Heaven and Hell

Christian author C.S. Lewis once said concerning heaven, “Joy is the serious business of Heaven”. Hundreds upon hundreds of different interpretations and views have been expressed over the years concerning Heaven and Hell. Today’s culture paints Heaven as a place for the good people and Hell as the place for the bad people. But what does the Bible say about these two places? Certainly, C.S. Lewis gets it right that Heaven is a place where joy is present; and Hell, a place where it is absent. 

 

First, we must understand what we are talking about when we speak of Heaven and Hell. The word ‘heaven’ is used in a few different ways in the Bible. Heaven is used to describe a literal place but is also used symbolically. It is sometimes used to speak of the earth’s atmosphere, the sky; it is also used to describe outer space, where the planets and stars are located; but the most common and well-known interpretation of Heaven is a place where God dwells or lives. In this article, we will consider Heaven as the place where God dwells. When considering Hell, we will be looking at another literal place where God judges and punishes those who oppose him. Once a person dies, they are sent to one of these two places, where they will spend all eternity. 

 

We have already discussed that Heaven is a place where God dwells. Heaven is a place where no sin is allowed (Revelation 21:27) and is also the home to angels. God graciously invites anyone willing to trust and follow His Son, Jesus, into Heaven. It is a place of joy and “paradise” (Luke 23:43) and a place where death, sorrow, and pain are all wiped away (Revelation 21:4). Joy and peace are found in Heaven because God is always present. Every true believer in Jesus Christ can call this wonderful place home, “In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2. 

 

On the other hand, Hell is a place where all the goodness, greatness, and joy of God are absent. Hell or “Hades” (Luke 16:23) is a holding place where everyone is sent who refuses to trust and follow Jesus. After God judges every man and woman at the Great White Throne, everyone who is in Hell will be sent to the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire, often referred to as Hell, is an eternal place of judgment. The Bible calls this place a “fiery furnace” (Matthew 13:50) a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50) a place of “eternal destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9) and a place of “torment” (Revelation 14:11). Hell was originally made for Satan and his demons when they sinned, but because all mankind has sinned, anyone who has not had their sin removed must also be sent there forever. 

 

You cannot get into Heaven by doing good works, praying, or attending church as modern culture has painted it. The only way into Heaven is by having your sin removed through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, “For Christ also suffered once for sins” (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for your sins that are sending you to Hell. After His death, He rose again, and now by believing in the risen Jesus, your sins will be removed, and you can have “everlasting life” (John 3:36), and be guaranteed a future in Heaven. But if you refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, and die without having your sins forgiven and removed, God will send you to Hell and the Lake of Fire. However, God does not want to send you to Hell; which is why He sent His only begotten Son to die for you. Believe in Jesus today; you will be saved and guaranteed the joy with God that awaits in Heaven.

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”

John 3:16.