Ask Your Preacher
HEAVEN & HELL
If God knows everything that will happen in one’s life, then why does He put people on earth if He knows they are doomed to go to hell? Like, if He knows that one will go to heaven but the other will go to hell, why put sinners who are damned to hell here? Why is that? Isn’t that a little unfair?
Feeling Toyed With
Dear Feeling Toyed With,
God knows our days upon this earth, but He also gives us the freewill to shape various aspects of the world that we live in. Just because God has knowledge of how you and I will behave does not mean that He causes our behavior to happen in a certain way. Foreknowledge is not the same as causation. A doctor may know that a patient is going to die of cancer, but that doesn’t mean the doctor caused the patient to die of that ailment. God gives mankind the freedom to make decisions, but He also has the wisdom to know how those choices will affect the future (Job 12:13).
Where did Jesus go after He died?
Dear Location Services,
Jesus went to Paradise when He died – He said so. Jesus told the thief on the cross that they were both going to Paradise after they died (Lk 23:43). Some say that Jesus went to hell when He died. That argument refers to the verse where it states Jesus would spend three days and three nights in “the heart of the earth” (Matt 12:40). However, that verse is simply stating that Jesus’ body would be buried for three days. Jesus’ spirit was separated from His body at death (Jas 2:26). Jesus’ body went into the ground, and His spirit went into Paradise.
The Bible says we all must give an account before God. But it also says the blood of Jesus covers our sins, and God remembers them no more. If we are in Christ and do our best to be faithful and obedient, what is the account christians will give before God? What if the account we give is displeasing to God?
Don’t Judge Me
Dear Don’t Judge Me,
The verse that says we all must give account for ourselves before God is Rom 14:12, and it is in the context of explaining that brethren shouldn’t judge one another but leave the judgment up to God (Rom 14:10). The point of that verse isn’t that we all need to be able to eloquently speak to God on the Judgment Day; it is that we each are responsible for our own behavior and choices in life. You can’t get to heaven riding anyone else’s coattails.
If you are in Christ, then on the Judgment Day, your meeting with God will be a pleasant one – He has forgiven your sins and will tell you to enter into His joy (Matt 25:21).
Rev 21:4 says that there will be no tears, no sorrow, and no crying in heaven. How can this verse be true if a place like ever-burning hell exists? Also in Rev 21:8, it says the lake of fire is the "second death". Does that not imply that the people die?
In Matt 10:28, it says "destroy", not torment; I am confused because I have been taught on ever-burning hell my whole life, but I cannot ignore the Word of God.
There will be no pain in heaven because God will heal us. Heaven is a place where we show up with tears, and God wipes them away (Rev 21:4). There will be a great deal of pain that we bring with us to the feet of our Maker, but He is the Great Physician (Mk 2:17). We here at AYP have no idea how God will heal every wound and sorrow in heaven, but we also don’t know how skilled doctors repair hearts and arteries. If a surgeon on this earth can repair a body and make it whole, certainly God is capable of repairing our hearts and souls.
As far as hell being a place of eternal torment, the Bible says that it is. Mk 9:47-49 says that hell is a place where “the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched”. Jesus also told the story of a rich man that died and went to torments (Lk 16:22-23). In torments, the rich man was in constant, burning anguish without relief (Lk 16:24). Abraham told the rich man that he would remain in anguish and that there was a great gulf eternally fixed between those in Paradise and those in torment (Lk 16:25-26). Though some good brethren believe that hell is not an eternal location and that the wicked are destroyed at death, we don’t believe that this holds up to biblical scrutiny. Hell is a place of death and destruction – spiritual death and spiritual destruction. Hell is a place where people are forever destroyed and spiritually dead without hope of renewing their relationship with God.
If my children were born out of wedlock, are they automatically damned to hell?
Absolutely not. Ezek 18:2-4 says that God holds each person accountable for their own individual sins. It is a sin to have children out of wedlock, but that is a sin the parents need forgiveness for, not the children. Your children are not damned because of your choices.
However, your choices do greatly influence your children’s future. Our kids look to us as role-models and guides. God says that how we train up a child will affect where they go (Pr 22:6).
It is a sign of a healthy parental instinct that you are already worried about your children’s spiritual future. The best thing you can do for them is to make your own life right with God. We would be happy to get you in touch with a faithful church (not all churches are faithful) that can help you get on the right track for you and your children. Just e-mail us at email@example.com, and we will happily assist you in whatever way we can.