Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

  • UnderGroundChurch

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 17 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘hell’

Day 30: The Law of Falling Bodies

Posted by undergroundchurch on February 6, 2011


The Law of Falling Bodies has nothing to do with what happens to you as you grow older.  It is a law established in 1604 by Galileo that proved that both heavy and light objects fall at the same rate.

This may not seem like a really great discovery, but it did overturn centuries of Aristotelian thinking.  Basically, gravity has the same effect on all objects causing them to fall at the same rate (when they are in a perfect vacuum).

Logically, it may make sense that “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”; however, they still get to the ground just as fast as smaller objects.

Biblical Application

Romans 3:23 tells us that “All have sinned and fallen  short of God’s glory.”  In other words, nobody is good enough to make it to eternity with God.  It doesn’t matter if you are a mass murderer or a person trying to make a positive impact on the world, the destination is the same apart from Christ.

Nobody really talks about hell anymore; it might be because we don’t want to think that a loving God sends people to an awful hell.  However, God never sent anyone to hell… we did.  It was our sin that separated us from God and destined us to eternal separation from God.

Not all hope is lost though.  God did all the work for us, if we just receive it.  Jesus Christ came from God as a perfect man to die in our sinful place so that if we just receive that through believing in Him, we don’t have to die apart from God but can live with Him for all eternity (John 3:16).

Just like the Law of Falling Bodies, we are all doomed to hit the same hell when we die, but unlike that law, there is a greater law of love from God that keeps us from that place of torment if we only believe.  It doesn’t nullify hell’s existence, it just changes our destination.

Advertisements

Posted in Daily Devotion - Scripture Nuggets, Science and the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why does God Destroy Heaven?

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 16, 2010


I have searched for this answer, and I can’t find it anywhere in any commentary or blog I’ve seen.

What did Heaven Ever do to Deserve being Destroyed?

Revelation and Peter (2 Peter 3:7) both tell of God destroying heaven and earth in the end, but why both.  What didheaven do to deserve that fate?

Like me, you probably never even thought about ‘why’.  You just accepted the fact that God was going to do it to “start over”, so let me ask the question this way, “If heaven is so… uh, heavenly, why is it scheduled to be destroyed?  What makes it undeserving of a future as it is?

The answer might surprise you, and it can be found all over scripture from before man walked the earth through today to days yet to come.

Evil in Heaven

I really can’t say this any other way, “Heaven has known evil”. In fact, it is safe to say that evil is probably hanging out in heaven as you are reading this message.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. – Job 1:6,7

In Job 1 and 2, we see Satan presenting himself a couple times before  God in heaven.  This is an interesting situation.  I mean, if you read Luke 10:18 and Revelation 12:4, you would think Satan was permanently out of heaven, but just because he was cast out, doesn’t mean he can’t return.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. – Revelation 12:10

Most would agree that God is in heaven right now.  We know that Jesus sits (and sometimes stands) at His right (Acts 7:55), but are you ready for this.  It looks as though Satan is in heaven too standing before God spending his entire time accusing us. The passage above hasn’t happened yet.

We know that there was a rebellion in heaven when a third of the angels followed Satan in his attempted takeover (Isaiah 14:13), So there has been strife and battles, sin and rebellion in heaven.

Only One Thing Makes it Through

Here’s your question; what is the one thing (not person) that makes it through the destruction of heaven and earth?

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions…” (John 14:2)

The place Jesus is talking about is not heaven but the place where you will be living.  Revelation 21 tells you exactly where that is… the New Jerusalem.

This huge city with streets of gold and gates of pearl will be your eternal home. (Read the chapter yourself very carefully).

The New Home Never Saw Evil

The New Jerusalem is the one thing that makes it through to the end, and there is a really special reason why it is the only thing.

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. – Revelation 21:27

This cannot be said about any other spot in all of creation… not heaven, earth, hell or anything.  Evil has entered everywhere except this special city.

Heaven must be destroyed because it has known sin, evil and the prince of shame and deceit.

Peter clarifies why….

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. – 2 Peter 3:7

He wraps both the earth and the heavens in the same judgement.  It is because of sin that Heaven must be destroyed.  The same reason that earth must be destroyed.  Just so you know, there will not even be a hint of sin anywhere in the new world to come.  That is some serious purging. That is far better than heaven, and it will be your new home if your name is found written in the book of Life

Posted in Heaven and Hell | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Happens in the End?

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 29, 2010


Had this discussion in our Sunday morning class, so I thought I’d walk it out here a bit.

