Ask Your Preacher
HEAVEN & HELL
I’m a high school kid. My group of friends is not a good one. I nearly overdosed on pain medication. I collapsed in the corner of the room, and I nearly died. I had a very clear vision of hell, and it was not fire. I just felt the worst pain I have ever felt. In this vision, I was in that same corner of the room watching myself take that medication over and over. All I could think of was God as I was motionless on the floor. They say I died for three minutes at the hospital, and I was brought back to life when I repented to God and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. You may not believe me, but I went to hell and need help in changing my life situation to make it more appealing to God’s eyes.
Dear Never Again,
Whether you actually went to hell or not… you had a turning point in your life, and you are ready to make sure that you don’t ever go there – good for you.
There are a few things that you need to do to make sure you are ready to meet God and are prepared to go to heaven. First of all, you need to take the steps to become a Christian. Believing in Christ and repenting are two things that you must do to be saved, but they aren’t the only two things. We recommend that you read our post “Five Steps To Salvation” and make a plan to do those things.
The last thing on that list that you must do is be baptized. We would love to get you in touch with a congregation that can baptize you and that you can grow with over the years. Not all churches are focused on the Lord, and we would be happy to help you find a congregation near you. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help!
A divorced man meets his ex-wife and second wife in heaven; what can he expect to be his relationship with both of them?
Jesus was asked a very similar question by a group of Sadducees in Matt 22:23-28. Jesus’ answer was simple – there is no marriage in heaven (Matt 22:30).
Three years after my wife and I got married, she had an affair and got pregnant. I stayed with her even though I had some struggles accepting the fact she cheated on me. I accepted the baby because I am unable to have children. It was our only child. Our son recently was killed on a motorcycle through no fault of his own. He was thirty-five years old. My wife and I divorced twenty-two years ago, but we are still friends. My question is: even though he was a great son and a church-going person with his wife who is sixteen weeks pregnant, is my son considered to be an illegitimate child to where he can't enter into the Lord’s congregation? I accepted him as my son, but I can't get this off my mind. Could you give me an answer, so I can clear my mind? I love my son more than I can explain, but I am so confused from what I read. Like I said, he was a church-going person and never gave anyone any problems.
Dear Mourning Father,
We are so sorry for your loss. What a devastating time for your family. Let us give you one comfort – your son is not responsible for the choices that others made that led to his conception. God very specifically says that each person is responsible for their own sins. The entire chapter of Ezekiel 18 deals with this issue. God’s conclusion is that a son can choose his own path regardless of what his parents chose (Ezek 18:20). Each of us works out our own salvation before God (Php 2:12). Your son is not barred from heaven because of his mother’s past. His commitment to Christ will define him on that great Day of Judgment.
This might seem like a stupid question, but I have always wondered when I get to heaven, will I still be a man? Is there still a gender difference in heaven? Or is everyone just spiritual with no gender distinction?
Both men’s and women’s spirits are equally made in God’s image (Gen 1:27), which leans toward an understanding that we are neither male nor female in heaven once we shed our physical bodies. Also, Jesus’ statement that there is no marriage in heaven seems to point out that there is no gender difference in heaven (Mk 12:25). Lastly, Gal 3:28 states that we are neither male nor female in Christ. Overall, the Bible paints a picture that gender probably isn’t a part of our life in heaven.
Do people go to heaven or hell as soon as they die, or are they in the grave until Jesus returns?
Six Feet Under?
Dear Six Feet Under,
When a Christian dies, they go immediately to Paradise and await the day of Judgment, the day when our eternal heaven is created. Jesus said that angels immediately carry faithful souls off to Paradise (Lk 16:22, Lk 23:43), and the wicked are immediately sent to torments (Lk 16:23). Both Paradise and torments are part of Hades (‘Hades’ means ‘the unseen place’). When you die, your spirit is separated from your body and goes to Hades (Jas 2:26). On the Day of Judgment, all the souls will be emptied out of Hades (1 Thess 4:14), and all the bodies will be removed from the graves (1 Thess 4:16). On that great Day of Judgment, every soul shall be judged (Heb 9:27).