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Eternity

"for ever and ever"

 

The gift of God is everlasting life through

Jesus Christ our Master

(Romans  6:23)


 

 

CONTENTS

                                                                                    

    1         Your Ultimate Journey                                        

    2         Heaven                                                                   

    3         Hell is no Myth                                                     

    4         Questions About Heaven                                     

    5         Questions About Hell                                           

    6         Honest Men Must Warn                                      

    7         And in Hell He Lifted Up His Eyes                    

    8         The Bible’s Description of Hell                           

    9         In My Father’s House are Many Mansions       

  10         The Great White Throne                                     

  11         Check Yourself                                                       

12         You Have to Spend Eternity Somewhere         

  13         How to Get to Heaven?                                        

  14         Decision Prayer                                                     

  15         About Our Cover Picture                                     

 

 

ARE YOU READY FOR

YOUR  ULTIMATE  JOURNEY ?

 

A STORY has been told of an ancient king and his court jester. Captivated by the antics of the jester, the monarch presented "the fool" with an elegant baton.

The king said, "Here, keep this rod with you until you find a man more foolish than yourself."

Time passed and the king fell sick. The jester was called in. He found his monarch in great agony.

      "What is the trouble?" the jested asked.

      "I am very ill," said the king, "and I fear I am about to go on a long journey."

      "When will you return?" asked the jester.

      "Never," said the king.

      "What do you know about the country to which you are going?"

      "Nothing!"

      "What preparation have you made for the journey?"

      "None."

There was a pause. Solemnly the jester extended the elegant baton.

"Your Excellency," he began, "you told me to keep this  rod  until  I  found  a  man  more  foolish  than myself. Now you tell me you are about to take a trip from which you will never return, to a country about which you know nothing, and for which you have made no preparation. Here, take the rod."

READER, are we like that king? Let's be honest with ourselves! Each one of us must take that ultimate journey - to ETERNITY.

The Bible says …

"PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD !"  (Amos 4:12)

Are you ready for that journey? Are you ready to meet God? Or are you simply drifting along, thinking you will risk it, and face whatever comes, whenever it comes?

To risk your eternal destiny is not wisdom!  It's not even common sense. It's foolishness, for eternity lasts for a very long time!  My reader, please don't take "the jester's baton"!  If you have not made preparation for your eternity, this booklet will help guide you to the truth, and show you the way of salvation.

You don't have to remain in doubt about eternity! You can face death and the life beyond, knowing that your soul has been saved, and that it is secure in the hands of the Almighty.  You can share the glorious provision that God has made for those who trust in Him. You can be kept from the dreadful fate of  those who neglect their eternal destiny.  But it is for you to receive His provision.

"As I live!" declares the Heavenly Master, YHWH, "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! For why should you die?"  (Ezekiel 33:11)   

(YHWH  is the Name of the Almighty God, the Creator, as written in the Hebrew Bible. It usually pronounced as Yahweh. It's meaning is, "The Eternal One.")

The question above, Why should you die?, is speaking of eternal death - that dark eternity, called Hell, that we must seek to escape.

Yahweh is the loving God, and also the Holy One - the Eternal Creator. And He is the God who saves, and who wants to save us!

"For YHWH who created the heavens, who formed and made the earth, and established it, He who did not create it as a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited, He who is God says this: I am YHWH (Yahweh), and there is no other ... Look to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other."  (Isaiah 45:18, 22)

He is the One who, we are told, we must prepare to meet.  He is the Everlasting Father, who has created us that we might share and enjoy His life for ever. He offers us everlasting life in His eternal home.  

That's the Eternity Destiny that we should choose!

To "win" that eternal destiny means life and love for ever. To miss that eternal blessing is to abandon all hope for ever.  We are here on earth for a short time, but ...

 

where will we spend eternity?

 

 

heaven

It's real!  It's wonderful!

It's prepared!  It can be for You!

 

EVEN THOUGH we try in every way to describe Heaven, we fail.  It is more beautiful than our best description.

The story is told of a little girl who was blind from her birth, and who only knew the beauties of this earth from the lips of her mother.  It is said that a noted surgeon worked upon her eyes and at last his operations were successful.

As the last bandage dropped away from the little girl’s eyes and she could see, she flew into her mother’s arms, then she went to the window and to the door.  And as the glories of the earth rolled into her vision, she ran screaming back to her mother and said, “O Mamma, why didn’t you tell me it was so beautiful?”

The mother wiped away her tears of joy and said, “My child, I tried to tell you, but I could not do it.”

One day when we come into Heaven, we will be asking, “Why didn’t someone tell us that it was so beautiful?”  All of the writers of the Scripture will say, “We tried to tell you, but it was impossible.”  Yes, it is hard to talk about Heaven.  It is so big and so beautiful that it goes beyond the best description that our words can form or fashion.

But allow me to say,  in simple words, a few things about it.

 

1.  HEAVEN IS REAL

Yes, Heaven is a real place.  It is just as real as any country or city that we know.  Christ (the Messiah) said, “I go to prepare a place for you.”  If the Messiah said He was going to prepare a place, then it is sure that He went to a definite place.

Heaven is a prepared place.  Jesus said so, and that establishes the complete truth of it.  Heavenly mansions are being made ready by the Lord Jesus for His people.

 

2.  HEAVEN IS HOME

"Home" brings to our hearts the sweetest and most tender memories and thoughts.

Heaven is our home.  Hell is not home - Hell is the prison of the damned.  Eternal Hell has no marks of home.  It is a place of suffering forever and ever.

So many people never have a home upon this earth.  Such a one was our Lord Jesus who had nowhere to lay His head.  But, friend, put your faith in Christ, and Heaven will be your home.

3.  HEAVEN IS LOVE

John endeavors to give us a description of Heaven in the last chapters of the Revelation.  He speaks of the size of the City of God, the gates of the city, the pearls, the jewels, the golden streets.  But someone has said, in the entire list, one gem is not mentioned.  This is the gem of love.

Heaven is love.  All hatred, animosity, jealousy, and strife will be done away.  Heaven will bring us together with our saved loved ones, and love will flow like a river.

Dr. Talmage was once asked by a woman who had just buried her daughter, a Christian girl, “Dr. Talmage, do you really think that I shall ever look into her face and recognize her?”

He said, “What do you think of Heaven?  Is Heaven a subtraction, or is it an addition?  Are we to be bigger fools in Heaven than we are on earth?  Do you think that we will know less in Heaven than we do here?  All that is beautiful will be magnified in the growing beauty of the years, but she will be yours.  She will be yours in memory and yours in knowledge.  Heaven is an addition, not a subtraction.”