We are not the center of God’s universe

Our self-centered nature shines through when we look at God from our vantage point with the thinking that His universe revolves around mankind.  He was here for eternity before we arrived and will be here for eternity to come; our world and existence is but a blip on that radar.

Do we really think that God was sitting around for eternity then one day decides, “I’m bored; I think I’ll create people?”

God’s Plan Rules

God had a plan that spans eternity to eternity. Our little minds can’t even fathom never having a beginning. It blows our minds because it’s against all our physical laws, but God didn’t start with our universe. He already was.

His plan “includes” people, but it also includes angels, demons, and even the devil himself.  It contains players we probably haven’t even heard about yet.  Point is that God is infinite in his majesty which means he was doing stuff before we came along.

Worlds that are Captured in the Bible

Just look at these things God has documented in Creation that directly affect us in the Bible. These are the worlds that we know of:

  • Created heaven in the beginning
  • Created Earth in the beginning
  • Created angels (and all the other spiritual beings mentioned in the Bible)
  • Angels fell / their kingdom shatters and Satan is born as the accuser
  • Created man to fill the Earth
  • Destroyed the Earth with water
  • Re-established man through Noah
  • Ushered in a Covenant through Abraham
  • Ushered in a New Covenant through His Son, Jesus
  • Jesus will rule this world for a 1000 years (A segment of believers will reign with Him) Revelation 20
  • He will destroy the heavens and earth again (Revelation 21)
  • Will rebuild both heaven and earth (notice from Revelation 21 that the only thing that makes it from the old heaven to the new earth is the New Jerusalem.

The New Jerusalem

In the New World, there is an interesting feature:

  • All the laws that govern that new world change (21:1 and 4)
  • The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into the New Jerusalem. (Rev. 21:24)

What does this mean? Who are the kings? What are the nations? What is God up to? Is he done, or does he have another part of his plan to unfold?

He has done this before. Remember the angels?  They were all created perfect, but then 1/3 fell with Lucifer. Jesus later says that hell was made for the devil and his angels – Matthew 25:41 (meaning hell was probably fashioned after the angels fell).

Now those good angels are ministering spirits to mankind at the bidding of God.

Food for Thought

What if He continues that trend.  What if we are going to be ministering spirits to whatever God has next like the angels are to us? One thing I’m pretty convinced of, we probably won’t be sitting around on clouds playing harps.

You never know what God has planned, but one thing is for sure. With God, all things are possible.

Posted in Heaven and Hell | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

About Hell: The World of the Dead

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 2, 2009


Hell Defined

The term “hell” evokes images of a burning lake of fire, smoke and eternal torment, and while these are true, the use of the term distorts the complete biblical description of hell.  The term itself comes from Anglo-Saxon and German roots and simply meant “underworld”.  Unfortunately for the English reader, the term often hides the original Greek and Hebrew words used in the Bible, so it becomes easy for the reader to get a distorted understanding.   It is important to look at the Hebrew or Greek word being used and the context in which it is used to get a more clear understanding.

The Introduction of Death

The world of the dead actually changes at least three times in the Bible, and each change comes from a key event that occurs between man and God.

The first change occurs in the garden east in Eden.  God tells Adam that if he eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he will die.  Death is first introduced here.

God originally intended that man would never die.  Death was not part of God’s “perfect” original plan.  We introduced it into our own lives through disobedience to God.  But now that man could die, he had to have a destination.  God told Adam that he was created from dust and so dust would be where he would return (Genesis 3:19).

Though the body dies and its molecules are spread throughout the earth, the spirit lives on, and so would need an eternal home.  Heaven was the first thing God created (Genesis 1:1), but was there another place?  Is heaven the only place for the souls of the dead to dwell eternally?

Strangely enough, heaven is not an Old Testament teaching of man’s eternal home.  Only two people were possibly caught up to be with God in heaven, and for the record, neither one of them died – Enoch and Elijah. The rest had a destination, but it isn’t where you might think.

The Land of the Dead: Adam to Jesus

The Old Testament does not really talk about “hell” in the manner most of us understand.  It speaks of a place called Sheol a bi-level subterranean cavity where the dead would go.  Sheol’s unique layout allowed for both the righteous and the wicked a place to go once they died.  Most writers understood that sheol was their resting place after death, and they knew that God would not leave them there (c.f. Psalm 16:10, Psalm 49:15).  A deep portion or “pit” (c.f. Psalm 30:3) existed for the wicked while sheol in general was for the righteous.

