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The Other Place

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 2 - Issue 3)
(Up & Down Graphics by David Lyda)

Death brings a wide range of emotions, and words to accompany the feelings can be hard to find. Generally, those offering consolation say things like “they’re in a better place” or “their suffering is over.” The news of somebody passing comes in forms such as “they’ve gone on to see the Lord” or “they’re walking on streets of gold.” These words sound comforting, but are they accurate? Has the dearly departed truly gone to heaven?

The hard truth is that many people are going to hell every day. Your loved one may have been a “good” person in the eyes of many, but how does the Lord see them? Romans 3:10 states “There is none righteous, no, not one.” We don’t get to heaven by being a good person, it is by faith. The most important question we will ever answer in this lifetime is, “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?” Without His saving grace, we will not go to heaven, we will not be in a better place, and our suffering will not be over.

Today is the day we choose. Hebrews 9:27 makes the urgency clear, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” As cliché as it may sound, we are not promised tomorrow. We may not have the chance for a death bed confession, so what are we waiting on? Death is coming, but the question is “When?” Are you going to heaven or hell? God has made a way for you to be with Him in heaven. It is every man’s choice where they spend eternity.

Hell is most definitely an unpopular subject. What would be popular about eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46), fire and brimstone (Revelation 14:10-11), or weeping and gnashing of teeth (Luke 14:28)? It is vitally important to talk about it though. Did you realize that Jesus Christ spoke more about hell in His earthly ministry than heaven? Why was it so important to our Lord? The significance lies in the fact that hell is where all men are destined without Jesus’ sacrifice.

One of the most famous Bible passages is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Take note that all men are not saved. Our “good” loved ones are not promised heaven. Those without Christ are destined to perish. This is what is described as the second death (Revelation 20:6), the eternal punishment of hell. Some Christian off shoots, like Jehovah’s Witnesses, teach that the unredeemed will be annihilated, or cease to exist, by being destroyed in hell. This is contrary to the Bible and our Lord’s teaching on hell.

“19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And 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. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:19-31)

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