Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. C.T. Studd
One day we will all find ourselves in eternity and every human has the free will to decide where they spend it. When we pass from this life, we don't cease to exist because humans are made in Gods' image to be eternal like Him. Our eternal address is a decision that cannot be reversed once we expire. We all make poor choices, but our permanent address is the only decision none of us can afford to mess up and indecision doesn't alter the outcome. Satan's intent is to distract us with earthly matters in order to keep us from making a decision, so we spend eternity with him. By not deciding our choice has been made by default, although God intentions are for all of us to be in an eternal relationship with Him.
The reason we should desire eternal life is to spend eternity with God the Father (Love), Jesus Christ (Life) and the Holy Spirit (Truth). The Trinity is one essence which is the eternal Light. The alternative is to spend eternity in darkness separated from God and if chosen, it would be impossible to experience love, life and truth in the eternal realm.
“He who is born once shall die twice, but he who is born twice shall die once.”
― Hal Lindsey
American Evangelist & Author, Houston TX
By applying Bayes' Theorem to eyewitness accounts of the resurrection there is a 98% probability that Jesus Christ raised Himself from the dead and this is how we can be absolutely certain that He possess the power to raise us from the dead. And He promised to do so too.
Only someone who is perfect in every sense has the authority to redeem us for all eternity. The historical evidence for the moral, sin-free perfection of Jesus (even Jesus’s enemies, his mother, and his brothers acknowledged that he was sinless—John 8:46) and the truthfulness of His words leave no doubt that He will keep his word.
The two assurances that bring us the most confidence that there is an afterlife are the historical evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and the obvious reality of Ecclesiastes 3:11.
It says that God has written eternity on the heart of every human being. Humans are the only creatures on Earth that think about life after death, the meaning of life, the existence of an eternal creator, morality, judgment, the universe and our purpose for living, both in this life and the afterlife.
a. If there is no afterlife, why are we humans so compelled to think, meditate, and debate about these matters?
b. Why is it that even committed atheists acknowledge that there is a universal law that distinguishes good from evil?
c. Why do atheists also believe that their lives have value, meaning, and purpose?
d. Why are people all around the world so fixated on finding redemption from their propensity to commit evil or fixated on trying to justify themselves and their behavior?
As many scholars have pointed out (i.e., Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, and William Lane Craig), the historical evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead is stronger than the historical evidence for the defeat of Napoléon at Waterloo or for the surrender of Germany in 1918. There is so much historical evidence that Gary Habermas wrote a 4,000-page multivolume set that documents 80% of the existing evidence. For his brief summary, see "Resurrection" section link below.
Richard Anderson, the Pastor at Christ Church Sierra Madre, CA for the past 40 years, has witnessed end of life experiences with over 300 coherent believers who were waiting on their death beds. He concluded that Psalm 23 message appears to be true from what he witnessed. Richard was conversing with Christian who were lucid right up to the time of their passing. He consistently observed that the believer would say just before passing; "I have to say goodbye, He's calling me by name." So, this is what it's like when you die as a believer, He will call you by name and Jesus will personally escort you from the shadow to death into the next life. This is verse is very moving because this is the exact verse my mother quoted to me while she was in the process of dying to let me know as a believer that she would be personally escorted to the afterlife.
Physically, your bodies organs will begin to shut down and stop maintaining itself which will be confusing because it will affect your brain. So don't be surprised if in the last week of death, you experience confusion. Within a few days of passing, you will begin to feel really warm because the body stops retaining heat, instead it radiates heat. You'll feel like you're burning up from the release of body heat. Then within 24-48 hours of death you'll feel like you're getting better because that's the body stops trying to maintain itself, no longer burning up energy means your close. You actually start to feel better again, and your confusion goes away because the body has stopped maintaining itself. Then you will hear your name being called which will take you into the next life.
