This is another most intriguing and somewhat perplexing question. It has been considered many times down through the ages by Christians and non-Christians alike. Back in 1320 AD Dante wrote the book, Divine Comedy, and it was published finally in 1472 AD. It describes his view of what torment might be like in various levels of Inferno or Hell. It is of course fictional but worth reading to get one perspective on torment in Hell for body and soul.
We, however, always look to see what God has said in His inspired Word, the Bible. First, in many references it says that Hell is a real place, a place that was initially created for Satan and the fallen angels. (Jude 1:6) It is also a place for all those who have rejected God’s free gift of redemption and salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are very clear that there is no condemnation or punishment or torment for those who have trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord. (Romans 8:1) That’s the good news! Jesus, who spoke more about Hell than heaven, described Hell as a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. In other words, a body.
In the book of Revelation there is reference to the resurrection of the dead nonbelievers with bodies as it says every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. (Philippians 2:9-11) Unfortunately, it will be too late for those to enter heaven as they made their choice while on earth to say no to God. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed onto man once to die and then judgment.” Again in the book of Revelation 20:11-15 we learn that the unsaved will stand before God in judgment and be cast into hell or the lake of fire for all eternity.
Finally their unsaved souls will be in constant torment and anguish. They will forever regret the choice that was made to reject Jesus. They will lament over thoughts like, if I had only listened, or if I hadn’t been so stubborn, or if I had only believed, or if I only trusted in Jesus. God gives everyone an equal chance to have eternal life and be forever with Him in heaven. So choose wisely while there is yet time. Jesus is calling. We trust that you will say yes.
Two weeks ago we addressed the question, “Why is life so hard?” We regularly need to be reminded that at times life can be difficult. There is no way around that. We live in a fallen world where sin reigns mostly due to our human nature and our own choices. Sometimes the choices that others make hurt us and contribute to our discomfort. Unfortunately becoming a follower of Christ does not mean that suddenly life becomes easy. So maybe the question should be asked a different way.
How will becoming a Christian help me deal with the hard times in my life?
Think about who we are as humans. We are selfish and prideful and make wrong choices. That pretty much describes everyone with whom you interact. That’s why we all end up hurting ourselves and others and why others hurt us. But God’s good news is that Christians have a helper, we call the Holy Spirit, to comfort us when we we’re hurting; to help us see clearly when the road ahead is cloudy and dark. Life doesn’t necessarily become easier, but you are better able to endure your suffering knowing that as you sincerely call on God, he will give you peace.
When the first humans chose to break their relationship with God (Gen. 2:16-17), he promised he would provide a way to restore that relationship. He did that by first sending his son, Jesus, to suffer the consequences of our separating ourselves from God. Then he sent his Holy Spirit to indwell all those who accept the death of Jesus as the substitute for their own death, and choose to become a follower of Jesus. They, in effect, are born anew. As such, each Christian can enjoy a measure of peace knowing that Jesus has “overcome this world” (John 16:33).
James, Jesus’ half-brother, wrote that we should change our perspective when we face these difficulties, because they produce joy and maturity in us when we rely on God for help in these circumstances (James 1:2-4, 2 Cor. 4:17). For a Christian, facing life’s difficulties is easier knowing that:
“The joy of the Lord is our strength”
This is a frequently asked question and in a way a mystery but there is a simple answer…because He is God and He can. As such, He is the Creator of all and has existed forever.
In the Bible God is referred to as, I Am. But, a more explanatory answer is that He is a ‘transcendent’ God meaning He is in a separate world of dimensions well beyond ours and is not limited to time and space as we humans are. With God in eternity there is no time. He ‘spoke’ our universe into existence through the power of His Word and both time and space were created. We are unable in our limited dimensions to comprehend this fact. We also cannot understand time. It just is! It is there to mark the days and years and the seasons of life. But, He did give us practical, positive and understandable evidence of His existence and presence and creative power. A few examples are:
- 1. Nature: The greatness, grandeur and magnificence of all on this earth, and the laws that govern the sciences.
- 2.Life: The concept of all life and how it all fits together for it’s reproduction and existence. We know that humans are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)
- 3. The Bible: We know it is God’s inspired Word because only He sees all of human history as if it’s already happened. That’s how there can be hundreds prophecies of future events that are 100% certain like the first and second coming of Jesus…. God’s omniscience and power on display.
- 4. Divine Intervention: God heals diseases, answers prayers, influences our decisions and most importantly transforms lives. Examples of these are endless. Think about John Newton, author of Amazing Grace, transformed from slave trader to preacher and hymn writer.
In summary, God created the universe out of nothing because He wanted to demonstrate His love for all who desire a personal relationship with Him in this life and for all eternity in a new dimension, heaven. That relationship and salvation is possible for all those who trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. (Romans 10:9&10)
This life is not fair and hurts. When this life hurts, we can draw upon God for comfort and love. We are all imperfect people who are given the freedom, out of love for us by God, to make choices. When we make choices out of selfishness, pride, anger, fear or any other negative emotion or motive, we hurt others, but even more, hurt ourselves. This is sin, or missing the best that God desires for us and started with Adam and Eve disobeying God in the Garden of Eden.God can use anything, even evil, done to us for our own good.
God cares more about our character and heart than anything, and allows us to go through hurt and pain, so that we can grow and mature. We can thank God that he is just, and isn’t fair with us either. We have failed and hurt God by our actions most of all. God, out of his love for us, sent his only son, who was perfect and without sin, to Earth to take upon himself the sins of everyone, not just us, so that we could enjoy a life in relationship to Him. Jesus dying in our place was unfair, but necessary, for God’s best for all of us.
Another great question as all Christians are called to go and make disciples of all nations. ( Matthew 28:19) First, it must be said that Christians do not actually convert others. Christians are to be Jesus’ ambassadors to the world bringing the Good News of the Gospel that Jesus alone saves. God does all the convicting of sin and the need for a Savior and the converting through His Holy Spirit. Second, a Christian’s conversations and testimonies are to be shared in love and compassion to all those of other faiths, to those who have no knowledge of God and even to those who are agnostics and atheists who deny there is a Creator. (John 3:16)
Christians do all this because they are instructed to do so in many passages of scripture and because they want to share God’s love and that joy of knowing Jesus as Savior. They want every person to experience that new wonderful transformed and meaningful life He gives now and forever to all who believe. When a person experiences God’s love and forgiveness and are saved from God’s wrath. So, why would they not want to tell others about their new life and Savior. Remember, Christians only tell others about Jesus, the Gospel and how He died and rose again for each person. We are only His ambassadors. We go and tell just like the Apostle Andrew said to his brother Peter, “Come and see. We have found the Messiah, Jesus.”
There is nothing greater than seeing a lost soul find Jesus as Savior. Now how about you? If you are a Christian do you tell others about Jesus? Perhaps it’s a family member or friend or colleague that needs to know Him. We encourage you to be that Christian friend that shares the ‘Good News” and points them to Jesus just like Andrew did to Peter. Then watch in wonder as God does a marvelous transformation in that person’s life. What happens really does surpasses all human understanding but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)