4.  HEAVEN IS JESUS

The question is often asked, “Where is Heaven?”  One of the simplest answers to give is this:  “Heaven is where Jesus is.”  This answer is not foolish because the Word tells us that when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord.  Wherever Heaven might be located in God’s universe, of this we can be sure - it is with our Master.

I wonder if the realization of seeing Christ face to face ever really grips very many people?  As you sing of the Lord, as you hear His Name preached and mentioned again and again, are you conscious that one day you are going to see the Lord?  That is, you are going to see Him if you are a child of God.  You are going to see Y'shua, Jesus the Messiah  who was nailed to a cross for you. The prints will still be in His hands and feet; the scars will be seen upon His brow. Oh we should sing with a new fervor every day:

      Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; sweetest name I know,

      Fills my every longing; keeps me singing as I go.

 

5.  HEAVEN IS ETERNAL

Any home that we build here will rot and decay; it’s age is limited. But Heaven is eternal.  With everything upon this earth, whether it is a mansion on a hill, or a shanty in the slums, the home is only temporary.  But Heaven is our eternal abiding place.

What happens to the cities of the world?  They are built and destroyed.  Nineveh and Babylon are gone; the cities of Asia and Egypt are destroyed, but Heaven is a city whose Builder and Maker is God, and its foundations shall never crumble away.

Can we put it all together in one sentence?  Perhaps we can.  Heaven is a real place, the home of believers, where love, and Christ abide, and which the eternal ages shall never change.    - Dr.  Lee Robertson / The Sword of the Lord

 

        heaven ...

            The light of Heaven is the Face of Jesus

            The joy of Heaven is the Presence of Jesus

            The melody of Heaven is the Name of Jesus

            The harmony of Heaven is the praise of Jesus

            The theme of Heaven is the work of Jesus

            The employment of Heaven is the service of Jesus

            The duration of Heaven is the eternity of Jesus

            The fullness of Heaven is Y'shua, Jesus Himself.

(Y’shua [Yeshua] is the Hebrew Name for Jesus)

 

 

hell is no Myth !

There is a strange silence about Hell! Explain it?  One cannot! One just marvels at the change of thinking on this subject. Views have changed, but not for the better of mankind.

Whole systems of beliefs are centered around the non-existence of Hell!  It has become the by-word of the day, and the denial finds expression in unheard-of places.  In spite of the silence, the changed attitude of men and the press, the Day of Judgment and the truth of Hell remain solemn facts which will prove themselves. (Revelation 19:11-15)

Dr. E. Lyttleton, formerly headmaster of Eton, says: “We dimly acknowledge that Christ’s teaching is our great hope for the recovery of our sense of divine law.  But all that we dislike in that teaching we ignore.  Thus, though about one-third of it declares that God’s judgment of the disobedient is certain, unexpected, and very awful, we have been keeping silent on the subject for the last fifty years.”

If eternal Hell is the awful doom of the unrepentant wrongdoer (and the chief crime deterrent of the universe disappears with unbelief), the one who speaks of it boldly is a friend.

Hell is necessary to God's Government

Hell, we are told, was “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).  Society demands protection, and must have it to survive.  Men have discovered that penal institutions are a sad necessity.  Lawless men invite restraint.  Why?  They are dangerous to themselves and to others.  If all the imprisoned ones of the world could be gathered together, they would constitute a mighty nation.  They are placed in confinement for their own good, and for that of society.

Therefore, in the police lockups, in jails, prisons, courts and institutions for the criminal, we have a faint illustration of God’s institutions for those who refuse to measure up to His laws.

Men are free beings, but inasmuch as they invite the restraint of the law by their conduct, the law reaches out its hand and apprehends them.  In like manner, wicked men cause God to shield those declared to be His, by reaching out in His power and arresting and detaining those who by their conduct and actions have made it necessary.  As surely as man’s government has its institutions for the guilty, God possesses His for those who refuse to come under the rules of His kingdom.

Hell is the finality of all unpardoned sin, and the harvest of all selfishness and transgression.  To sow sin and remain unforgiven means to reap Hell at the last. 

“Be sure your sin will find you out,” cried Moses.   (Numbers 32:23)

 

The Preacher of the Proverbs declares:

“A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1)

Ezekiel warns: “The soul who sins will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4). Paul writes: “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23), and …

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”  (Galatians 6:7)

The cross at Calvary is where God settled the question of men's sin, once and for all. The sacrifice of Messiah for the sins of the whole world, was God's provision for all mankind; and once a sinner accepts this settlement, there remains no condemnation for him.  But if God's provision is rejected, what else can remain for the condemned sinner, except HELL?

 The Messiah Jesus warned:

"Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins!"  (John 8:24)

Hell, strictly speaking, is Gehenna, meaning the final place of punishment for the wicked and unbelieving dead, all fallen angels and demons including Satan.  This word occurs twelve times in the New Testament and the Lord Jesus uses it eleven times!

In speaking of the final place of punishment, Jesus uses “Hell Fire” or Gehenna.  Only four times does the Lord use the word “Hades.” (Matthew 11:23, 16:11, Luke 10:15; 16:23), which is the true rendering of the word ("the grave") in these places.

Jesus also uses many other words which harmonize with His statements about Hell. 

“Fire” referring to Hell and its punishment, occurs in the New Testament 27 times, and is used by the Lord 19 times.  

“Their worm dieth not” is found 5 times and seems to have been used by the Lord and also by Isaiah, who uses it only once, in this sense. 

“Damnation” is found 14 times in four forms.  Jesus uses it seven times, Paul six, and Peter once.  It certainly possesses the thought of destruction or judgment.

“Eternal” or “everlasting” are words often on the lips of the Son of God.  In the New Testament it occurs 128 times in five forms.  In the Old Testament the word which answers to the one in the New Testament, occurs 448 times in 17 forms. 

Then there is the word “wrath,” which appears 26 times in the New Testament and always refers to final judgment.

The word “punishment” occurs four times and is used once by the Saviour. “Perish” is found 33 times, Jesus making use of it on 18 occasions. 

There are also other terms used by the Lord of Glory:  “weeping and gnashing of teeth”, “perdition”, “torment”, “tormented” and in the Bible’s closing book, we have the “lake of fire” and “the second death.”

Think of all the words and all the parables spoken by the Lord Jesus concerning this serious truth which is today a discarded topic.  The Book of Revelation is His last message, and how much is pressed into the compass of that book about Hell and those that will go there!  Pause and consider well.  Are we to regard man’s words or God’s?

This doctrine of a literal Hell has stood and will stand every test that has been applied.  Men turn away from it.  Some speak for God with their lips, yet their heart is dead and cold against this truth.  But the truth cannot be broken down.  Its testimony stands. 

If the Lord Jesus cannot be trusted, can confidence be put in any human friend or counsellor?  If it were true, as they say and write, that “Hell does not exist,” then the statements of Christ were cruel.  Choice must be made between the words of Jesus Christ  and the words of men.

