Excerpt taken from "When Life is Over", pages 14-18
Copyright © 2000 by Rick Jones. Reproduced by permission.
Is there a God?
There certainly is. The Bible’s very first words are “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God doesn’t attempt to prove His existence, He merely states it as an established fact.
Is there a God? Step outside some evening and gaze into the star-filled sky. Consider the billions of stars, millions of miles away. Consider the other planets, other galaxies. The Bible reminds us:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Psalm 19:1
Is there a God? Consider the human body. Psalm 139:14 declares we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Let’s examine one small part of the body, the human eye. Because of its extreme complexity, scientists still don’t fully understand how it works. Guess who said:
“To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree... The belief that an organ as perfect as the eye could have formed by natural selection is more than enough to stagger anyone.”1
Who declared this remarkable truth? None other than the famous evolutionist, Charles Darwin. Even he recognized that an organ as intricate and magnificent as the eye required a Creator.
Sir Isaac Newton said, “This most elegant system of suns and planets can only arise from the purpose of an intelligent and mighty Being.”
Albert Einstein declared, “The harmony of natural law reveals an intelligence of such superiority that compared with it, all the systematic thinking of human beings is utterly insignificant.”
Yes, there is a God. The evidence is overwhelming. And someday, we will stand before Him:
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:12
Will you be ready? By the time you finish this book, your answer can be yes.
Is there a Devil?
Just as surely as there is a God, there is also a devil. Ezekiel 28 tells us much about this evil character. He was created by God (v.13) and lived in heaven (v.13). God set him up as an anointed cherub (v.14). He was perfect in beauty (v.12), which led him to become proud (v.17). He rebelled against God (v.15-16), and was evicted from heaven (v.16). Originally called Lucifer, he was banished to earth (v.18), where he became known as Satan:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! Isaiah 14:12
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9
Satan is now the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) but someday he will be cast into the flames of hell (Isaiah 14:15), where he will burn for all eternity:
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 20:10
Today, he roams the earth as your unseen spiritual enemy, working to deceive and destroy you:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8
Satan’s ultimate goal is to see you thrown into the lake of fire. Right now, he is furious that you are reading this book. He hates the wonderful truths you are learning. Please don’t let him stop you from finishing this book.
Is there a Heaven?
God’s holy Word assures us repeatedly that a real place of eternal beauty and splendor called heaven does exist:
“...for God is in heaven...” Ecclesiastes 5:2
Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord? Jeremiah 23:24
Heaven’s streets are paved with gold (Revelation 21:21), and there, nothing ever wears out (Matthew 6:20). Those who reach this place of everlasting peace and joy will share it with angels (Matthew 18:10) and receive eternal rewards (Matthew 5:12). Best of all, God wants us to live there forever. Jesus said:
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:2-3
Many skeptics claim heaven doesn’t exist, but their disbelief does not change reality. During a blizzard one frigid December night, a Minnesota farmer was watching the TV news. When he saw sunbathers basking in 85 degree Hawaiian sunshine, he snickered to his wife, “I don’t believe a place that beautiful really exists.” Well, Hawaii does exist, whether he believes it or not. So does heaven.
Is there a Hell?
Just as surely as there is a place of eternal bliss called heaven, there is a place of everlasting punishment called hell. It’s not a popular subject, but you must be aware of it. The Bible tells us about a man who went there:
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; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 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. Luke 16:22-24
Our minds cannot comprehend a place this ghastly. Hell is described as an “everlasting fire” (Matthew 25:41), “eternal fire” (Jude 7), and “a furnace of fire” (Matthew 13:42). Revelation 20:10 refers to it as “the lake of fire and brimstone.” Those who are doomed there “shall be tormented with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 14:10 ).
It is a place of “outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12) and “blackness and darkness” (Jude 13), where inhabitants endure “chains of darkness” (2 Peter 2:4) in a “bottomless pit” (Revelation 20:3).
Hell’s inhabitants experience “weeping and gnashing (grinding) of teeth” (Matthew 8:12), “everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9), and “...the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever” (Revelation 14:11). Worst of all, hell’s population increases every day, yet it is never full (Proverbs 27:20).
This gruesome place of eternal torment was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Satan knows he will eventually be condemned there (Isaiah 14:15, Revelation 20:10). So will all those who reject God’s one and only method for reaching heaven (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
Comprehending the never-ending pain of hell is impossible. To get a tiny glimpse, imagine laying your hand on a red-hot stove burner. Though your hand would only touch the flame for a fraction of a second, you would scream out in agony. Now imagine being unable to remove your hand. Even worse, picture your whole body inside the burner, with no way to escape... forever.
Though our finite minds cannot grasp the dreadfulness of hell, it’s undoubtedly a destination you want to avoid.