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How can we be certain that there is a Heaven and a Hell?

The Testimony of Jesus and the Prophets

Jesus and the prophets of the Bible testified to existence of Heaven and Hell. God is a God of love (1 John 4:16) and also of justice (Deuteronomy 32:4) that is why Heaven and Hell will take place to fulfill the principles of His government, that is, there is a reward for the faithful and punishment for the unfaithful.

Unfortunately, our sin has barred the way to heaven. Since heaven is the residence of a holy and perfect God, sin has no place there, nor can it be tolerated. Fortunately, God has provided for us the key to open the doors of heaven. Jesus said, “ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Christ is the way to heaven. By His human nature He connects with this earth, and by His divine nature He connects with heaven. He is the ladder connecting earth and heaven (John 1:51). Because of His life and death “a new and living way” has been consecrated for us (Hebrews10:20). There is no other way of salvation (Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). All who believe in Him and follow Him will find the doors of heaven wide open for them (John 1:12).

Heaven Is a Real Place

The Bible tells us that heaven is God’s throne. “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool (Isaiah 66:1 also Acts 7:48-49; Matthew 5:34-35). Heaven and earth and all created things are the handiwork of God (Genesis 1:1; Psalms 8:3; 33:6, 9; John 1:3). God sustains the earth and the entire universe by His great strength.

After Jesus’ resurrection and appearance on earth to His disciples, “He was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55-56). “Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence” (Hebrews 9:24).

Jesus not only went before us, entering on our behalf, but He is alive and has a present ministry in heaven, serving as our high priest in the true tabernacle made by God (Hebrews 6:19-20; 8:1-2). He serves next to the throne of God on behalf of His children.

Because Jesus went before us to prepare a place for us, we have the assurance of His word that He will come back to earth and take us to where He is in heaven (John 14:1-4). Thus, our belief in an eternal home with God is based on an explicit promise of Jesus.

Hell Is a Real Place

Hell is where the wicked will be sent at the Judgement Day (Matthew 18:8;25:41). Those that refused Christ’s death on their behalf will have to die for their own sins. In 2 Thessalonians 1:9, the sinners are said to be “punished with everlasting destruction.” But that does not mean hell will go on forever. Rather it is an act whose results are permanent.

This is clear from Jude 7. Clearly, the “eternal fire” that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah burned for a time and then went out. In other places, the Bible refers to the fires of the last day as “unquenchable” (Matthew 3:12), meaning that they will not be extinguished until they have burned up the last traces of sin.

Thus, hell is not eternal (Malachi 4:1; Psalms 21:9; Revelation 20:9; Malachi 4:1, 3). The fire will consume the wicked and will eventually stop when all have received the just punishment for their deeds (Psalms 37:10, 20) and sin will rise no more (Nahum 1:9).

For more on this, check Is Hell Forever?

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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