Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hell vs the Lake of Fire - Part II

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(II Timothy 2:15)

Revelation 19:20-21; 20:7-10; 20:11-15

Hell vs The Lake of Fire
Part II

In Part I of this lesson, we began looking at the differences between these two places cited in Scripture called Hell and the Lake of Fire.

I chose to teach on this subject because of the confusion that exists about these very real places of torment and suffering and because so many people doubt their existence.

That shouldn’t surprise anyone.
People deny the existence of Jesus too you know.

Is Hell Real?

Jesus had a lot to say about Hell.
It’s pretty obvious to me that He is warning His brethren (and us) about the present danger.  Which begs the question, why would Jesus speak of Hell if it did not exist?

Mark 9

43: “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into (where) hell, into unquenchable fire,

44: [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.]

45: “IF YOUR FOOT CAUSES YOU TO STUMBLE, CUT IT OFF; IT IS BETTR FOR YOU TO ENTER LIFE LAME, THAN, HAVING YOUR TWO FEET, TO BE CAST INTO HELL…

But, there is more.
Here Jesus warns the Jewish religious leaders.

Matthew 23

29: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,

30: and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the (who) prophets.’

31: “So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

32: “fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.

33: “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of (here it comes) hell?”
Here Jesus speaks directly to His disciples on this subject.
Matthew 5:

22: “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell…”
Matthew 10

28: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell…”

Consider this; if Jesus took the time to teach on the subject matter of Hell then it exits!
If Jesus took the time to warn His brethren, and us, about the danger of spending eternity in this place because our pride led us down the wrong path, then we’d better pay close attention to what He has to say.

*****

Why was Hell created?

Many religious leaders teach others that God is a loving God and they do not speak of His judgment or His wrath.  They omit these Bible truths.
They act as if Hell does not exist.

They misquote Scripture and mislead those in their care in doing so.
They say that God would never send someone to such a place.

I disagree.

First things first God is Holy!
What does this mean?

The concept behind this thought is separation.
What does the book say?

Psalm 77

13: Your way, O God, is holy (the word “holy” means set apart, but when one uses this word while referring to God it also means “divine in nature; sacred; and awe-inspiring); What God is great like our God?

And
Isaiah 57

15: For thus says the high and exalted One (God) Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I live on a high and holy place…”

And
Revelation 15

4: “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED.’ (Psalms 86:9)

Even the demonic spirits acknowledge this Truth about the Lord God.
God alone is Holy.
Mark 1

23: Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

24: saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?  Have You come to destroy us?  I know who You are – the Holy One of God!”

God is good!  Surely you’ve heard this phrase.  But He is also “Light.”
In Him, there is no evil and no darkness.

Again, what does the book say?
Let’s go back to the very beginning.

Genesis 1
 
1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  (Skip to verse 3)

3: Then God said, “Let there be (what’s the next word) light”; and there was light.

And
John 1

1: In the beginning (notice: same lead in as Genesis 1:1) was the Word (the word “Word” is capitalized therefore is speaks of deity), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Skip to verse 4.

4: The (what’s the next word) Light shines in the (watch this) darkness (when you come across the word “darkness” in Scripture, and unless the Bible passage is speaking of a literal darkness, the word is a substitute for sin), and the darkness did not comprehend it.

God is Light and Truth.  Where there is Light there can be no darkness.
Have you ever entered a darkened room and turned on the light switch?
 What happened to the darkness?  It fled, right?

Darkness cannot exist in the light.
Light cannot abide the darkness.

Before Genesis 1:1 …In the beginning, way back in eternity past, long before the earth was created, and long before Adam was created; there existed the heavenly hosts/angels.
Angels (like man) were created by God with free will.

Lucifer was one of these heavenly hosts and an Archangel.
This angel was beautiful.
Follow me please:

Ezekiel 28

13: “You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and your sockets, Was in you.  (Now watch this) On the day you were created They were prepared for you.

14: “You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there.  You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.

15: “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were (what) created.
Until (that’s a time related word) unrighteousness (or sin and in this case it was pride) found in you.

16: “By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, And you sinned; Therefore, I have cast you as profane From the mountain of God.  And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the stones of fire.

Lucifer’s name means morning star or angel of light.
Lucifer was the third highest ranking angel in heaven.

However, Lucifer was not satisfied with his station or his situation.
He desired more…
Once again, Scripture reveals truth.

Isaiah 14
 
12: “How you (Satan) have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!  You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!

