Heaven and hell are actual places. I have heard people say they don’t believe hell exists but yet they believe in heaven. I have heard other people say hell is earth and we go to heaven when we die. I have heard almost every believer say hell is unending and forever. I have even read teachings that hell is a future place and when an unbeliever dies they go to a temporary place like a holding cell of sorts. And, it is even taught that Satan rules hell just as God rules heaven.
The bible speaks more about hell than it does about heaven. So, according to the bible, what’s true and what is hell like?
**First of all, Satan does not rule hell. God does.
Psalms 139:7-8 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
**Secondly, God created hell for Satan and his followers.
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:
**God has already placed some of these angels in hell because of the abominations they committed before the flood. Therefore, it is a current realm, not future.
2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
Jude 1:6-7 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. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
What is hell like?
Mark 9:43-48 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Psalms 11:5-6 The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
**Hell is not on earth. It is down and beneath.
Isaiah 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Proverbs 15:24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
Does hell last forever? Believe it or not, hell actually has an end BUT, where your soul goes from there is far worse and that does last forever! This is the true death of your soul. This is what Jesus saves you from when you accept His promise of eternal life. If you go to hell when you die, or you are not saved before Jesus returns, you are guaranteed a second death and a permanent new place. This is a future realm when Jesus comes back on Judgement day. This will be hell on earth because the earth is reserved unto fire just as it was flooded with water in Noah’s day.
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:49-50 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Revelation 14:9-11 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelation 20:13-15 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
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.
It is being taught that Jesus went to hell when He died on the cross. They say He spent the 3 days & nights of His death there.
Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
He didn’t go to hell. This passage is saying that He never sinned and didn’t have need to be left in hell as a sinner does. Nor did he go to hell for our sins as His flesh was never corrupted. He was innocent!!
1 Peter 3:18-20 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
This passage is saying that even during the days of Noah, while the ark was being built, Jesus was there in spirit preaching to the people who didn’t listen and now they are in prison (hell). Say you had a friend that went to prison and you tell someone “I hung out with Joe who is in prison” You aren’t saying you hung out with Joe in prison. You hung out with him before he went to prison. **No offense to anyone named Joe** 🙂
Now to recap. Hell was created and is ruled by God. Hell is not on earth, it is beneath. Hell is a flame filled, burning hot, dark, painful, lonely place. Hell is a prison with chains. There is a barrier that will not let one leave hell. Those in hell have a complete awareness of where they are. Hell exists even as you read this and one day hell will be thrown into the lake of fire along with all its prisoners.
Now that we know what hell is, let’s move on to the good news.
Genesis 1:6-19 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
On the second day God created heaven. This is not the heaven where He dwells. This is our sky, outer space. This is where He put the sun, moon and stars to light our earth. God has always existed and so has His dwelling place.
The birds of earth are in the heaven (sky).
Genesis 7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
So, what is the heaven where God dwells?
Genesis 28:12-13 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
Deuteronomy 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.
Nehemiah 9:6 Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
1 Kings 8:30 And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.
Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
God dwells in the third heaven. The first is our sky, the second is outer space, the third is His dwelling place.
2 Corinthians 12:1-4 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
This man was caught up to heaven in a vision/revelation, just like John was in the book of Revelation.
This is where Jesus and the angels of God dwell.
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Acts 7:48-50 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?
This is where Jesus came from because He has always existed.
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
We have an inheritance reserved in heaven for us just as the souls in hell have something reserved for them.
1 Peter 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Heaven, God’s dwelling place, has a throne and a temple (tabernacle).
Psalms 11:4 The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
Revelation 14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
It is taught that when one is saved and dies, they go directly to heaven to be with God. That heaven, with the mansions that Jesus is preparing for us, is going to be brought down to us. You do not go directly to heaven when you die in Christ. See the message about “Life After Death“.
John 3:12-13 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Jesus is the only “man” that can go to heaven and come back to share with us the secrets of heaven.
Revelation 15:5-8 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
The only place in the bible where I find any that died in Christ and went to heaven was when Jesus was crucified. I believe that was a special circumstance in order to teach us that He can raise the dead. The other instances are Enoch and Elijah. These special men were alive when they were caught up. This was to teach us how the rapture of the living will happen.
Revelation 21:1-4 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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. 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.
I will be going into more detail about this heaven in another blog. It will be a new heaven because it will no longer be as it is now. It will no longer be a third heaven for it will be on earth. This is the heaven with the pearly gates. And man will finally be able to enter therein.