My mom and I have a little running joke between us. anytime we do something that is a little off the straight and narrow. We tell one another. “Oops! I am going to have to scrub another brick on the streets of gold for that one.”
The majority of people in the world believe that as long as we live a good life that God will shine down upon us and grant us a ticket on that long black train heading to heaven.
But is this really true?
I am no hell-fire and damnation preacher. In fact that method of delivering the good news, to me, is a real turn off.
However that does not change what the Bible teaches about this subject.
Seriously, I am just a balding man trying to get to heaven with at least a few things to present to my Savior on that day. I don’t have enough hair, nor a loud enough voice to be a wild haired prophet.
So journey with me if you will, and let’s take a look at what the Bible really does say about heaven and hell.
Heaven and hell in the Bible
Luke 16:19-31 (New Living Translation)
Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham.[a] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and his soul went to the place of the dead.[b] There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.
24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’
25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’
27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’
29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’
30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’
31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Jesus Did Talk About Heaven And Hell
As you can see here, Jesus talks about heaven and hell. Lazarus was in heaven and the rich man was in hell.
Some would say that this is just a parable. If so, then this is the only parable where Jesus explicitly names names.
Parables were illustrations to illuminate spiritual truths.
Stories on the other hand are used to prove fact. This was a story of a real event that Jesus was sharing.
What Is Heaven Like in the Bible?
So what is Heaven like?
Well obviously from this description it was a place of comfort. It also had water because the rich man begged for water. I would say it is a reasonable conclusion that heaven has all the food and water and all the things necessary to be comfortable and comforted.
In Revelation 21 It says that heaven is
- Is as beautiful as a bride coming to meet her groom at the altar.
- That God will live among His people.
- That He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
- That it is made of the most expensive materials known.
- That God Himself will be the light that illuminates heaven.
- That only those people who’s names are written in the lamb’s (Jesus’) book of life will be allowed in.
What Is Hell Like in the Bible?
But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
Hell is a place of fire. Just like the rich man said. “He was in anguish due to the flames.”
2 Peter 2:4
[ Doom of False Teachers ] For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
- Hell is a place of bondage and darkness. You will be in chains, not partying with your friends.
- There is no comfort, no solace, no rest, and no hope in hell.
- There is no reprieve, no amnesty, no time off for good behavior in hell.
- There is nothing good about hell.
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
As you can see there is a vast difference between heaven and hell. In heaven, you will live with God. In hell, Satan gets to be your roommate.
How Can You Avoid Hell and Go To Heaven?
So how can you know for certain that you are going to get to heaven?
How does a person receive eternal life?
The answer is found in the words of Jesus himself?
Are you willing to believe what He said?
Are you willing to trust that He was not a liar, or some madman, but He actually meant what He said?
Then listen to this.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Dear reader, Jesus is that bridge between a destiny in hell and and eternal life in heaven. He is the one who brings us into the presence of God.
You see, we have all lied or been cowardly, or had hatred in our hearts, or lusted for someone. I am not excluded from that group of people that are destined for the lake of fire,
However Jesus, took those sins and shortcomings away when He was crucified on the cross. He then made the way to God.
My only part in getting to heaven is accepting what Jesus has done by faith, asking him to come live with me in my heart, and allowing Him to change me from the inside out.
I am so grateful for the undeserved and unearned gift that He gave to me 32 years ago. And it is because of that gift, that I am just a balding man trying to get to heaven, with at least a few things to lay down at my Savior’s feet.
Now that is something to think about!