God didn’t created sheol or hell after the fall of man; it must have been a part of the original creation and most likely was not intended for man’s eternal abode anymore than heaven was intended for man’s eternal abode since the earth itself was made for him. So, technically speaking, both heaven and hell (as you may understand it) up to the time of Jesus were pretty much void of humans, sheol on the other hand, contained every human that ever died.

However, It was Jesus himself that gave us the best understanding of this place called sheol in the Hebrew and Hades in the Greek.

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ” – Luke 16:19ff

Jesus describes the land of the dead as a place that consists of a peaceful side and a place of fire and torment with a huge chasm that separated them.   They could even see each other and even speak to each other across the chasm.

Sheol or Hades is finally described just before Jesus dies on the Cross.  However, the death of Jesus would bring about a second change in the man’s destination in the afterlife.

Land of the Dead: Jesus to the Second Coming

Up until the death of Jesus, people were saved through the sacrifice of bulls and goats, but this sacrifice was not enough to take care of the original seed of sin within man.  Only through the death of Jesus would the payment be possible for every person to actually live with God.  Hades would not be the same once Jesus died.  Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:8-10 that Jesus went down to the depths of the earth and led captivity out.  He took those that we with Abraham in the “paradise” side of hades to heaven because only through the blood of His death could there be a reconciliation to God.

Those on the torment side of hades remained there and are still there to this day.  When you die now, your temporary destination is either heaven or hades’ bad side and it all hinges on your relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

A final configuration of the world of the dead will take place in the near future and the Bible once again shows how it’s going to unfold.

Land of the Dead: At the End of Time

There are two other terms in the New Testament translated as “hell” besides hades – tartarous and ghenna.

Tartarous is the place where the angels that sinned are kept in chains (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6).  This place only contains the wicked angels that fell with Satan and/or the ones that mated with human women prior to the flood (c.f. Genesis 6:2).  Either way, it is a very deep part of “hell” and only contains angels.

The second word is the one we understand as the true “hell”.  Ghenna, which is defined as the second death (Revelation 20:14)… the lake of fire, where the worm does not die and the torment is eternal.

Nobody occupies ghenna yet.  In fact, the first inhabitants will be the antichrist and the false prophet (Revelation 19:20) After this, Satan is bound and thrown into Tartarous with the rest of the sinning angels.

About a 1000 years after the antichrist and prophet are cast into ghenna, Satan is release from tartarous and tries to battle God where he is quickly caught and thrown into ghenna.  The remaining people are judged and all those in Hades are brought before God. Anyone whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is thrown into ghenna.  Therefore, Hades is emptied of the remaining people and ghenna is filled. (Revelation 20)

The final phase is for God to destroy heaven and earth and rebuild them both.  He then empties heaven of its human inhabitants, places them in the New Jerusalem, which he prepared for them and places it earth along with the believers where they will live with God for eternity.

So in the end, all is as God originally intended.  God is with man on earth as he was with Adam in the Garden, Satan is defeated and sin is no more.

Posted in Heaven and Hell | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

About Hell: The Reality

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 28, 2009


Hell: Arguably the most controversial subject when it comes to the afterlife.  Most people’s beliefs about hell come from what they learned through tradition, folklore, poor teaching, movies and general fear.  When it comes to hell, many people simply write it off as a myth or parable, and can’t imagine it as a real place that a loving God would actually send people.

To those that write it off, however, the real possibilities of hell come into play when you speak of Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung, Stalin, Charles Manson, mass murders and the like, because heaven certainly can’t be their eternal home. But at what point between the evil of a Hitler and the good of a Mother Theresa does one cross the boundary line of a path that leads to eternal destruction and one to eternal bliss because they were “good”? How many “bad” deeds disqualify you?  How many “good” deeds earn you a ticket?

The Bible lays out reality of hell, how to go there, how to avoid it and the role it plays in God’s eternal plan.

The Reality of Hell

Most people believe in a heaven.  Some believe in hell and few believe in nothing at all.  Sadly, it really doesn’t matter what we believe because belief never offsets reality.  From a practical point of view, the best avenue would be to look at it from a worst case scenario and approach life as if there is a heaven and hell.  If you are wrong, then you have nothing to lose.  But if you discount hell, heaven or both, and are wrong, then your eternity could be quite disappointing.

The Bible has quite a bit to say on the subject, and will look at it over the next couple posts.

Posted in Heaven and Hell | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »