Where Do We Go When We Die? (Don Blackwell)
Good evening. It is good to see everyone tonight. It is a pleasure for me to be here with you. I enjoyed yesterday very, very much. You are a very warm congregation. You are very hospitable. I got to go out yesterday with the elders and eat and that was very pleasurable today. I went out and ate with the preachers and had a good time with that as well, and just when I got back to the hotel room, I called my wife.
And she said, it’s freezing in Memphis. And I said, it’s beautiful and warm here. I said, it’s sunny. And I went back to the hotel, and then when I walked out tonight to get in the car, it was snowing and an inch of ice on the car. And I was absolutely shocked. And so I hope this stops before we end up ruining the rest of the meeting.
But we’re glad that you came out tonight to brave the weather. We’re going to talk tonight about the subject. Where do we go when we die? Now, Jeremiah mentioned that this particular video is on YouTube. It has been viewed. I look tonight, right before I got up here, 1 million and 20,000 times.
This video is watch three to 5,000 times every single day. Why is that? I don’t think it’s because I’ve done such a great lesson or because it’s me. I have other videos that have hardly been watched at all. I think it is because this is a question that is on everybody’s mind. Anyone who’s lived any length of time realizes that the day is going to come and they’re going to pass and they cannot help but wonder what then.
Now the world has given us all sorts of answers to try to satisfy our curiosity about this. Of course, some have assorted, the idea of reincarnation. That is you die and you come back as another creature, another being. And that if you’ve lived a bad life, you may come back as an animal. You lived a good life.
You may come back as a human being and you’ve lived a really good life. You may come back as a a rich, good looking human being. And you know, some people have the idea, don’t SWAT that fly. It might be uncle Ricky, you know, that sort of thing. Well, the Bible doesn’t teach that. Some people have asserted the idea of ghost.
That is that you die and your soul or your spirit will continue to haunt a particular area. The Bible doesn’t teach that. The Roman Catholic church has given us the concept of purgatory. That is you die, and if you have C on this to take care of you, we’ll go to a place of punishment until you’ve paid your debt and then you can move on to paradise or to reward.
The Bible doesn’t teach that, and of course, many in the world have adopted the philosophy today that when you die, you simply cease to exist. The Bible certainly doesn’t teach that. But you know, as Christians, we don’t have to engage in these guessing games because we can know the answers to the questions, not only where we came from, but we can also know where we’re going.
And so that’s what we’re going to do tonight. We’re going to look at the Bible and we’re going to answer this question. Where do we go when we die? I have a chart that I have put together some years ago if I can get it to, here we go. We’ve got a chart that we’re going to use to help us trace the journey of the soul.
Now, as you can see. Uh, up here, we’re going to begin with the point of the earth. This would be the point that all of us are currently located at. You notice on this, uh, on this globe, there are two arrows, one representing the save and one representing the lost. We will come back to that at the end of the lesson.
When I first wrote this lesson, I entitled it the soul from birth to eternity. I later went back and change that because it occurred to me. The soul doesn’t begin at birth, does it? The soul begins prior to birth. Listen to this. Ecclesiastes chapter 12 and verse seven is a verse. We oftentimes use it funerals and we use it to talk about death, but it tells us something very important about the beginning of life.
Listen to what it says then shall the dust returned to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. God is the giver of the spirit. Hebrews chapter 12 in verse nine calls God the father of spirits. And so watch when I advanced this. I went back and I added this to the slide so that we have the soul coming from heaven because God gives us the soul.
And so what that means is at the point of conception, when the egg meets the sperm and a new human life is created, God places a soul into that body. That’s the biblical definition of life is when there is a soul there. We’re going to talk about that some more in a minute. So mom and daddy might give that baby his physical characteristics.
They don’t give him his soul. God gives the soul. Genesis chapter one in verse 26 God said, let us, that is the Godhead make man in our image and after our likeness. What does that mean? That we’re made in the image of God, God, and I believe that primarily that’s like it entails a lot of things, but primarily it has referenced to the fact that I am now an eternal being.
I will live forever and ever and ever. Animals don’t have that. We’re superior to the animals in that way. And so what happens from the time that God places that soul in that newly formed human being, my soul continues to dwell in this body until I die. Second Corinthians chapter five and verse one says, for we know that if our earthly house, this tent is interesting, he calls the body a tent.
He says, if this earthly house, this tent is destroyed, we have a building. From God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. Verse Corinthians 1554 calls our physical body mortal. It calls it corruptible, and so what that means is for 70 years or 80 years, my soul is going to dwell in this, this body.
That’s why first Corinthians 15 calls it a tent, attempts a temporary structure. You know, if you go camping for the weekend, you don’t take breaks you, you set up a tent because you’re going to be there a short time. The Lord says, this body is a tent. My soul is going to dwell in it a very short time.
Now, during that time that my soul dwells in this body, I’m going to worship God just like we’ve done tonight. We have engaged our physical body tonight, but did you realize that when we worship God, we worship him? With our spirit. Isn’t that true? John chapter four verse 24 says, God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in true, I love God, but I do it with my spirit.
Luke chapter 10 verse 27 says, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all of your mind, all of your soul. You love God with your soul. You worship God with your soul or your spirit. And so for 70 years. 80 years, 90 years. My soul dwells in this physical body.
All the wild, his physical body is wearing out. In fact, I want you to listen to this. Solomon very eloquently describes the wearing out of the physical body. In Ecclesiastes chapter 12 he says, remember now your creator in the days of your youth before the difficult days come. That is you get old.
I’ve often times heard elderly people say when they get near the end of their lives. I’m tired, I’m hurting. I’m ready to go home. I remember brother window Winkler and one of the very last sermons ever heard him preach. He, he dealt with cancer and he said, brethren. I’m ready to go home. He wasn’t talking about his house.
He was talking about leaving this life heap reading. He says before the difficult days come and the years draw nigh that you say, I have no pleasure in them. When the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are not darkened, that is as this physical body wears out, your eyesight begins to fail.
He says in the clouds, do not return after the rain and the days that the keepers of the house begin to tremble. That is you get old and your hands begin to shake. He says in the strong man, bowel themselves down. What’s he talking about? The strong men bowel themselves. Talk about your legs. You get weak and you begin to fall down.
He says, and the grinders cease because they are few. You begin to lose your teeth. They look through the windows grow dim when the doors are shut in the street, when the sound of grinding is low, when one rises up at the sound of a bird, you don’t sleep as well as you did when you were a young person.
When the daughters of music are brought low, you begin to lose your hearing. He says they are afraid of Heights. There is terror in the way. What does that mean? Why are you afraid of Heights? You’re afraid you’re going to fall. He says, when the almond tree blossoms, what’s he talking about when he says the almond tree blossoms?
You look at an almond tree when the leaves are blossoming and it’s white and it’s gray. He said, it’s like the hair of your head. It looks like those leaves that, that it’s just a beautiful white or a beautiful gray. Some of us believe just fall out, but it’s the same thing he’s talking about there.
He says, the grasshopper is a burden and desire fails. Four man goes to his eternal home and the mourners go in the streets. Remember your creator, he says before the silver cord is loose or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel is broken at the whale.
That is, you die now. Here we go. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return to God who gave it. Now that’s going to bring us to the next part of our SLI. For 70 years or 80 years, I have been dwelling in this body. My, my soul has been inhabiting this temp. What happens at the moment that the physical body ages and it dies?
Psalm chapter 19 verse 10 says this, the days of our lives are 70 years. If I reasoned a strength, they are 80 yet their boast is only labor and sorrow or it is soon. Cut off. Now listen to this. I like this part. It says, and we fly away. He says, my physical body dies, but the essence of me, I fly away.
Genesis chapter 35 and verse 18 the Bible describes for us the death of Rachel, and it uses this language very interesting. It says, and it came to pass as her soul was in departing the Bible definition of death. Her soul was departing. James two 26 says the body without the spirit. His dad. And so at conception, when God places a soul into that new baby, that’s when life begins.
And when we die in the soul leaves, that’s the biblical definition of this. And so the question is, when I fly away, when my soul departs, where does it go? Somebody says, well, Don, on the day of resurrection, we’re going to get a new body. I’m going to have the resurrected body. I know that’s right, but what about in, in between?
Then what if the Lord doesn’t come for another thousand years and I die tomorrow? Where’s my soul going to go? Listen to this. Second Corinthians five and verse one says, for we know that if our earthly house, this tent is destroyed, we have a building from God that is the resurrected body not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
That is, he says, right now we have a tent. One day I’m going to have a permanent structure, the resurrected body, but keep reading. Listen to verse four for we who are in this tent, groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed. But further close that mortality may be swallowed up in life.
Now, he uses some very interesting language here because he speaks of being in this body as being an attempt. He speaks to the resurrected body as a building eternal in the heavens, but then he speaks about being unclosed. When is that going to occur? Rather than it’s when I die. And my soul leaves this body.
There’s going to be a period of time when my soul or my spirit will not have a body. It will be unclothed if you want to use that language. In fact, that’s the language the Lord use. And so when I die and my spirit leaves my body, where does my spirit go? That’s going to take us to the next point on our journey.
And this is Haiti, and I want you to notice, and I want you to appreciate with me that the entire second section of this chart is the Haidi and realm. This is Hades. It’s important that you understand this because people oftentimes get confused because they think of Haiti’s as referring to hell.
They think that Hades is solely the place of punishment. That is not correct. The word Haitis actually refers to the dwelling place of the dead. It’s, it’s kind of a holding area for disembodied spirits. Good people who die go to Hades, bad people who die go to Haiti’s. I think part of the reason that we’re confused about this is the King James translation translates the Greek word for Haiti’s as hell.
And that is not correct in the original. In fact, you take the word Hades and the word Gahanna, they’re two different words in the Greek and the King James translates both of them as hell. They are not the same thing though. The King James translates them in the same thing. In the original, you’ve got hot ACE, which is the dwelling place of the dead, Haiti’s, and then you’ve got the HANA, which is the eternal dwelling place of the wicked and where the devil will be, and that is hell.
The King James translates both of them as hell. If you don’t understand the difference in these is going to cause you some confusion. For instance, in Matthew 1618 Jesus said, upon this rock, I will build my church and the Gates of hell, the King James says, shall not prevail against it in the original language.
That is not the word hell there it is. The word Hades. Jesus is saying, I’m going to build my church and Haiti’s is not going to prevail against it. What did that mean? Jesus was telling his disciples, my kingdom is going to come. But you see, Jesus was about to die. He was about to go into the realm of the dead, and they might’ve thought, well, he’s died.
I guess a kingdom thought coming. What he was telling them is, I’m going to build my church and the fact I’m going into Haiti’s is not going to keep my kingdom from coming. If you don’t understand the distinction in these words, you’re going to get very confused. Okay? Incidentally, in the new Testament, the word for the dwelling place of the dead is Hades that’s in the Greek.
And the old Testament in the Hebrew, the, the word for this is Scheel. S. H. E. O. L. she’ll and Haiti’s are the same place. One is Hebrew, one is Greek. Now once you understand that all people go to Haiti’s, when they die, it will help clear up some things for you. For instance, acts chapter two and verse 31 refers to Christ after his death as being in Hades.
The King James says that his soul was in hell. Jesus did not go to hell when he died. He went to Hades and Luke 2343 Jesus told the thief on the cross, today, thou shall beat with me in paradise. Now, that makes perfect sense. When you understand that paradise is in the realm of the Hayden, it’s in the Hadean realm.
Then these two verses make sense. In Hades, there is a place where the righteous go to await judgment and there is a place where the wicked go to await judgment. The best place I know in the Bible, the best description I know in the Bible of Hades is in Luke chapter 16 I want us to turn there and I want us to read it.
It describes for us both of these compartments. Luke chapter 16 and verse 19 let’s turn there and read it. Then we’ll make some observations about it.
Luke 1619. The Bible says there was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day, and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate full of sores and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.
Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores and it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried and in hell as the word, Haiti’s in the original and in Haiti’s, he lifted up his eyes specifically being in torments and see if Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, son. Remember that thou and I lifetime receive is like good things and likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted and thou art tormented.
And besides all of this, between us and you, there’s a great Gulf fixed so that they who would pass from hints to you cannot, neither can they pass to us. Who would come from this? Now first I want us to look at the top of the chart. I want us to see the place where Lazarus was taken, Lazarus die, and the Bible says he was carried by angels.
