Heaven and Hell

In John 14, Jesus tells His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

The Apostle John, when he was exiled on the island of Patmos, wrote the book of Revelation. This is one of the best books in the Bible to help one get a sense of what heaven is really like. John himself says that it is important to read the whole book for yourself. So, I will let you do that. You’ll have questions … lots of them.

But even in the book of Revelation, a book about the events on earth and the events in heaven, there is mention of hell. Even John Bunyan, in his well-read book, Pilgrim’s Progress (and I highly recommend it), noted that there was a door to hell, even on the grounds of the Celestial City. Why is this? I believe that for eternity we will remember with gratitude to the Lord, His having mercy on us and saving us, making us one of the elect, one of His chosen, changing our hearts … giving us a desire for knowing Him personally … and sparing us from the eternal torment, the flames, the darkness, His visage of wrath and fury against sinners.

In Mark 9, Jesus talks about “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” In Matthew 10:28, Jesus warns, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” In Revelation 21:7 the promise is made, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.” But immediately following, in verse 8, it is said, “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” This should motivate us to work out our “own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) and “win souls” for Christ (Proverbs 11:30).

What will be the focus of heaven? Giving glory to God and His Son, Jesus Christ. “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:8, 11