PROCLAIMS HEAVEN FOR THE RIGHTEOUS AND HELL FOR THE WICKED
by Reuel Lemmons
An eternal God has provided an
eternal reward for the eternal soul of man. Death isn't the end of it all.
Scarce have the clods closed over us until we will be ushered into an eternal
day. There will be a resurrection of all the dead, both good and bad. Oblivion
isn't the eternal destiny after graduation from the school of life.
Paul, in the fifteenth chapter
of First Corinthians, explains in detail the nature of the resurrection. "As in
Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive," is his conclusion. When the
resurrection takes place, the righteous, trailing clouds of glory shall fly to
the outstretched arms of him who went to Calvary that they might go to heaven.
The wicked, unable to sleep, will have to arise to meet a God they have spurned
and a Jesus they have turned down.
The Bible is specific and plain
on the subject of Judgment. There will be a judgment. None will be able to sleep
through it and none will be absent. All of us will meet God in Judgment. Many
passages of Scripture refer to the fact that the dead, both small and great:
both rich and poor; both good and bad will face God in judgment. We may stay out
of church if we want to. We can live as mean as the Devil as long as we live if
we wish. But there is one rendezvous we are all going to keep: we will meet God
in Judgment (John 5:28-29).
In Matthew 25, Jesus gives us
some specific information about what will take place when the Judgment day
dawns. He says, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy
angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him
shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a
shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his
right hand, but the goats on his left" (25:31-33). We have the same picture in
the wording of that powerful hymn:
"There's a great day coming,
A great day coming,
A great day coming, by and by -
When the saints and the sinners
shall be parted right and left -
Are you ready for that day to come?"
That question ought to be
seriously considered by all who read these lines. The same Bible that tells us
about heaven also tells us about Hell. There is no way to take one out of the
Bible and leave the other in.
And there is no third option.
All who miss heaven will end up in Hell. There is no other place to go. The
judgment of God is final, and there is no higher court to which we can appeal an
It is very final - this
judgment. There is no second chance. There is no purgatory that we can be prayed
out of. There is no possibility that someone else can be baptized for us after
we are dead and effect our escape from the pit. Whatever reward we receive in
the judgment, we will always have. It is eternal in duration. This is all the
more reason why we ought to make our calling and election sure while we have the
chance to do so (2 Peter 1:10-11).
The entire book of Revelation
is given over to picturing for us, from many viewpoints, the cardinal fact that
the lost will be punished while the redeemed will be richly rewarded in glory.
Hell is designated as the abode of the lost forever, and Heaven is named as the
home of the righteous forever.
We do not like to think about
Hell. None of us would want to go there. If we had a chance to test the reality
of Hell for five minutes we would all, if we had the opportunity, want to obey
the gospel. Hell is described often in the Scriptures - always as a horrible
place where worms don't die, and the fire is never quenched (Mark 9:48). Jesus
put it this way in Matthew twenty-five; "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." (verse 41).
It would be an awful thing to
be shut out from the presence of God forever. Here in this life we would surely
not want to be banished to a place where God never shows his power or
providence. It would be much worse to have to spend an eternity in a place where
light never comes, and grace and love and mercy are unknown.
If we were born totally
depraved, and incapable of being saved, we might well blame God; but we were
not. We are free moral agents - capable of choosing to be lost or saved. If any
of us are lost it will be because we chose to be lost. God has done all He can
do. Jesus has done all he can do. The ball is in our court and the next move is
ours. If we are lost it will be our fault and none other's.
How much more desirable it is
to be saved eternally, and to live in heaven following judgment. We can, you
Limited as we are to the
vehicle of human speech, it is completely impossible to adequately describe the
glories and the joys of that celestial world. Eye has not seen; ear has not
heard; nor has it entered into any man's heart what God has prepared for the re-
deemed (1 Cor. 2:9). About all we can say is that God will wipe away all tears
from our eyes forever. There will be no more sorrow nor sickness, and the angel
says, there shall not be any more death; for these former things shall have
passed away (Rev. 21: 4).
All the tongues of all the
orators and the pens of all the poets cannot do justice to a description of
heaven. Only God can prepare such a place for only God is infinite and
omnipotent. And only God is love.
Dear reader, you have read
through this little book. You have given serious consideration to your soul. You
are convinced of your present state: you are either lost or saved. You have the
hope of heaven or you do not. May we urge you with all the power of persuasion
that we have, to not risk another day outside of Christ. Life is fraught with
too much danger and uncertainty for you to leave your soul uninsured. Today is
the day of salvation. Be saved while you can.
Review the teaching of 1
Corinthians 15 concerning the resurrection.
Some teach two separate
resurrections. Discuss this in light of John 5:28-29.
What does purgatory mean? What
does the Bible say on the subject?
What are some of the figures
used to describe hell?
Discuss the picture of heaven
described in Revelation 21 and 22.