The Two Destinies of Man Contrasted
By way of introduction:
Why the title “The two destinies of man contrasted”? Because there are only two destinies of man that are given by the One who created man in His own image.
Beloved, in the Bible God gives only two destinies for mankind when we depart this life. These destinies are Heaven and Hell. God gives no other options. Search the Scriptures through and through, and I assure you that you will find no other destinies given for mankind other than Heaven and Hell.
Now, mankind has imagined in his depraved mind that there are other possible destinies. We’ll notice a few of these briefly:
1. Man has imagined the destiny of non-existence…(explain)
2. Man has imagined the intermediate destiny of purgatory…(explain)
3. Man has imagined the intermediate destiny of reincarnation…(explain)
4. Man has imagined the destiny of “moksha” (or the Hindus concept of heaven). “Moksha”, according to the Hindus, is an impersonal state oneness of the human soul with what they call the “ultimate reality”. They do not believe in one Almighty God of Heaven to whom they will give account, but rather they believe in many little gods. They have no expectation of suffering in the torments of hell, or of experiencing a personal existence with God in Heaven.
All of these destinies are only man’s inventions and man’s conceptions, but God tells us differently in His Holy, inspired Word. Beloved, I would rather understand 5 words on the subject of my eternal destiny from the God Who created me, than 10,000 words of fools who say in their hearts “there is no God”. So please listen closely this morning to what God has to say in His Word concerning your eternal destiny!
This morning we want to contrast Heaven and Hell, and also the state of men who come to these destinies. Then we will observe why people go to the one place or the other. But before we contrast these two places of human destiny, we want to notice some of the similarities between Heaven and Hell. You might be asking the question in your heart, “are there really similarities between Heaven and Hell”? The answer is, yes, in some ways. We want to notice just 5 of these similarities this morning:
1. Both places are plainly and indisputably taught in the Bible.
2. Both places are real, literal, and actual places.
3. Both places are the eternal destinies of all their occupants.
-No getting out; no being kicked out.
4. Both places are divinely appointed of God; not man’s freewill.
5. Men will be eternally conscious in both places.
Perhaps you can think of some other ways in which these two places are similar, but we must move on.
The Two Destinies of Man Contrasted:
Now, for our main thought this morning, we want to observe some things about Heaven and Hell that contrast; that is, things about Heaven and Hell that are very different or even completely opposite. These are not intended to be in any particular order of importance, as they all are immensely important to our eternal destiny. None of the things that we will discuss are minor, but each one of them is of major importance to all of us this morning.
1. Consider first the darkness of hell:
Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Outer darkness represents both the nature of hell’s darkness, and the position of hell with respect to Heaven’s glorious light. Hell is absolute, total darkness, and as such, it is located some immense distance away from the light of Heaven. This verse represents all hypocrites who claim to be servants of the Lord. This is their eternal destiny! Beloved, there is no benefit or profit whatsoever in being a hypocrite, but for the hypocrite there is only eternal darkness in outer darkness, far outside the glories and joys of Heaven.
Jude 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
Blackness of darkness speaks of the total absence of light in hell. People in hell will not be able to see anything whatsoever. All they will see are hallucinations of their defiled conscience, and imaginations of their violent tormentors, which torment them day and night in that awful place. They will also see innumerable illusions from their past; illusions of past corruptions, of past wicked vile sins they committed, and no doubt of past opportunities they had to hear the glorious gospel of Jesus, and to repent and believe on Him and be saved.
But as for seeing with their eyes, I doubt that they shall ever see again. Yes, it is true that the rich man in hell lifted up his eyes being in torments. From there he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus comforted in his bosom. But the place of Abraham’s bosom we believe has long since been done away with, when Jesus ascended back to Heaven and led a multitude of captives with Him back to Heaven. And this temporary prison house called hell, shall one day be cast into the lake of fire at the final judgment of the damned. The lake of fire is the final abode of the wicked, that place of eternal torments. And from that place I doubt men shall ever see another thing, especially beyond the great gulf fixed between Heaven and Hell, as this gulf will have increased infinitely following the final judgment day. Thus from the darkness of hell men shall never see or ever sense the glories of Heaven.
