http://www.abidewithchrist.org/d5.htmHeaven and Hell

 

1. Heaven

 

2. Hell

 

3. Eternal spiritual being - mortal physical being

 

4. In the past

4a. Abraham’s Bosom not Heaven - was in earthly heavens

4b. Hades not Hell

4c. Did not communicate with any on earth 

 

5. Presently

5a. Spiritually in Heaven while living on earth

5b. Physically die – believers’ spiritual beings go to Heaven

5c. Physically die – unbelievers’ spiritual beings go to Hades

 

6. In the future

6a. Unbelievers heard gospel – not accept Jesus - eternally lost

6b. Gathered to Heaven - 1st resurrection - believers eternally saved

 

7a. Unbelievers’ spiritual beings go to Hades – two into the Lake of Fire

7b. Christ’s new Kingdom on earth – not Heaven – not eternal life

 

8a. All love God after first resurrection - given eternal life

8b. All reject God – Hades/Abyss/living - into Lake of Fire

 

9. Paul’s glimpse of Heaven

 

1. Heaven

 

This universe and everything in it is our God’s great Kingdom, which He created in the beginning. It is so vast and beautiful, our human minds cannot even comprehend it. The 1992 COBE Satellite probe found that there were over 100 billion galaxies in our Father’s Heavenly universe. Yet from our galaxy, the Milky Way, we can only see three other galaxies with our eyes. It is hard to count to 100 billion, even harder to imagine that many galaxies in the heavens above.

*In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen 1:1 ASV

*All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.  Ps 145:10-13 NKJV+

 

The whole concept of Heaven is not about any particular place, but about coming into the glorious presence of our great God. Heaven is wherever our God resides, and where our God resides, there we should desire to be also. Our Father created us because He wanted children to love. Children who would love Him back, and become brothers, become sisters for Jesus. We will only find completeness when we are part of the family of God. As we love, follow, and obey our Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

*Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25 NKJV+

*For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Ro 8:29 NIV+

*Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. Heb 2:11 NIV+

 

Heaven is called by different names in His Word. This includes the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God, and Paradise.

*John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Mk 1:14-15 NIV+

*From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matt 4:17 NKJV+

*And he said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Lk 23:43 ASV

 

Depending on the time and situation, Heaven will have different locations, which we will discuss below. Now our Heavenly Father rules from His throne in Heaven above, with Jesus sitting at His right hand. His holy council of angelic beings gathers around Him to hear and carry out His plans.

*The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Ps 103:19-21 NIV+

*which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, Eph 1:20 NIV+

*A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him?  Ps 89:7 NASB+

 

2. Hell

 

Hell is a general term for where unbelievers will ultimately be cast, into the eternal Lake of Fire, along with disobedient heavenly spiritual beings. Hell’s location is unknown, for the earth as we know it will disappear before Hell comes into existence. Since all in Hades and the Abyss will eventually be thrown into Hell, it is correct to say all will go to either Heaven or Hell.

*And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. Mk 9:43 ESV+

*Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Rev 20:14 NKJV+

*The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Rev 20:10 NKJV+

 

Hades usually refers to the place where an unbeliever’s spiritual being goes when they physically die. It refers to a pit in the earth where unbelievers’ eternal spirit and soul are kept in torment. Until they will be sentenced to Hell, the Lake of Fire at the White Throne Judgment. 

*And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. Lk 10:15 ESV+

*then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 2Pe 2:9 ESV+

*You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Matt 23:33 ESV+

 

The Abyss, or bottomless pit, usually refers to the deepest part of the pit in the earth. This is where demon spirits, who have offended God, are held prisoner until they are thrown eternally into Hell, the Lake of Fire. Jesus after He died on the cross, descended into the Abyss, to pronounce victory over the demonic spirits held there.

*Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless [Lit shaft of the abyss] pit was given to him. Rev 9:1 NASB+

*Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Lk 8:30-31 ESV+

* or “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  Ro 10:7 (ESV)

 

3. Eternal spiritual being - Mortal physical being

 

We all have an eternal spiritual being, our spirit (heart) and soul; and a mortal physical being, our mind and body (strength).

*And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mk 12:30 ESV+

* Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body!  Ps 31:9 NKJV+

 

We were conceived by our parents with a sinful physical being, our mind and body. The Holy Spirit then created within our physical being, our eternal spiritual being, our spirit and soul, giving us life.

*That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Jn 3:6 ESV+

*Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Ps 51:5 ESV+

*You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth. Ps 104:30 NKJV+

 

Paul and Peter refer to our physical being as our earthly house, a tent where our spirit and soul live, until we physically die.

*For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2Co 5:1 NKJV+

*I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 2Pe 1:13 NIV+

 

When our physical being, our mind and body dies, it returns to the dust from which it was created. Yet our eternal spiritual being returns to God, where it is eternally saved or is eternally condemned. Where and how this will happen is explained in our past, present and future segments below.  

*and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Eccl 12:7 ESV+

* And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, Heb 9:27 ESV+

 

Our physical being, will age until we die, and then will remain in the grave. All physical beings will be resurrected in the future at different times and locations. Believers’ bodies, those living and those resurrected, must be changed, must be made perfect so they can come into Heaven. Unbelievers’ bodies, those living and those resurrected will be changed, made eternal, yet will remain sinful, and will be cast into Hell. Where and how this will happen is explained in our future segment below.

*Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1Co 15:50 NASB+

*“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Lk 12:4-5 ESV+

 

4. In the Past

 

4a. Abraham’s Bosom in earthly heavens, is not Heaven

Jesus clearly told us no one had been to Heaven except Him, when He taught on earth. Nor could anyone have eternal life in Heaven, nor the indwelling of the Spirit, until He had been lifted up on the cross to die for our sins. This is confirmed in Hebrews, where all believers had to wait in Abraham’s Bosom until Jesus died as a ransom for our sins, to make us perfectly holy. No one will ever come into Heaven except through the grace of Jesus. Jesus Is First

*I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. Jn 3:12-15 NIV+

*For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Heb 9:15 NIV+

 

Our Heavenly Father made a safe haven or rest for the souls and spirits of all believers who physically died before Jesus atoned for our sins. Abraham’s spiritual being was taken to be with his fathers. And this rest is now referred to as Abraham’s bosom (or side), after Jesus told the story of Lazarus and the rich man. This rest was outside of our Father’s holy Kingdom. It was probably located in the heavens of our earthly planet, which satan rules, is prince of.

*Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Gen 25:8 ESV+

*And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom: Lk 16:22 ASV

*in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— Eph 2:2 ESV+

 

We know Elijah was carried up into the heavens of earth, into Abraham’s bosom, to wait with Enoch. Until they will be sent to minister to the Jewish people, before the antichrist rules the earth. 

*Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 2Ki 2:11 NKJV+

*By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. Heb 11:5 NIV+

*And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”  Rev 11:3 ESV+

 

We know from this rest Abraham’s soul and spirit rejoiced, when he looked down and saw Jesus had come to save us. The greatest desire of believers has always been to be with our Heavenly Father, in His Heavenly Kingdom. This included those in the Old Covenant who were waiting for the Messiah, Christ, to come and save them.

*Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. Ps 73:25 ESV+

*Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.  Jn 8:56 KJV

 

4b. Hades not Hell

We also know that the spiritual beings of unbelievers, their souls and spirits will be sent to Hades, which is in a pit in the earth. For the rich man had to look up far away, in the earthly heavens to see Abraham. And Abraham could look down on the rich man being tormented in Hades, along with the souls and spirits of all unbelievers who had physically died.

*And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' Lk 16:23-24 NKJV+

 

There was a chasm between Abraham’s Bosom and Hades to keep the spiritual beings of believers in the comfort of Abraham’s bosom, apart from those being tormented in Hades.

