Bible Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:34
BELINDA CARLISLE topped the charts a few years ago with the hit song, “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.” Nice song. Nasty theology.
You overhear a girl on a bus talking to the guy beside her. “You know what I think?” she says. “I think heaven is what you make it. I think it’s a state of mind.”
You may also have heard the flip side. “Listen,” says the dude in the donut shop, “No hell can be worse than what I have already been through.”
It’s true that some human experiences can be such a riot that you can’t imagine anything better or higher. It’s also true that some experiences are so tormenting that you wonder how hell could be any hotter. But the Bible teaches that a real heaven and a real hell exist.
Jesus told his followers he was going to prepare a place for them (see John 14:2). The apostle John provides some details about heaven, describing it as a place in the presence of God where there will be no more death or tears or pain (see Revelation 21:4). It’s a place where God’s people will serve him, be in his presence, and reign with him forever (see Revelation 22:3-5).
God’s Word is just as clear that the future holds punishment for evildoers in a place we dub hell (see Matthew 25:41). John also describes in Revelation the punishment waiting the ungodly (21 :8). The Bible says a whole lot about the subject of hell, addressing the subject over and over in utterly severe terms, like a truck without brakes on a steep hill blasting its horn to warn of a danger that can’t be stopped.
Unfortunately, not enough people heed the Bible’s warnings of hell or its promise of heaven. But like the writer of Hebrews says, “We must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. The message God delivered through angels has always proved true, and the people were punished for every violation of the law and every act of disobedience. What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself?” (Hebrews 2:1-3).
If you have trusted Christ, your future is heavenly-and will be in a totally real place where you will enjoy God’s presence forever. For those who refuse Christ, the future will be just as sure-but in a totally real place where God will be absent forever.
REFLECT: Doesn’t the Bible give enough reasons to pray and share Christ now so others may also find their home in heaven? What do you think?
PRAY: Pray for your friends who don’t believe in heaven-or hell.