Richard also had experiences with unbelievers on their death beds who were lucid up to the moment of death. He said that consistently he witnessed that as they approached the last few hours, especially the last few minutes they would curse God in the vilest ways and were excited about the prospect of going to Hell. They wanted nothing more to do with God and were cursing and screaming until the moment of their passing. Keep in mind that most people die when they are not lucid because the body shuts down and we lose the capacity to express ourselves, then go into a coma. People do have the capacity to hear when they are in a coma state and can still become saved. God gives all humans every opportunity to hear the Word and become redeemed.
We were created to live, not to die. Death was not intended to be part of God's creation plan. Death came as a result of judgment for sin. By living in the flesh and not the Spirit we are led to sin, though through the Spirit we can put misdeeds of the body aside and live again.
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.”
― Corrie ten Boom
Dutch Christian Watchmaker & Writer
The story of the "Rich Man and Lazarus” is one of the most important and powerful teachings by Jesus in the New Testament. This story is told to the Pharisees who were elitists known to be lovers of money, societal status and scoffed at Jesus. “The Rich Man and Lazarus” is found in Luke 16:19-31 and is not a parable or allegory. This passage is considered by many Christian’s Scholars to be a true story about two individuals in which Jesus actually names one of them. This passage will give us a glimpse into heaven and hades.
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead."
This passage demonstrates a great lesson about the evils that come with wealth, but even more it gives us a keen insight to what the afterlife looks like. Notice that poor man Lazarus is taken to Heaven by angels as pallbearers and the rich man immediately finds himself in Hell. Starting in verse 24 is one of the most amazing conversations in human history. After realizing where the rich man is, for the first time in his life he humbles himself and begs God for mercy.
Did the rich man end up in Hell because he was rich? The answer is absolutely not. Abraham was known as one of the wealthiest men that ever lived, and he is also found in Heaven in this passage. We believe this is why Jesus named Abraham, so the Pharisees would make the connection that the rich man in the story represented them and Abraham who was also wealthy was commonly known by the Jewish people in the Bible as a humble servant who believed God. The reason the rich man ended up in Hell was that his money had made him so arrogant and prideful that he refused to humble himself before God while on earth. Not once did he admit that he was a sinful and ask God for help. In Verse 25 Abraham tells the rich man that he had many opportunities while he was alive on earth to repent and had declined. Notice that the people in Heaven can see the people in Hell and vice versa. The passage describes that in eternity there is this “great chasm” or “canyon” that divides us that is fixed, permanent and has been established by Almighty God where no one can cross over. The people in Heaven would like to cross over and help the people in Hell, but they are not permitted.
In verse 27 the rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus (who is dead) to warn his brothers. Abraham replies that they already have the “Moses and the Prophet” which is a reference to the Torah (the first five books of Moses) plus all the book of the prophets. What Abraham is saying to the rich man is that your brothers already have all the information they need to be saved. All they need to do is to humble themselves before the authority of God and call on Him for mercy. By doing this one act, they will receive mercy, become redeemed and avoid eternal Hell. Then in verse 30 the rich man replies, “No, Father Abraham”, meaning that his brothers are proud and arrogant just like him and there is no way they will humble themselves just because the Bible tells them to. The rich man then says if Lazarus were to be rise from the dead to warn them, then a miracle like this would cause them to repent. Abraham says if they won’t believe God then there is nothing that will convince them even if someone rises from the dead. What Abraham is alluding to is that it’s all about the condition of the human heart. If his brother’s hearts were tender towards God, they would hear the Word of God calling them to repent and they would act. Since his brother’s hearts are hard toward God, even if someone rose from the dead, it wouldn’t make a difference. Jesus is making a clear reference to His imminent death and resurrection in this verse that would later occur at the hands of these same Pharisees and Sadducees. We know that even with life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ there are many people who refuse to accept the free gift of pardon. So, this is where the narrative ends with Lazarus securely in Heaven for eternity and tragically the rich man’s in Hell forever with the five brothers needing to humble themselves to avoid the same fate. The number five in the Bible which describes man’s humanness: limitations, insufficiency in himself, death.
