TTATT-8 - The Truth About Heaven & Hell
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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TRUTH
The writer of the book of Hebrews said, “It is appointed a man once to
die and then the judgment.” And after that judgment, the Scripture teaches
we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Each one may
receive the things done in the body according to what he has done: good or
The fact remains that one day I will leave this life. One day you will
leave this life and will stand before the Almighty throne of God. And we will
either hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant, or depart from
me you worker of iniquity.” We invite you today to study, as we think about
the truth about Heaven and Hell.
Today we think about a very sobering and a very serious subject.
Friend it is the case that I am one day going to leave this life. You’re one
day going to leave this life. James 4:14 says that may be sooner than later.
“What is your life? It's but a vapor that appears for a little while and then
vanishes away.” The Scripture teaches at best, I've got 70 maybe 80 years
upon this earth if I'm lucky, Psalm 90:10-12. That time will fly by before we
know. What am I doing and what are you doing to prepare for the other
Friend do we realize that's what life is all about? Someone has
rightly said that this Earth is just simply a vail of soul making. I am here for
my one chance to get right with God and to make sure that I can live with
Him in that beautiful place called heaven.
Today we want to elaborate from the Scriptures. We want think
about: What does the Bible say about that place called Hell, a place of
destruction? So that I can be discouraged from doing things that will lead
me there. And what does God say about that beautiful place called
Heaven? So that I can be encouraged to live right and enjoy the beauty
and splendor of that place called heaven with Jesus, with God, and with all
the saints of old.
Let's direct our attention to that place in the Bible that we know of as
Hell. We live in a world today that doesn't like to mention or think about the
idea of Hell, but to fail to think about Hell is to fail to put a pivotal part of
encouragement in my Christian walk. What we mean by that is, if I never
think about Hell and the consequences of bad decisions, I'm more prone to
make those. But if I'm cognizant there is a place called Hell, if I don't live
right and do right, there is a very serious reality that I can go there. That
encourages me not to do the things that will lead to that place.
And so, I want to take today a brief journey with a man in the Bible
who went to a horrible place in Hades, known as torment, which is
indicative of what hell itself will be like. What's that going to be like? Notice
in your Bible Luke 16:19. ‘There was a certain rich man who was clothed in
purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day, with a certain
beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate desiring to be
fed from the crumbs ,with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table;
moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.’
“So it was that the beggar died and was carried by angels to
Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried and being in
torments in Hades he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and
Lazarus in his bosom; he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham have mercy on
me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool
my tongue, for I am tormented in these flames.’ Abraham said, ‘Son
remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, likewise
Lazarus evil things; but now he's comforted and you’re tormented. And
besides all this between us and you there's a great gulf fixed, so that those
who want to bask from here to there cannot. Nor can those from there to
here pastimes. Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore father that you would
send him to my father's house for I have five brothers that he may testify to
them; lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him,
‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No
father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead they will repent.’ But
he said to him, ‘If they will not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will
they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’’’
What do we know about the rich man and his journey to that place
we think of as Hell? We know that for him and for those who go there, Hell
is a place of horrible torment. Listen to Luke 16:23 the Bible says, “And
being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off
and Lazarus in his bosom.’ This man awoke, and he was in horrible
torment. Can you imagine the idea of torment? When we talk about
torment, we’re talking about unbearable pain. We’re talking about that
which creates mental, spiritual, psychological habit in one's life. Imagine
being so sick that you wished for death but always living. Imagine having
so much pain that you long for the day it would go away and that day and
that moment in time, continuing forever. Friend that’s the idea of torment,
unbearable pain and anguish and heart ache for all eternity. Who would go
to a place like that if they could help it?
Secondly as we think about this man and his journey to torment, the
Bible teaches us that it was a place of unquenchable fire. Notice Luke
16:24 again the Bible says, “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham have
mercy on me, send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water
and cool my tongue for I am tormented in these flames.’”