The Bible Speaks with Authority

One-third of the Bible refers to judgment on sin, on men and on nations.  Today, the message that is stressed is the love of God, but there is little fear of God, or love for God, in the land.

The Bible speaks out sternly to men in this world who are moving on to the next:  “Beware, judgment is coming!”

The Bible does not reveal the love of God more than His wrath.  The very opposite is true.  While it appeals to the soul to be saved on the ground of love, 28 times, it speaks of the “wrath of God” 61 times as a strong reason for men to be saved.  And it speaks with a surprising degree of clearness on the place of punishment, immediate, future and eternal.

The Book of Revelation is devoted to the execution of judgment, and in its 404 verses, one can find 191 which have to do with judgment.  Without doubt, some of the most outstanding words and sentences about punishment to be found in the range of the Word of God are to be seen here! 

“Torment” and “brimstone” are mentioned six times; “bottomless pit”, “judge” and “wrath,” seven times, and “plague,” sixteen times.

Most people are ready to accept what the Bible says about heaven, but a vast company refuses to believe what it declares about Hell.  Yet, is it not true that the negation of the one must mean, by the laws of all reason and logic, the non-existence of the other? 

If Heaven is a reality, then Hell is also.  If there is light in the one place, then there is darkness in the other.  If there is joy in Heaven, surely there is sorrow in Hell.  If there is peace in heaven, then there is trouble in Hell.  If there is eternal bliss in the one, then there is surely eternal misery in the other.

The solemn truth abut Hell should make every one of us interested in saving others from its torment.  Judgment should be preached that people might never come to the Great White Throne judgment. Hell should be preached that Heaven might be fulfilled.

“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”   (Revelation 20:15)

“Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Heavenly Master, YHWH (Yahweh), ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?”   (Ezekiel 33:11)

“Believe in the Master, Y’shua, Jesus the Messiah (that is, have faith in Him and give yourself up to Him), and you will be saved.”  (Acts 16:31)

 

 

Questions about heaven

Q.  Where is Heaven?

A.  The Bible actually speaks of three heavens, but only one where God dwells. The first Heaven is the firmament - the atmosphere and clouds. The second is the Universe. The third is where God dwells and where His people will live with Him for ever.

We are not told where Heaven is, nor where Hell is, but every reference in the Word of God concerning going to Heaven mentions going “UP.”  Jesus went up and a cloud received Him out of their sight  (Acts 1:9);  Elijah went up (2 Kings 2:11); Paul was caught up (2 Corinthians 12:2).

Christ will catch His people up at the Rapture (I Thessalonians 4:17).  The previous verse speaks of Christ “descending” from Heaven, where He is now.  Heaven must be above us - how far away we do not know, but when we leave this body and this earth, we are immediately in Heaven - absent from the body, then present with the Lord.

Q.  Will we know our loved ones in Heaven?

A.  How often we have stood by the grave of a loved one and laid their bodies away until the “Resurrection Morning”!  We have thanked God at such times that we sorrow not as those who have no hope, and we have turned away from the grave knowing that even if we have lost them for a while, we will see them again soon - in Heaven, that is, if both they and we, are true believers.

But the question often comes - will we know them when we see them?  Will they remember us?  What about the little baby who died before he or she really knew us?  The human heart naturally longs for the comfort that they will know us and that we will know them.

Y'shua was often asked questions about the Resurrection.  Do you remember the questions the Sadducees brought to Him about the woman who was married seven times  -  “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?”  (See Matthew 22:23-33) ?

Christ answered that they did not realize what it will be like on the other side, “In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God.”  In other words, there is no restoration of family life as we know it here on earth.  Marriage and family life belong to this life and are not the practice of Heaven.  Remember; if family life were continued into Heaven, we would be continually noticing the gaps left by the unsaved members of our earthly families.  What a heartache that would be, but God says there are no tears in Heaven. (Revelation 7:17)

But this does not say we will not know our loved ones who are there.  Of course we will.  Will we know any-thing less over there than we do here?  We will know more - 1 Corinthians 13:12 says;

 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”

Yes, we will know our loved ones and they will know us.  Heaven is a place of perfection and our minds and memories will be perfect.  There we'll be without sin, or the memory of sin, to defeat us.

No doubt we will recognize others whom we have never met, just as the disciples recognized Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration.  No doubt Christ will reveal to us the very one who prayed for us, or who led us to Christ, or who gave the money to send the missionary to us.  Our knowledge there will be far greater than it is now.  This is the teaching of the whole Bible.

Q.  Can those in Heaven see us?

A.  Do you want them to see you - every moment of your life?

I am not sure I do, and yet I believe Christ may allow them to see those things which would bring pleasure to them - the salvation of a loved one for whom they have long prayed, for example.

One of the few references which covers this point is found in Hebrews 12:1:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.”

This picture is best described this way:  Have you ever been to see running races?  Do you remember how those who had run their particular race, went and stood along the side lines to watch the next race being run?  They were “witnesses” of those running behind or after them.

It may be that Christ allows those who have finished their earthly course, to watch those coming on after them, but I can hardly think that He would allow them to see all our failures and sins.  If He is willing to cover these things with His blood, He would hardly reveal them to our loved ones over there.

But I could easily believe that at such times as conversions, baptism, consecration, and other special occasions, Christ might allow our loved ones to know and even to see what is taking place on earth.  We are not told - we can only trust in Him who does all things well.  Some day we will know all for ourselves.

Q.  Can we be sure of Heaven?

A.  All men want to be, and hope to be saved and go to Heaven, but I want you to know, we can be certain that we will arrive at that glorious place. This book explains how you can be converted and receive Eternal Life. God’s Bible assures all true believers, that they will never be lost, but will go to Heaven. 

 

The Lord Jesus said:  “I tell you the truth, he who hears My Word, and believes in Him who sent Me, has eternal life and will not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”  (John 5:24) 

“I know them, and they follow Me; I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; and no-one will snatch them out of My hand.”  (John 10:27-28)

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in union with the Messiah, Y’shua (Jesus).”  (Roman 8:1)

“And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have that life. These things I have written to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life, and so that you may continue to believe in the Name of Y'shua, the Son of God.”  (I John 5:11-13)

 

Do you want to be sure of Heaven?  You can. This booklet is seeking to make it clear how you can be saved, and assured of a place in Heaven. Keep reading till you come to the final prayer.

 

Questions about hell

Q:  IS HELL REAL ?

      How can we really be sure that Hell exists?

A.  I do not give you my opinions, speculations or theories.  They are worth no more than any other fool's speculations, theories or opinions, and any man who preaches his own speculations, theories or opinions on this subject is a fool.  But we have the Word of God.  God knows all about Hell and has told us much about it.  One ounce of God’s revelation is worth forty million tons of man’s speculations and theories.

