THE BIBLE: Questions & Answers

QUESTION #001:

HOW CAN I KNOW THAT I WILL GO TO HEAVEN WHEN I DIE?

ANSWER:

The Bible clearly teaches that the only people who will be allowed to enter heaven are those who have personally "believed" or "trusted" in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The English word "believe" comes from the Greek word PISTIS meaning, "to believe in, to trust in, to have full confidence in, to totally rely on." Therefore, when the Bible says "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved," (Acts 16:31), it means to have "full confidence in, to totally rely on, to totally trust in" Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me." Jesus Himself said that no one could ever see God the Father unless they went through Him. You cannot go to heaven just because you are good, or because you do good things. You can go to heaven ONLY by believing, or trusting in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." (Titus 3:5). "For by grace you are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God, NOT OF WORKS, so no one can brag." (Ephesians 2:8-9). If you have not personally trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, I would encourage you to do so at this moment. He died on the cross for you, in fact, He had you personally in mind when He went to the cross. It was His death on the cross as your substitute that makes it so easy for you to qualify to enter heaven. "He bore our sins in His own body on the cross." (I Peter 2:24). Therefore, believe in Jesus Christ and become a member of the family of God, and be guaranteed a home in heaven.

QUESTION #002:

ARE "HEAVEN" AND "HELL" REAL PLACES?

ANSWER:

Yes! There are those who believe in heaven but do not believe in hell. This is illogical thinking. If you believe in heaven then you must by common logic believe in hell. If you don't, then you have a tragic flaw in your thinking. There is no revelation concerning heaven or hell outside of the Bible. And everything outside of the Bible is based on human ideas, human philosophies, human religions, and human traditions. Human thinking is very relative, and very illogical.

The Bible clearly teaches us concerning a place called "heaven." The Bible actually teaches us that there are three heavens. The first heaven and the second heaven are not specifically mentioned as such. But the "third heaven" is specifically brought out in II Corinthians 12:2; Paul said, "I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows:)" In other words, Paul was referring to himself concerning the incident in Lystra where he was stoned and left for dead in Acts 14:18. He didn't really know if he was dead or if he saw a vision, or if he had a dream from God. "Such a one was taken up to the THIRD HEAVEN." It is evident that there cannot be a third heaven without there being a first and second heaven also. Therefore, in "Rightly dividing the Word of Truth," we can know that three heavens exist.

The first heaven refers to the atmosphere which surrounds the earth. References are made to "The birds of heaven," in Hosea 2:18, and to "The clouds of heaven," in Daniel 7:13. The first heaven is the native home to all physical life, including human beings. So the first heaven includes the earth and extends throughout the atmosphere which surrounds the earth.

The second heaven refers to stellar space. The unnumbered galaxies beyond the atmosphere of the earth, (Genesis 1:14-18). The second heaven is the home of all angelic life. But they are not confined there. They do have access to the first and third heaven.

The location of the third heaven is totally unrevealed in the Bible. It is the home of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And until this present age (the Church Age), no human being had ever entered the third heaven. However, the Plan of God is to populate the third heaven with the regenerate of mankind. The regenerate of mankind refers to those who have believed in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

The Bible also teaches us very clearly about a place called "hell." There is much ignorance and confusion concerning the Bible's teaching on the subject of "hell." One reason is because there are three Hebrew words, and three Greek words that are all translated "hell" from time to time throughout the Bible. The Hebrew word SHEOL is used 65 times in the Old Testament. 31 times it is translated "hell," 31 times it is translated "grave," and three times it is translated "pit." The Hebrew word TOPHET means, "a place of cremation," near Jerusalem in the valley of Hinnom, and is found five times in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word, GAYHINNOM, refers to a valley just south of Jerusalem where child sacrifices were performed during Israel's apostasy. This word is translated "hell," but it actually refers to the Lake of Fire.

The Greek word HADES is equivalent to the Hebrew word SHEOL and refers to "a temporary dwelling place of the dead in torment." It refers to an unseen state of existence for the soul of non-Christians after physical death to wait for the resurrection of the body and the final judgment. The Greek word TARTARUS is used only once in the New Testament. It is translated "hell" in I Peter 3:19-20, but it refers to a place near HADES where many of the fallen angels are bound waiting for the end time judgment. The Greek word GEHENNA is equivalent to the Hebrew word GAYHINNOM, and refers to the Lake of Fire.

