Heaven and hell: Are both of them for real?


By Steve Greene

Jesus alerted his listeners to the absolute reality of hell in Matthew 7:13-14.

He said, “You can enter God’s kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”

Jesus’ reference to a “narrow gate” that leads to God’s kingdom is a reference to eternal life. Based on other things he said, we know he did not mean that it is difficult to become a Christian. What he means is that there is only one way to eternal life and only a few will choose to enter through that narrow gate.

Unfortunately, it seems like Satan has done a masterful job of desensitizing people to the existence of hell. If he can convince you that there is no hell or if there is, there is no reason to take it seriously because a loving God would never send you there, then he has basically won the battle already. We need to understand not only the reality of hell but our need to make a very important decision that will impact our eternal destiny.

Hell exists for two primary reasons. Hell exists for God to deal righteously with Satan. Many people tend to think of the devil as some harmless character in a red suit with a pitchfork, horns, etc. In fact, I saw a commercial on television a few months ago promoting a popular online dating service. The commercial featured Satan and a young lady who says, “Call me 2020.” Satan and 2020 are found to be a perfect match as Taylor’s Swift’s “Love Story” plays in the background.

While that commercial is clever and it may seem harmless enough, we need to understand the devil is the embodiment of all evil. Behind every addiction, all abuse, every bit of fear, pain and shame in our world is the prince of darkness.

Satan is referred to as the destroyer, the deceiver, our adversary, the tempter, our enemy and the father of lies. Satan is the thief that comes to steal your joy, to kill your faith, to destroy your health, to ruin you financially, to obliterate your marriage and decimate your family.

What we believe about heaven, hell and even Satan himself will influence the way we live today. What we believe matters. It will significantly impact our future.

Next time, we will explore what the Bible says about Satan’s future.

Steve Greene is the pastor at The Point in Seymour. Send comments to [email protected].

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