These men in Jude 1:13 where we read, are the false prophets who try to deceive true believers by perverting the truth of God’s Word, and live unholy, ungodly sinful lives, and preach a false gospel- this is their eternal destiny.
2. Secondly, consider with me the glorious light of Heaven:
Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
It did not say in these verses, that there would be no sun or moon in the eternal age of the new heavens and the new earth, but that these will not be necessary anymore for light, because the infinite brilliance of God’s glory shall far outshine those celestial bodies.
The light of Heaven is not only bright and brilliant, but it is perfect in quality, for a perfect eternal existence. There will be no harmful rays, no excessive heat to cause discomfort or pain; but health giving, life giving light from the pure source of all light, which is the glory of God and the Lamb.
Not only these things, but also the light of Heaven will be continuous. There will be no night there. Not to worry, beloved, we will no more grow weary and tired; therefore we will not need to sleep in Heaven! But to interject an important thought here, we do need to sleep down here!!!! Sometimes I can tell that we don’t get enough sleep. We need to work on prioritizing our time for proper sleep!
Thus we see there is a great contrast between the darkness of hell and the light of Heaven.
2. Secondly, we want to contrast the sinfulness of persons in hell with the sinless purity of Heaven and its inhabitants.
1. First lets notice the sinfulness of those persons in hell:
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
How many of you brothers and sisters in the Lord grow tired of this old vile sinful world, where sin runs rampant, and righteousness and godliness, and holiness and purity of life, are trampled underfoot and despised by the ungodly, wicked sinners in this world? One day, beloved, all such wicked, vile persons shall be cast into that lake of fire that was prepared for them. Yes, hell will be filled with wicked, vile, sinful persons of all sorts; those who rebelled against the council of the Almighty, and rejected His beloved Son; and those who sinned, and yet never so much as heard of Jesus Christ and the glorious gospel message. Hell was specially designed to be the eternal destiny for all such sinful vile persons who were not redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and for Satan and his filthy host of demons.
2. Secondly, let us notice the sinless purity of heaven and its peoples:
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
From these verses it is plain to see that wicked, sinful persons, who love sin and practice sin here in this life, will not inherit the pure and sinless glory of Heaven. Notice: No fornicators; that is, those who are guilty of committing and practicing sexual sins; no idolaters, that is, those who worship idols and false gods, and who believe in other gospels and other false ways of salvation; no adulterers, that is, those who commit illicit relationship with another man’s wife or husband; no effeminate, that is, no homosexuals and lesbians; no thieves; no covetous; no drunkard; nor reviler; no extortioner- no such wicked person shall inherit the kingdom of God and His Heaven! But I think I hear one crying out from a penitent and contrite heart; who then can be saved? To which God’s Word replies:
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Yes, my lost sinner friend, there is hope for you in the Lord Jesus Christ- but I must warn you, this hope must be embraced in this life, for in that life beyond it shall be ever too late for you! Today is the day of salvation; you’ve no hope of tomorrow!
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Here we see that God shall create new Heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. The old heavens and earth with all their corruptions caused by sin, shall at last be burned up. Then shall God create new heavens and a new earth, where sin shall never defile. This being true, beloved, what manner of persons ought we to be in the meantime, in all holy conversation and godliness? Beloved, may me purge our minds of all antinomian theology. God expects His people to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present evil world as we await that new world that shall come. God expects us to hate sin as He hates it, and to be separate from sin as Christ was separate from it. We are not to practice sin or take pleasure in sin anymore. We need to be about preparing ourselves for that new Heaven and earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness and true holiness.
Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Beloved, we see the New Jerusalem is here called Holy Jerusalem. This signifies its absolute purity and perfection. Yes, it shall be the eternal habitation of the thrice Holy God, and the Holy people, and the Holy angels. It must of necessity be Holy, as God is Holy.
And therefore, nothing and no one shall enter this pure and glorious city that is defiled, or that works abomination, or that maketh a lie, but only those children of God who were written in the Lamb’s book of life. That is to say, all those who were made Holy by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, who were washed in the blood of the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world.
