Ask Your Preacher
HEAVEN & HELL
How do we tell if we are ready to be killed for our faith in God and automatically know that we will go to heaven?
Martyr In Training
Dear Martyr In Training,
Though some Christians are placed in a position where they are killed for their faith, God doesn't command all Christians to die for Him – instead, He tells us to be living sacrifices (Rom 12:1). We need to live our lives in a way that is faithful until death... not faithfully seeking death (Rev 2:10). We are even told to pray for a quiet life of godliness if at all possible (1 Tim 2:2). If we must forfeit our lives for Christ, so be it. But we don't go seeking violence.
When people die, do they go to the Hadean world? Is Hades separated into two parts: paradise and torment?
Where To Next?
Dear Where To Next,
The Day of Judgment will only happen once, and then all of mankind will be divided between heaven and hell (Rev 20:12-15). However, until that time, all the dead will wait in Hades. Hades (also known as Sheol) is the place of the dead, both the good dead and the bad dead. The word ‘Hades’ literally means ‘the unseen place’. Within Hades, there are two areas where people wait for the final judgment. All of the faithful who die wait in the good part of Hades called ‘Paradise’ (2 Cor 12:4, Lk 23:43). All of the wicked who die wait in a part of Hades known only as ‘torments’ (Lk 16:23).
Where do you go after you die?
Dear Coffin Shoppin’,
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). After that judgment happens, this earth will be destroyed, and a new, heavenly, spiritual world will be created for the saints to live in eternally (2 Pet 3:12-13).
What separates heaven and hell?
Dear Separation Anxiety,
The only detail we have on that subject is when Abraham says, “there is a great chasm fixed” between Paradise and torments in Lk 16:26. We have no idea of what that great chasm looks like or how vast it is – nor even what it is made out of because it is in the spiritual realm, not the physical one.
God is all good and created only good in the beginning, including man. Then evil entered into the picture, and there was sin. God did not stop this from happening. I don't understand.
In the end, when we are all judged and those who are allowed to become a part of the promised Paradise on Earth are left, can the same scenario as before occur? Can evil once again enter the picture and put Paradise in jeopardy as it did before?
Learning From History
Dear Learning From History,
Paradise isn’t going to be here on Earth, and we are told that it is a place where sorrow and death will never occur (Rev 21:4). Therefore, we have a guarantee that God will protect heaven from what happened here on Earth. 1 Pet 3:10-12 tells us that eventually God will destroy the earth by fire. After that, He will establish a spiritual universe (heaven) where those who love Him will exist forever. Here is a list of verses that teach on that subject:
1) 1 Cor. 15:42-50
vs. 47 says our bodies will not consist of earthly components
vs 50 says flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom
2) Lk 20:34-38
a) vs 36 says we will have bodies like angels
3) Jhn 14:2-4
a) vs 2 says we will dwell where God dwells (heaven)
b) vs 3 says Jesus is preparing a place for us now
4) 2 Pet 3:10-13
a) vs 10 says that when God uses fire to destroy the earth, He will both destroy the works of the earth and the earth itself.
5) Heb 1:10-12
a) vs 11 says the earth and heavens will perish like an old garment
b) vs 12 says that the earth and heavens will be changed like one would change and put on new clothes
c) the new heaven and earth will not be a redo of this earth, but an entirely new garment.
6) Matt 24:35
a) Heaven and earth are temporary, unlike God’s Word
7) Heb 11:13
a) faithful people are considered strangers and wanderers on this earth
8) Php 3:20
a) our citizenship is in heaven, not on earth
9) Jhn 18:36
a) Jesus refers to His kingdom as not being “of this world”