The Abraham’s blues, rather than when a faithful child of God dies and he closes his eyes, or his body settles down and he breathes that last breath in that hospital bed and his soul departs from his body. He opens his eyes to see angels hearing him to paradise. You know, I have often times heard it said that one of the greatest fears that mankind experiences is death.
Public speaking is high up there too, but they have theirs on the list. I have oftentimes wondered, is that the reason why the moment we die, the Lord has angels waiting for us because our greatest fear when we face it, he has angels telling us fear not, and he escorts us. They escort us into paradise.
This is the same place Jesus was speaking of when he told the thief on the cross, today, thou shall be with me in paradise. This place is described for us in Luke 1625 the Bible says, the righteous are comforted there. In fact, the etymology, if you go back and study the origin of the word paradise, it carries with it the idea of a pleasure garden.
Now, if you look at the bottom of the chart, the place in Hades identified as tore maps. This is the place where the rich man went. This is the place called park Taurus in the original Greek. Peter uses this word in second Peter chapter two and verse four when he says, for if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to tartare and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved under judgment.
Listen how the Lord describes displace Luke 1622 says this, the rich man also died and was buried. There were no angels awaiting him. Listen to verse 23. And in hell, it’s Haiti’s he lifted up his eyes being in torment. Normally when I preach about this, I like to spend some time talking about the misery and the suffering of this place.
We could spend an entire lesson just on that. I have an entire lesson just on that, but very briefly, I want you to observe with me that rich man who died and was lost is burning in fire. That rich man who died and is lost is crying and he’s begging for mercy. He believes that one mere drop of water on the tip of his tongue will bring him a moments relief.
And brethren, I want you to appreciate with me that every person from the beginning of time until now, who has died, lost in the eyes of God. They’re there and they’re suffering. Some of them have been there for thousands of years, some for months, some for for moments. Now. Another observation I want you to to notice here is that there is consciousness in the Hadean realm.
There is a doctrine taught by som in the religious world called soul sleeping. The Jehovah’s witnesses teach this, and they teach that when a person dies, he just ceases to be aware. He is asleep. He is unconscious until the day of resurrection. But fringe this versus as well as many others tell us that when a person dies, he is very much aware of what’s going on.
The rich man is crying in pain. Lazarus is comforting. You know, Psalm one 16 verse 15 says, precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. I don’t believe the Bible is telling us it is precious to God. When I slip into a state of unconsciousness, I preached one time on a subject, a sermon similar to this.
And I was in middle Tennessee and a brother came up to me afterwards and he said, Don, that was a great lesson. He said, but, um, I’ve got a verse you need to read. He said, because you’re wrong about there being consciousness in the Hadean realm. And he handed me a piece of paper that was folded up and he walked off or set, piqued my curiosity.
And so I unfolded the piece of paper and I looked at it and it had this verse on it, Ecclesiastes, he’s nine, five, the dead know not anything. He was saying that that teaches that when you die, you don’t know anything. You’re unconscious. Incidentally, that’s the same way that the Jehovah’s witnesses use that verse.
But brethren, he was misinterpreting this verse because he was pulling it out of context. If you look at Ecclesiastes, he’s nine in verse six you will, the very next verse, you will see the phrase under the sign, Ecclesiastes, he’s nine three under the sun. Please ask these nine nine under the sun.
Ecclesiastes nine 13 under the sun. The context of Clichy Estes nine are things under the sun that is things taking place on this planet and in this world. The point is that when you die and you go to paradise or torment, you will no longer be aware of things taking place back on this earth. You know, some people have the idea and, and I guess it’s kind of a romantic idea that people die and they go to paradise and they’re watching us and they’re observing the things going on here.
The Bible says that’s not the way it takes place. The dead know not anything under the sun there. They’re not. In fact, could you imagine a person in paradise seeing all the terrible things that happened in this world that that doesn’t even mesh in my mind. I remember several years ago there was a song.
Steve Warner did it, I think it was called their holes in the floor of heaven, and she’s watching over me. Do you remember that song? There’s, it was a man. He lost his wife and he had to raise his daughter alone. And the day comes and she gets married and it’s raining, and he says, it’s your mama.
And she’s crying tears and she’s watching over us. And the Bible says the dead know not anything back under the sun. They don’t see what’s going on here. Now somebody says, well, Don, I disagree with you about this. I think you’re wrong. I can prove this. Listen to this. Second Chronicles, chapter 34 King Josiah is told by God, God said, I’m going to bring punishment on Jerusalem for their sins.
