The idea that souls go to heaven at death originated in pagan religion, not the Bible. Many have assumed from Paul's words in Philippians that he believed that at the moment of his death his consciousness would leave his body to join Christ in heaven. But is this the case? The popular teaching is that when Christians die they immediately go to heaven, where they take up residence in their permanent abode. But can we find such a teaching in the Bible? Have any human beings ever ascended to heaven? The Bible clearly teaches that the dead will be raised in a resurrection.
But if their souls have already gone to heaven or hell at death, what's the point? Could it be that popular beliefs don't agree with the Bible? Was Enoch Taken to Heaven? Some people believe Genesis and Hebrews declare that God took Enoch to heaven. But is that what these verses say?
Did Elijah Go to Heaven?
4 Truths About Hell
A biblical event many cite to support belief that the righteous go to heaven when they die involves the prophet Elijah. The Thief on the Cross. Many people think Jesus assured the thief on the cross that he would go to heaven with Him that very day. But is this really what Jesus Christ meant?
Your Awesome Future. A careful study of the Scriptures reveals major problems with popular beliefs about life after death. I'd become a believer in a heartbeat if it weren't for the "mean streak" I find running through so many aspects of the Christian faith. Do you really expect me to give my heart to such a cruel and sadistic deity? Isn't all that stuff about hellfire and brimstone just a medieval myth? Most of the dramatic and frightening imagery we associate with the reality of hell in western culture comes directly from the words of Jesus Himself.
Christ talked a great deal about this subject. At its core, hell is about being in wrong relationship to the Source of all Love, Goodness, and Life. We can be warmed and comforted, or we can be scorched and burned.
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It all depends on where we stand in relation to the flame. But this begs another question. The answer is that separation from God is primarily a matter of human choice.
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You may be in the same room with me, sitting in the next chair, and yet I can refuse to talk to you or acknowledge your presence. This willful choice is what hell is all about. Is Hell a Real Place? This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
Psalm —14, ESV.
The Biblical Truth About Hell, Does it Last Forever?
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew , NKJV.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment Punishment in hell is eternal:.
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Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Daniel , NLT. If your hand causes you to sin , cut it off.
It's better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. Mark , NLT.
And don't forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God's judgment.
Jude 7, NLT. Hell is a place of separation from God:.
They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. Hell is a place of fire:. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew —42, NLT.