Yes, there is a great contrast between the sinfulness of hell, and the purity of Heaven.
1. First the undying worm of conscience:
Mark 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Oh, how we despise and repudiate those disgusting slimy worms. But here we see a worm that is most odious, and most dreaded. This is the worm of conscience. He will crawl around in the minds and thoughts of the persons in Hell for all eternity. Picture this worm in the brains of those banished souls in Hell. His job is to remind the banished soul in Hell of all his ungodly sins and ungodly deeds that he committed against the Lord, and all of his ungodly thoughts that he imagined against the Lord. And the worm will not neglect to remind them of the times the preacher knocked on the door and tried to tell them about Jesus, but they would not hear him, but rather turned him away, and cursed him and mocked him. He will remind them of the many sermons they were privileged to hear in the house of God: Sermons about Jesus and salvation through His Name. But they said, “another day perhaps I will believe, but not today, I have many other things I must do first”! Yes, beloved this worm will continue to remind them day and night of all their opportunities to hear the gospel and to repent and believe in Jesus. This worm of conscience is also eternal; he will never die, but he will always be there in the minds of the damned to torment them day and night with the guilt of their past sins.
2. Secondly, in Heaven the former things will not be remembered:
Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Beloved, in Heaven all the past sins and failures of God’s people will be forever forgotten. Not only has God already forgotten our sins, but we also will forget all the former things of this life. Oh, how I wish I could forget my sinful past even now. But one day I will forget it for good. And not only our sins, but also our pains and sufferings, and our heartaches and griefs, and our trials and tribulations, and all unpleasant memories will be forgotten; they will be passed away, not to ever be remembered or come to mind! These will not follow us in glorification, but will be left behind. Praise the Lord!!!
Yes, there is a great contrast between Heaven and Hell!!! We will finish this message next week. This morning we would like to ask each of us:
To which will you go when you depart this life.
THE TWO DESTINIES OF MAN CONTRASTED (PART II)
This morning we want to continue our sermon on the subject of “The Two Destinies of Man Contrasted”. Last week we saw first “the darkness of hell contrasted with the glorious light of Heaven”; secondly we observed “the sinfulness of the persons in hell contrasted with the sinless purity of Heaven and its inhabitants”; and thirdly we observed “the undying worm of conscience in hell contrasted with Heaven where the former things are remembered no more.”
This morning we will notice fourthly “The weeping and gnashing of teeth in hell contrasted with Heaven where there will be no more tears or suffering; fifthly we will see “The unquenchable thirst of hell contrasted with the river of life in Heaven”; sixthly we will observe “The presence of Satan and the demon spirits in hell contrasted with the presence of God and His Holy Angels in Heaven”; and seventhly we will notice “The eternal death in hell contrasted with eternal life in Heaven.” Now let us observe:
1. First, the weeping gnashing of teeth in hell:
Matthew 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
In hell there shall be weeping, and wailing and gnashing of teeth. There will be strong crying and moaning, and mournful wailing because of the suffering and anguish of spirit from those in hell.
What sounds will be heard in hell? There will be no music there. There will be no satanic rock and roll or Rapp music in hell; unless such music will be used as an instrument of torment! And there will be no joyful sounds of music or of singing or of laughter in hell. No, there shall be nothing joyful or pleasurable sounds in hell. There will be no drunken parties in hell. In hell there will be no carnal pleasures of sins that men lusted after on earth. There will be no fornications or adulteries in hell. Hell is not a place where sinners will continue their sinful pleasures and habits and lifestyles. Hell is not a place created for pleasure, but rather hell is a place created for judgment and punishment. Therefore in hell there will be pain, and anguish, and excruciating suffering. Fools make a mockery of hell. They joke and laugh and say; “all of my friends will be there; we’ll have one big party in hell.” This may be partly true, all of their so-called friends may be there, but one thing is for certain, they will not be partying in hell!
