There is only one of two places in eternity that we can go: Heaven or Hell. Each one of us will be placed in one of these two places on Judgment Day to be there forever and ever. Our Lord in speaking of eternity in Matthew 25:46 says, "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life". Notice that the duration of the lost in Hell is exactly the same as the duration of the saved in Heaven, "forever and ever". It is hard for us as mortals to grasp how long eternity will be, but after we have been there a billion years, eternity will have just begun.
We do not like to think about eternal punishment. But it evidently must be very important or God would not have told us about it. For a few moments let us consider what the Lord says about eternal punishment and then we will turn our attention to a more pleasant thought, Heaven. Our Lord in describing how horrible that Hell will be for the many who will end up going there, says in Matthew 13:42, "And will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth". This definitely will be a horrible and terrible place beyond description. Jesus says in Mark 9:45-46 concerning those who are lost, that they will be "cast into Hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched: where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched". There will be no reprieve or appeal to a higher court, because we will have been judged by the highest. The Lord is trying to get our attention and to give us fair warning. He is pleading with us not to go there, but we make the choice. The choice is ours. We will bear the responsibility and the consequences.
In Luke 16:24 Jesus is describing a man who went to Hell and is pleading, "Then 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". How much relief, and how long would a drop of water last on the tongue of those who are being tormented forever? It would not last even one second. We must wake up and heed our Lord's warning!
The many who end up in eternal punishment will not be there alone. They will have company. Revelation 20:10, "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". Not very good company to be in. Notice that the torment goes on "day and night forever and ever".
There are many people who scoff at the idea of eternal punishment, but they are scoffing at what God says. The fire will burn forever and those who are lost will be there in the fire for eternity whether they want to believe it or not. In eternity their scoffing will quickly change to weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. We must take what our Lord says in the Bible seriously. Hell is real! There is no way for the horrors of Hell to be adequately described in human language. Many people do not realize the danger of eternally losing their souls. This is very serious!
In Hell there will be billions of people crying out in indescribable pain and agony for which there will be no relief or hope that things will ever get better. There will be haunting memories of all the opportunities of salvation that were passed up. Eternity is forever and has no end. There will be no opportunity for second chances. Hell is eternal, final, and irrevocable.
We read in Revelation 14:11, "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night." But reading further we see in Revelation 20:15, "And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire". It is imperative that our name be found in the Book of Life. Is your name in that book? Do we know for sure, or are we making a wishful assumption? It will be too late on the Day of Judgment to find out that it is not there.
Now let us turn our attention to something more pleasant, Heaven. Our Lord says in John 14:2-3, "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 you may be also". Heaven will be a very wonderful place. For the few who go there it will be beyond their wildest dreams and they will be totally surprised and amazed. As we read in 1 Corinthians 2:9, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." There is no way that the glories of Heaven can be adequately described to us mortal beings. The only way will be to see it.
Heaven will be the very opposite of eternal punishment. Revelation 21:4 says, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away". There will be no weeping, and no wailing, and no gnashing of teeth as will be happening in eternal torment. But there will be nothing but joy, and peace, and happiness, beyond description. What a wonderful place Heaven will be. But again, the choice is ours. We cannot escape the consequences if we make the wrong choice. We will not accidentally end up in Heaven. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. Our Lord says in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness." Going to Heaven has got to be our number one goal in this life. We must want to go to Heaven more than anything else.
Questions Lesson 3
1) (Matthew 25:46) Those who are lost will go into
2) All people will be placed into one of two places in eternity.
3) (Matthew 13:42) Eternal punishment is described as
A furnace of fire.
Not very hot.
There will be no eternal punishment.
4) Eternal punishment will be horrible and beyond description.
5) (Mark 9:45-46) The fire of hell
Will never be lit.
Will soon go out.
Will never be quenched.
6) If we end up in eternal punishment we will be able to appeal our sentence.
7) (Revelation 20:10) Eternal punishment will last
A short period of time.
Forever and ever.
8) Satan will also be punished in the lake of fire and brimstone.
9) (Revelation 20:15) If we are not found in the Book of Life
We will cease to exist.
We will be cast into the lake of fire.
We will have another chance.
10) Even after death we can have our name added to the Book of Life.
11) (John 14:2-3) Heaven is described as
The earth made over.
A bad place.
12) Christ will be in Heaven with the few who are saved.
13) (Revelation 21:4) In Heaven there will be
Sorrow and crying.
No sorrow or crying.
Pain and suffering.
14) People will die after they get to Heaven.