*But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. Lk 16:25 ESV+

*'And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.' Lk 16:26 NASB

 

4c. Did not communicate with any on earth 

It is important to remember that Abraham’s Bosom was located within the heavenly realms of earth. The spirits and souls of believers there were never part of God’s holy Kingdom of Heaven, they were only aware of what was going on within the earthly sphere they were living in. Yet they did not try to communicate with any on earth, or try to help them. For if any will not believe the prophets, now in the Word of God, they will not believe any person who will rise from the dead. This includes not believing in Jesus, who arose from the dead.

*And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”  Lk 16:30-31 ESV+

 

5. Presently

 

5a. Spiritually in Heaven while living on earth

Jesus gave His life, physically died on the cross, so He could forgive our sins. His spiritual being then descended into Hell, where the suffering of His soul completed the only sacrifice our Heavenly Father would accept as atonement for our sins.

*And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach Col 1:21-22 NASB+

*he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. Ac 2:31 NKJV+

*Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Isa 53:10-11 NIV+

 

Our eternal spiritual being, our soul and spirit, is made holy through the blood Jesus shed for us on the cross. We were made one with Christ, when we were given the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  The Ways Our Sins Are Forgiven

*If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. Ro 8:9-10 NASB+

*And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Eph 1:13 NIV+

 

We are sanctified, kept holy, by the Spirit. The Spirit enables us, through faith, to love our God more than anything else, and our neighbors as ourselves. And by this faith our sins are forgiven, and our Father has promised to remember them no more.

*And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1Co 6:11 ESV+

*that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Ro 15:16 NKJV+

*This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Heb 10:16-17 KJV

 

We spiritually come into the Kingdom of God when we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts (our spiritual being). The Spirit gives us the spiritual peace and joy which only those who are children of God, are part of His Kingdom, can receive. Baptisms Of The Holy Spirit

*Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2Co 1:21-22 NIV+

*nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."  Lk 17:21 NKJV+

*for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Ro 14:17 ASV

 

There is no question we are part of the Kingdom of God, when our Father and Jesus make Their home within us, the spirit dwells within us. For where our God’s home is, there His Kingdom is also. And if anyone does not have the Spirit dwelling within them, they are not children of God, do not belong to Christ, are not in the Kingdom of God.

*Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Jn 14:23 NKJV+

*However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Ro 8:9-10 NASB+

 

The simple truth is this. All people living on earth are either spiritually holy children of God in the Kingdom of Heaven. Or they are spiritually sinful children of satan, an enemy of God, and part of this evil world. We are spiritually either one with our God or spiritually one against Him. There is no middle ground.

*Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Lk 11:23 ESV+

*By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 1Jn 3:10 NASB+

 

We remain on earth to do the work of the Lord, doing what He would have us do. Though physically dying and spiritually being with Christ in Heaven is a far better place to be.

*For not one of us lives for himself, and for not one dies himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. Ro 14:7-8 NASB+

*For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Phil 1:21-24 ESV+

*Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord — for we walk by faith, not by sight — we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him2Cor 5:6-9 NASB+

 

5b. Physically die, believers’ spiritual being goes to Heaven 

The New Covenant of grace began with Christ’s atoning sacrificial suffering and death for all believers. Now all the spiritual beings, the souls and spirits of all Old Covenant believers’ in Abraham’s bosom, could be made holy, perfect. 

*because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Heb 10:14 NIV+

*And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. Heb 11:39-40 NASB+

 

After Jesus physically died on the cross, His soul and spirit descended into the Abyss to proclaim His victory to the demons there. His spiritual being then ascended into Heaven, bringing all the spiritual beings from Abraham’s Bosom behind Him, in a train bound for Heaven.

*For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit ; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 1Pe 3:18-19 NASB+

*But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 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? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) Eph 4:7-10 NIV+

 

For salvation, the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven would be first for the Jew, then for the gentile.