Oh think of it beloved! There shall be wailing! This is a powerful word that means strong crying that is spontaneously voiced out loud because the pains are so severe that the cries of the tormented soul cannot be contained inside. Oh beloved think of all the loud moaning, and piercing cries, and painful shrieks, and shrill screams from the billions of damned souls in hell! And what of the hideous and soul frightening noises, and clamoring of the demon spirits and of Satan? Oh, if we could only hear the dreadful sounds from that God forsaken place one minute, I believe we would all be about warning all men everywhere to repent and believe in Jesus, and not to go to that awful place of torments.
In hell there shall be gnashing of teeth. This signifies suffering and anguish, and the relentless, never ending pains and agony of the eternal flames. Consider the terror of the soul and spirit that men shall experience in that place of torments. Think of the frightening reality of awakening in hell with the devil and his angels; where it will be too late to repent; where there will be no way out for all eternity! Think about the pains of unquenchable fire in the lake of fire, filled with fire and molten brimstone. The body, soul, and spirit of men will be fitted for this destruction, that is, made to endure eternal suffering in hell. Yes, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth in hell.
2. Secondly, there will be no tears in Heaven:
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
There are tears in the eyes of God’s children while here on this earth. We have tears of sorrow for the corruption of our nation in recent years. The blatant, openness of sin and perversion in our nation greaves the children of God to tears. The millions of babies being aborted each year, is so grievous we are driven to our knees in tears. The open sin of homosexuality and lesbianism is an awful grief to the children of God. The open hatred for God, and for righteousness, and for morality and godliness is a grief to the heart of any blood bought child of God. Then there are the tears shed for the lost; those of our family, and of our friends and acquaintances who are unsaved. How it grieves us that these have no interest or concern for their own souls. They are blinded to their cursed lost condition, and their need for Jesus as their Lord and Savior. There are tears that we shed for those who are suffering because of diseases and afflictions in the body, and because of the bitterness of death that touches all of our lives from time to time.
There are those tears that we shed for our families, that are being torn apart because of the ill affects of sin in our sinful nation. How the home and family are being attacked today on every side. We are hard pressed to find homes that are not being destroyed by the powerful affects of sin in our land. Homes are being destroyed by adultery and fornication, by wife abuse and child abuse and violence of every kind. We have Hollywood to thank, and ungodly secular music to thank, and the media, and liberal government to thank, and the internet- how many husbands and wives have destroyed their once happy homes because of internet pornography, and illicit relationships engaged in over the internet; but most of all we have powerless religion that goes by the guise of Christianity, to thank for the condition of our homes today.
Yes, beloved, there are sorrows in the hearts of God’s children here on this side of eternity, and there are tears that flow from time to time. But in that fair land of overflowing joys and blessings, there shall be no more tears because there will be no more sin or the ill affects that sin causes, and there shall be no more sadness and sorrow, and no more pain, and no more death. God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes, and we shall never have cause or reason to ever cry or be sorrowful again throughout eternity.
In the fair land of Heaven there shall be sounds of joy and rejoicing for evermore. There shall be wonderful, glorious singing in Heaven. There shall be glorious music of harps and all the instruments of God’s design. There will be praising God continually, and shouting for joy. There will be no wailing in that fair and glorious land. There shall be no weeping anywhere in that pleasant and delightsome land of eternal joy. There shall be NO gnashing of teeth in Heaven, beloved! But in Heaven there is eternal comfort, and peace, and health, and vigor to serve God continually.
1. First, in hell there will be unquenchable thirst:
Luke 16:24 And 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.
Beloved, hell is hot, hotter than any man can ever imagine in this life. The fires of hell are God’s punishment upon guilty sinners for their sins. And to accompany the pains of those eternal burning flames, there will be excruciating thirst that shall not be quenched. There is no cooling, thirst quenching water in hell; no, not so much as one drop! Souls in hell shall forever long for, and yes, beg for as little as one drop of water to cool their tongues, for they are tormented in those flames.
Not only will there be no physical water, but there will be no water of the Word of God. There will be no water of the gospel preached to lost sinners in hell. There will be no gracious words and encouragements of the saints, wooing the lost, and pointing them to the way of salvation, and of escape from that place of torments. There will be no Word from God in Heaven, but Heaven will be forever silent to that forsaken land called hell. There will be no more warnings from God to repent, and to turn from their wicked ways, and to turn to God for mercy and grace in salvation. No, beloved, souls in hell will never hear the voice of God ever again.
While on earth, men had their opportunities to take of the water of life freely. Some had opportunity most regularly. Some heard the gospel of Jesus often, perhaps three times a week or more. Some had a godly wife or husband who spoke often of the Lord, and lived their faith before them. But they would not hear; they would none of their reproofs; they would not have Jesus reign over them. Yes, souls in hell had the water of the Word of God in this life, but they would not drink. They did not want that living water which, Jesus said of those that drink of it, “shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Yes beloved, the thirsty souls in hell shall not be quenched, but shall suffer for want of both spiritual water and physical water for all eternity.
2. Secondly, in Heaven there will be a river of water of life:
Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In Heaven we see a beautiful, clear, and pure river of the water of life that will flow forth from the throne of God and of the Lamb. This cool sparkling river shall eternally flow, and be ever accessible and available to all God’s children to satisfy their souls. There shall be water of life. There in Heaven the Words of God shall be written on every heart, and from every mouth they shall be spoken. Hell shall be as an eternal famine of hearing the Word of God, but in Heaven the water of life shall flow like a river and shall water all the inhabitants thereof. And every one of God’s children shall be as a fountain of living water. All of life shall flourish. There shall be no dryness of earth, no parched herbs or dry leaves, and no barren trees, but all will be green and plush, and rich with all manner of healthful fruit for the enjoyment of the saints. There shall the milk and honey truly flow as it were, in Heaven’s plush and healthful land.
Think of the purity of that place called Heaven. The air will be pure, as there will be nothing there to pollute. Likewise the water will be pure, and clear as crystal. I used to backpack in the High Sierras when I was a teenager. The water that flowed down from those snow-capped mountain peaks was so clear and pure looking that we would just drink right out of the rushing stream. But we were told that we shouldn’t drink of the water, even though it looked clean and pure, because something upstream might have polluted it. Well, we never got sick. But the rive of living water in Heaven proceeds from the very throne of God, which is the source of all holiness and purity. There is no concern of pollution coming from that Holy, sinless, and undefiled place! God is the apex and pinnacle of Holiness and purity. He is the standard. Yes, God is the definition of Holiness and purity. All that flows forth from the throne of God is Holiness and purity and perfection. Thus, it is called the river of life. Only life can issue forth from God, and that which gives life, and health, and strength, and joy and eternal blessings.
Yes beloved, What a contrast there is between the eternal, unquenchable thirst of hell, and the soul satisfying water of the river of life in Heaven.
1. First, Satan and the demon spirits are doomed to eternal hell:
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Hell was created first and foremost for the devil and his angels, the demon spirits. The devil is the destroyer, the adversary, the tempter, the accuser of the brethren, and the great archenemy of mankind. So likewise are the demon spirits the enemies of the souls of men. These will all be there in hell for eternity. But I hear one say, “I want to go to hell, all my friends will be there”. Yes, perhaps all your so-called “friends” will be there. But rest assured, they will be no comfort to you in hell, nor will you be any comfort to them.
You should be warned that your great enemies will also be there. And they will be innumerable, and great in power and wickedness. As vile fiends they will hound you and harass you, and torment you in your bitter darkness day and night forever and ever as they also will be tormented in those flames!
Hell is a God forsaken place. There will be no God in hell for damned souls to call on! If there were a door of that place called hell, the sign above it would probably read “NO EXIT, ETERNALLY FORSAKEN OF GOD”. There will be no mercy for the residents of hell. Though men cry day and night, “God, have mercy on me a sinner, they shall never receive answer from Heaven, but only the cruel mockings of the demons, and the hideous laugh and scorn of the devil which deceived them into coming to that place.
2. Now let us notice that God and His Holy angels will dwell with His people:
Revelation 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.