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist and author who gained international fame for her landmark work on dying and life after death experiences also referred to as NDE's (Near Death Experiences). She investigated thousands of NDE as part of writing her epic book on NDE (On Death and Dying, 1969, 2008). She is quoted as saying; "Up until I did these studies I had absolutely no belief in an afterlife. The data however has convinced me and now I have no shadow of a doubt there is life after death.”
There are also lots of people like Dr. Dorothy Whipple who was quoted in the John’s Hopkins University magazine; “When you die, you don’t land anywhere you just blow out the candle.”
So who is correct? Where do we go to get the correct authoritative information to answer the question?
Believers place their chips on the one who is the owner and sole proprietor of the afterlife and the only one who has died and returned from the afterlife in an eternal body, Jesus Christ that is. We would also like to point out that in the Luke 16:19-31 passage Jesus gives us the four main insights about the afterlife to consider:
1. People in the afterlife keep the same identity they had here on earth. The rich man is still the rich man, Abraham is still Abraham and Lazarus is still Lazarus. So, for the rest of eternality, you are still you.
2. People in the afterlife keep their memories, senses and ability to reason. All of them could see, speak, feel pain, reason, etc. The rich man remembers that he still has five brothers back on Earth and he was even negotiating for them.
3. In the afterlife, there are only two options as to where a person will spend eternity: Heaven or Hell. Jesus describes Hell as a place of fire and tournament. And it’s so terrible that the rich man begs Abraham the send Lazarus to warn his brothers.
4. In the afterlife our eternal destiny is fixed in concrete. Once we pass it is set forever. Those who are in paradise are there forever and those in hell are there forever. And upon death God’s withdraws his offer of mercy for the people in Hell for all eternity.
The reality of Hell is orders of magnitude worse than anything we could ever imagine. In Revelation 20:14 God tosses Hades (now Hell) into the Lake of Fire where unbelievers reside. We believe that the existence of Hell, above every other reason, is why God sent Jesus to this earth in human form to die on the cross for our sins so that we could receive this free pardon from Hell. We call it our “Get out of Hell free card”. Jesus understood the awful realities of Hell and elected to die on the cross to be our substitute. Do you really believe Dorothy Whipple? If you have never accepted Jesus as your real and personal savior, we ask you to take to heart the advice Abraham gave to rich man’s brothers: “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them”. It’s just a matter of humbling yourself before the Lord and asking Him for forgiveness.
We cannot stress this enough that once we leave this earth the free offer of pardon is withdrawn. It should break your heart to know that one day we will be in Heaven and will see others that have crossed our path in this life, and we did nothing to share the message of salvation. We don’t want to be in Heaven looking at someone we knew located in Hell and hear them say that we made no effort to warn them. Especially our families. Don’t believe those who say, “We are all God’s children”. It’s a lie. We are all God’s creation, but only those who accept his son Jesus are the children of God.
"I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist."
― Norman Geisler, Author
Do "good" people go to Heaven?
Most of us believe that we are basically "good" by our own human standards and because we are we meet the necessary prerequisite to enter Heaven. Our definition of "good" means that we've done more "good" deeds than bad ones, and we have invariably done our best to live an honorable life by treat our fellow man equitably. The God of the Bible's definition of "good" is a lot different.
How can anyone qualify as a "good" person since everyone has a different definition of "good"? Being "good" is basically a moving target which isn't "good" at all. Please answer the following questions to see if you meet some the basic criteria for being a "good".
By all accounts you are a lying, blaspheming thief and fornicator at heart and so is everyone else that ever lived. Even if we don't believe in certain laws and violate them, ignorance of the law is no excuse, we are still found guilty even though we deny its existence or claim that we didn't know about it. This is our sin nature and all humans are drawn to it even though we inherently know, right from wrong. Sin mean that we missed the target. The target is God's perfect standard for righteousness.
