Are heaven and hell real?
Taking heaven and hell out of Jesus’ teaching would be like taking the ball out of a cup final.
He talks about it all the time. He says there’s a judgment to come. And that heaven and hell are real destinations for each of us (Matthew 25:46).
Jesus speaks about hell with tears (Luke 19:41-42).
His warnings aren’t cold. They’re like those of a parent pulling their child out the road to safety.
He warns about God’s coming judgment (Matthew 11:22), about his justice to rightly punish spiritual rebellion, immorality, idolatry. Sin.
Jesus assumes what we find hard to believe - that we are guilty of all of these.
We don’t live with God as King. We don’t keep even our own moral standards. We worship idols - false gods like money, success, and sex that never fulfil.
We may think these are minor details. But God considers them cosmic crimes.
We all believe crime deserves punishment but how much more crimes against the eternal God?
It deserves an eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46) - justice must be done.
Jesus calls this eternal punishment hell (Luke 12:5).
But God sent Jesus to save us from hell. He took God’s punishment himself on the cross (Mark 10:45).
Justice has already been done for all who’d come to Jesus. Forgiveness and God’s loving embrace is theirs (Luke 15:20).
For forgiven sinners, God’s promised to withhold nothing from us in his kingdom (Ephesians 1:3).
God made this world good. But now with sin, suffering and death, the good things here are only crumbs compared to the great banquet God is preparing (Luke 12:37).
The forever joy that we can’t quite find in this world is going to be given to God’s people in the world to come (Romans 8:18).
True as history
Too good to be true?
It’s as true as history. Jesus didn’t only die. He rose. It’s as real as the scars which real people touched after his resurrection (John 20:27).
He rose so we would too. He’s invited us to that banquet, that new creation (Luke 14:23).
Have you accepted the invite?