You see Satan wanted something unattainable.
He wanted to be God.

13: “But you said in your heart, ‘I will (take note of the sequence of the “I wills,” the pride and arrogance of this once high-ranking angel in heaven) ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.

14: ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the (watch this carefully) Most High.’

15: (Here’s God’s response to Satan’s pride) “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.  (Sheol= Hell in English)

Satan managed to deceive one-third of the angels in heaven to join in this rebellion.

Revelation 12

4: And his (Lucifer) tail swept away a third of the stars (angels) of heaven and threw them to the earth.

Hell was created for Satan and for those who rose up against God’s authority.

Matthew 25:

41: “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

That’s clearly spoken.
Here it is repeated by the apostle Peter.

II Peter 2

4: For if God did not spare (who) angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment…;

In case you missed the point, Hell was created because there is a need for separation.
The righteous are to be kept apart from the unrighteous.

Hell was created for the “ungodly” that by their own choosing opted to go their own way, apart from the will of God, their creator.  Therefore, these prideful individuals who have been “blinded” by the god of this age are destined for the fires of hell and then after their appearance at the Great White Throne Judgment, the Lake of Fire.

For those who want to believe that God will not send them to such a place you need to consider this.  God sent His only Son to die on a Roman cross, a painful, humiliating death, for a crime He did not commit.

Jesus Christ died once for the sins of all men and women, boy and girl.  All you have to do is take that on faith; believe that He died, was buried, and then rose again on the third day, just as this book says.  (I Corinthians 15:1-4)

Once you believe it.  Make it your own –meaning this is where I now stand I shall not be moved.  
It is like you never sinned.  God declares you right with Him and not because of anything you did or might do.  But simply because of what Jesus has already done.
It is finished!

Now – if you consider this and walk away from it saying, “No thanks…that’s not for me.  I don’t care for any of that.”  If you cannot find it in your heart to believe what God has said, and you decide to walk it under foot, well then believe you me, God has a plan for you too.  
And it is not heaven.

Your eternal destination, by your choice is hell and then later the Lake of Fire per the Word of God.  You will not find yourself there because of your sins because Jesus died for those.  Nope.  You’ll find yourself there suffering for eternity because you simply chose not to believe God. Amen.

Hell’s Location
(To be continued)

Copyright © 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hell and The Lake of Fire (Part I)


Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(II Timothy 2:15)

Hell and the Lake of Fire

Revelation 19:20-21; 20:7-10

Those who know me understand that I am all about teaching truth.
And since there exists today a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding about the place called hell and the eternal destination for all those who elect NOT to believe in the Gospel of Grace called the Lake of Fire; I decided there is a need to teach on this topic.

Question: do people believe in the existence of hell today?

I shared the answer to this question with the class the other evening.
I think you’ll be surprised when you hear the answer.

Most Don't Believe in Hell
By Lee Webb
CBN News Anchor
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Pope Benedict used a mass in the suburbs of Rome, Sunday, to remind people that hell is a very real place.
"Jesus came to tell us everyone is wanted in paradise, and that hell, about which little gets said today, exists and is eternal for those who shut their hearts to His love," said the 79-year old pontiff.

But the latest research from Barna Associates shows that only 32 percent of adults see hell as, "an actual place of torment and suffering where people's souls go after death."

Why the low number?  Some well-known evangelical leaders agree with the Pope that the Church has been ominously silent about hell.

Stroll the streets of America today and you'll find that eternal destiny is not a subject most people even want to talk about.  When they do, their thoughts on the matter are quite diverse.

Question:  Do you believe there is a place called Hell?
Response:  Yes, sir.
 
Question:  Why do you believe that?
Response:  Basically, my belief in Christianity has taught me that.

Question:  Do you believe that all people, when they die, would go to heaven?
Response:  Hmmm. Good question. Yes.

Response:  I don't know, I think it would have to be something very, very, extremely bad to go to hell."

Response:  Honest belief?  This is hell.  We are in hell now.  It has to be better in the next life."
That confusion doesn't surprise the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Paige Patterson.  He lays the blame squarely on the church.

"You can traverse the entire United States on any given Sunday morning, and you very probably will not hear a sermon on the judgment of God or eternal punishment," he said.  "Evangelicals have voted by the silence of their voices that they either do not believe in (the doctrine of hell) or else they no longer have the courage and conviction to stand and say anything about it."