Most of us are aware of the Ten Commandments and we've only listed four. When you face God on Judgement Day will you be found innocent or guilty? Everyone will be found guilty as charged because none of us meet God's perfect standard. In order to enter the eternal, second creation we much become perfect like Him.
In this world we are all trapped on the Titanic heading for the iceberg, but graciously God provided us a lifeboat to escape drowning. God became a human being ~2,000 years ago and died on a cross as payment for all the sins of the world past, present and future. We continually break God's commandments and Jesus willfully chose to be our substitute in order to pay our penalty. In a court of law even if your found guilty, the judge can let you go free if someone pays your fine. God can forgive your sentence in a instant and grant you the gift of everlasting life by trusting in Him alone, He'll forgive every sin we ever committed. When Jesus died on the cross, he already paid our sin debt once and for all.
When we say that we do not believe God's Word, we are essentially calling Him a liar. It will take trusting in Him and faith as it would in any relationship. You can never establish a relationship with another human being without trust. We trust even though there is a chance they could let us down. We place more blind trust our doctors, bankers, dentists and pilots even if it takes some faith.
It seems like the greater the intelligence, greater the education, greater the person's pride. This is why many of the society elites reject Christs free offering of salvation just as the Sanhedrin did in Jesus' day. It's a lot harder for someone that has everything to ask an invisible God for mercy and grace when you already have most or all of your Earthly needs met. It's not their wealth that makes it harder for them to enter Heaven. It's a greater degree pride that comes with having extreme wealth end education that is difficult for humans to overcome. Even Lucifer, the most beautiful and powerful being God ever created couldn't overcome pride.
There is always a hidden motive found in our sinful behavior. It's much easier to become our own god, live by our own set of rules and moral standards. Our sin nature tends to draw us into caring more about what the world considers moral at the time which is constantly changing and care less about how God commands us to live our lives. If God exists, then we are ultimately and morally responsible to Him. If God doesn't exist, then we have an open license to do immoral acts without penalty or guilt. It's a much easier to ignore the evidence of God's existence and ignore His commandments and live by a world view.
The world tells us that there are many ways to God and Christianity is narrow minded when Jesus says there is only one way to Father God. Christianity is a "narrow" gate that leads to salvation and eternal life with God. We are all encouraged to take it although only ~30% (Zechariah 13:7-9) will find it.
Religions like Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, Judaism, Christian Science, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Transcendental Meditation, Atheism, etc. is the broad ways identified as the "wide is the gate" that lead us to eternal destruction.
If you're struggling because you truly believe that you are righteous person then, please recite the following prayer. God will open your eyes to your transgressions.
What we do in life, life does back to us. We cannot escape it! We cannot deceive God by having outward actions that seem godly to others yet inside we are profane. He is all knowing (Psalm 139). We cannot pull the wool over God's eyes. He says that if we sow profanity, we will reap profanity, which is basically ungodliness. Just as gravity cannot be tricked, neither can God's law. We are accountable to it whether we wish to be or not. A hypocrite cannot fool God's laws, only others and himself for a while.
What mankind sows follows the universal law of "kind reproduces kind." It is easy to become weary in doing good when people around us who seem to be sowing bad things are always being rewarded. But if we see things through God’s eyes, the eternal lens, we know that an eternal reward is so much greater. Therefore, we shouldn’t become weary in doing good, but we should always do good, knowing that God will be faithful.
"I have never seen what to me seemed an atom of proof that there is a future life. And yet -- I am inclined to expect one."
― Mark Twain
Writer & Humorist, A Biography
There is only one sin that can keep us from entering eternity in Heaven and it is not idolatry, abortion, murder, rape, prostitution, divorce, incest, infidelity, homosexuality, fornication, adulatory, drugs, drinking, cursing, smoking, lying, stealing, greed, lust, envy, covetous, gluttony, wrath, or sloth. It's our pride that keeps many of us from accepting God's free offer of salvation through His sons sacrifice because we tell ourselves that we've been doing just fine without knowing God personally. It can be very difficult for us to "swallow our pride" and asked God's for help. Don't let the sin of pride keep you from entering the gates of Heaven for all eternity. Pride is the sin that caused Lucifer fall from Heaven. There will be plenty of sinners in Heaven, but there will be one type missing, a boaster. Where we spend eternity, it's your choice.
