It is estimated that about 250,000 people, in the world, die every day. Some have estimated that about 1% or approximately 2,500 will enter heaven. If that is true, that would mean the rest will end up in hell. Whether you believe there isn’t a hell or heaven doesn’t mean there is not one. You may not believe the Bible is the Word of God, if you do not believe there is a God. Or, you may believe there is a God, who loves everyone, and He would never send any to a place called hell, a place of torment. Therefore, you probably are willing to gamble that there is not a hell. What if you are wrong? Let’s learn what the Bible says happens to a person after they die. You do believe, someday you will die, right? No matter what you believe about what happens after death, you could be wrong. THE BIG GAMBLE!

Matthew 7:13 – 15 – “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

Luke 16:19 – 26 – “Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’”

If you believe there is a God and if you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, you must believe that there is a place of torment. Prior to Christ’s resurrection, those who were God fearing, their souls went to Paradise. Those who were not God fearing went to Hades a place of torment. Scripture says as the poor man died, angels brought him to Abraham’s bosom or Paradise. We are then told they can remember what transpired while they were on earth. We have learned that those in Hades are tormented by flames.

When Christ was crucified He went from the cross to Sheol or Paradise. Matthew 12:40 – “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Those who died under the Old Covenant could not enter Heaven because the sacrificed blood of animals could not forgive their sins. Sinners, not having been forgiven, could not enter the presence of God. Christ, taking the thief on the cross beside Him, went to Paradise where God’s people were being held. All those who had been waiting temporarily in Paradise were forgiven of their sins by Christ and then ascended to Heaven with Him.

Acts 2:34 – “For David did not ascend to heaven” John 3:13 – “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.” Ephesians 4:8 and 9 – “This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men. (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?)”

Paradise is no longer in Hell. We believe Scripture says that Jesus descended into Paradise to release those saints who were waiting to enter God’s presence and that He also gave the gift of salvation to those still alive by grace through faith. After Pentecost those having received the Holy Spirit, at death, go to join those Old Testament saints in Heaven where Christ remains until His second coming.

Revelation 6:9 – “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony.” Many Christians will be martyred as the Antichrist comes to power and their souls will go to Heaven.

Those in hell and those who will go to Hell will be there until the Day of Judgment when they will be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire.

Revelation 20:14 – 15 – “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

2 Thessalonians 1:8 – 9 – “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”

Revelation 14:10 – 12 – “they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.”

Revelation 20:15 – “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

In many churches today, ministers do not preach about hell. I heard a number of sermons, but it was the one preached about hell that led me to my conversion. If the Bible is God’s Word and He tells us there are two places we will go after death, I was not willing to gamble with where I would spend eternity. I have seen enough supernatural things happen in my life to confirm that I made the right decision. How about you? Do you profess to be a Christian but live as the world lives, uncommitted to the gospel of Jesus Christ living a holy life? If you are still very self-centered, you probably have not totally surrendered and have allowed the Holy Spirit to guide you daily. However, if you have, this is what God promises:

I Peter 1:4 – “and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,” Hebrews 13:5 – “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Matthew 6:31 tells us God will meet our needs. 1 John 5:14–15– “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Philippians 4:7 – God will give us peace and guard our hearts. Romans 8:39 No one can separate us from the love of God. John 14:1 – 3 Christ promises, He will take us to heaven with Him. Is eternity worth living for Christ?

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