We are certain that there is a Hell because Christ says so, the apostles say so, and God says so.  We are more positive there is a Hell than we are that the sun will rise tomorrow.  I have not one word of authority to tell you that the sun will rise in the morning.  I suppose it will.  I hope it will.  I should be disappointed if it should not, but I haven’t one word of authority to tell you that it will.  But I have authority to tell you that there is a Hell, and that is the Word of God.

There is a Hell because God says there is, and the only thing against it, that I have ever found, is simply the speculations of a lot of theologians, and the dreams of a lot of poets and old novel writers and old backsliders in the church.  That’s all I’ve ever found against it.

Sin is a moral ulcer.  It may be some time before it stamps itself on your body, but it will.  Everybody knows that the further a man goes into sin, the further he will go; and you let a man go on and on until repentance is passed, and what has he left but Hell? And the only theory against Hell is the speculation of theologists and some old fool philosophers.

When on one hand I have the speculations of men, the theories of philosophers and the opinions of some theologians, and on the other hand, I have the Word of God and the Word of Christ, it does not take me long to make up my mind which I’ll choose.

 

Q.  ANNIHILATION?

      Won't Hell simply be the end of unbelievers?

A.  The Bible teaches that as a result of sin, and especially of the crowning sin of rejecting the Saviour, there is to be after death an immeasurable suffering for those who do not repent of their sins and accept Christ  for salvation.

There is no need to dwell at length on that point.  The old crude form of Universalism that says no matter how a man lives in this life, he will enter into blessedness at death, has largely disappeared, except from funeral sermons.  If that were true, the kindest thing that we could do for people in the slums and other unfortunates, would be to put them to death at once in some painless way.  But take one Bible statement - and this statement gives the words of Jesus:

“And if your right eye causes you to stumble and sin, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into Gehenna - hell.”  (Matthew 5:29)

Certainly these words of our Lord mean that after death there is to be, for those who sin and do not repent, such intense suffering that the greatest possible present calamity would be preferable to it.

 

Q.  CONSCIOUSNESS  IN  HELL?

      Will people in Hell be in a conscious state?

A.  Yes, the Bible teaches that those in Hell will be conscious. They will not be annihilated, nor simply exist in some non-conscious form.  In Hell the sufferings are very real!

This is the plain teaching of Luke 16:19-31, the story of the rich man and Lazarus in the future world.  All manner of explanations have been given to explain that the straightforward words of our Master do not mean what they say. But arguments do not change the awful reality of Hell.  

Conscious suffering of the lost in Hell is also clearly taught in the following passages of Revelation:

“If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the fury of God, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath; and he will be tormented with burning sulphur before the holy angels and in the Presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day and night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”  (Revelation 14:9-11)

This certainly describes conscious suffering of the most intense kind and it cannot be fairly and honestly interpreted in any other way.

“Then the devil who deceived them was cast into the fiery lake of burning sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown earlier. And they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”  (Revelation 20:10)

These words unmistakably speak of conscious torment!  We are told that they shall have no rest “day nor night,” which would be impossible language to use by any honest speaker or writer if the doomed were not conscious.

 

Q.  IS THE BODY IN HELL?

      Is the unbeliever’s body in Hell, or just his spirit?

A.  The body will share with the soul, the suffering of the lost in the world to come.  Take the verse that we have quoted.  In this verse Jesus Christ says, “the body” - and by the body He certainly means just what He says, “the body shall be cast into hell.”

Take another utterance of our Lord: 

“And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:  but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.”  (Matthew 10:28)

Here is the most distinct and definite statement possible, that the body as well as the soul is to suffer in the ‘destruction’ of Hell.  Neither, the blessed nor the lost are to exist in the world to come as disembodied spirits.  There is to be a resurrection of the just and the unjust.

This our Master declares in John 5:28, 29.  He says:

“An hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth - those who have done good, to a resurrection of life, and those who have practised evil to a resurrection of judgment.”

Resurrection has to do with the body and the body only.  The spirit does not tumble down and decay and therefore needs no resurrection.

The passage just quoted says, “all that are in the tombs.”  What is “in the tombs” -  the body, and the body only.  The spirits of the lost at death go into Hades; the body (and the body only), into the tomb where it crumbles into dust.  At the resurrection the body is raised and the spirit joins it.

At death, the spirits of the saved depart to be with Christ in conscious blessedness; which Paul says is very far better than the most blessed experience in the body in our present lives.  (Philippians 1:21-23)

The bodies of the saved who pass away before our Lord returns, crumble into dust.  At the Second Coming of Christ the bodies of the blessed are raised and reunited with their redeemed spirits. 

The redeemed spirit hereafter at the Second Coming of Christ shall be clothed upon with a redeemed body, a fit partner of the redeemed spirit that inhabits it, and a partaker with it in all of its joy.

But the lost spirit shall be clothed upon with a lost body, a fit partner of the lost spirit that inhabits it, and a partaker with it in all its misery.

While the bodily torments of Hell are not the most important feature of future punishment, and while the mental agony, the agony of remorse, the agony of shame, the agony of despair, are worse, immeasurably worse, nevertheless, the bodily suffering, a bodily suffering in comparison with which no pain on earth is as anything, is a feature of future punishment.

 

Q.  WHY  IS  THERE  A  HELL?   Why is hell necessary?

A.  If men persist in living in sin, if they persist in rejecting and defying God, then it is right and proper that there should be a Hell in which they are confined.  If men choose sin rather than salvation, if they choose iniquity rather than God, then it is right and just that they be excluded from the Kingdom of God.

It is right and just that there should be jails and penitentiaries in which to confine people who will not keep the law.  And if it weren’t for jails and penitentiaries, if it weren’t for the fear of punishment, your life would not be safe, your property would not be safe. 

It is the fear of punishment that holds many a man and woman in restraint.  You remove the penalty for wrong-doing and you lift the floodgates of iniquity.  Remove the penalty for taking life and I tell you, your streets would flow with blood.  Remove the penalty for breaking into a house or for cracking a safe, and burglary and theft would be rampant.

It is the fear of punishment, of jails, of penitentiaries and of the rope or the electric chair, that holds many a man and woman under restraint.  Remove the fact that there is punishment for wrong-doing and you lift the floodgates of iniquity.

Hell is just as much a manifestation of the love of God as is Heaven.  It is right and proper to have jails for people who don't want to keep the law.  Those who break the law are not entitled to the same liberty as the man who keeps the law, and the man who doesn’t serve God is not entitled to the same privileges as the man who does.  Your common sense tells you that much!

