Summary: The reality of heaven is infinitely better than anyone can describe.
Heaven: Part Two
A Have easel, poster board, finger paints on stage.
1 Begin finger painting a landscape picture of mountain, streams, cabin. (After about 45 seconds, have picture of mountain, stream, & cabin put on screen.)
a The best picture I can paint for you with my fingers is pale in comparison to a digital picture of the same place. (The digital picture is pale in comparison to the real place.)
b The picture of heaven I tell you with my words is like finger painting a picture of heaven.
aa The reality of it is infinitely better than my oratory skills allow.
bb There will be no, “The preacher said this place would be better than this. I expected more.”
c Also, the picture of hell I tell you with my words will be infinitely worse than my skills will allow.
2 Today I want to teach you about the location & levels of heaven & hell.
b Locations (Yes, I believe heaven & hell are physical places.)
I Heb. 9.27 “It is appointed unto man once to die, then the judgement.”
A When you die, you face judgement, called a judgement of faith.
1 The outcome of that judgement determines whether you go intermediate heaven or the intermediate hell.
a This judgement is not based on good works, but faith.
aa Not what we’ve done during our lives, but what Jesus has done for us.
bb Eph. 2.8-9; Titus 3.5.
b If your name isn’t in the book of Life, you are immediately in hell.
aa If have accepted Christ’s atoning death for us, then when God judges us after we die, He sees us through the blood sacrifice of His Son, not our sin!
bb For those not covered by the blood, they go to hell, a place where the goodness of God isn’t.
B There is a second judgment that isn’t to be confused with the first judgement (faith,) the second judgement is called a judgement of works.
1 Romans 14.10-12; 2 Cor. 5.10; All believers will stand before the judgement seat of Christ to give an account of their lives.
a It is critical to understand Christian that this judgement is based on your works, not your faith.
aa Your works DO NOT affect our salvation, but I do believe they affect our reward.
bb 1 Cor. 3.13-14
b There is greater reward for those who faithfully serve Him until He calls them home (2 Tim. 2.12, Rev. 2.26-28; 3.21.)
aa Timing? Varies according to opinion.
bb “One at a time” as believers die,
cc Between rapture & millennium.
dd Between our death & rapture
c Unbelievers face a final judgement of works as well, the Bible calls it The Great White Throne Judgement (Rev. 20.11-13.)
aa Timing for this is at the end of the old earth & beginning of the New Earth.
bb Some believe Christians will be have their works judged at the GWTJ & receive their reward here.
cc If your lost, at Great White Throne Judgement, you’re in for it. . . reward is Hell.
2 If there are levels of reward in heaven, then what about levels of punishment in hell? (Is hell hotter for 9/11 hijackers than for my neighbor who was morally good but never received Christ?)
a Jesus indicates that there may be levels of punishment in hell. (Matt. 23.14)
aa Matt.11.20-24; Jesus taught that the people from His day would be judged more severely than Sodom & Gomorrah.
bb Why? They saw miracles, signs, wonders & yet they refused to repent.
b The O.T. teaches that people can sin w/o knowing they’ve sinned. (Lev. 4.2, 13, 14, 22, 27, 28)
aa So does N.T. James 4.17.
bb Luke 9.62, To know the truth & not act on it is a higher level of offense.
b There is a spiritual danger for those who have been exposed to light of Scripture, church, power of Holy Spirit, godly upbringing, then subsequently to turn away from the straight & narrow path.
aa Hebrews 6.4-6
bb There may be levels of punishment/confinement for those who sinned w/ knowledge & those who sinned w/o knowledge.
c I think if the thought of that bothers us, we need to ask ourselves “why” it does.
aa When we die we are either going to one of two worlds: Heaven or Hell . . . & we’ll be at each one permanently.
bb It’s important to know where are journey is going to end.
II No one speaks more about hell than Jesus did.
A Menard is a place built by the ruling authority of the State to protect the innocent from those who break the law.
1 God built hell to house those who break the law.