*I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Ro 1:16 NIV+

*And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matt 8:11 NKJV+

 

Later that day, after Jesus had spiritually ascended into Heaven, the soul of the criminal on the cross was also welcomed into Paradise by Jesus. He was the first believer we were told about to physically die under the New Covenant of grace, and have his spiritual being taken into Heaven.  

*Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." Lk 23:39-43 NKJV+

 

Believers will continue to have our spirits and souls safely taken into Heaven, where our God now rules. All who have physically died in Christ have been eternally saved, will be in the presence of our God forever. They will remain in the presence of Jesus as they are changed, reunited with their physical body which has been glorified, and taken to a new Heaven, from where our Father will rule.

*Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1Pe 1:8-9 NIV+

*The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2Tim 4:18 NASB+

 

Physical death is not our greatest enemy, for our eternal home is in the Kingdom of God, where we will reside forever. Our physical lifetime, even if it is 100 years- is as quick as a blink of an eye compared to eternity. For eternity is more than a billion, more than a trillion years, it is forever.

*For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mk 8:35-36 NKJV+

*The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

 

5c. Physically die, unbelievers’ spiritual beings go to Hades

Only unbelievers have to fear death, for they will get no second chance. When their physical bodies die their spiritual beings are separated from the presence of God forever. Their soul and spirit go directly into the torment of Hades, to await the White Throne judgment. When their physical bodies will be reunited with their spiritual being and they are thrown into the second death, the eternal Lake of Fire in Hell.

*if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. 2Pe 2:9 NIV+

* and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Rev 1:18 ESV+

*But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Lk 12:5 NIV+

 

6. In the future

 

6a. Unbelievers heard – not accept Jesus - eternally lost 

There are different times believers think Jesus will return to gather us to Heaven. Yet no one knows when Jesus will return, and though we hope Jesus will come sooner, we must be prepared to wait if He comes later. We will base the future on when we believe Jesus will return to gather us to Heaven (rapture). Which is after the antichrist’s reign is over, and before the 30 days of God’s wrath comes upon the earth. Tribulation

*"But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Mk 13:32 NASB+

 

Unbelievers will be condemned, who were taught the gospel, had a chance to know about Jesus, but did not accept Him as their Lord, when the antichrist comes. Our God will delude them into following the antichrist, and all who follow the antichrist, receive His mark, will go to Hades when they die. This will happen 3 1/2 years before we are gathered to Heaven, as the antichrist begins his reign over the earth. 

*Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2Thess 2:11-12 ESV+

*Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his handhe himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Rev 14:9-10 NKJV+

 

6b. Gathered to Heaven – 1st resurrection – believers eternally saved 

Jesus told us:

*"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Rev 22:12-13 NIV+

 

Jesus alone, by Himself, will return again, to take all believers’ home to be with Him in Heaven. He will descend from Heaven, with all the saints, the eternal spiritual beings of those living in Heaven with Him, and come into the clouds over the earth. Jesus will shout with the voice of an archangel, like the trumpet of God.

*For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 1Thess 4:16-17 NASB+

*I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, Rev 1:10 NKJV+

*After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”  Rev 4:1 ESV+

 

And when the last angel, the 7th angel, will sound his trumpet, the kingdom of the world will become the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ. And all the heavenly saints’ dead physical bodies and minds on earth, will rise up, be resurrected, as perfect, holy, eternal physical beings. They will be caught up in the clouds to Jesus, to be reunited with their eternal spiritual being from Heaven, making all heavenly saints a perfect, holy, live, eternal person.

Then all believers who still are alive on the earth, still have our spiritual and physical beings united, will likewise have our physical being, our body and mind changed. In the “twinkling of an eye,” we will be given a perfect holy, eternal body, for our holy, eternal, spiritual being to live in. And then we will likewise be “caught up” into the air, the clouds to be with Jesus. And He will take all of us up to Heaven to be with Him forever.

Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ ; and He will reign forever and ever." Rev 11:15 NASB+

*Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 1Co 15:51-53 NIV+

 

Our physical bodies will be glorified, will be made like Jesus’ glorious body.

*The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Ro 8:16-17 NKJV+

*But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Phil 3:20-21 ESV+

 

This is the first Resurrection, when we are gathered to Heaven just before the wrath of God begins. After the antichrist loses his power over us, and the earth becomes the Kingdom of God and Jesus, over which Jesus will reign.

*He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end. Da 7:25-26 ESV+

*Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. Rev 15:1 NKJV+

*Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." Rev 11:15 NASB+

 

Jesus will take us to Heaven, where we will be rewarded with blessings for all the work which we have done out of love for our God.

*For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1Co 3:12-15 NKJV+

*For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  2Cor 5:10 NASB+

 

We will come into the New Heaven, the New Jerusalem, as we celebrate the wedding supper of the Lamb, with our Savior.

*"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." Rev 19:7 NASB+

*And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev 21:2 ESV+

*Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, Rev 21:9-10 ESV+

 

Our home is in the New Jerusalem, where Jesus has prepared a place for us to dwell.

*And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Rev 21:4 NKJV+

*"In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. Jn 14:2-3 NASB+

 

John was given a revelation of the future Heaven, the New Jerusalem, and was told to reveal it in God’s Word.

*Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Rev 21:2-4 NKJV+

*Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Rev 22:1-5 NIV+

 

Jesus tells us there are 2 resurrections. The first resurrection is for believers only, those who have been blessed and made holy by our God. We will be priests of God and Christ in the New Jerusalem, and our Father will wipe away every tear from our eyes. 

*Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. Rev 20:6 ESV+

*Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Rev 7:15-17 NKJV+

 

After the first resurrection, all believers will have been eternally saved. Either when we physically die in the Lord, and have our spiritual being, our soul and spirit taken into Heaven. Or if we are still physically alive, when Jesus returns in the clouds, and gathers us up to be with Him in Heaven. Since all of us will have now been eternally saved, further prophecy in the Word only tells us how and where we will spend eternity with our God. What will happen during the 1,000 years of Christ’s Kingdom on earth, as Israel and others will be saved, until the final White Throne Judgment takes place.

 

7a. Unbelievers’ spiritual beings go to Hades – two into the Lake of Fire

All unbelievers, except those chosen by God to come into Christ’s Kingdom on earth, will be killed. This will start during the 30 days of God’s wrath, and be completed when Christ comes in all of His power. The angels will gather unbelievers and throw them into the winepress of God’s great wrath. Jesus will come back as the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and with commands, the sword of His mouth, destroy all the armies of the nations who gather against Him at Jehoshaphat, Jerusalem, and Armageddon. Then He will tread the winepress of those gathered by the angels, destroying all who are not going to be part of His Kingdom on earth.

*So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Rev 14:19 NKJV+

*Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  Rev 19:11 NKJV+

*From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. Rev 19:15 NASB+

 

And blood will come out of the winepress up to the height of horses’ bridles, the whole length of the nation of Israel. And the birds will gather to eat the flesh of all those killed in battles.

*And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs. Rev 14:20 NKJV+

*And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. Rev 19:21 NKJV+

 

satan will be bound up, cast in the Abyss, the bottomless pit, and will kept there for 1,000 years, then released for a little while.

*He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. Rev 20:2-3 NKJV+

 

Evil ones for the first time will be cast into the Lake of Fire. It will be the antichrist, also known as the beast, along with his prophet. They are both demons, who will each come into, take over a human physical body, when God allows them to rule the world for 3 1/2 years. They will be destroyed when their time is up, and while living in their physical body, they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, the eternal Hell.

*Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. Rev 19:20 NKJV+

*And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. Rev 16:13-14 ESV+

 

7b. Christ’s new Kingdom on earth – not Heaven – not eternal life

Jesus will establish His Kingdom on earth for 1,000 years after He returns in power. We will be priests to God and Jesus in the New Jerusalem, and also reign with Jesus over the earth.