By preparing Hell, God demonstrated His justice in that He will uphold His law.  But He demonstrates His love in providing a way whereby you can be kept from going to Hell.  And rather than repealing His law, or suffering the people trampling it beneath their feet, God was willing to give His Son to open up a plan whereby people might be kept out of Hell. The fact that God did it takes the responsibility off God’s shoulders and puts it on you.  If He hadn’t cared, He wouldn’t have provided redemption.

Q.  THE  END  OF  HELL?

      Won’t Hell come to an end some time?

A.  Some people will tell you that the word “everlasting” doesn’t mean everlasting.   If Hell isn’t everlasting, then Heaven isn’t everlasting.  Listen! 

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.” (Daniel 12:2)

If eternal life is eternal, eternal punishment is eternal, by all the laws of common sense. And I have searched through the Bible and I tell you that I can’t find one word of hope for those in Hell.

Q.  PRAYING  FOR  THE  DEAD?

      Can't we pray for the dead, and help get them out of Hell?

A.  No!  When a person dies, he either goes to Heaven or to Hell.

"And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who are willing to go over from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us."  (Luke 16:26)

There is no return from Hell, and therefore if he does not receive Christ as His Saviour in this life, a person cannot be saved. This is why it is of utmost importance to be saved NOW — to come to the Messiah for Eternal Life, NOW!

Prayer for deceased friends cannot help them in any way. But a believer must pray for his family and friends, and others, who are still living on the earth, that they might be saved from their sins, and from hell, now.  And only a true believer in Christ can effectively pray for others.  Of course, it is not our prayers that saves, but the grace of God. But the prayer of faith is what God waits to hear.

"The earnest prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."                         (James 5:16)

So the believer can share in the work of God by praying for the salvation of others living on the earth.  But it is of no avail whatever to pray for the dead.

 

Q.  WHAT  DETERMINES  OUR  FUTURE?

      What really determines our future - whether we go to Heaven or Hell?

A.  The future destiny of the individual depends upon what he does with Jesus Christ - that is, his response to the Saviour. God plants seeds of faith in our minds, and He expects us to respond to His grace, and to believe and receive the salvation that He offers.  One passage is sufficient to show that simply faith in Christ is what determines our future. There are many verses that we might quote, but this one is sufficient :- 

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not believe (that is, to trust in) the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”   (John 3:36)

 

 

honest men must Warn !

By  J. C. RYLE

(a 19th century British Anglican bishop)

“The wicked will be turned into Hell”

 (Psalm 9:17)

LET OTHERS hold their peace about Hell if they will. I dare not do so. I see it plainly in Scripture, and I must speak of it. I fear that thousands are on that broad road that leads to Hell, and I must awaken them to a sense of the peril before them.

What would you say of the man who saw his neighbour’s house in danger of being burned down, and never raised the cry of “Fire”? Call it bad taste if you like, to speak of Hell. Call it charity to make things pleasant and speak smoothly, and soothe men with a constant lullaby of peace.  From such notions of taste and charity may I ever be delivered!

My idea of charity is to warn men plainly of their danger. My idea of taste is to declare all the counsel of God. If I never spoke of Hell, I would think I had kept back something that was profitable, and would look on myself as an accomplice of the Devil.

Beware of new and strange doctrines about Hell and the eternity of punishment.  Beware of manufacturing a God of your own - a God who is all love, but not holy - a God who has a Heaven for everybody, but a Hell for none - a God who can allow good and bad to exist side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity.

Such a "God" is a god of your own making, as real as Jupiter or an image made of clay.  The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him.  Such a "God" is not the God of the Bible, but your own creation. And your heaven also would be no heaven at all.

A heaven containing all sorts of characters mixed together indiscriminately would be a miserable discord indeed.  Alas for the eternity of such a heaven!  There would be little difference between that and Hell.  Ah reader, there is a Hell!  Take heed lest you find it out too late.

Beware of being wise above that which is written.  Beware of forming fanciful theories of your own, and then trying to make the Bible square with them.  Beware of making selections from your Bible to suit your taste - refusing, like a spoiled child, whatever you think is bitter - seizing like a spoiled child, whatever you think is sweet.

What is all this but taking a penknife and cutting God’s Word to pieces?  What does it amount to but telling God that you, a poor, short-lived worm, know what is good for you, better than He?

It will not do; it will not do!  You must take the Bible as it is.  You must read it all, and believe it all.  You must come to the reading of the Bible in the spirit of a little child.  Dare not to say, “I believe this verse, for I like it; I receive this, for I can understand it; I refuse that, for I cannot reconcile it with my views.”

No!  “O man, who are you to reply against God?”  By what right do you talk in this way?  Surely it were better to say, over every chapter in the Word, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.”

Ah reader, if men were to do this, they would never try to throw overboard the doctrine of the eternal punishment of the wicked. 

“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  (Matthew 25:46)

-----------------------

"And in hell he lifted up his eyes"

(Luke 16:23)

 

Oh! AWFUL DECLARATION.  The deathbed scene is past.  A coffin is brought and the body is laid quietly in it.  The mourners stand around in tears, friends offer words of regret and sympathy.

The black wagon backs up to the gate while the pall bearers carry your cold lifeless form out.  Alas!  For the man who never had time to pray, to go to church or prepare for eternity, has at last found time to die.

So, away marches the funeral procession to the lonely City of the Dead. The grave is opened; the body is lowered into the cold bosom of the earth. The clods of earth are thrown in, while the minister pronounces the word, “Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.”

The family returns home.  There is a new made grave in the cemetery; a vacant place around the fireside, and a familiar voice unheard. Sooner or later the tears of the weeping ones will cease, the bleeding hearts will be healed  - and you forgotten.

But is this all? Oh, no!  “In Hell he lifted up his eyes.”  Listen to him wail.  “This is Hell, and I am here!  I often heard of this place and tried to believe there was none, but I am here at last. Oh, that I had life to live over.  See this smoky, dark, dingy world!  Where is the Purgatory that I was told about?  I have been deceived.  Oh, that I held the false teachers who taught me there is no Hell!  They have caused me to lose my soul.  If I had only believed the Bible and not listened to man.

“I am in Hell!  In Hell!  In Hell!  These dark caverns of despair are to be my home foreverThis is Hell!  This is Hell!  I am in HELL!  Did I think it was so near?  Why, I just left my home in the world ten minutes ago, and now I am in Hell.  Oh, is it possible?  Oh, that this were only a dream and I had another opportunity to go back to the world!  How I would serve God. But my harvest is past, my summer is ended, my career is over.  I am lost!  Lost!  Lost!”

LOST !

            Lost to earth’s pleasure that once your soul won!

            Lost earth’s fond friendship to sorrow alone,

            Lost amid ruined hopes ever undone;

            Lost! the enchantment is over.

            Lost where the billows of torment for ever roll,

            Lost where God’s wrath-flame envelopes the soul;

            Lost where no gleam of hope comes to console.