It's the sin of pride that causes us to reject the Holy Spirit who was sent here to testify to the ministry of Jesus Christ. When we blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, we are rejecting God's free offer of redemption through Christ's death on the cross. We are essentially turning our backs on the only one who can give us eternal life in Heaven because we are all born eternally separated from God. It is our pride that causes up to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Prideful people will be judged at the Great White Throne.
Once you believe in Jesus Christ, all past and future sins are forgiven. The moment you believe, you become God's possession and are covered with His righteousness. As a believer, we are bought and paid for by His blood on the cross and resurrection. We can't earn it, we don't deserve it, we can't buy it, and we never lose it because if we could, we would. Eternal salvation is a free gift from God.
God has given us two revelations of Himself through the book of nature (creation) and the book of scripture (Bible). These books are God's inspired message to us. Some individuals can say on judgement day that they were not exposed to the book of scripture, but no human can say they were not exposed to the book of nature. We are all without excuse when we reject His offer of redemption. God says that if we respond to the revelation that God has given us, He promises that if we believe and submit to that revelation, He will give us even more revelation. The level of His revelation all depends on our level of response.
God has made His presence known through the laws of nature and He has written His existence on every person's heart. And it takes the book of scripture for us to know the name of our redeemer to forgive us from our inadequacies. The Book of Job says that when we look at creation it tells us that there must be a creator and this creator must have incredible attributes of intellect, knowledge, power and creativity (Job 9:4,10;10:12; 12:10). He is also a God who is very caring and loving in the way that He has provided for all of His creatures at a generous level (Job 17:3, 14:17). Job concludes that His creator would provide us an advocate to deal with our flaws that we cannot overcome on our own. Someone who stands between humans and God who is fully God that can do for us what we can't do for ourselves because we don't have the resources. This redeemer has worked out a way to redeem us from our hopeless situation (Job 19:25-27). Notice in the following verse that Job had no knowledge of the incarnation, no knowledge that the redeemer was Jesus Christ and no knowledge on how this redeemer was going to absolve him from all of his offenses. Job only knew that there was a redeemer, and He needed his help to be delivered. It's not for lack of knowledge that people reject the offer of redemption, it's that they engage in self-imposed ignorance.
The Holy Spirit within us will provide the help to prevent the temptations and sin in our lives because He is more powerful than Satan. We will always sin to some degree because our sin nature, but the Holy Spirit will help us reject sin as we become more and more like Christ. It's a lifelong process that will have its challenges since our opposition is God's greatest creation, Lucifer (Satan).
When one unbeliever repents and becomes a believer there is a celebration in Heaven.
God says that when we are sharing the Gospel with a divisive person do not give up on the first rejection, share your faith with them a second time because they may need time to think and ask more questions. Often the skeptic who is searching to find truth fights the hardest right before they get saved. The reason they do this is because they are in a secular situation and under attack from their secular peers since they are now open to ridicule when they share their future faith with them. The secular person is challenging or hitting us with all the questions they will be hit with by their secular peers. He just wants the answers to defend his new faith. If they reject you the second time, walk away.
"God takes our sins – the past, present, and future, and dumps them in the sea and puts up a sign that says NO FISHING ALLOWED.”
― Corrie ten Boom
Dutch Christian Watchmaker & Writer
God has prepared a place for every believer in the second creation. This is one of the many things Christ has been working on since He left this earth 2,000 years ago. Believe me, the room He is preparing for us in eternity is so much better than anything you can imagine here on Earth. When we pass, we will be in Heaven, a temporary holding place, waiting in a state of sleep until we are brought into a new creation where we will reside in the New Jerusalem.