*And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be-- "The Lord is one," And His name one.  Zech 14:9-10 NKJV+

*Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. Rev 20:6 NASB

*Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Rev 20:4 ESV+

 

We do not know exactly how we will reign with Jesus, and it will probably depend upon the duties all will be given. We do know we will be priests of God and Jesus in Heaven, offering spiritual blessings, praising and worshipping our Father and His Son. Yet some may also come to earth to help Jesus reign over it. Though there will be other mortal priests and Levites on earth for the Temple at Jerusalem.

*and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Rev 1:6 NASB+

* you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1Pe 2:5 NIV+

*And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites," says the Lord. Isa 66:21 NKJV+

 

We also know some of us with glorified bodies will help Jesus judge those who come into His earthly Kingdom, probably their status in it, for our Father and Jesus alone will judge who will be given eternal life in Heaven.

*And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matt 19:28 NASB+

*Do you not know that the saints will judge the world. And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?  1Co 6:2 NIV+

 

In Christ’s new Kingdom, the earth and its heavens will be made new. We know this new earth is not connected with the New Jerusalem, for it will be light all the time, there is no moon, and all flesh refers to mortal people.

*"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. Isa 65:17 NASB+ 

*For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says the Lord, "So shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the Lord. Isa 66:22-23 NKJV+

 

Life on this new earth will change with Jesus as its King, life will be so much simpler, joyous, and beautiful for all people. Yet it is not Heaven, for there will still be sin on this new earth. And the people living on it will still be mortal, will die, and then  have their eternal soul go to either Heaven or Hades.

*I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying. "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. Isa 65:19-20 NKJV+

*Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,  Isa 65:24-25 ESV+

 

All who remain on earth after Jesus comes in all of His power, and who will then come into His Kingdom on earth, will be physically mortal people, who have an eternal spirit living within them. With a free will to obey and follow Christ or reject Him. Including:

Jewish people (plus maybe a remnant of Gentiles with the Jews), who will accept Jesus after the gathering, in the wrath of God, or when Jesus comes in all of His power. They will have endured tribulation, will be kept safe during the 3 ½ year rule of the antichrist in the great tribulation, and will be brought through the wrath of God. 

*and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. Rev 12:6 ESV+

*I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. Ro 11:25-26 NIV+

 

It will include those survivors who will call on the name of the Lord after the battles, and those survivors whom the Lord will call.

*And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. Joel 2:32 ESV+

 

It will also include those who will survive, and all the survivors they will bring to Jerusalem from all the nations. The many survivors who have not heard or seen the glory of our God.

*"I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations--to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. Isa 66:19 NIV+

*And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord--on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels," says the Lord. "They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels. And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites," says the Lord. Isa 66:20-21 NIV+

 

It will include Gentiles from all nations which will attack Jerusalem. It is not clear whether all these survivors have completed accepted our God, for He has to make a threat to make sure they will come worship Him in Jerusalem. 

*Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. Zech 14:16-17 NIV+

 

8a. All love God after first resurrection - given eternal life

There will be a final battle on earth, when satan is turned loose, after his 1,000 years of confinement are over. Man will always be deceived when they trust their own intelligence to guide them. And satan, being his evil self, will easily deceive the nations, bring them for a final battle against the saints and the beloved city of Jerusalem. Our God will make short work of all those who come against Him and His saints. He will completely destroy them, by sending down fire which will devour them.

* Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. Rev 20:7-8 NKJV+

*They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. Rev 20:9 NKJV+

 

The second resurrection will take place. All who were not part of the first resurrection, will have their physical body raise from the grave, united with their eternal spiritual being, making them a live person once more.

* And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had doneRev 20:13 ESV+

 

Then the White Throne Judgment will begin, with our God seated on His throne. The earth, its heaven, the sky, will disappear, and there will no longer be a place for them. Then all of those in the second resurrection, along with those who are still living will be judged.

*Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. Rev 20:11 NKJV+

*And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. Rev 20:12 NKJV+

 

All who love our God, who have their name written in the “book of life” will come eternally into the New Jerusalem to be with our God. They will be given holy, eternal, glorified physical bodies for their eternal spiritual beings to live in.

*And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev 20:14-15 ESV+

*and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Rev 21:27 NASB+

 

8b. All reject God – Hades/Abyss/living - into Lake of Fire

All those in Hades, from the past, present and future, will be part of the second resurrection. They will have their mortal, sinful, physical beings raised from the dead, then made eternal, and reunited with their eternal, sinful spiritual beings from Hades. This makes them an eternal, living, sinful person. And those who have rejected God, are still alive on earth with mortal bodies, will also be changed, given eternal sinful bodies, so they are likewise an eternal, living, sinful person. All of them will be judged, their names will not be in the book of life. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, which is the second death, the death which will last eternally in Hell.  

*Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev 20:14-15 ESV+

*And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28 NKJV+

 

We do not know exactly where the Lake of Fire is, for heaven and earth will have passed away. Except that it will be in the presence of Jesus and His angels, forever and ever.

*Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. Rev 20:11 NKJV+

*he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." Rev 14:10-11 NASB+

 

The devil and all of his angels (demons), any demonic spiritual being on earth, or locked away in chains of gloomy darkness in the Abyss, will also be judged, and thrown into the eternal Lake of Fire.

*And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great dayJude 1:6 ESV+

*“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matt 25:41 ESV+

 

9. Paul’s glimpse of Heaven

 

Paul was given a glimpse of our Father’s universe when spiritually he was taken up from earth, through the first and second Heaven into the third Heaven. His revelation gives us a conceptual idea of the difference places our God has planned for us to go.  

*I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 2Co 12:2-3 ESV+

 

Paul was taken from earth where Heaven can be found within a believer’s heart. Our bodies though sinful become the temple of our God, when the Spirit lives within our hearts. We become one with Jesus, one with our Heavenly Father, and where They are, the Kingdom of Heaven is also.   

*Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1Co 3:16-17 NASB+

*In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.  Jn 14:12 ESV+

 

The first heaven Paul went through was not really heaven, but a rest, Abraham’s Bosom. This was within the realm of earth, was where all believers had to wait, until Jesus atoned for our sins upon the cross. 

*For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Heb 9:15 NIV+

*And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. Heb 11:39-40 NASB+

 

Paul went through the second Heaven, our Father’s present Heavenly Kingdom. This is where all believers’ spiritual beings, our souls and spirits, are now living, as they await Christ’s return to give us glorified bodies.

*But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb 12:22-23 NKJV+

 

Then Paul came into the third Heaven, and saw the final Heaven, the New Jerusalem. Paul, and later John, were spiritually taken to see the new Heaven, our final home, which has already been prepared for us in the third heaven. Paul saw the glories of God, he heard inexpressible things about what our Father has planned for us. Things Paul was not permitted to tell anyone, yet John was told to tell all.

*And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 2Co 12:3-4 ESV+

*Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev 21:2 NKJV

 

John tells us about things which will far exceed any expectations our feeble human mind can comprehend. Heaven is real, will be waiting for all, who will love our God above all things, our neighbors as ourselves.

*But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Rev 21:22-24 NKJV+

*The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. Rev 21:18-21 NKJV+

 

The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Gal 6:8 NIV+

 

Next

 

Life, Death, Heaven, Hell

 

Home

 

Copyright 2010 amended 2013 by Ron Borkey

+ ESV “Scripture quotations marked [ESV] are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version,” copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good New Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

+ NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (1995 Update) Copyright © 1981, 1998 The Lockman Foundation, A Corporation Not for Profit, La Habra, California. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

Some words in the verses from these Bibles may be emphasized with bold letters.