            Lost in eternity’s gloom.         

                                                                 -   J. M. Humphrey

 

"The Son of Man, Y'shua (Jesus the Messiah),

came to seek and to save the lost."

 (Luke 19:10)

 

The Bible's Description of hell !

 w    A lake of fire                                                                       (Revelation 20:15)

 w    A bottomless pit                                                                     (Revelation 20:1)

 w    A horrible, burning tempest                                                           (Psalm 11:6)

 w    A devouring fire                                                                           (Isaiah 33:14)

 w    A place of sorrows                                                                       (Psalm 18:5)

 w    A place where they wail                                                          (Matthew 13:42)

 w    A place of weeping                                                                  (Matthew 8:12)

 w    A furnace of fire                                                                (Matthew 13:41, 42)

 w    A place of torments                                                                (Luke 16:23, 28)

 w    Everlasting burnings                                                                     (Isaiah 33:14)

 w    A place of filthiness                                                         (Revelation 22:10, 11)

 w    Where they curse God                                                          (Revelation 16:11)

 w    Everlasting Destruction                                                      (2 Thessalonians 1:9)

 w    A place of outer darkness                                                       (Matthew 25:30)

 w    Where they have no rest                                                       (Revelation 14:11)

 w    A place where they can never repent                                       (Matthew 12:32)

 w    A place where they scream for mercy                                            (Luke 16:24)

 w    A place of everlasting punishment                                           (Matthew 25:46)

 w    A place where they gnaw their tongues                                  (Revelation 16:10)

 w    A place of blackness and darkness forever                                         (Jude 13)

 w    A place prepared for Satan and his angels                              (Matthew 25:41)

 w    A place where they scream for  water                                           (Luke 16:24)

 w    A place where they will be tormented with brimstone             (Revelation 14:10)

 w    A place where there are dogs (people who are debased), sorcerers and debauchers.                                                             (Revelation 22:15)

 w    Where they will drink the wine of the wrath of God                       (Revelation 14:10)

    w        Where their worm (torment) does not die,  and the fire is not quenched.  (Mark 9:48)

 w    Where they do not want loved ones to come.                                        (Luke 16:28)

                       

 

"In My Father's House are

Many Mansions"

By  Dr. JOHN  R. RICE

 

John Rice was a well-known American evangelist who died some years ago. We believe he is enjoying the Heavenly mansions right now - not because of his goodness, but because he received the Lord Jesus as His Saviour - the Saviour whom He loved and served so faithfully for the many decades of his life. He was the editor of the weekly, "The Sword of the Lord."

 

Often when I have visited old people, tired people, sick people, they have asked, “Will you read the fourteenth chapter of John.”  So I would read the following words of the Lord Jesus Christ to His people:

“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s House are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you, for I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that you also may be where I am. And you know where I am going, and you know the way there.”

“Thomas said to Him, ‘Master, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?’ Jesus answered him, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no-one comes to the Father, except through Me. If you had really known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you know Him, and have seen Him’.”  (John 14:1-7)

No doubt this passage has been of more comfort and help to believers in trouble, to those sick and tired, or persecuted, than any other Scripture.                                

Even though it was the night before He was crucified, Jesus started out by saying; “Let not your heart be troubled.”  He who was to have such pain; He who was to have such sorrow that night in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the next morning, and was to be tried before Annas and Caiaphas, the high priest and his father-in-law, then tried before Pilate, then beaten with a scourge, crowned with thorns, taken up the road to that place on a hill shaped like a skull, and crucified - He knew all that, and yet He said, “Let not your heart be troubled.”

He was thinking about us and wanting us to learn this sweet secret.  You don’t have to be troubled.  In this world you have tribulations, but you can have peace of mind and heart.  Let not your heart be troubled.  Then He tells us why.

 

1.   HOW  BEAUTIFUL  HEAVEN  IS!

Jesus said we are not to be troubled because “in My Father’s House are many mansions.”  He wants us to think about Heaven.

The nice, cultured people may smile a little at some of the old songs about Heaven such as,

“Tell Mother I’ll Be There,” 

“No Disappointment in Heaven,” and,

“There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar;

for the Father waits over the way, to prepare us a dwelling place there ...          

In the Sweet By and By.”  

There are so many songs about Heaven! And I am glad there are. Jesus said, “Comfort yourself with this!  Don’t let your heart be troubled, for in My Father’s House are many mansions.”

“Mansions.”  Mansions up in Heaven.  There is much about it.  Here it is, “In My Father’s House there are many mansions.”  Revelation 21:9 says, “Come here, I will show you the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem.”

You see the city of Jerusalem all dressed up and a glory about it.  Those streets of gold, and gates of pearl; the foundation stones are jasper and every kind of precious stone.  And there is a holy glow on the Golden City.  Oh, there's mansions, not ordinary houses!

The wonderful riches of Heaven!  The very streets of the city are paved with gold, clear gold, like glass - so beautiful!  And the gates, each one, a great solid pearl.  Then, those foundation stones!

I have seen at Baalbek in Lebanon, the great old Roman ruins.  Some of those stones are cut and squared and are as much as 62 feet long and 12 or 14 feet thick, weighing tons and tons!

But in no place has there ever been beautiful foundation stones like the stones, the precious stones, that will be the foundation of the walls of the great city of the heavenly Jerusalem.  Let’s say that they are already in existence for that city is already being prepared and John saw it ahead of time. So here is this lovely city.

 

2.   DEATH, PAIN, SORROWS, TEARS, ALL GONE!

That isn’t all. Don’t let your heart be troubled, because in heaven you are going to have a comforting time! We read in Revelation 21:1, 3, 4:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea ...  ‘See now, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and YHWH Himself shall be with them - their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning, or crying or pain, for the former order of things has passed away’.”

We will be with Jesus and the Father. We can’t see God the Father now; we are not fit to see the glory of God and live.  God is a spirit.  But one day we will be like Him and like Jesus, and as Jesus knows the Father, so will we.

And, oh, God is going to wipe away all tears!  I don’t mind some trouble in this world, because  I look forward to the time when I will say goodbye to it.  One of my songs says:

We wait for the coming of Jesus our Saviour,

Expecting the Rapture, caught up in the clouds;

The world has its sorrows, we’ll leave them so gladly.

We’ll wipe all our tears when the trumpets call loud.

The Lord Jesus will wipe away the tears.  There will be no graves on the hillsides in Glory, as another lovely song says:

There’s no disappointment in Heaven,

No weariness, sorrow or pain;     

No hearts that are bleeding and broken,

No songs with a minor refrain.

The clouds of our earthly horizon

Will never appear in the sky,

For all will be sunshine and gladness,

With never a sob nor a sigh.

