10 bible verses about heaven and hell

10 Bible Verses about Heaven and Hell

Luke 16:19–23“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Rich Man and the Beggar” by Alistair Begg:

“Are we going to build a doctrine … on one reference in the middle of a parable? Not if we’re wise. Well, where does this kind of emphasis come? Well, it actually comes in the rabbinical writings. It’s impregnated in the Rabbis’ teachings. Aha! So, what does Jesus do? He takes the thought forms and the expressions … of those to whom He is speaking, and He employs them in order to engage their minds so that by means of these different hooks and barbs He may then lead them to the central truth that He is conveying. Therefore, it is unwise to press the details too far. …

“So, let’s take our principle: ‘The plain things are the main things, and the main things are the plain things.’ What, then, can we say from this?

“Well, number one, we can say categorically: heaven and hell exist. Jesus is in no doubt about that, right? One went here, and one went there.

“Secondly, personalities survive death in a conscious state. This person did not go into oblivion and was whirring around, as it were, on a cloud. No, he went somewhere, and he knew that he was there, and he knew that as a result of being there, he was not there. We can say that categorically.

“Thirdly, it is clear that death brings about division and distinction between human beings; also, that the dead are sustained by God in two different states: some in a state of bliss along with the redeemed of every age, represented here in Abraham as the father of the faith, and others in a state of isolated anguish, represented by this lonely rich man in hell.”

John 5:25–29“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

Commentary from the sermon “Dealing With Death” by Alistair Begg:

“Death is not the end for anyone. Death is not annihilation. Death is not the entry into nothingness. Jesus stated quite categorically …, ‘All who are in their graves will hear his voice’—the voice of Jesus—‘and come out’ (John 5:28–29 NIV). The writer to the Hebrews reminds his readers, ‘Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment’ (Heb. 9:27 NIV 1984, emphasis added). …

“Now, sometimes when we think of these things, they seem so alien. They seem so hard. They seem so strange. And so I want you to hear Jesus’ voice tonight and not mine concerning these things—a Jesus who took the little children on His knees; a Jesus who left of the glory of heaven to come to earth; a Jesus who healed the lame, made the blind men see, made deaf ears hear; a Jesus who went to the extent of dying on Calvary so that we might live. This is what that same Jesus had to say.

“‘I tell you the truth,’ He said on one occasion, ‘unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 18:3 NIV 1984)—that dimension of life which begins now and has as its ultimate destination heaven. That is one destination.

“In the ninth verse of the same section, this is what He says: ‘If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell’ (Matt. 18:9 NIV 1984). That is the second destination.

“And if what Christ said is true about heaven, then what He said about hell was also true. And a careful reading of the Gospels will reveal to us that He said twice as much about avoiding hell as He did say about entering heaven. And in these areas, Jesus spoke with great authority.”

Psalm 94:1–2“O LORD, God of vengeance,
O God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
repay to the proud what they deserve!”

Commentary from the sermon “Sin Is Serious, Hell Is Real” by Alistair Begg:

“There is, we must confess, an understandable reaction to the whole notion of hell. …The fact of the matter is, hell shows us just how much God loves us. That may seem immediately crazy, because people’s reaction is usually to say, ‘What kind of God is this, that would execute wrath and judgment and speak in terms of hell? How could God be a good God, be a loving God, and yet be a God that entertains the notion or devises the notion of hell itself?’

“Well, doesn’t love often fill you with anger? Aren’t you often angry because of the intensity of your love? If an acquaintance with whom you spend little time turns his back on you and walks away, you feel a little pain. If someone who’s a core member of your inner circle does the same to you and reviles you, it would feel worse. If your spouse walks out and says, ‘I want nothing to do with you again, I never want to hear your voice, see your face,’ wouldn’t you be justifiably angry?

“And what the Bible says is that God, because of His love, expresses His love by stepping back from any thought of indifference. A father can never be indifferent, if he loves his son, to the drug abuse of his son. He will be angry beyond description, not because he doesn’t love the boy but because he loves him with such a passion. A surgeon who cares for his patients … knows the anger that she feels when, having commenced the surgery, she realizes that there is nothing that she is now able to do because this cancer is beyond her ability to cope with it. And so, she is angry.

“God’s wrath as expressed in hell is not a fiery outburst. It’s not a cranky emotional explosion. God’s anger in relationship to this is His settled opposition to the cancer of sin which is eating the insides of humanity. And it is wrong for us to see an antithesis between what Jesus here says about the reality of hell and what He does in Himself in His death on the cross. Because in His death on the cross He takes hell for us. It is in His not only bearing our sins but enduring hell for us that the love of God is magnified.”