He said, but you’re going to die before I do it. Now listen to this second Chronicles 34 in verse 28 the Lord says, surely I will gather you onto your fathers and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. That is, you’re going to die. Therefore your eyes shall not see all the calamity that I bring upon this place and its inhabitants.
What’s the point. He said, you’re going to die. You’re going to go into the realm of the dead. Therefore you will not see what is taking place back on this earth. All right. One final thing I want you to notice with me about the Haidi and realm you see on the charts between Hades and torment. This green line, I’ve got it labeled great Gulf fixed.
That’s because Luke 16 in verse 26 says that between pay paradise and torment, there is a divide. There is a great Gulf. So that you can’t pass from one side to the other. What that means is if you die and you go to paradise, you are there to stay. If you die and you go to torment, you are there to stay until the day of judgment.
That means that every person who has ever died on faithful in the eyes of God is still there. It also means that the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory is wrong. You don’t cross from one side to the other, but think about those people who are in torment. Some of them for thousands of years and they’re burning.
It makes sense when you think about them crying, I’m tormented in this flame, but it never ends. Let’s go to the next part of the chart. The next part of the chart is the resurrection. The resurrection day is typically what we call the judgment day. The Bible usually calls it the day of the Lord.
Peter says, but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. Second Peter, chapter three and verse 10 now here’s the question. What’s going to happen on the judgment day to the souls who are in Hades, the souls who are in paradise, in torment, in the Hadean realm. What is going to happen to them on the judgment day?
Listen to me. On that day, the Hadean realm is going to give up its souls. It’s going to be emptied of soul. This earth is going to give up its bodies and they’re going to be reunited. I know what you’re thinking. Hold on a second. Listen to this John five and verse 28 Jesus said, or the hour is coming.
And which all that are in the graves, this is the Greek word for tomb shall hear his voice and they shall come forth. They that have done good unto the resurrection of life. They, the dead, done evil unto the resurrection of damnation and the spirits and the souls are going to be reunited, but he’s not going to be this physical body going to be different body.
The resurrected body is not going to be like the physical body that I have right now. The resurrected body is not going to be the same particles. If you want to use that term, it’s not going to be the same material, for lack of a better word, other then sometimes people have expressed to me concern about cremation and they said, really, Dawn, is it, is it wrong for someone to be cremated?
And I said, no, why would it be wrong? And I remember a sister saying to me, she said, you know, it seems like that would be a pro a problem on the day of resurrection. If I’m cremated, it seems like that’s going to be a problem rather than it’s not going to be a problem. Because you see the resurrected bodies not going to be, this body is not going to be a flesh and blood body.
I know that because first Corinthians 15 verse 50 says, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The resurrected body is going to be very different fact. Listen how first Corinthians 1544 describes the resurrected body. He says, the body that is the physical body is sown in corruption.
The resurrected body is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor. It is raised in glory. It’s sown in weakness. It’s raised in power. It’s sown a natural body. It’s raised a spiritual body. Now, let’s break this down. He says, the resurrected body will be incorruptible. You know, the body that I have now is subject to death.
It gets old. It wears out. It’s like Ecclesiastes chapter 12 my hands begin to shake. My legs begin to give out. This physical body is going to die. He says, the resurrected body won’t be like that. He says, the resurrected body will be a glorious body. You know, if we would be honest, there are many things associated with our current physical bodies that are lowly and vial.
He says the resurrected body won’t be like that. The resurrected body, he says, will be raised in power. Our current bodies get tired. They get weak. They are inherently, they wear out. He says the physical body will be, or the resurrected body will be capable of unfailing vigor and anwering activity.
He says it will be a spiritual body, and so on that day, Hades will be empty. We will get our new resurrected body as somebody says, well, Don, what about those of us who are living you? You’ve answered what will happen to people in Haiti’s? What will happen to us if the Lord comes tonight? What will happen to us.
First Corinthians 1552 says this, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last Trump, the dad shall be raised incorruptible. That’s the people in Haiti’s and we shall be changed. Those of us who are living will be transformed to our new resurrected bodies, and then we will all be called before the throne of Jesus Christ.
Let takes us to the next part of the chart. This is the judgment after both the good and bad received their resurrected bodies. We will all stand before the throne of Christ to be judged. Matthew 25 32 says, all nations shall be gathered before him and he shall separate them one from another. As a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats and ladies and gentlemen, all of humanity is going to be there on that day.
The rich man and Lazarus will stand before God to receive the returnal reward. On that day, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will stand before God on that day. Hey, have Jessebelle and Judas will stand before God. Romans chapter 14 verse 12 says, sold in every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.
Second Corinthians five and verse 10 says, for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ so that every one of us may receive the things done in his body according that which he had done, whether it be good or bad. Sometimes people will ask this. They’ll say, what is the point of the judgment?
You know, people have already been in paradise or they’ve already been in torment. It kind of seems to me like they’ve already been judged. What? What is the point of the judgment? But you see, the judgment day is not a day in which God has to weigh the facts. I think sometimes we think of the judgment day like this.
We think it’s going to be a day that we’ll stand before God and he’ll say, all right, he’s done these good things. He’s done these bad. Okay, he gets to go to heaven. Or he’s going to have, it’s not that. It’s not like that is not the day in which God makes the decision. God knows the moment I die where I will spend eternity, we might more accurately refer to this day as the pronouncement of judgment day.
He is the day in which God will state the reasons why you are lost or he’ll state the reasons why you are saved. If somebody says, what still seems kind of unnecessary because the righteous and the wicked already know where they’re going to spend their eternity. Rather than, I want to suggest to you that the judgment day is necessary for several reasons.
Number one is necessary for those of us who were still living because we haven’t been to paradise or tore me. Number two, it is necessary so that the righteousness of God may be displayed. I said, what are you talking about there? I want you to think about this with me. The last time the world saw Jesus Christ, he was dying on the cross as a criminal, convicted as a criminal.
Or you say, no, no. Remember he was seen after his resurrection. He was seen by the brethren after his resurrection, but the last time the world saw him, he was condemned as a criminal. But on that day, he will be seen by all of humanity as the righteous judge and fringe. The day of judgment will be a day of exposure.
It will be the day in which those who are lost will be told why they are lost. Those who are saved will be told why they are saying, I do not think there will be a single solitary person in inhale who doesn’t know why he is there and there will not. Likewise, there will not be a single person in heaven who doesn’t know why he is there.
Now, that takes us to the last section of this chart and this is eternity. Matthew 25 46 the Lord said, these shall go away into ever lasting punishment, but the righteous in the life, eternal, everlasting, and eternal. The description of heaven in the description of halo are exactly the same Greek word.
That means the length of time that haven’t will exist is the length of time that hell will exist. Sometimes I hear people, and particularly younger preachers and recent times suggesting that hell means that you’re just simply going to burn up and, and that’s the end of it. That is not what the Bible teaches.
The Bible teaches that hell lasts forever and ever man has been created in the image of God. That means we have an eternal soul that will never cease to exist. You know, if, if you stop and ponder, that is very sobering. Now you notice on the chart there are two alternatives for where a person will spend eternity.
One is heaven. The other is hell. At the top of the chart is heaven. It’s a place of eternal bliss is the destination of the faithful. On that day, the King will say, calm you. Blessed of my father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25 46 calls it life eternal.
The other destination is a place of torment. It is a place called hell. Revelation 21 eight refers to it as the Lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. It’s the place that Jesus Christ has in mind. In Matthew 25 when he says to the centers, the Bible says, these shall go away into everlasting punishment.
How long then is hell going to last? It’s everlasting. In fact, revelation 14 and verse 11 says, and the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever, and they shall have no rest day or night. Prince, I cannot imagine anything more terrifying than this. The man who dies. And ultimately goes to hell as tomorrow and the next day and the next year and the next 100 years in the next 1 million years.
And each day that passes, he is no closer to the end. He will burn that way and suffer forever and ever. It is the sort of thing that if you go home and you try to ponder it, it will make you sick to your stomach to think about living forever in a place of torment and know that I will never get out of there.
The soul of man enters his body at the point of conception for the next 70 or 80 or 90 years. His soul dwells in this tense. During that time. He will either love God with that body and soul, or he won’t. He will worship God with that body and soul, or he won’t. The day will come that his soul will leave his body.