We’ll never pay rent for our mansion,

The taxes will never come due;

Our garments will never grow threadbare,

But always be fadeless and new.

We’ll never be hungry nor thirsty,

Nor languish in poverty there,

For all the rich bounties of heaven

His sanctified children will share.

 

“Let not your heart be troubled,” the Master said.  “There are many mansions, and you can go there, so don’t be troubled.”

Someone has said: “The glories of Heaven are portrayed in various ways.  It is called ‘a country,’ which tells us of it’s vastness:  It is called ‘a city’, which tells us of the large number that will be there.  It is called ‘a kingdom’, which tells us of its delights. It is called ‘the Father’s House’, which tells us of its permanency.  But best of all, Jesus will be there.  But He will not be content to live there without His people. He said, ‘Where I am, there you will be also’.”

This world isn’t so bad; but we are here just a little while. If you live seventy years, what is that beside seventy million years in Glory with the Lord Jesus!  So don’t let your heart be troubled. Don’t let this world get you down, for a good time is coming for the people of God.

3.   JESUS  IS  PREPARING  HEAVEN  FOR  US

Then He said; “I go to prepare a place for you.”  Jesus is preparing a place!  God never takes His people to an unprepared place. He didn’t even leave the job of preparing Heaven to the angels - He does it Himself.  “I go to prepare a place.”

Oh, Jesus is preparing a place for His bride.  I can imagine with what care He is fixing it.  For these 1,900 years, He has been lovingly preparing for those of us whom He loves. And  He is coming for us.  Now He has gone to prepare a place for us.  Oh, God cares!  Jesus cares!

4.  JESUS  IS  COMING  FOR  US  ONE  DAY  SOON

And here He said the best thing of all: He is coming to take us to Himself, “that where I am, there you may be also.”

Jesus is coming for us one day.  That is like the bridegroom. He's coming back for the wedding, and to get His bride.  That means, all those who are saved, all those who are born again, all those who love the Lord Jesus.  He is coming to take His bride Home.

Won’t it be good when Jesus comes, and the graves are opened, and we are caught up together with all the saints of the ages!  We are going to the mansions, we are going to Heaven, we are going to the place Jesus has been long preparing.  I imagine the Lord Jesus will take us around the establishment and say, “How do you like the place I prepared for you?”  Well, it must be good!

You know the Lord Jesus worked a long time to get this world ready.  With what loving care He made flowers and animals, all nature and plants.  Oh, how much He provided for us!  But how much better it will be in Heaven with no taint of sin and no fallen creatures!  So He is preparing a place for us.

Then what?  He is coming to receive us unto Himself.  He wants to be with us.  I do not know why God wants us, but He does.  I don’t know why He would want to go to such trouble, pay such an awful cost to have the joy of our presence forever, but He did!  So, dear friend, “Let not your heart be troubled.”

5.   JESUS  IS  THE  WAY  TO  HEAVEN

Then He said a most wonderful thing; “The way you know.”  Oh, do you know the way?  Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, and how can we know the way?”  Jesus answered Thomas, “I am the way.”  Jesus is the way to Heaven.  He is not part of the way to Heaven; He is the whole way.  He is not one of the ways; He is the only way.  The dear Lord Jesus is the one, sweet, simple way to Heaven.

I am so glad it is Jesus, and not someone whom I couldn’t trust to let me in.  But Jesus He loves me and died for me.  I know I can trust Him.  Jesus is the way to Heaven!

You may say, “But will it please God the Father?”  Oh, but Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.  I am the way, the truth and the life.” 

All of God’s revelation is wrapped up in Jesus and He is the Life.  Salvation is in Him.  When you receive Him you have everlasting life.  He is the road to Heaven. He is the Way.  Oh, how good to have Jesus as the road to Heaven!

BAPTISM  IS  NOT  SALVATION

It is not baptism.  I have been baptised.  It was a great joy to follow Jesus in baptism after I was saved.  But baptism is not the way to Heaven. It is a good testimony that I have been saved.

THE  CHURCH  IS  NOT  SALVATION

Join the church, yes!  A Bible-believing, soul-winning church, but the church is not the way to Heaven.  It is a good place for people who are on their way to Heaven to have fellowship and work together.

It is not going through some rite or ceremony, and learning a catechism, and subduing our passions, and growing in character.  No! It is not getting partly saved today and a little further tomorrow.  No!  When I took Jesus, that is the whole business. And it is for everybody, for He said:

Whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”  (Revelation 22:17)

And another Scripture says; “Whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

Yes, the Lord Jesus is the way to Heaven - not the way show-er, but THE WAY!

God is ready.  Christ has prepared a home for you in Heaven.  He wants you there.  I believe you want to go there.  Then put your trust in Jesus Christ just now and have it settled forever.

You can then expect Him to take you home to the mansions He has prepared for those who trust Him.

Reader, why don’t you just now shut the door and get down on your knees and tell Jesus Christ that you will trust Him now to be your Saviour, trust Him to forgive all your sins, trust Him to change your heart, and rely on Him to take you home to Heaven.  Or sitting in that chair, or lying in that bed, wherever you are, right now, trust Him with all your heart.  The moment you wholly trust in Him you will have everlasting life.     - The Sword of The Lord. Used by permission.

 

The  Great  White  Throne

THE LAST JUDGMENT

“I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His Presence, and there was no place found for them.

“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before the throne of God, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the Book of life; and the dead were judged according to their works as recorded in the books.

“The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades (the realm of the dead) gave up the dead that were in them; and each person was judged according to his works.

“Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death - the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”   (Revelation 20:11-15)

 

1.   THIS  IS  THE  FINAL  JUDGMENT

Some people want to make this a general judgment at the end of the world, but a careful study of the Word of God will show that this cannot be a true interpretation.  The Word of God mentions many judgments.  For example, there is the judgment of the believer’s sins on the cross of Christ.  When we accept Y'shua (Jesus) as Saviour, our eternal destiny is settled forever.  We have passed from death to life.

Again, there is the judgment of self. 

“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”  (1 Corinthians 11:31)

The Judgment Seat of Christ is clearly portrayed in the Word of God.  Read Romans 14:10-12 and 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

The Judgment of Living Nations is given in Matthew 25. This judgment takes place at the revelation of Christ when He will sit upon the throne of His glory.  The test in this judgment is the treatment accorded by the nations to those whom Christ calls “my brethren.”

The Great White Throne Judgment is the final scene before we come to read about the new heavens and the new earth.  The awfulness of this judgment is seen in Revelation 20:11:

“I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His Presence, and there was no place found for them.  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away;  and there was found no place for them.”