How do you know if your name is written in the Lambs Book of Life? The instant you trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior your name is written in the Lambs Book of Life. This means that you a child of God who will spend eternity with God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and every believer that ever lived.
My hope is that my family and friends on earth are also my family and friends in eternity. The truth is that one day everyone will recognize Christ as Lord. Unfortunately, there will be many already sentenced that rejected His offer of redemption.
After reading EternalLife.info our hope is that you make a choice to accept Christ as your personal Savior. Once you're ready to make a choice It only takes a 1 minute prayer to attain eternal life. Your prayer can be as simple as:
Lord Jesus, I know that I am sinful, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins on the cross and rose from the dead. I want to turn from my sinful past and ask You to come into my life. From this day forward, I want You as my personal Lord and Savior to mold me into the person you want me to become for now and all eternity.
Eternal life begins the moment when we believe. Once you become a Christian you cannot lose your salvation.
The Apostle John calls himself a "bond-servant" frequently throughout the Book of Revelation meaning he is totally submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ. Bond-servant is another word for slave. The idea that humans are free outside of Jesus Christ is a myth although we do have free will to choose our future and our slave master. Although this world thinks we are completely free, we are either a slave to God and His Word or we are a slave to Satan and his wicked purposes. Revelation explains what happens to those who reject Jesus Christ as their slave master and the real slavery they come under, describing horrifying acts they bring upon themselves by choosing Satan as their slave master.
In the 1980's I was told that my Uncle Bill had leukemia. Uncle Bill was a Godly man, a school principle, very popular and well loved in the community. I knew little about leukemia at the time, but I understood the diagnosis wasn't good and it turned out to be a death sentence. Our families spend a lot of time together because my grandmother lived in Baltimore, M.D., not far away from their home in Bel Air, M.D.. Uncle Bill was a Native American (Lumberton Indian) who grew up under challenging times and circumstances in the 1950's in Lumberton, N.C. I really admired him because when he entered a room, he immediately took command of the conversation. He was a mere ~6'2", 200 lbs., interested in running and fitness before fitness was popular. He was pleasant and personable although you wouldn't want to upset him. Some month's later, I was told that Uncle Bill would be visiting all the family members to say "goodbye". My mom's side of the family had 12 siblings (Bill married her younger sister) and Uncle Bill had 14 siblings, so he was going on a long summer tour.
That summer Uncle Bill came to visit our home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I recall looking out the front window and seeing a van with someone very frail being lowered in a wheelchair. That someone was my Uncle Bill. He had to be accompanied to the front door. As he entered the room, he was physically half the man I remembered. Surprisingly, he was all smiles and acted as if everything was great. I remember asking him a stupid question like, "how are you doing". To be honest I was in shock and at a loss for words. He responded excitedly by saying "don't worry about me, I'm going to see Jesus". I wasn't a believer at the time, but his response never left me. How could someone be so positive facing those dire circumstances? That day changed my life because I knew I wanted what my Uncle Bill had found, eternal life.
"There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who believe themselves sinners; the sinners who believe themselves righteous."
― Blaise Pascal
Philosopher & Mathematician (1623-1662)
There are millions of people who are sitting on the fence. This is the life to sit on the fence, but the purpose of this life is to get off the fence. There are no fence sitters past this life, and no one dies sitting on the fence. These are those individuals who are partly ignorant because they don't know all the facts yet and don't seek truth. An individual cannot reject the Holy Spirit without all the facts and insult the Spirit of grace. The only one who can truly insult Jesus Christ is the one who's fully convinced that the offer of salvation has been made legitimately. The following passage is written not about Christians but about unbelievers who are convinced of the basic truths of the gospel but who have not placed their full faith in Jesus Christ as their Redeemer. They are intellectually persuaded, but spiritually uncommitted. If you are a fence sitter, don't you think it's time to get off the fence and make a eternal decision for God?