When I think of torment and I think of the anguish this man was the
in, can you imagine it being so bad that you’re just looking for one drop of
water? I have been pretty thirsty before. I’ve wanted a glass of water or a
drink of water, but one drop of water? That's the extent of torment this man
was in. Can you imagine being in the fire of hell for all eternity? Now
someone says, ‘Well how can God call someone to be on fire for eternity
but not be burned up?’ Well number one, God the creator of fire and of
mankind has that power. But he’s shown us that before the Bible, has he
In Exodus 3 Moses looked up and he saw a burning bush, but the
bush was not consumed; it was on fire but never burned up. Daniel’s three
friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fire. The
men who through them in were consumed by the fire, and they themselves
were not. God, who has power over fire, has the ability to cause one to
suffer in that fire for eternity.
Now listen carefully, does God want that? Absolutely not! Here's
what God wants, God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge
of the truth, 1 Timothy 2:4. “God is not slow about His son's coming as
some men count slowness, but he is long-suffering toward us not willing
that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” God doesn't
want somebody, that’s not what he longs for; he's not enjoying that idea.
But for there to be a reward, there was also be punishment. For there to be
right, there must also be the justice of those who have done wrong for
justice to occur. God indeed wants people to be saved.
Now as we think about this man, who went to this horrible place of
torment, I want to illustrate one of the worst things this man had to face.
This man had recognition in Hell. What a horrible thing it was for him to
remember! Hell is a place of mental recognition. Listen to Luke 16:25
indeed the Bible says, ‘But Abraham said, “Son remember.” Listen to that
word, “Son remember in your lifetime you received your good things and
likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted and you are
tormented.” What two words echo out of that verse that remind us of the
horrible nature of hell? “Son remember.” In hell my memory will not be
erased. In hell I will remember what I should've done, could have done,
what I thought I wanted to but did not do. I think that theme song in Hell
that will be so horribly, ‘If only I had... I could have done...’ Wouldn’t that
Friend listen carefully, I understand the torment; I understand the fire.
And I understand how horrible that will be. But if a child of God is lost, I
think this might be one the greatest things, most horrible things, about Hell.
The very fact that I was a Christian, the very fact that my sin had been
washed in the blood of Jesus, that I had the grace and mercy of God, and I
gave all that up for temporal, carnal, mundane worldly things and let sin
take that from me. If a child of God is lost, how horrible would it be for them
to be lost in Hell ever remembering at one time, they were saved. Friend
you'd be hard-pressed to find anything more horrible and tormenting than
As we think about Hell, let's also realize this, the Scriptures teach that
Hell is a place of eternal separation from God, from that which is good,
from others of done right, and from those things which are Holy. Listen
again to Luke 16:26 the Bible says as Lazarus is seeking for someone to
come over and given him a drink of water, or as he seeking someone to go
back and teach his brothers, Abraham says, “And besides all this, between
us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from
here to you cannot, nor can those from their pass to us.”
What about when we get to the other side, any making changes then
and crossing back over? Once this life ends my fate is set. Once this life
ends there are no more chances to go to the other side. If I awake in
torment, I cannot cross over to Paradise. If I awake in paradise, and you
wouldn’t want to, you can’t cross to the other either Abraham said. It's
eternal separation. Imagine that being separated forever from God, from
good, from Jesus, from holy and right people- being with forever the devil,
the demons, the ungodly, the immoral, those who are carnal and worldly
minded of this world.
You know when we think about the eternal nature of it; sometimes it's
hard for us to really grasp that idea. Let me use a couple of illustrations.
Let's say that someone had done something in this life, some heinous
crime, and they were given a life sentence without parole. Now even that
has a glimmer of hope, does it not? Even without parole, it has a glimmer of
hope; because a person may still turn to the Bible, may change their ways,
and there is a day coming when they will pass from this life. And they can
steal mend their ways and get to Heaven. Even a life sentence in jail has
hope of something, on another day, being the day of their demise. Friend
when we talk about eternity, there's no day of hope. There's no glimmer.
There's no sunshine spot anywhere in that, it's all darkness and veiled by
the fact that there will be no other chances. And so let's realize Hell is a
horrible place of eternal separation from God and from those who have
lived right and done right in this life.
But now, let's think about the other side of that equation. Let's think
about Lazarus and the rich man. And how Lazarus, although he didn't have
much in this life, he was a poor beggar. He was eating crumbs from the rich
man's table, the dogs licked his sores, and he didn’t have hardly anything
in this life. Yet on the other side, he had at all.
Friend we want to encourage today by noticing and by thinking
about the beauty of that place called Heaven.
What will it be like? What encourages me to live right, to follow Jesus,
to the fight the fight every day against sin and Satan? Oh it’s that beautiful
place called Heaven. What’s Heaven going to be like? Heaven is a
beautiful place of rest. Do you ever get tired in this life? DO you ever get
hot? Do you sometimes just think I really need to rest? I need to sit down in
the easy chair and take it easy for a while. I just need to relax. Heaven is a
place of spiritual rest.
Listen to Hebrews 4:9 the Bible says, “There remains therefore a rest
for the people of God.” Rest from what? Rest from our labors, 1Corinthians
15:58-59. Rest from the fight and the struggle against sin and Satan- all
that will cease to exist. Rest, in the sense that we are in the safety and the
shelter of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Rest from our cares, worries,
and our burdens. Real rest can only be found in that beautiful place called
When we think about Heaven let's also realize this, in Heaven there
is the absence of evil. That's one of the things that makes Heaven so
wonderful. Listen to Revelation 21:4. The Bible says, “And God will wipe
away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, nor sorrow,
nor crying, there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed
away.” You know when I think about this verse and all the absences that
will make Heaven great, think about some of these things that won't be
there. There will be no more tears. God will wipe away every tear from their
When I think about this image, I think about an illustration from my
own life. One of my grandmothers, on my dad’s side, was a woman from a
different era. She grew up working in the home. Every morning when she
got up, she put an apron on and worked in the kitchen. She worked in the
house and helped the family. I can remember we would go and stay with
her certain times. And I can especially remember times when we might fall
down or bump our knee or get a scrape somewhere. She would always
take us up in her arms, so lovingly, so tenderly; and she would take that
apron and wipe every tear out of our eyes.
What a picture of comfort, security, and hope! “God will wipe away
every tear from their eyes.” And listen to this, here's some the absences,
“There will be no more death.” You'll never have to weep or go to a funeral
again. Now look at this, “No sorrow.” You’ll never have to be sad anymore.
“No more crying, no more pain, all the former things have passed away.”
Look at how wonderful Heaven will be because of what won't be there! The
very things that break our heart, the very things that bring us sadness and
turmoil and difficulty-in Heaven those things will not exceed!
What else makes Heaven great?
Friend this is the top thing. And if the rest of this were never told, this
is all we would need. What makes Heaven great? Heaven will be great
simply because God is there.
I used to think that it was the streets of gold, the pearly gates, the
river of life, the tree that is of eternal life. Those things used to appeal to me
so much. All the jewels, the diamonds, and as I read those things I used to
think that's what makes Heaven great.
That's not what makes Heaven great. God is what will make Heaven
great. Listen to the words of Jesus; this is what makes Heaven great.
Matthew 6:9, “And in this manner, therefore pray ‘Our father who is in
Heaven, Hallowed be Your name.’” What makes Heaven great? God is
there. God is the source of all love, 1 John 4:8. He is the God of light as the
book of 1 John teaches. He's that which we long to be, to conform
ourselves to, and He’s everything that is representative of good, holy, right,
and perfect. If God's there, friend Heaven indeed is a place every child of
God should want to go.
But then we also mention this about heaven. What else will make
Heaven great? Heaven will be great, because everything I suffer in this life,
the Bible teaches; Heaven will be worth it all. This is a passage that has
often encouraged me as a Christian. I want you notice what Romans 8:18
says. Paul said, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed unto us.”
What’s that passage say? Heaven will be worth it all. The sufferings
that I face, the trials and tribulations, the cares of this world, the worry and
anxiety that we all sometimes have, they don't even begin to compare!
They're not a drop in the bucket compared to how wonderful Heaven is
going to be! Heaven truly will be worth it all. The sickness, the sin, the
sorrow, the heartache, the struggles that we face, fighting the good fight
every day, it's all going to be worth it on the other side in Heaven.
Friend I'll assure you, if you follow the Bible, if you live your life
according to the teaching of Christ, if you obey the gospel become a
Christian, continue to walk in the light, remain faithful unto death,
Revelation 2:10, Heaven will truly be worth it all.
