The Truth of Heaven and Hell

I don’t know that there is a more divisive topic out there than the topic of Heaven and Eternal Life vs. Hell and Eternal Damnation. Typically it begins with the question- “What do you mean I might not go to Heaven, I’m a good person!!!!” I know that this has caused more than one conversation to go sideways around here.

Before we begin, let me make this perfectly clear – I am NOT a theologian. What I am writing here is a culmination of information gained while studying and researching some of the finest Christian minds and writers. Links to their articles will be added to the end of this post.

So… shall we dig in?

There are several questions that I want to unpack today.

  1. Is Heaven real?
  2. Is Hell real?
  3. Why only Christians go to Heaven?
  4. How can being good send me to Hell?

There are dozens more, and perhaps I’ll write more about this topic another time, but for now I think this is the basics.

Ask yourself this… If God appeared to you and asked, “Why should I let you into heaven?” How would you answer? If you’re like most people, you answer might run something along these lines:

“I’ve always tried to…”
“I never…”
“I do my best…”
“I always…”

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The Truth of the Enemy

There is a battle that has been raging since the beginning of time. It is the battle for the soul of the believer. The battle for your eternity first played out in the Garden. With all that there was available to them as true gifts from God, Adam and Eve chose to give in to the enemy. It was a conscience and free choice that they made. They knew the truth, yet chose to abandon the truth in an attempt to gain more than what they had… which was EVERYTHING.

This battle has not changed much over the thousands of years. Know this and understand it well… IF you are a believer, there is an enemy whose sole mission is to destroy you. He doesn’t’ want to physically kill you. He wants to destroy your eternity.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

How will he (satan) do this? Lies. He will convince you that God’s words are not true, that God is not good, that sin has no consequence, that you are not good enough or the best yet… that you can be god! Continue reading

Anchored to the Rock

“The wise man in the storm prays to God not for safety from danger,
but deliverance from fear.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I used to live in the Hill Country of Central Texas. We lived in a modest home right across the street from the amazing Lake LBJ. We were in close proximity to where the Lower Colorado joins the Llano River. It was such a beautiful area; we were blessed to call it home.

Central Texas, at that time, had been in a severe drought for quite a number of years. Many of the lakes on that river had dried up, Lake LBJ, however, was a constant level lake… so we were able to enjoy it immensely – drought or no drought.

It was about 2 years after we moved there, that the drought broke. And oh did it break. The rains started and it didn’t look like it was ever going to stop. Thankfully, our home was up on a little knoll… with all of the flooding, it looked like we lived on our own tiny little island, just big enough for our little house and our cars.

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The Truth of The Cross

Written in collaboration with Michael Sullivan

“The Cross splits the world. Either you look at it and think – that’s pathetic or you look at it and you think – that’s powerful. If you think it’s pathetic, Paul says you are perishing. But if you think it’s the ‘Power of God’, you are being saved. But it’s one or the other” ~ Billy Graham

“Our faith must begin and end at the Cross. The trouble is that many Christians have bypassed the Cross and are trying to be moral by their willpower and self-effort rather than trusting in the indwelling power of Christ to transform them (Galatians 3:3) But if we attempt to build our spiritual life by any other foundation than Christ crucified, we are doing so by our natural strength.”[i]

Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Galatians 3:3 (NIV)

“’We preach Christ crucified.’ This is the focal point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a picture of blood flowing from Christ’s veins as He hung on the cross. The message of shed blood is repugnant to many, and they turn from such a gory sight, feeling that their delicate sensibilities have been outraged. Many people will accept Christ’s character, but they reject His crucifixion.”[ii]

For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

The Truth of the Cross is that God Himself offered salvation by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as atonement for our sins. This atonement, a free gift, provides each of us the single path to eternal salvation.

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God Hates Me

God Hates Me! Okay maybe He doesn’t hate me, but at the very least He is mad at me! He’s just waiting to get a hold of me and punish me. I have sinned so much, there is no way that He could ever forgive me. If I can’t forgive myself, why would He forgive me.
Sadly, that is the prevailing opinion of many Americans today. God is unrelenting. He is vengeful and angry. How could He ever forgive me for what I’ve done?
Gods promise in Isaiah 54: 9-10 gives us the hope and assurance we so need.

9 “In the time of Noah I promised
never again to flood the earth.
Now I promise not to be angry with you again;
I will not reprimand or punish you.
10 The mountains and hills may crumble,
but my love for you will never end;
I will keep forever my promise of peace.”

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Before Opening Your Bible

This prayer was taught to me by my mother many years ago. It is still so very valuable.


Before opening the pages of your Bible,
ask the Holy Spirit to be your Teacher and Guide.

Father God,

I ask that You send Your Holy Spirit to be my Guide as I open Your Holy Word.

I ask that You open my eyes, that I may read Your Word.

I ask that you would open my ears, that I may hear Your Word.

I ask that you would open my mind, that I may understand Your Word.

I ask that You would open my mouth, that I may speak Your Word.

And Lord I ask that You would open my heart, so that Your Word will come and live in me.

Thank You Father God, I pray this in the name of Your Son Jesus. Amen.

Prayer Journaling

I don’t know about men, but most of the women that I know will tell you that we live in our heads. We typically have so many seemingly random thoughts running around, that if you were to take a peak… well let’s just say it might be a bit scary in there. We carry everything from what’s for dinner, did we take something out of the freezer, when does the dog go to the vet, did I take my medicine, when can I get to the gym, remember to pick up daughter for lessons, don’t forget son needs help with project, and oh yes, I am married and he needs me to do thus and such… and usually all of that takes place before the second cup of coffee.

Add to that the chatter and self talk that we’ve carried around with us for so many years. You know those voices, those condemning, hateful voices that work so well at reminding us just what a mess we are. And don’t forget the voices of past friends, relationships – professional and personal- that continue to remind us of other not so wonderful times in our lives.

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On Trial for Being a Christian

guilty-or-notThere’s a question that has been bouncing around the Internet for a few years….

If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

This question, in my mind, is not meant to be a political statement about what may be happening in other parts of the world. To me, it is more a question that should make the reader ponder their own spiritual walk.

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