There are many significant events in our lives where we check a box; high school graduation, attend college, get married, have kids, travel abroad, job promotions, etc. The one box that involves faith and discovering the Truth about our creator is often procrastinated. Securing our eternal faith through salvation in Christ is the most important box we will check because it has eternal consequences.
"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."
― Harriet Beecher Stowe
Abolitionist & Novelist (1811-1896)
Every human being has the right to accept or refuse Christ's fee gift of redemption. Since He's the one who paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, He takes a refusal as an insult because He's the only one who feels it personally. No one else in the Godhead feels it. A refusal doesn't offend anyone else because no one on Earth can pay the penalty for sin. He has forgiving us for every wrong deed we've ever done and has offered a pardon to the entire human race. Therefore, He is the only one who can respond to the insult. Jesus himself paid for all judgement and that is why He is the only one who has the right to judge, and He offers freedom from that judgement from anyone who says, “Thank you, I will receive your free gift of pardon”. Mankind really judges himself and receives death over life when he says, “no thanks, I don’t accept your sacrifice on the cross”. God will not force life upon man. All judgement has been given to the Son of Man because he is the one who paid for all judgement. We are in fact blaspheming the Holy Spirit for all eternity when we refuse the sin pardon. Christ will forgive all sins, but He won't forgive the insult.
There are transit prisons for people and angels. Before Jesus Christ's ministry all deceased people in the Old Testament (and unbelievers today) would end up in a place called Sheol or Hades. Hades is a holding place for people waiting on Judgement Day sentencing. Hades is a location in a different realm divided by a great "chasm" separating a place called "paradise" from another place called "hell". People in hell couldn't crossover to those people waiting in paradise although they could see them. After the Day of Pentecost, believers who die go directly to a place called heaven to be with the Lord Jesus. Those redeemed believers previous to Pentecost who were held in Hades were preached the gospel message by Jesus and then taken immediately to heaven. Hades suddenly became half empty after Christ's death and resurrection. All believers are now waiting in heaven for the Judgement Seat of Christ and all unbelievers are in Hades waiting for the White Throne Judgement just before they're sentenced to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire which is their permanent residence.
The Bible continually warns of a place called Hades or Hell which is a transit place for humans only. Like Heaven it exists in another eternal realm. Hell is a place where you want to die but you can't. It's a place where unbelievers are tormented day and night for ever and ever. The torment in Hell is not the fire or conditions as much as it's the company you keep. There are over 162 references in the New Testament alone which warns us of a place called "Hades" or "Sheol" in the Old Testament. And over 70 of these references were uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ. There are different levels of torment in Hell, and this is an expression of God's love just like there are different levels of rewards in Heaven. The people in Hell chose this eternal location while here on earth and wouldn't change their decision even if they could even after they experience Hell's torment in the same way someone in Heaven would change their decision.
Humans have been given freedom to choose which is an expression of God's love. He created and gave us free will in order to magnify the expression of His love. Which means God must give us free will in order to be magnified through us. God took a big risk in that we could use free will to disobey Him (do evil). And we too choose to disobey. We chose to experience sin for ourselves and rebel against Him when instead, we should have depended on God to help us understand sin without experiencing it firsthand. Because we chose to experience it firsthand, we are disciplined by also experiencing physical death and decay. God is eradicating evil and suffering though us, while at the same time increasing our free will capability to experience and express love. We can be delivered from this rebellion against God through choosing a relationship with Him where we never use our free will again to rebel against Him. Adam and Eve didn't have this in the garden as we do today through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We have a loving relationship and eternal security through Him.
We are both physical and spiritual beings. Our brains are the physical interface between the physical world and our Spirit. God has ways of communication to us independent of our brains. The fetus in the womb just like us is receiving spiritual light from God. That's a promise we see in John 1 that His light has gone onto every human being. We will be judged according to what we do with that light (Jesus Christ). If we receive it, embrace it we proceed towards salvation. If we reject it, we precede towards condemnation. God's light can be defined as a combination of His life, His love and His truth. God doesn't purposely send people to Hell. We get to choose where we spend eternity. If you want nothing to do with Him, He has a place for that. If you want to spend eternity with Him experiencing His love, He has a place for that too.
