Heaven and Hell (Kenneth Reese)


Heaven and Hell

Course Source Material: 

1.   D'Souza,  Danielle. Ygod.  Ventura, California: Published Regal From Gospel Light 2012
2.   Kumar, Steve. Jonathan Sarfati.  Christianity For Skeptics.  Atlanta, Georgia: Published Creation Book Publishers 2012
3.   Stroebel, Lee.  The Case for Faith.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Published Zondervan 1998

Outside Course Material:

  1. Boice, James Montgomery: Foundations of the Christian Faith. Downers Grove, Il.
Published Inter Varsity Press
  1. Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Published Zondervan 1994
  2. God, The Holy Bible (King James Version) Peabody, Mass., Published Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC
4.     God,  The Holy Bible (New Revised Standard Version). Cambridge, England: Published Cambridge University Press 1997

Heaven and Hell are two subjects that we as the high point of God's creation know very little about.  We can assume and say that they are real places.  They exist and all of us at the end of our earthly journey will be sent to one or the other.  There is no escaping this.  There is just not very much information about heaven or hell in our bibles.  So we have limited knowledge but do have some evidence to know of their existence. 

"You will find all true theology summed up in these two short sentences—salvation is all of the Grace of God—damnation is all of the will of man."

- Charles Spurgeon[1]

“There is joy in hell when a saint grows idle! There is gladness among devils when we cease to pray, when we become slack in faith and feeble in communion with God.”


-                                                                                                                                                            - Charles Spurgeon[2]


The Reality of Hell:

One of the best definitions of hell is from Wayne Grudem in his very fine systematic theology.  It stands out in today's modern religious atmosphere that defines hell as non-exist ant or at least only a temporary place of punishment.  There are three things in our modern day culture  that we do not like to admit, focus on, or speak about.  They are:  the effects of sin, hell as a real place and eternal punishment. 

“Hell is a place of eternal conscious punishment for the wicked.”

  - Wayne Grudem[3]




“There are two points in religion on which the teaching of the bible is very plain and distinct.  One of these points is the fearful danger of the ungodly; the other is the perfect safety of the righteous.  One is the happiness of those who are converted; the other is the misery of those who are unconverted.  One is blessedness of being in the way of heaven; the other is wretchedness of being in the way of hell.”

-       J. C. Ryle [4]


Scripture teaches in several passages that hell is a real place.  These quotes indicate that there will be consciousness punishment after the final judgment.

  • Mathew 25: 30
  • Mathew 25: 41 ( The king will say to some)
  • Mathew 25:46 (parallel between “eternal life” and “eternal Punishment”  indicates that both states will be
             without end).
  • Mark 9:43 (Jesus refers to it as the “the unquenchable fire).
  • Mark 9:48 (“Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”)
  • Luke 16: 22-28 (the rich man and Lazarus)

Luke 16: 22-28 clearly affirms the idea of eternal conscious punishment of unbelievers. 



The Blessed Paradise of Heaven:

Jesus also makes it very plain that Heaven is a real place.  That heaven is our home.  We as Christians are in need of a home.  We used to have a home in Eden but through sin we lost it. We think of Cain, who after killing his brother was condemned to a life of wandering.  In Genesis 11 we find men trying to create a home, homes in a city but the men of Babel were in opposition to God so their plans were destroyed.  God scattered them and they were made homeless. 

In Genesis 12:1-8 God showed Abram the land he would give him.  His home was so important, that God gave him the boundaries and indicated the specific territory that He would give him (Genesis 15: 18-21).  Although our earthly homes are important they are not significant.  Our true home only becomes significant when we are with Jesus.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”  John 14: 1-3 (NRSV)[5]

Heaven is where God is.  That is all that is important.   It is because God is there that we are home.   It is not streets that are Golden or Jewels or anything else.  It is where God is.  That is the key element.

“No it is not the jasper walls and the pearly gates that are going to make heaven attractive.  It is being with God.”

- D. L. Moody[6]


Heavenly Reunions:

When we die and go home to be with Jesus will we see family that has passed before us?  Will we be reunited again with our loved ones?  Will we recognize those who we have known during our earthly existence? The answer is yes.  The bible gives us plenty of evidence that this is true.  In the old testament we find the statement over and over again that he was gathered to his people.”  This does not mean that he was buried but that he died and was taken to be with God.

  • Genesis 25: 8 (Abraham)
  • Genesis 25:17 ( Ishmael)
  • Genesis 35:29 (Issac)
  • Genesis 49:33 (Jacob)
  • Numbers 27: 12-13 (Moses)

“Consequently,  the phrase, “gathered to his people” cannot refer to the burial but must refer to the death itself, as a result, which Abraham joined those who had gone before him.  The same thing is true of Moses, who died by himself on the mountain.  The book of Deuteronomy tells us that “no man knows the place of his burial to this day” (Deuteronomy 34: 6).

-       James Montgomery Boice[7]



New Testament Evidence that we will recognize those loved ones that have gone before us.


“Many have lost ones.  If we live long enough, we will all lose loved ones.  Yet we have not lost them ultimately.  They are with Jesus, and we will be reunited with them.”

-        James Montgomery Boice[8]

So what can we do.  If we want to be in heaven with God and our loved ones we need to be with God now here on earth.  The closer we are with Jesus the more we will be transformed to be like him.  The more we are ready to go home.  Be ready!

  • Acts 17: 31
  • Matthew 25:13 (ten maidens)
  • Matthew 25: 24-25 parable of the talents)
  • Matthew 25: 44-45 (the least of these)

If you wish to be saved and have eternal life in heaven then make sure you get with God now.  Be ready because he is coming.  (see www.peacewithgod.net) 


“The Hope of the Christian is a very delicate plant. It is an exotic from above: it is not a plant of natural growth. It is easily chilled and nipped by the cold frosts of this world. Unless watered and tended carefully, it will soon dwindle away to a mere nothing, and scarcely be felt or seen. None find this so painfully as dying believers who have not walked very closely with God. They find that they have sown thorns in their dying pillows, and brought clouds between themselves and the sun.”

-       J.C. Ryle[9]



[1] Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/26858003-spurgeon-gems
[2] Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/26858003-spurgeon-gems
[3]    Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids, Michigan:   
     Published Zondervan 1994
[4] Ryle, J. C. Old Paths. First Published 1878, Published The Banner of  Truth Trust 1999
[5] God,  The Holy Bible (New Revised Standard Version). Cambridge, England: Published Cambridge University Press 1997
[6]   Boise, James Montgomery: Foundations of the Christian Faith. Downers Grove, Il. Published Inter Varsity  
    Press
[7] Boice, James Montgomery: Foundations of the Christian Faith. Downers Grove, Il.
   Published Inter Varsity Press
[8] Boice, James Montgomery: Foundations of the Christian Faith. Downers Grove, Il.
   Published Inter Varsity Press
[9]   Ryle, J. C. Old Paths. First Published 1878, Published The Banner of  Truth Trust 1999http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=%22gathered+to+his+people%22&t=NASB#s=s_primary_0_1



Addendum to Lesson

The Reality of Hell

J. C. Ryle

There is such a place as hell. Let no one deceive you with vain words. What people do not like, they try hard not to believe. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to judge the world, He will punish all who are not His disciples with a fearful punishment: all who are found unrepentant and unbelieving, all who have clung to sin, all who are stuck to the world, and all who have set their affections on things below. All who are without Christ shall come to an awful end. Whosoever is not written in the book of life shall be “cast into the lake of fire.” [Rev 20:15]

I call on all who profess to believe the Bible, to be on their guard.

1) Some do not believe there is any hell at all. They think it impossible there can be such a place. They call it inconsistent with the mercy of God. They say it is too awful an idea to be really true. The devil of course, rejoices in the views of such people. They help his kingdom mightily. They are preaching up his old favorite doctrine, “You shall not surely die.”

2) Some do not believe that hell is eternal. They tell us it is incredible that a compassionate God will punish people forever. He will surely open the prison doors at last. This also is a mighty help to the devil’s cause.
3) Some believe there is a hell, but never allow that anybody is going there. All people with them are good. As soon as they die, all were sincere, all meant well, and all, they hope, got to heaven. Alas! what a common delusion this is!

Summary: If I never spoke of hell, I should think I had kept back something that was profitable, and should look on myself as an accomplice of the devil. Beware of new and strange doctrines about hell and the eternity of punishment. Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who has a heaven for everybody, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own.


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