But friend let's also realize this, if one chooses or is tempted to follow
Satan, and follows down the path of sin and lives the life of immorality and
ungodliness and remains in that lifestyle, he is lost. I can assure you there
would be nothing worse than being lost in Hell forever.
Friend I believe this with all my heart, if we can just get a small taste,
a small glimpse of how horrible Hell is and is really going to be, nobody
would want to go there. We would do everything possible not to go there.
And in that same vain, if I could just get a small taste, just a brief glimpse of
the wonder and the beauty of heaven, every person living would do
whatever it took to get to that beautiful place.
But friend only the individual can make that decision for themselves.
The Bible does say, “It’s appointed a man once to die and then the
judgment.” I'm not designed to live forever nor are you. The sad reality is
one day I'm going to leave this life and so are you. When I leave this life, I
will meet my maker. I will return to God. And based on obedience to the
Gospel and the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I'll either hear
the words, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of your
Lord.” Or I'll hear the words, “Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never
Friend we ask you today to consider seriously your eternal state. If it
all came down right now, where would you spend eternity?
Maybe you're not sure. Friend we want you to know today what you
need to do to be sure. Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth
and the truth will make you free.” You can know truth and that truth can
make you free from sin.
What must a person do to be saved and become a Christian on the
one and only road to Heaven?
First you've got to hear God's word. The Bible says, “Faith comes by
hearing and hearing by the word of God,” Romans 10:17. I have to realize
this book is God's message on salvation. And it and only it has the words of
eternal life, John 6:68. Once I've heard the word I have to believe it. Jesus
said in John 8:24, “Unless you believe that I'm He, you will surely die in
your sins.” Having believed in Jesus, I must be willing to change my life and
repent. Acts 3:19 Peter preached, “Repent and turn that your sins may be
blotted out.” I've got to turn from sin and turn to God. Having repented of
sin the Bible teaches one must confess Jesus as Lord as son of God.
Jesus said so plainly in Matthew 10:32-33, “If you won’t confess me before
men neither will I confess you before the Father who is in Heaven, but if
you will confess me before men I will confess you before the Father who is
Have you made that great confession? I believe Jesus is the Christ
the Son the living God. And if you've done all that, if you heard the word,
you believe in Jesus, repent of your sins, you wanted to make that good
confession, have you done what Jesus said to be saved concerning
baptism? Jesus said it so plainly, “He that believes and is baptized will be
saved. He that does not believe shall be condemned.” Jesus said you have
to believe and be baptized to be saved, Mark 16:16.
When the first gospel sermon was preached in Acts 2, Peter stood up
with the 1. The Jews cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? We
realize we killed our Messiah. What do we need to do to be saved?”
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of your sins.” Jesus said in John 3:5, “Unless one is born of
water and the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.” And then
once I've obeyed the gospel, I've got to do my best to walk in the light, 1
I've got to be faithful unto death, Revelation 2:10. I have got to
change my life and walk in newness of life and try every day to follow His
will and do what He wants me to do to. I need to repent when I find things
in my life that are not right.
And so friend, our prayer, encouragement, and hope for you is that
you will go to Heaven.
God wants all men to be saved. We want you to be saved. If you've
never obeyed the gospel, won’t you become a Christian today?
If as a Christian, maybe your life is not right. Make that right. Take
the time to make sure today you're right with God, before eternity comes for
each one of us.
Study Questions for: “Truth Series: Heaven and Hell”
1. What does James 4:14 say about how long life on Earth lasts?
2. What did the rich man beg for in Luke 16?
3. In Luke 16, why didn’t Abraham send someone to worn the rich man’s
family about the place of torment?
4. According to Luke 16:26, what was the afterlife like for Lazarus? What
reason did Abraham give for this?
5. According to Luke 16:26, once someone dies will they be able to cross
over to different places?
6. What will Heaven be for the people of God according to Hebrews 4:9?
7. According to Revelation 21:4, what will not be in Heaven?
8. How long must we be faithful according to Revelation 2:10?
9. What does Mark 16:16 tell us?
10. What does Paul say in Romans 8:18 about his present sufferings?