reflect on your relationship with Jesus. Confess, believe, and live with the assurance that Heaven is your ultimate destination.

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for the promise of Heaven and the assurance that we will be with You for eternity. Help us to live with an eternal perspective, investing our time, talents, and resources in what truly matters. Strengthen our faith and guide us in our journey, knowing that You are with us every dstep of the way. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Posted by David Hopkins with

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