This truth is even more difficult to understand and to receive than the awfulness of Hell; that God Almighty shall dwell with His people. What sense of wretchedness and unworthiness that comes over the children of God, when we consider that God will dwell with us; that He will accept us, yea, and bid us into His presence. Our old sinful nature within our breast cries out, “don’t let God speak with us; don’t let us come near unto God’s holy mount, lest we die”! But fear not dear children of God, in glorification God will make us every whit perfect and fit for His presence. No, you are not in a proper state to enter His presence at this time, but one day He shall change your vile body, and fashion it like unto His glorious body. Then, and only then, will we be fit to enter into His presence and there dwell with Him for all eternity.
Yes, beloved, Heaven is where God is, and there shall His people be, to dwell with Him where He is:
John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 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. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
The place in Revelation 21 where we already read, is the same place that Jesus was referring to here in John 14. This is where those mansions are that He has prepared for us His chosen people, those of us who are saved by the grace of God, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, beloved God will dwell with His people, and we will dwell with Him.
7. Seventhly, and finally, we want to see eternal death in hell contrasted with eternal life in Heaven.
1. Consider hell, the final end of the curse of sin and death, which is eternal death:
Revelation 20:14-15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Hell is the bitter, cursed end of all the wicked. Hell is the consequence and the culmination of God’s curse pronounced on the world back in Genesis Chapter 3, upon fallen man because of his sinful state. Hell is eternal destiny of all men who are not redeemed from the curse of sin and death.
As such the lake of fire referred to in our text is called the second death. Why this name? Death beloved, is a separation. The first death is a separation of body, soul, and spirit. The body returns to the dust from whence it came. The soul and spirit either return of God who gave them, or they go to the place called hell, that temporary prison where they are kept under lock and key until the Day of Judgment. On judgment day the body souls and spirits of lost sinners shall be reunited, and brought before the great white throne of God’s judgment. Then they will be judged according to their sins; and according to their works of unrighteousness; and according to their unbelief in God and Jesus, God’s beloved Son.
After this they shall be taken away by the holy angels and cast into the lake of fire, which is eternal separation and banishment from God. They didn’t want God in this life, now they shall never know His loving influences, and general blessings that He shed upon the just and unjust. And so it is called the second death, which is lost mankind’s final, eternal separation from God.
2. Finally let us consider Heaven where there is no curse, but life evermore:
Revelation 22:3-5 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Both Heaven and hell are eternal, as we studied last week. But the one is eternal separation from God, and the other, Heaven, is eternal presence with God. God is the author and giver of life, and from Him flow the issues of life. Without Him there is no life, but with Him there is life eternal.
We must make the distinction between mere existence, and the Biblical meaning of life. Men in hell will continue to exist, but this is not considered life, but rather death. Saints in Heaven, on the other hand, not only exist eternally, but live in the fullness of God’s glorious presence, and all of His manifold, enumerable blessings and benefits, and joys and praises, and the abundance of life giving resources. Everything about God’s Heaven is life and made for life, and to be enjoyed by the living.
Paradise is an inadequate word to describe Heaven, but we might think of Heaven as a perfect paradise where everything in that place was put there to secure perfect happiness, and joy, and rest, and peace, and health, and yes, life evermore. Yes beloved, Heaven will be more than mere existence; but it will be real living to the fullest!
Beloved, there is, as we have seen, a great contrast between these two eternal destinies of men. The one destiny is horrible in the extreme; the other is glorious and blessed beyond our feeble description.
Which of these is your destiny this morning, if you were to die this very instant?
There is only one way that you can know if you will go to Heaven. If you do not know this, then you know for certain that you will go to hell.
You must repent, and believe that you are a sinner worthy of God’s righteous judgment in hell, and you must believe that Jesus Christ, the virgin born Son of God, died on the cross for your sins to pay your punishment that you should have paid for your sins, and then was buried in the tomb, and in three days rose again from the dead for you.
If you believe this gospel message with all your heart, then you can know that you shall surely go to that place called Heaven when you die.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved! Amen.