The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Heaven & Hell

The Dreaded Day of Judgment: Is God going to humiliate us in Heaven?

201

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Humans are spiritual beings who are temporarily cruising around in physical bodies which we call earthsuits.  When humans die, their souls will leave their earthsuits like an astronaut stepping out of his spacesuit, and only their souls will go on to eternity.

Now when we talk about things like gender and ethnicity, we’re talking about earthsuit qualities.  Human souls do not have gender, a sex drive, or DNA.  Once you understand the difference between souls and earthsuits, you can hear how utterly absurd it is for anyone to suggest that God loves certain people more than others based on qualities about their earthsuits.  Read more of this post

Why We Shouldn’t Mourn for the Dead

45

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

As a Christian, there’s no way to feel sorry for the dead without simultaneously insulting God. Since we don’t want to be insulting God, there’s no room for mourning those who have died.  Mourning for our own loss and for the loss of others certainly has its place, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.  In this post, we’re talking about mourning for the souls who have actually died.  Let’s now discuss the wrong beliefs and backwards priorities that fuel this most inappropriate attitude. Read more of this post

Courtroom Drama: A Metaphor of Heaven that Insults Yahweh

311

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

In the Church, we have invented a very untrue and downright offensive picture of what it will be like for Christians when they arrive in Heaven. We describe a courtroom scene, and each Christian has his turn being on trial. Yahweh is the somber faced Judge with gavel in hand, and Satan is there to point out all the ways we violated God’s Law. Things are looking bad for us, and we’re afraid that the grim faced Yahweh is about to condemn us as guilty.  But then Jesus rushes in to our defense. He tells Yahweh that He’s paid the penalty for our sins, therefore we should be considered innocent. After listening to what Jesus has to say, Yahweh nods and grants us passage into Heaven. Big sigh of relief. Read more of this post

Better than Heaven: Pursuing What Really Matters

277

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Look around at this world you live in. Read the news. Watch people interacting with each other. Ponder historical accounts and realize that everything you see, hear about, and read about is God’s choice. We are living in a reality which God created—a reality which He is currently controlling and outworking to go exactly as He wants. Both the good and the bad—they are all being selected by Him. Consider everything you love and everything you hate and realize that none of it would exist if it weren’t for God. From adorable kittens chasing their own tails to lions ripping the flesh off of creatures who are still writhing in pain—it’s all God’s choice.

God’s choice is a vastly different concept than human choice. We humans are created beings who can only ever choose between a very limited set of options. Those options are placed before us by our uncreated Creator—a Being who has infinite possibilities at His disposal. The more you understand about who God is, the more you realize how impossible it is to argue that anything goes on in this world apart from His will. Can a pen write on its own? No, it can only write when you pick it up and begin running its tip over some writing surface. In the same way, God’s creatures can scheme and dream about all the things they’d like to do, but none of their plans will come to fruition without God’s approval and help. Read more of this post

Learning to Feel Safe with an Unpredictable God

157

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Suppose you try to take a vacation to a lush tropical island, but on the way there, your plane gets hijacked and forced to land in a country that’s in the middle of a war. Everywhere you look there are soldiers with huge guns and angry looks on their faces. Bombs are going off in the distance. People are rushing around looking scared. Now and then a military tank comes driving down the street. You’re scared out of your wits, but your friend who was on the plane with you says he knows someone who can help you both out. You go with your friend to a creepy looking bar that’s filled with nervous looking people and lots of soldiers. Your friend leads you to a corner table way in the back where one soldier is sitting at a table with a drink. When your friend calls out a greeting, the soldier stands up. He towers a whole foot over you, he’s broad framed, and he’s so muscular that he looks like he could kill you with one punch. The dark expression on his face gives you the feeling that the man is dangerously unstable. He’s wearing a military uniform and he’s loaded with ammunition. Your heart is racing with fear as your friend introduces you. “This is X. He’s the best guy ever. We’ll be safe with him.” X? What kind of a name is that? You can feel X’s dark eyes drilling into you while you give your friend an alarmed look that he doesn’t seem to notice. Then your friend tells you to stay with X while he goes back to the landing strip to find your luggage. Before you can answer, your friend dashes out of the bar, and you’re left alone with X. “Don’t worry, you can trust me,” X growls. Are you feeling convinced? Read more of this post

Understanding God’s Justice: Inequality in Hell

47

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

In eternity, humans will be judged by how their souls responded to God in this world. All believers are not equal. There are those who seek God wholeheartedly, such as David, Job, and permanently surrendered Christians today. And there are those who submit to God enough for Him to accept them into Heaven, but not enough to fully please Him. There will definitely be ranks and differing degrees of rewards in Heaven. But what about in Hell?

