After Life for the Righteous: What? 1. 1.Kingdom of Heaven 2. 2.Heaven (Paradise) 3. 3.New Heavens, New Earth
After Life for the Unrighteous: What? 4. 4.Life before Death: Sin Wrath Judgment 5. Life after Death Judgment Seat Lake of Fire
1. Judgment Seat Obadiah 15 (NIV) The day of the L ORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.
The only satisfying alternative to the injustices of this life is perfect justice in the next one; the only remedy for the present triumph of evil over good is the future triumph of good over evil. In a moral universe all bills must be paid and all accounts settled. (Fudge, The Fire that Consumes 2011)
As surely as the world is a moral creation, it will come to a moral conclusion. The judgments of God fall often enough in this world to let us know that God judges, but seldom enough to let us know that there must be a judgment to come. God is not always a God of immediate justice, but he is a God of ultimate justice. Nothing less than the character of God is at stake here. (Blanchard Whatever Happened to Hell? 1993, 101)
2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV) 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Revelation 20:11–12 (NKJV) 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
a. Judgment for the Righteous Our future judgment has already been paid for in the past
b. Book of Life Rewards 1 Corinthians 3:10–15 (NIV) 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each mans work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
1 Corinthians 3:16–17 (NIV) 16 Dont you know that you yourselves are Gods temple and that Gods Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys Gods temple, God will destroy him; for Gods temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
Matthew 10:28 (NIV84) 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
2. Images of Hell - Jesus John 12:48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.
Images of Hell – Jesus a. a.Gehenna (Fire) b. b.Fire c. c.Worms that don't die d. d.Weeping & gnashing of teeth e. e.Outer darkness f. f.Rejection from the Kingdom g. g.Cut in pieces
Images of Hell - Jesus h. h.Loss of Life – Perish - Destruction i. i.Punishment – Wrath j. j.Condemnation k. k.Eternal – Fire, Punishment
Matt 18:8–9 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
Mark 9:47-48 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
Matthew 13:38–43 (NIV) 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 22:11–14 (NIV) 11 But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 Friend, he asked, how did you get in here without wedding clothes? The man was speechless. 13 Then the king told the attendants, Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are invited, but few are chosen.
Matthew 24:50–51 (NIV) 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:41 (NIV) 41 Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
3. Images of Hell - Epistles a. a.Wrath – Punishment b. b.Destruction c. c.Cursed d. d.Die – Perish – Corrupt – Destroy e. e.Punishment f. f.Fire – Destruction
g. g.Lake of Fire – Sulfur (Fire & Brimstone) h. h.Rising Smoke i. i.Darkness j. j.Cup of Gods wrath k. k. No rest l. l.Torment forever and ever m. m.Second death
2 Thessalonians 1:5–10 (NIV) 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power
Hebrews 10:26–39 (NIV) 26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
2 Peter 3:6–9 (NIV) 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Jude 7 (NIV) 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
4. Summary of Images The main purpose Jesus and the Apostles had in using these images was primarily to stress the seriousness of sin by the most graphic means available
The New Testament uses a variety of different pictures to describe hell: fire is one of them, destruction another, exclusion from the presence of God another. Burning in fire for eternity is the picture which got fixed in much traditional teaching about hell as though it were a literal description. The New Testament does not require us to think of hell in this way. Hell is not an eternal chamber of horrors across the way from heaven. Hell is the fate of those who reject Gods love. Gods love cannot compel them to find their fulfillment in God, but there is no other way they can find fulfillment. They exclude themselves from the Source of all being and life. (Bauckham Hell cited in Fudge, 2011, 156-157)
Hell is the judicial outworking of the wrath of God upon those who have, by their deeds of omission and commission, brought this judgment down upon their own heads. (Milne 2002, 127)
5. Golgotha: Judgment and Hell revealed Gods wrath is his holy hostility to evil, his refusal to condone it or come to terms with it, his just judgment upon it.
The cross sheds light on the fate of the wicked, because on the cross the sinless Son of God suffered that fate. (Peterson 1995, 216) Christs saving us through the cross must mean that he endured hell on the cross. The cross was hell on earth. (Milne 2002, 177-178)
1 John 2:2 (NIV) 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Next week: 6. Life after Death: What? Hell – Who & How Long?