Heaven is such a nice thought to conceive in a world filled with trouble and strife. However, as bad as planet earth is for most people, hell is much worse. Hell is such a bad place to even think about, much less to be forced to experience.
Death is a fact of life for every man and woman. It overtakes us at different ages and under varying circumstances. If you are planning your life, you better plan for death. Why? Because it is coming for you and it won’t be denied (Heb 9:27). The atheist believe there is no heaven or hell. Therefore, hell awaits them. All who worship idols, they too will face the flames of hell. All Christians will have a choice between heaven and hell. If they obey God, heaven is their reward. If they disobey God, hell is their punishment (2 Thess 1:7-9). Therefore, since our next abode will either be heaven or hell, let us examine both destinations in order to make our decision.
What is heaven really like? Most of us are familiar with the promise of Jesus in John 14:2-3 that He is now busily preparing our “dwelling place” so that when He returns He may receive us unto Himself. Thus, we recognize that heaven will be a place specially prepared for the people of God. Jesus also noted in John 10:10, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” This simply tells us that regardless of what we may think we know about life and living, we have not yet even begun to comprehend what it is all about.
Heaven is described as a great city and in such exquisite detail in Revelation 21. However, that does not even begin to illustrate to us the true beauties and glory of heaven. Heaven is a place where no sin and corruption exists, no temptations with evil, no crime, no filthy and immoral language or dress, etc. Galatians 5:19-21 assures us that adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals and the such like will not be there, but rather heaven will indeed be a place of joy, peace and happiness (v 22,23). It surely will be wonderful place to spend an eternity.
There will be no night there, but rather eternal light and joy! Revelation 21:25 and 22:5 both assure us there will be no “end of the day” when our joys must be set aside for another day and the approaching dread of night. Instead, the joy and happiness we are enjoying goes right on with no night to disrupt our eternal happiness!
There is also the wonderful excitement and joy of spending eternity in the presence of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and all the saints of old, as we see in John 14:3 and Matthew 8:11. Imagine standing with Abraham and Sarah, Elijah, Moses and the apostles of Jesus Christ. It will be like a hall of fame of the greatest saints who ever lived.
But most of all, heaven is truly a place of the greatest love to be found. Revelation 21:4 tells us, “He (God) shall wipe away every tear from their eyes . . . .” Luke 16:25 tells us it is a place where we shall be comforted in a fashion we could never find in this present world. God will more than compensate us for all we have had to endure. Is it any wonder John tells us “love is from God” (1 John 4:8,16)? With such love and care to be shown, who doesn’t want to go to heaven?
HELL and DAMNATION
On the other hand, hell has nothing good to be said for it. It is described as a lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 20:10,15). Even the hottest volcano could not measure up to the intense heat as hell itself. In Mark 9:43-44, it is spoken of as “unquenchable fire.” It is a place of eternal suffering with no way to escape. Truly God has sought to warn us, but hell is ever increasing (Isa 5:14).
Hell is full of sin and corruption, from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim, to the decadent empires of Babylon, Rome, and present day America (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Rev. 21:8). All of the scum from all of the societies who ever lived are going to be found there. Hell will include evil people men like Hitler and Idi Amin, and every mass murder who never turned from the error of their way! And, if we are lost in our sins, we shall be there among the very worst of them, for an eternity!
Hell will be a place where there will be no light, only eternal darkness and misery (Matt. 25:30). Although there will be a “lake of fire,” there will be no light to seek escape. Agony so horrible that the rich man begged, not for a full drink of water, but that Lazarus would but dip his finger tip in water and touch his tongue in order to relieve his suffering. (Lk. 16:24).
Likewise, there would be no joy over anticipated reunions with other loved ones in hell (Lk. 16:27-28). The fact that a close friend might be there would offer no satisfaction or comfort. The Bible tells us those in hell “will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess 1:19). Alone, forgotten, left out, and left to suffer in eternal agony.
Unlike heaven, in hell there will be no one to love and care what happens to you. Certainly the devil doesn’t care. To him you are but a pawn in the battle being waged against God. The devil could care less what happens to you in that battle (witness the affliction he heaped on Job in his efforts to get him to curse God (Job 1:7) It’s not because he is unaware of what life has in store for you, for he has full knowledge (Matt. 8:29 f; Rev. 20:10). To him, you are a disposable pawn he is merely using to try to get to God! Did he care what agony and suffering he brought on Adam and Eve? Or what would have happened to mankind if he had succeeded in getting Christ to worship him (Matt. 4)?
Conclusion: In Revelation 21:4 a single drop of water (a single tear) was sufficient to command God’s personal care and concern. Yet, when the rich man begged for a single drop of water in Luke 16:24, the response was that He was too busy, not interested, and no longer cared! Nor was anyone else allowed to supply the single drop of water to relieve his agony, even for a second! There shall be no comfort in hell!
So, the decision is in your hands. Obey God’s Word, endure persecutions and trials on earth and live with God in heaven forever; Or eat, drink, and be merry in this present life, and spend and eternity with the Devil and his angels. Heaven or hell, it’s your decision now, it will be God’s decision come the day of judgment (2 Cor 6:2 ff; Heb 3:7,8; Jn 12:48; Rom 2:16).