God’s judgment system will be the same for every soul. More will be expected from those who received more, and those who received more will be punished more severely for squandering what they had than those who received less. But to properly understand the ranks of Hell, we must keep a firm grip on the fact that external sins have nothing to do with who will suffer the most. As much as some people would like to believe that murderers and molesters will roast in hotter flames than liars and cheaters, this is simply not true. God will not judge us by our external actions, but by our soul’s response to Him. Whenever you find verses which make it sound like people are going to Hell based on their actions, you need to realize that spiritual rebellion is being assumed in all of these cases. No one is going to end up in Hell just because they were a pervert or because they killed someone. God is quite willing to forgive every sin we commit IF we are willing to reverentially submit to Hm. It is the refusal to submit to God’s Authority on HIS terms that lands us in Hell. Under the current Covenant, God’s terms are that we reverentially submit to all three of our Creators: Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We must also recognize that Jesus atoned for our sins on the cross and agree that He is our only hope of being accepted by Yahweh. Jesus said “No one comes to the Father (Yahweh) except through Me.” If we reject this statement by deciding that we can find other creative ways of getting right with God without dealing with Jesus, then we’ll end up in Hell. Read more of this post

The Eternal Cost of Defying God: A Warning for Christians

15

If God is so gracious, and if He’s willing to forgive all of our sins through Christ’s atonement, then why bother to obey Him at all after salvation? In fact, why rush into salvation? Why not just do what we want to do and then sob all over Jesus in our dying moment and get our free ticket out of Hell? Or, why not get saved now, then ignore God for the rest of our lives and reconnect with Him on the other side? After all, in Heaven, the rebels will get the same prize as the obedient, right? Since Jesus has atoned for ALL of our sins, it’s all good, right? If God looks at us and sees the righteousness of Christ, then we might as well take advantage of His happy glasses and wallow in our lusts until the day we die. When we get to Heaven, we can continue to live for ourselves because we’re the ones God made Heaven for, right? Isn’t the whole point of Heaven to make humans feel like they’re in a blissful paradise? Read more of this post

Your New Name in Heaven

128

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” (Rev. 2:17)

Jesus is speaking here, and whenever Jesus speaks, it’s exciting. But sometimes it’s also confusing because what’s with this new name business? If God wants us to have a particular name, why didn’t He give our parents some Divine inspiration when we were born? What if we really like our names on earth? Is it possible that we’re going to have to go through all of eternity with some embarrassing identification? “Hey, Blue Face. Hey, Rainbow.” Some of us have had our fill of name mockery down here, and we’re really not looking forward to continuing the persecution in Heaven. Read more of this post

Predestination & Objects of Wrath: Are some of us created for Hell?

99

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

As creatures of God, we are not in control of our own existence.  We did not bring ourselves into being, nor can we cause ourselves to stop being.  On this earth, the most we can do is try to kill ourselves, but this does not make us cease to be.  The death of our physical body merely frees our souls to go on to eternity, and this is certainly not something we want to rush if we’re only going to end up in Hell.  Unless we meet God’s requirements for salvation, we will spend eternity writhing in terrible torment.  This is a horrifying thought.  Happily, God offers us a better option…or does He?  Is it true that everyone is given the chance to go to Heaven?  Does God really desire all souls to be saved?  Does He really love all people or only a privileged few?  What if before we were even born, God labeled some of us as eternal outcasts?  What if He created certain people just to be hated objects which He will delight in torturing forever?  What if some of us were intentionally created as warped, ugly freaks who God sadistically delights in inflicting misery upon?  If you are worried that you might be an object of wrath to God or a soul who He has predestined to burn in Hell, then this post is for you. Read more of this post

Will all Christians be equal in Heaven?

Will all Christians be equal in Heaven?

Will all Christians be equal in Heaven? Certainly not. Heaven is not at all the difference canceling place we’re often taught to expect. In Heaven, the consequences of the spiritual choices we made on earth will be unveiled. God will reward us according to how we responded to the illumination He gave us on earth.

Not everyone receives the same level of insight from the Holy Spirit. Down here it’s rather obvious when someone has been endowed with an extra measure of spiritual insight, faith, love, etc. Everyone assumes that these people have an advantage over everyone else, and that they must be some kind of favorites to God. However these people do not have an advantage—they have a responsibility. Every soul down here has been given some measure of illumination by God. The quantity isn’t important. What matters to God is how you personally responded to what you were given. Read more of this post