It will pass into the realm of Haiti’s either to paradise or torments. And it will remain there until the day of resurrection, and then he will stand before God to receive his eternal reward or scent. Sure. I want to tell you a true story and then I’m going to offer the invitation. About three years ago, I moved from Charleston, South Carolina to Memphis, Tennessee to Southaven, Mississippi.
I’d been preaching in North Charleston, South Carolina for about nine years. It’s my home. We had a family in the congregation that had been unfaithful for a period of time. And this one particular Sunday night, the man, the husband, the father showed up, but he was by himself and he was sitting out in the foyer.
And I finished my sermon that night and I walked out and he was just sitting there in a chair and he had his face in his hands, and I was thinking, he’s gonna make his life right tonight. He’s going to come forward and fix things. So we talked for a moment. And then he left and he did not make his life right.
The next day, or maybe the day after he got on his motorcycle to go to work, he did not wear a helmet. He never did. And on this particular day I was told that what happened was he was riding in the rain and a car touched the back wheel of his motorcycle and he lost control and his head smashed the concrete.
They dispatched a helicopter from the medical university of South Carolina. To come and get him. They took him to the hospital. They called his family. His wife came to the hospital and she was standing next to him and she’s a Christian, but she’d been unfaithful. He’d been unfaithful. She knew it.
She’s desperate. She standing there next to his body, he can’t communicate. She doesn’t even know if he can hear her. And she took hold of his hand and she said, honey, I’m going to say a prayer. And she said, we’re Christians. And I’m going to pray for you to have forgiveness. And if you agree with this, she said, I want you to squeeze my hand.
And she said, Lord, please forgive my husband of his sins. Make him right so that he can go to heaven. And she said, I think he squeezed my hand. Doctor said it might’ve been a reflux. I don’t know. They say, Don, what is the point of that story? Rather than, the point is this brother Jim ball was in his forties.
When that happened. You know, sometimes we listen to preachers preach sermons like this, and I think that we think, well, every preacher says something like that can happen. I’ve got plenty of time. I’m going to get my life right. And that’s just a preacher story. I completely believe that Jim ball came to services that night knowing he needed to get his life right and he thought, I’ll do it later because I have time.
But he did not . I don’t know the eternity of brother ball. That is between him and the Lord, but what I do know is this. It could happen to any of us at any time. Now, here’s the question. Where do we go when we die? And the answer is where I go when I die is dependent on where I am while I’m living.
I said, we’re going to go back to the beginning. You notice we’ve got two arrows here, one representing the saved and one representing the loss. The one representing the loss is wider and that’s because of Matthew seven 13 and 14 straight is the gate and arrows the way what sleets of life and view their bead that go in there at.
But what does he say in verse 14 broad is the way wide is the way that leads to destruction. Many, in fact, most of humanity is traveling down that road. Prince tonight, where you go when you die is dependent on where you are. When you’re living and where you are at the moment that you pass from this life.
If you left here tonight and you pull out of that parking lot, the roads are slick. It’s been snowing and something happens and a car smashes into you seconds later when you open your eyes, what would you see? Would you open your eyes to see angels escorting you to paradise? Or would you open your eyes and say, Oh no, just start a sermon on that?
And it’s forever, too late. Tonight. Where you will go when you die is dependent on where you are when you’re living. If you’re here tonight and you’re not a new Testament Christian, you need to know you’re not prepared for eternity. You need to know the Bible teaches in order to become a child of God, I need to hear the gospel.
You it repent of my sins, confess my faith in Christ. And be baptized in water to be washed into the blood of Jesus and to be added to the church. Now might be sad. I don’t understand that. I want to have a study. Let us know. We’ll set up a study. Maybe here tonight you say, I know exactly what I need to do.
I’ve been putting it off, but tonight I’m ready to do that. I want to make my life right with God. Maybe you’re here this evening as a child of God, but you haven’t been walking in the light and you have serious doubts about your eternity. Don’t leave in that condition. If you’ve got sand that needs to be taken care of publicly or you desire the prayers of your brethren on your behalf, we would count it an honor to go to God and to pray for you this evening.
You have the opportunity if you need respond to the Lord’s invitation, won’t you come as together? We stand and sing the invitation song.