DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Heaven And Hell
 

No one has taught so much about heaven and hell as much as Jesus ! Jesus, the son of God always knew of this because he came from one place to go to the other willfully just to warn us and save us from going to hell.

1. Judgement Day

The day that God takes pains to warn us about! It is time of Godís punishment and refining of the evil in the world.

The expression ďDay of JudgementĒ appears several times in the Bible as a day of dread.

Hebrews 10:27
but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

It is a day closely connected with the second coming of the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power
10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.


It is the close of human history!

Godís wrath is fierce.

Ezra 10:14
Let our officials act for the whole assembly. Then let everyone in our towns who has married a foreign woman come at a set time, along with the elders and judges of each town, until the fierce anger of our God in this matter is turned away from us."

Is kindled like a fire,

Psalm 106:40
Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. And waxes hot like molten wax.

Exodus 32:10
Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation."

That final divine verdict of judgement is yet to be carried out in a future day by Jesus himself

1 John 4:17
In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.

John 12:48
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.

John 5:22
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,

Judgement day determines the eternal destiny of the righteous (Heaven) and of the wicked (Hell) based on their obedience/disobedience of the law of God!

In the great white throne judgement scene,

Revelation 20:11-15
11 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.
12 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.
13 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.
14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


the basis of judgement is first the book of life, the Bible and then from the book of works, our deeds.

Our relationship with Jesus Christ is the determiner of eternal destiny.

John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

So even as all these sound scary they are the truth that must be spoken and should awaken the fear of GOD .

Do you have a healthy fear of God? Do you ever think of the destinies of thousands around you, every day?

Luke 16:19-31
19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'
25 "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house,
28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
29 "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
30 "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
31 "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"


It is a powerful parable that Jesus teaches to highlight his purpose!!

2. The place called Hell

It is referred to as Sheol which means the invisible world of departed souls. (The unseen state)

Matthew 25:46
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

It is also called Hades which means that which is out of sight. (The unseen world)

Psalm 139:8
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Matthew 11:23
And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.

It is again referred as Gehenna or Hinnom signifying the place of torment.

Matthew 5:22
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:29-30
29 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 than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.


In Jerusalem there is a place, a deep narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where the idolatrous Jews sacrificed their children to Molech. This valley afterwards became the receptacle for all the refuse of the city. Here the bodies of animals and criminals and all filth were cast and consumed by fire kept always burning. It thus in process of time became the image of the place of everlasting destruction. It is in this context that the Lord refers to it in Matthew 5.

It is also called Tartarus signifying the infernal region.

2 Peter 2:4
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;

Hell is often described as a place of eternal punishment,

Matthew 25:46
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

of everlasting fire,

Matthew 25:41
"Then he 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.

of everlasting burnings,

Isaiah 33:14
The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?"

a furnace of fire,

Matthew 13:42
They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

a lake of fire,

Revelation 20:15
If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

fire and brimstone,

Revelation 14:10
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.

of unquenchable fire

Matthew 3:12
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." and of devouring fire.

Isaiah 33:14
The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?"

As we look at the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus we can see the following.

- Hell is a place of complete darkness with no ray of light. Darkness has always symbolised evil and men have always been afraid of darkness.

- Hell is a place of terror. It is Satanís horror chamber.

- Hell is a place of fire. If it is dark how can it have fire in it?

Today man can make fire without a blaze. If man can do it God definitely can! A burn is the most wretched pain. Imagine suffering that pain through eternity.

Revelation 20:12,14-15
12 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.

14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth in hell. Try to imagine souls Ė millions screaming, crying and in pain.

- There is no rest in Hell. When we are tired we want to rest. There is nothing like getting up early in the morning and feeling rested and relaxed. In hell even when you are completely exhausted there will be no rest.

- There is no water in Hell. The rich man wanted a drop of water Ė not that a drop can satisfy thirst Ė but the need was so great that even a drop would have been satisfying.

- There is no hope in Hell. If we were in jail we would have a hope of getting out some day. If we did not, others may as well kill us now. If we had to go to hell for a hundred years maybe hope could help us survive. But hell is eternal.

Isaiah 33:14
The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?"

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.

- But the worst is that there will be a memory in hell. The rich man remembered. He remembered his life on earth, the chances he had to change, how he could have averted hell.

Imagine remembering throughout eternity that things could have been different.

GODíS CHOICE FOR US IS NOT HELL! It is up to you!

3. The place called Heaven

This is where God lives. This is the place God has prepared for his own.

This is Godís special creation. This is a place unimaginably (no mind can conceive) beautiful more than anything man has created!

Heaven is referred as a garner, which means a treasury or a storing place.

Matthew 3:12
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

It is also called the kingdom of Christ and of God

Ephesians 5:5
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Itís called the Fatherís house

John 14:2
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.

Hebrews 11:16 describes heaven as a heavenly country!!

Hebrews 11:16
Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

It is called a rest

Hebrews 4:9
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;

It is referred to also as a paradise

2 Corinthians 12:2,4
2 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.
4 was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.


Every good thing is found here! There is no place for the Ďbadí

Galatians 5:21
and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

This is the place the angels reside (Matt 18:10), the names of the saints are written (those who obeyed the Bible)

Hebrews 12:23
to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and saints are rewarded

Matthew 5:12
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Always remember it depends on each one of us whether we take hold of Godís gift. That is what it is Ė a gift from God!

Heaven is created by God,

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

it is immeasurable,

Jeremiah 31:37
This is what the LORD says: "Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done," declares the LORD.

it is high,

Psalm 103:11
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

it is holy,

Isaiah 57:15
For this is what the high and lofty One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

it is the place of Godís throne

Acts 7:49
"'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be?

As Godís dwelling place, heaven is not a divine heaven where God can isolate Himself from earth.

It is a divine working place, where He listens to prayers of the world (every one of them), this is where he answers prayers, where He sends blessings to His people and punishment to his enemies.

As Godís creation the heavens praise Him and display His glory and His creativity,

Psalm 19:1
For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. and righteousness

Psalm 50:6
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah

The mention of heaven is made the most in the book of Revelation than any other NT.

Heaven is promised to everyone who lives according to the teachings of the Bible.

There is nothing but ourselves who will stop us from getting there! God is waitingÖÖ Are you going ?

Challenge

Decide to memorize John 12:48 and remember the promise of Heaven everyday, through all your tough moments.

John 12:48
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.