Luke 19:28, 41–44“He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. … And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’”

Commentary from the sermon “Sin Is Serious, Hell Is Real” by Alistair Begg:

“The reaction of men and women to the notion [of hell] is not, I fear, simply because of the cultural and philosophical preoccupations of the twenty-first century, but it is in part a reaction to the way in which some of us who actually want to believe the Bible and take it seriously have gone about the business of proclaiming [it]. And in seeking to be truthful, where we’ve fallen down is in our tone. And the tone of things so often conveys more and superimposes itself on the very truth. So, the person who’s speaking about hell speaks about hell with dry eyes. How can you speak about hell dispassionately? How can we ever take seriously what the Bible says about the eternal destiny of our loved ones, our work colleagues, our friends, our next-door neighbors, and somehow or another just propound it like hellfire and damnation? Sometimes you listen to some people talk (I do on the radio or on the television), and it sounds to me that they’re actually delighted about this—that somehow or another this really gets them up in the morning, you know, that they’re able to make sure that everybody understands this.

“Well, do they understand that Jesus wept over Jerusalem? Do they understand that God does not desire the death of a sinner but prefers that that sinner turn from his or her wickedness and live (2 Peter 3:9)? Do they not realize that Jesus laid down His life, if you like, right at the very entryway into hell so as to say to men and women, ‘Don’t go there! You need not go there. I have gone there so that you don’t have to. I have gone there because your predicament is so grave that only by My expressing the Father’s love in this way could deal with it.’ No, a man or a woman … needs to trample over the body or the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ if they’re going to go to hell.

“Having said all of that, the strongest words of the Bible concerning hell come from the lips of Jesus, who died in order that we needn’t go there. You need to keep that in mind. The strongest and most striking statements concerning hell came from the lips of one who died in order that we wouldn’t have to go there.”

Matthew 13:47–50“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Commentary from the sermon “Fruitfulness — Part Two” by Alistair Begg:

“[Jesus] says, ‘Have you understood all these things?’ (Matt. 13:51 NIV). ‘Do you realize,’ He says to His followers, ‘that I’m not sending you out with another option in a syncretistic world, with another road that leads to heaven—one amongst many? But I’m saying to you,’ He says, ‘that if you do not go and proclaim the kingdom of God and do it with all authority and all power, men and women will never know.’

“And you know, that is true today. The greatest barrier to faith in Jesus Christ is probably confusion—a confusion that has been contributed to by weak pulpits and weak Christians, unprepared to say what Jesus said, to say it in love but to say it with power: ‘There is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death’ (Prov. 14:12, paraphrased). …

“I wonder how many among our family members, among our office employees, among our hospital, school, play friends, by their own profession fit within the vein of Revelation 20:10: ‘tormented day and night for ever and ever’ (NIV). Jesus said, ‘There’s a broad road that leads to destruction, and it’s full. There’s a narrow road that leads to life, and few there be that find it’ (Matt. 7:13–14, paraphrased).

“Somebody said to me … as I counseled with him, ‘I’m glad you’re not one of those hellfire preachers.’ I didn’t know whether it was a compliment or not. I think it was. I think I know what was meant. But loved ones, Jesus Christ was a hellfire preacher, because He said there is a heaven to be gained, and there is a hell to be shunned. And that is a solemn truth which Christianity needs to hear all over again.”

1 Timothy 1:15–16“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Crown of Righteousness” by Alistair Begg:

“The amazing good news is this: that the Judge—the righteous Judge, Jesus—has come from the bench, and has taken off His robe, and has put Himself in the place of the one judged, and has borne the punishment that the judged deserved, and has paid the debt that the judged cannot possibly pay. That’s the story of the Gospel: that it is a story of, first of all, realizing the predicament in which I find myself, and then the amazing news that God loves sinners—that ‘while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’ (Rom. 5:8 KJV, emphasis added).

“Only bad people go to heaven. Only bad people go to heaven! If you think you’re going to heaven because you’re good … you ain’t going! I can tell you. But if you know you’re bad, there’s a chance, provided you look to the righteous Judge who has done for you what you can’t do for yourself. … How could you argue your goodness before God? Even your spouse knows you’re not that good. You know you’re not that good. Good gracious, how many times a day do we realize how messed up we are? And then we’ve got to somehow or another face the bar of judgment—go, ‘Well, I think I can plead in my defense.’ …

“If I had time … I’d take you all the way through Paul and show you the radical transformation in Saul of Tarsus, who was so stuck on his own righteousness. He regarded himself in relationship to law-keeping as ‘blameless’ (Phil. 3:6). … And then he says, ‘But I regard that as a load of trash now.’ Why? ‘For the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord’ (Phil. 3:7–8, paraphrased). … He says, ‘I suddenly got it: that although my righteousness could never be put together in a way that I would be acceptable to God, a righteousness from God’—Romans 3:21—‘has now been granted to us by faith for all who believe’ (paraphrased). … You get to Titus, it’s the same story: ‘When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy’ (Titus 3:4–5).”

Romans 8:18–21“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

Commentary from the sermon “Lamb on the Throne” by Alistair Begg:

“Most of our pictures of heaven, most of our songs about heaven, have more to do with Victorian Christianity and Platonic views of the universe than they have to do with a rigorous, thoughtful consideration of what God is actually planning to do. ‘For the whole creation groans in travail, waiting for the redemption of the sons of God’ (Rom. 8:22–23, paraphrased). Why? Because He is going to make a new creation. The ultimate purpose of God was actually not Adam and Eve in the garden; it was Christ in Gethsemane, and it was His people in a new heaven and a new earth. For the cross of Christ was not something that was slotted into time in order to correct a defect in a system that had gone wrong; it was the eternal counsels of God’s will that purposed, in the view of man’s inevitable rebellion, that things would be this way.”