It is very important to note that Jesus taught more about hell and the Lake of Fire than anyone else in the Bible. Jesus had such a compassion for the souls of mankind that He was very concerned about individuals missing out on heaven and ending up in hell and the Lake of Fire. Jesus said in Matthew 25:41, "Then he shall say to them on the left hand, 'Depart from me you cursed, into eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Jesus tells us that hell and the Lake of Fire was not originally created for human beings. It was originally created for Satan and the fallen angels.

Jesus gives a very sobering account of an individual who ended up in hell in Luke 16:19-31. In vs 23 He says of the man, "....and in HELL he lifted up his eyes being in torment...." Many rationalize this passage away by calling it a parable. But this does not in any way qualify to be called a parable. Parables never use the proper names of individuals and places. But this factual event that Jesus describes in Luke 16 uses the names of Lazarus and Abraham. The name of the man who ended up in hell was withheld for the sake of his relatives still living at the time Jesus told this.

Hell and the Lake of Fire are very real. They are just as real as heaven.

Hell is called a place of torment in Luke 16:28.

It is called a place of unspeakable misery and suffering in eternal fire in Matthew 25:41.

It is said that the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched in Mark 9:44.

It is called a lake which burns with fire and brimstone in Revelation 21:8.

It is called the bottomless pit in Revelation 9:2.

It is called outer darkness and a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth in Matthew 8:12.

It is called a place of unquenchable fire in Luke 3:17.

It is called a furnace of fire in Matthew 8:12.

It is called the blackness of darkness in Jude 13.

In Revelation 14:1 it says that "The smoke of their torment rises up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day or night."

Jesus Christ went to the cross and paid the price for every human being in order that every human being could go to heaven. And now all that is needed for you to miss the eternal sufferings of hell and the Lake of Fire is to believe in what Jesus Christ did for you. And you do that by "believing," or "trusting," or "placing your confidence in Him" for your eternal salvation. If you will do that, you will not go to this place of eternal fire. IT IS REAL, IT DOES EXIST, AND YOU WILL GO THERE IF YOU REFUSE GOD'S SALVATION FOUND IN THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST. "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16:31). "He that believes in the Son has eternal life: but he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life; but the wrath (judgment) of God rests on him."

QUESTION #003:

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT INTELLIGENT LIFE IN OUTER SPACE?

ANSWER:

The Bible teaches that the only intelligent life in outer space is angelic life. There are good and bad angels, called holy angels and fallen angels. Both categories of angels populate all of the planets and solar systems of God's creation. The Bible is quite clear that there is no other humanoid life in all God's creation, except on planet earth. Why? Because man was created to resolve the conflict between God and Satan. But in order to resolve the conflict, man had to be placed on a planet where he could be observed constantly by holy and fallen angels. Therefore, God created an atmosphere around planet earth, and made mankind in a way that he would need to stay in earth's atmosphere to survive.

Isaiah 14:12-15 describes the fall of Satan. It should be noted that his name is not Satan, it is actually Lucifer. "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! you have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit." The sin of Lucifer was arrogance. He had perfect self-esteem. And because of his perfect self-esteem, and self-importance, it led to his downfall.

Because of Lucifer's arrogance, and his desire to not only be like God, but to take over God's throne, God expelled him from His government. It appears that Lucifer held the top position over all the other angels. But God removed him from his job, and replaced him with four other angels; and sentenced Lucifer and all the angels that followed him to the Lake to Fire. Jesus said in Matthew 25:41, "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into THE ETERNAL FIRE PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS.'"

There are some evil spirits roaming around the earth, and in the atmosphere above the earth, desiring to indwell the bodies of human beings. Those individuals who are involved in Transcendental Meditation, or other mystic occult activities are making contact with these evil spirits, thinking they are in contact with great teachers and leaders of the past. Some even believe they are in contact with life forms from other planets. The problem is this, these evil spirits are so intelligent, and persuasive that they convince these human inquiring minds that they want to help the human race and do good things for us. Well, that is all a lie from the pit of hell. All of that propaganda actually comes from Satan himself. These "spirit guides" are using lies to convince an entire generation of occult worshipers that they are either great teachers from the past, or that they are extraterrestrials seeking contact with human beings to help them. All of this has been predicted by the prophets in the Old Testament, and the apostles in the New Testament. The Bible gives great and intensive warnings against witches and wizards, necromancy and evil spirits.

Yes, there is life in outer space. But it is a life that we must avoid, or this world will be thrown into the worst evil it has ever seen. We are heading in the direction to the end of the world as we know it. But we need to realize that God is still on His throne and that He is still in control. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ you can rest in the fact of I John 4:4, "....greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."

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Copyright 1999 by Robert H. Kreger. All rights reserved. Anyone may reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.