God already knows how long we are going to live. He gives each of us enough time to either receive or reject His salvation offer. If we live to be in our 80's, God has communicated to us through a variety of channels to reach us; through other people, education, experiences, the Bible, etc.. If He knows you are going to die at 18 months, He will use other means of communication, so that we are given a chance to be redeemed. In Isaiah 57 it says that God knows our future. If He sees torment in our future and we've already made a decision to receive His free offer of redemption, He will terminate our life in order to save us from the torment. We get to go home early and to be with Him sooner. Aborted infants and miscarriages are terrible tragedies of the innocent, but these human beings went straight to Heaven. Their mother's will see their them in eternity just as God made them.
Whether we choose to spend eternity in Heaven or Hell, the Bible says that every knee will bow, and tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. If we already know we are all going to kneel before God one day, wouldn't it be wise to do it early.
The transit prison for fallen angels is called Abyss. The Abusoss (Abyss), Bottomless Pit or Tartaras is a place of darkness where only fallen angels reside in chains locked up waiting for their final sentence. A small fraction of these fallen angels are not allowed to roam around like Lucifer and other fallen angels. The Tartaras demons are those angels (Sons of God) who reproduced with humans back in Genesis 6:2-4 whose offspring were called Nephilim (giants) or committed other horrendous offenses against God. These fallen angels defied God by tainting the human "image of God" and were sent to the Abyss. They did this so that they could prevent the birth of Jesus Christ who had to be fully human and fully divine, not part Nephilim. In Revelation 9:14-15 these fallen angels will be released to kill one-third of all mankind. The abyss will also be the place where Lucifer and one-third of the fallen angels that rebelled against God will be located (Revelation 9:1, 12:3-4). The Lake of Fire or Gehenna is empty now but will be the final prison for Lucifer, demons, The Antichrist, False Prophet, and unbelievers residing in Hades (Revelation 20). Jeus said that He is leaving this earth to prepare a place for you in John 14:3. We can also speculate that He didn't just mean in the second creation for believers, but it is also preparing that Gehenna or the Lake of Fire is under construction too. Hell is just a waiting place for the unbelievers where they will be tormented until the White Throne judgement, a day in which unbelievers will be judged, tossed into the Lake of Fire and forgotten or all eternity (Revelation 20:15).
An Unfortunate Quote
"There is a rumor going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist."
― Terry Pratchett
There is a good reason why God limits our time here in the first creation, it is to constrain evil. Time is uni-dimensional, irreversible and unstoppable. Time limits our number of human contacts and space separates us, which also limits our number of human contacts. We believe in the second creation, God will give us geometric time, so we can simultaneously experience loving relationships with billions of people. Until then, we are stuck in a single time dimension where we are temporarily constrained.
Limited time means we have a short lifespan which limits the expression of evil. In the Old Testament during Noah's time, before the flood, human's lived to be upwards of a thousand years even though many lives were cut short because of the evil that began to increase to the point where murder rate reached 95%. After the flood, God said that no man would live past 120 years because He recognize that if someone like Adolf Hitler gain enormous power and were allowed to live a thousands of years, they could cause unthinkable damage to humanity. During World War II, Hitler was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in his 50's and he knew he wouldn't live to be in is 60's which caused him to make poor judgement decisions towards the end of the war which shortened the war by at least two years saving many lives.
Halifax once called hell is a market town named after a town in West Yorkshire, England, 1630. At one time this city had a reputation for harsh punishment. Even petty crime meant being sent to the gibbet. Gibbet is an early and crude version of the guillotine adopted by the French for their revolution. Poet John Taylor wrote a poem called "Beggar's Litany" in 1622 that includes the line: "From Hull, hell and Halifax, good Lord deliver me".
"We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love."
― Madame De Stael
Writer (22 Apr 1766-1817)