What are heaven and hell like?
Did you ever wonder where our perceptions of heaven and hell come from? Heaven is easy. There are countless Biblical references to God’s Kingdom where peace, love and joy transcend all who are eternally present. Hell is a different story. Since the writing of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem entitled Divine Comedy, the Inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth; it is the “realm…of those who have rejected spiritual values by yielding to bestial appetites or violence, or by perverting their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellow man.
In 1648, a group of reformed theologians wrote the Westminster Confession of Faith. This was simply a compression of what people believed about their God. In it we find this:
The light of nature shows that there is a God, who has lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and does unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might.
So here lie our first clues, when God said, “Let there be light,” He did so to show us His nature and character. Without light, we see nothing. Even a simple candle can overcome the darkness and show us the way. Light is good and it is necessary to see our God and His creation.
Can you see the “Deliberate Design” in our universe, our world in life itself?
Have you looked closely at the perfection of living things, the perfect purpose for our world?
Our universe operates by universal laws of nature, why?
Do you see the uniqueness of earth among the stars?
Through what was made, can you see God’s power, presence, protection, provision, and wisdom?
Christ is the “light” for men – Can you see the peace, love and joy He brings to life?
Can Anything Good Exist Without Light?
Light is an amazing thing. We see our good side and our bad side. We see God’s creation and mankind’s destruction. Light sustains life and it is light that provides us the ability to make choices, good ones and bad ones. So is light a two-edged sword?
Like opening one’s eyes, we can simply decide to walk blindly or with eyes open, we can focus on nothing eternal or on God around us. And when we do open our eyes to the light it can do good things for us. As we find in Proverbs 15:30, “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the body.” When we see God in this world, we do not have to wait until the next event to experience His peace, love and joy. But it is a choice and the choice is ours to make. It is no different than the choice made by the eagle and the vulture. An eagle soars the skies and sees only the living; the vulture soars those same skies and sees only what is dead.
What better way to describe hell than living without light, without God for eternity in a place filled with hatred, violence and hopelessness. Eternal separation from God is hell.
Your tip, therefore, is to choose to live life in God’s light, opening your eyes to His evidence and sharing His love for us with all you meet.