Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Searching the Scripture

Lesson 14 The Teachings of CHRIST

Part 6

The Teachings of JESUS about Heaven and Hell

Many people like the idea of heaven and the rewards it offers after life here is over, and yet they don´t like the idea of hell. In fact, many deny that hell even exists. JESUS spoke of hell and eternal punishment at least 70 times in the Gospels.

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

It was CHRIST who gave us the clearest, most vivid picture of what the torment of hell will be.

Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And 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 this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Mark 9:42-48 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

This passage is a warning to avoid hell. (Most Bible scholars feel that the word worm refers to the mind or to memory. In other words, the soul doomed to hell will be forever remembering what he did in life and what he did not do.)

The person who denies the existence of a literal hell is going to be in for quite a shock the moment after he closes his eyes in physical death. Hell awaits the unbeliever just as heaven awaits the believer.

In the Upper Room Discourse, JESUS reassured the disciples that HE was going away for a little while to prepare mansions and that HE would return to receive us.

John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

The repentant thief who shared one of the three crosses at Calvary was given a promise from CHRIST.

Luke 24:39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Heaven is portrayed as a home with GOD the FATHER.

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

JESUS, in an expression of HIS love for us, came from heaven to die for us and to offer us a means of spending eternity in heaven with HIM.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

An important point to remember is that GOD never intended for humans to spend eternity in hell. HE prepared hell has a place of eternal punishment for Satan and his demons. It is because of man´s fallen nature and disobedience to GOD that he too is condemned. The sad truth is, GOD has never sent anyone to hell. It is a choice that we make individually. In order to go to heaven we need only believe and confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD and admit that we are sinners. In order to go to hell we don´t need to do anything at all. It is so simple that even a small child can understand.

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