Author and theologian R.C. Sproul is even more direct.
"I think what we face in the church today is a virtual eclipse of the character of God," he said.
The irony is that evangelicals consider one sermon among the greatest evangelistic messages ever preached.  It was delivered by Jonathan Edwards in 1741 during the height of the Great Awakening. The title: 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.'"

Edwards proclaimed, "O sinner!  Consider the fearful danger you are in: 'Tis a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you as against many of the damned in hell."

Why don't preachers preach like this today?
"I can't think of anything more politically incorrect to preach in 21st century America than the wrath of God, or the justice of God or the doctrine of Hell," Sproul said.

Even 30, 40 and 50-years ago years ago, sermons that addressed the consequences of dying apart from Christ were commonly heard.  But in recent years, many evangelical pastors have bristled at the thought of being labeled a "fire and brimstone" preacher and turned to a kinder, gentler approach.

*****

It’s only my opinion of course, but one of these approaches to Bible teaching/preaching will put people in the pews on Sunday mornings and one will not.  It is fairly easy to recognize which path the majority of evangelicals have chosen to take…
And yet church attendance continues to decline…

The Barna Group reports indicate that there is a 66% drop in church attendance for the 18 to 29 year olds.  Folks this age bracket represents the FUTURE of the church in America.  Obviously there is a problem! 

I’m not going to sugarcoat Bible Truths.
It is what it is.

We are currently living in God’s Age of Grace but terrible days lie ahead.
God’s grace will end and will be replaced by His wrath.

What should the people of this world expect?  Do you honestly believe you can continue to reject the Creator God without consequence?  Let’s be honest.   

*****

Hell is real; and the Lake of Fire is real too.
However, they are NOT one and the same!
But what does this book say?

Sheol (Hebrew) for Hell
Hades (Greek) for Hell

Sheol/Hades: is the non-permanent place or temporary address of the disembodied souls of the dead.  It’s not the grave or the sepulcher, and it is the eternal location of the souls of the dead.  Prior to the Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection, both the souls of the Believers (men and women of faith) and the unbelievers went there after they died.

Sheol/Hades has two separate halves. 
On one side is Hell.  On the other side is Paradise. 
One side is reserved for torment. 
The other side is a “safe haven,” if you will and is reserved for Believers. 
This place has been referred to as “Abraham’s Bosom.” 

Please open your Bible and turn to the book of Luke chapter 16.


The Rich Man and Lazarus
Luke 19

19: “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day.

20: “And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at the gate, covered with sores,
21: and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking the sores.

22: “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom (or the opposite side of Hades also known as Paradise); and the rich man also died and was buried.

23: “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in (what’s the next word) torment, and saw Abraham far away (we know from this that those in hell and those who are in paradise can see into both places) and Lazarus in his bosom.

24: “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame,’

25: “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life your received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.

26: ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’

27: “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house –

28: for I have five brothers – in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29: “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’

30: “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’

31: “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Now I want to show you something while I’m here.
I would be failing as your teacher, if I skipped over this.
Please turn to Luke chapter 23.

This is the only place in the four gospels where this conversation is recorded.

Luke 23:
39: One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying “Are You not the Christ?  Save Yourself and Us!”

40: But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, (obviously a faith statement from a dying man) since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?

41: “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”

42: And he was saying, “Jesus remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”

43: And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in (where) Paradise.”
What was Jesus saying to this man?
Was Jesus saying, “I’ll see you this day in Heaven?” 
Nope...Wrong answer.

I’ve heard numerous sermons on this Bible passage and that was their message.
It was the wrong message though because that is not what Jesus said.

Jesus said, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise (or Abraham’s Bosom/Sheol).

Why did Jesus say He would be there in Paradise on this very day?
Follow me please.

Ephesians 4

8: Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES (all those Believers who died while waiting for the arrival of their Messiah), AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”

9: (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also (read carefully) had (past tense) descended into (where) the lower parts of the earth?
(Hell/Hades/Sheol/Abraham’s Bosom.)

…Or to put it another way,
Jesus, after His burial, and before His resurrection, descended into the Paradise side of Hell, and brought all those souls who had been waiting there to Heaven.
The Way was now open because of His substitionary sacrifice. 

Now the souls of all Believers who pass from this life into the next have access to heaven because of their faith in what Jesus has accomplished. 
The Lake of Fire is a very different place.

The Lake of Fire is the permanent place of eternal punishment for both soul and body.
This shall be their assignment after the Great White Throne Judgment.
(Revelation 20:11-15)

(To be continued)


 Copyright © 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved