The truth is not what most people want to hear, of course. They often think that when they die, if they have been “a good person,” they go to Heaven, where they will meet their old buddies.
Mr. Average will say something like:
“I gave to charities, once helped an old lady across the road and never robbed a bank. “ Unfortunately, that is not how God judges us. The only truth is the absolute truth in The Bible, the word of God.
When our opinion clashes with what the Bible says – we’re wrong!
Colin Lyne is one of our regular speakers at Tongham Christian Fellowship, Surrey, right on the Hampshire border with Aldershot. He has read the Bible from cover to cover around 80 times, studies daily and is also a chess champion. Here is Colin’s take on what the world calls “Hell.” It’s the kind of first class message you are unlikely to hear in your local denominational church meeting. AF.
It’s said that most people believe what they want to and there is a lot of truth in this. How many people will condemn another for doing something wrong and then claim it is alright when they do it?
It is better to search out what is really true even if it is inconvenient for us to believe it. Having spent over 40 years studying the Bible I have concluded that it is the book that we can rely on to tell us what is true. Archeology, medical and scientific discoveries are all confirming that the Bible is true while refuting what other religious books teach.
One of the most unpopular doctrines in the Bible is that people who do not come to true faith in Christ will spend eternity in Hell. Some of the better educated people know that the earlier manuscripts of the Bible never mention Hell .
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew
with a small portion in Aramaic, while the New Testament was written in Koine Greek. Hell is a Teutonic word and the Teutons were a Germanic race. However, the idea of eternal suffering is taught in the Bible. In the Old Testament a place of the dead called Sheol is described. This is a place that the personality, or soul and spirit, went to at death. The body went into the ground, as Genesis 3 v 19 states, to await a future resurrection from the dead.
Sheol has four compartments. These are called Tartarus, mentioned in Greek copies of
2 Peter 2 v 4 and wrongly called Hell in most English Bibles, and the Abyss. They are both places of torment for angels who have disobeyed God. These angels followed Satan in his rebellion against God and are what we today refer to as demonic spirits. Many are still free to serve him and will be until the second coming of Christ.
A third compartment of Sheol is a place of torment that Jesus referred to in Luke 16. All those who reject the work that Jesus has done for them go there on death. (That includes all those who think they can be “good” without acknowledging that Jesus is Lord) – AF.
The fourth place is where Old Testament saints went to, called Abraham’s Bosom in Luke 16. These saints were there until Jesus ascended into heaven, when he invited them to join Him for their reward. This event is described by Paul in Ephesians 4. So today Old Testament saints are in heaven awaiting the resurrection of their bodies which will occur in the 75 day period prior to the Marriage Feast so that Christ
sits down at the supper with all his saints.
Christians today go to Heaven immediately on death as 2 Corinthians 5: 8;10 shows. Their bodies will be resurrected at the rapture as Christ will marry his church just prior to the Second Coming,when we will return with Him to earth.
Christians will then live on Earth with Christ, who will reign over it as Lord and King as Zechariah 14 v 9 states. The Old Testament saints will also be there. This will last for 1000 years according to Revelation 20, after which we will all live in a place called the New Jerusalem, a beautiful place described in Rev 21 and 22 .
When the 1000 years end the ungodly will come out of their place of torment in Sheol, or Hades as it is called in the New Testament . They will be judged at the Great White Throne judgment and will be thrown into a place called Gehenna or the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20 vs 11 to 15 describe this event. The ungodly will be there forever as Rev 14 v 10 points out, telling us that they will be tormented.The same future awaits Satan and all his angels. See Jude vs 6 and 7.
We are all on our way to somewhere: which place are you heading for? Will it be eternal bliss or eternal torment? The Bible tells us what to do if we want to spend eternity with Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15 vs 1 to 4 we are told that we must believe that Christ died in our place for our sins, also taught in Romans 5 v 8.
Secondly, we must accept that he was buried, meaning he really did die, and third, that he rose from the dead. Romans 10 v 9 points out that this is essential to salvation. It was by this means that Jesus proved that he really was the Son of God: see Romans 1 v 4.
Only by totally putting our trust in these three things can we be saved and live eternally with Christ. If we really do this the Lord will change our lives and help us
do good works as Ephesians 2 vs 8 to 10 tells us. This is the truth that today's mixed up world needs to hear. There is ONE way to God, through the Lord Jesus Christ. Your eternal destiny rests on the choice you make. Maybe today!
See also Alan's sermon on the same theme: http://www.thefreepressonline.co.uk/news/1/2659.htm