Heaven and Hell

In this study we will deal with three things:

(1) Christ's Second Coming

(2) Heaven

(3) Hell

Christ's Second Coming

God made the world, man fell into sin and God promised a Saviour. The Saviour came, lived, died, and rose again. Then he ascended into heaven and poured out the Holy Spirit. The next event is his personal bodily return. All Christians are agreed he will return but the sequence of events around his return is still a matter of difference amongst Christians.

Christ's second coming is a fact taught by Scripture

Matthew 25:31

[Matthew 24:30-31; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17]

The time is unknown

Any system which predicts the day or year is wrong.

Matthew 24:36-42 [2 Peter 3:3-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3]

There is a need for us to be prepared, by being saved and serving Christ [Matthew 25]

Scripture gives pointers which herald his coming

Yet in these 'last times' (the time between Christ's ascension and his second coming) Christians have always experienced some of these and thought his coming was near.

Matthew 24:9-13,21,22 (Some see all this as referring to the fall of Jerusalem in AD70).

[2 Thessalonians 2:3-10; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; 1 John 2:18-22]

On Christ's return, two things will happen

a) The resurrection of the dead.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 [John 5:28-29]

b) The final judgement.

Matthew 25:31-46 [2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15; 2 Peter 3:10-13]

Heaven

What happens to believers when they die?

(a) They go to be with Christ to await the resurrection of the body.

Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:21-23 [2 Corinthians 5:8; Revelation 6:9]

(b) At Christ's return their bodies and souls will be reunited.

Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3 [1 Corinthians 15:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; John 6:40]

(c) We will face judgement (the evaluation of our lives).

2 Corinthians 5:10 [2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 20:12; Matthew 25:46; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15]

(d) Christians will then live with Christ in a new heaven and new earth. This will be physical.

2 Peter 3:10-13; John 14:2 [Revelation 21 and 22 (It's important you read these chapters ( they are symbolic pictures of the new heaven and earth].

(e) There will be in that new heaven and earth eternal life.

Matthew 25:46

Hell

What happens to unbelievers when they die?

(a) It seems they are cast into hell like the rich man in the passage.

Luke 16:19-31

(b) They rise from the dead on Christ's return and face judgement.

John 5:28-29 [Daniel 12:2; Acts 24:15]

(c) Then they are put into a place of everlasting punishment.

Matthew 25:42-46; Matthew 13:40-43

(d) In this awful place, deprived of God's favour, they will experience endless lives filled with pangs of conscience and despair with no opportunity to change.

Mark 9:47-48; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-8 [Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 8:12; Revelation 21:8]

In view of the awful certainty of God's judgement, Hebrews 9:27, the practical applications of what we have looked at are:

(1) Be sure to trust in Christ.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2

(2) Outside of Christ means Hell. Therefore we must be concerned for our fellow humans and take the gospel to them.

2 Corinthians 5:10-21

(3) There is an urgency now to live well for Christ. Everything we do has significance.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 [1 Thessalonians 4:7; Philippians 3:12-16; 2 Peter 3:14]