Revelation 21:1–5“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I 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 the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’

“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’”

Commentary from the sermon “The Perfected Kingdom — Part Four” by Alistair Begg:

“God is determined that no one and nothing will be allowed to spoil or destroy His perfected kingdom. He is making this brand-new. He is preparing it—has been from all of eternity—and when He finally brings it to fruition, when He finally puts it together in all of His perfected plan, no one or nothing will be allowed to spoil it. And that is why sin will be punished, and justice will be done, and evil will be destroyed. And the new heaven and the new earth … will be a place in which, Peter tells us, righteousness dwells. In 2 Peter chapter 3, when Peter is addressing the prospect of the return of Jesus Christ, he points out to his readers that this new heaven and new earth will be a place in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). And all that was ruined in the old will be repaired and beautified in the new.

“And what we actually read here … of God wiping tears from their eyes and there being no more death or mourning or crying or pain, is a place that’s hard to understand, isn’t it? … There will be no more death …; there’ll be no mourning, because there will be no dying; there’ll be no crying, there’ll be no pain, because “the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:4 NIV). In other words, this is paradise restored—paradise restored-plus. …

“… The word for ‘new’ that is used … in 2 Peter 3 is actually not a word that is descriptive of new in terms of time and origin. But it is actually a word that is descriptive of new in terms of kind and quality. … Satan is not going to get the satisfaction of God destroying His creation, but rather, God is going to purify it by fire. He’s going to transform it so that it reflects all the glory and all the magnificence that He intended for it in the first place, when we find creation in the garden of Eden in all of its pristine beauty.

“Now, the notion simply preserves for us the idea of the ‘earthness’ of the new earth, if you like, because … many of us have a notion of heaven that is so bizarre and so out there that it is actually very unappealing. And there is a sense in which we need to ground the truth about all that we look forward to in light of the fact that not only will there be a new heaven, but there will be new earth. Isaiah 11 says that the earth will be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:9). Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, says, ‘The meek … shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5 KJV). Now, this is not a main thing or a plain thing; it is simply a matter of interest. What we can say for absolute certainty is that God is going to make everything new. He will take what is present and He will transform it or replace it, giving to us a new heaven and a new earth in which dwells righteousness.”

Revelation 21:22–23“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Perfected Kingdom — Part Four” by Alistair Begg:

“There will be no special place in the new creation where God’s presence will be concentrated. There will be no special building to visit if we want to meet God. There will be no distance between God and ourselves, and there is no temple, because everything is temple. That’s the significance of the statement.

“Now, the radical transformation in circumstances is so vast, so rich, so wide that no wonder Paul says that ‘eye hasn’t seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love Him’ (1 Cor. 2:9, paraphrased). John approximates at these things; he describes the indescribable. He harnesses all that he can come up with in terms of language and prophetic insights to try and put together this radical picture of something that is brand-new. So, when we think of the kingdom of God, when we remind ourselves that all of God’s promises will be fulfilled in the end, we remind ourselves that God’s people, consisting of all those from every nation and from every era who trust in Christ, will be united in God’s place—new creation, new Jerusalem, which is the new temple. They will then submit to God’s rule, and as a result, they will experience God’s perfect blessing. And the throne of God and the Lamb is right at the center of everything.”

Philippians 2:9–11“God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Commentary from the sermon “Name above Every Other Name” by Alistair Begg:

“Here’s a striking question: Are we really keen on the idea of going to heaven? … What heaven will primarily be is described here in verse 10—that we will know the wonder and the ultimate joy of being able to declare who Christ is, seeing Him and being made like Him. …

“Do you realize how earthly and materialistic most of our notions of heaven truly are? It would be like a bride saying, … ‘I’m so looking forward to my wedding because the flowers I’m having are spectacular.’ True enough. ‘I’m looking forward to my wedding because my dress is beautiful,’ and … ‘I can’t wait to show it to everyone. I’m looking forward to my wedding because all of my…’ Any mention of your husband in this, at all? ‘Oh yes, him! Well, yeah, he’ll be there of course.’ Do you get the point? ‘Oh yeah, Jesus will be there, oh yeah, yeah, oh yeah. Yeah, you’ll see Jesus, yeah.’

“Let me tell you this: all of the attention, all of the praise, all of the time in all of heaven will be Christ’s! That’s what challenges me so much. Hence my final question of the day: Are we really interested in going to heaven? Can I honestly say that I am looking forward to that in the there and then, when I am only marginally interested in that in the here and now?”

Alistair Begg is the Senior Pastor of Cleveland's Parkside Church (located in Bainbridge, Geauga County, Ohio), a position he has had since 1983. He is the...

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