When the great sea of faces stand before the Judge, the scene will be so awful that the heavens and the earth will vanish away.  I think that we can refer also to Revelation 21:1, where we read:

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

There is also a very definite connection here with the passage in 2 Peter 3:10:

“But the Day of YHWH will come (unexpected) like a thief in the night, in which the heavens will disappear with a roar; and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”

In my own interpretation of the Scripture, I have never held to the idea that this earth is going to be purged by fire, but I have always received the plain teaching of the Word of God that this earth will be destroyed and will be burned by fire.  I prefer to think of all of this as vanishing away, and in its place a new heaven and a new earth.

One Bible commentator points out another fact about this judgment which is more than interesting.  He says that the Great White Throne Judgment is not a trial.  Those who are judged are not asked questions.  They are simply judged from the things that are written in the books, and accorded their punishment in Hell.

It is a Great White Throne because all the lost of the earth will stand before Y'shua the Lord.  It is a white throne, for it reveals the holiness and purity of our God.  It is before such a throne that men will be gathered.  The One who sits upon the throne will be Christ, for He said:

“For the Father judges no one, but He has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honour the Son even as they honour the Father.” (John 5:22, 23)

We can be sure that the Father and the Holy Spirit will be present at this serious occasion, but Christ will do the actual judging, for it has been committed unto Him by the Father.

 

2.  THIS IS THE JUDGMENT OF THE LOST

We have rejoiced over and over again at the prospect of the resurrection of the saved.   Beautiful pictures of this are given in 1 Corinthians 4:  John said,

“Blessed and holy are those who have a part in the first resurrection; the second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of the Messiah and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”   (Revelation 20:6)

But let us not forget that the unsaved will also be resurrected. 

“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before the throne of God, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the Book of life; and the dead were judged according to their works as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades (the realm of the dead) gave up the dead that were in them; and each person was judged according to his works.” (Revelation 20:12-13)

This is the resurrection of the unsaved. This is the time when the graves will give up the bodies of the lost, and when Hades will surrender the spirits and souls of the lost.  They will be brought to stand before the judgment of God.

The Word teaches the plain fact of two resurrections. Look at . . .  

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake; some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”  (Daniel 12:2)

“Do not be amazed at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth - those who have done good, to a resurrection of life, and those who have practised evil to a resurrection of judgment.”   (John 5:28, 29)

Paul speaks of the two resurrections in Acts 24:15;

“Having an expectation in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”

At the time of the resurrection of the lost, the unsaved will be brought from their graves, to stand before the great judgment throne. (The saved will have already been raised and entered into life with the Lord.) 

Notice the words:  “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God.”  The great men of all times who refused the Saviour will be brought to judgment.  And the small, forgotten individuals will stand there too.  Those who have been buried for many centuries, on land or sea, will come forth.  Body, soul and spirit will be united and face the judge.

 

3.  THEY WILL BE JUDGED OUT OF THE BOOKS

“And books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the Book of life; and the dead were judged according to their works as recorded in the books.”  (Revelation 20:12)

The record books will be there.  Every man’s works will be plainly recorded, and God will judge each man out of the records.  Every deed will be brought to light, for remember, these are sinners who have not availed of the covering of the blood of Jesus.  They know nothing of God’s gracious forgiveness, and they stand exposed by the Light of God. All who have died without Christ, the young, as well as the middle aged and the old, will recall the opportunities they had throughout their lives to receive God's grace and salvation  -  which they rejected it. 

It's all written down in the records, and one day, my reader, should you die without Christ, you will hear these dreadful words, "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into eternal fire.  You would not come to Me that you might have life." (Matthew 25:41. John 5:40)

God’s records are accurate.  He makes no mistakes. And sinners who have rejected the gracious salvation of God, will wail as they see their own spiritual bankruptcy.

Yes, all their deeds are recorded in the books, but the one great sin that seals their doom, is their rejection of the Messiah -  "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." (John 1:29).  There is no sin so terrible as refusing the loving, gracious Saviour. This, in fact, is the unforgivable sin.

We notice that another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.  If this is the judgment of the unsaved, then why should the Book of Life be present? It is there as a record against the lost. Even in the last judgment there will doubtless be men who insist that they are good and deserve Heaven.  Perhaps the Judge will permit them to search the Book of Life to see if they had ever received Christ as their Saviour, and had their names written in the Book.

 

4.  THE  OUTCOME  OF  THIS  JUDGMENT

“Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death - the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”  (Revelation 20:14-15)

Will any  who stand before the Great White Throne be saved?  If the record be true, then none will be saved, for it says that death and Hades will be cast into the lake of fire.

Will there be degrees of punishment in Hell? Yes, if God is to be just, then there will be a difference in the degree of punishment.  In the giving of the parable of the steward and his servant in Luke 12, the Lord Jesus said: 

“And that servant who knew his Master’s will, but did not get ready nor act in accord with his will, will receive many stripes.  But the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of stripes, will receive few stripes. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” (Luke 12:47, 48)

The Scripture says that men will be judged “according to their works.”  There will be a difference, but it will all be Hell.

And now in conclusion, let us notice one sentence in verse 14 of Revelation 20. “This is the second death.” 

Here is a statement of finality.  The second death is the lake of fire.  It is called the second death because it follows after the first death - the physical death. The second death is eternal existence, but is a “living death.” This is what is meant when we speak of the lost soul dying, yet continuing to exist. The second death is not annihilation, as some try to teach and preach.

The second death means separation of the entire person from God.  The first death has power to separate the soul from the body, but the second death has power to separate the entire man from God eternally.  The second death kills all peace, joy, happiness, and hope forever.  It is separation from God, from Christ, and from Heaven.  It is separation from loved ones who are saved.

I stood by a coffin and listened to a wife murmur to the dead body of her husband, “It won’t be long until we are together again.”  Yes, this is true in Christ! But without Christ, there is eternal separation!

Last, the second death is a future certainty for the Christ rejecter.  There is no escaping from Hell for the man who has heard of the Messiah and refused to accept Him.  Choose tonight where you will spend eternity.  Will it be in the place prepared for the Devil and his angels, as pictured in Revelation 20, or will it be the glorious Heaven as pictured in Revelation 21? 

 

RECEIVE CHRIST and make HEAVEN your HOME!

FOLLOWING is a check list, which will help you to understand whether the things you are trusting in to save you, are correct or not.

 

CHECK YOURSELF

AM I GOING TO HEAVEN - OR NOT?

1. Tick below the item or items upon which you are basing your hopes for reaching Heaven after you die.

        r     1     Trying to keep the Ten Commandments.

  r     2     Gifts to charity.  

        r     3     Doing one’s best.

        r     4     Leading a good life.

        r    5     Good works.

        r     6     Trying to obey the Golden Rule.

        r     7     Tithing, or giving money to the church.

        r    8     Church membership.

        r     9     Regular church attendance.

        r   10     Prayers.

        r   11     Fasting.

        r   12     Baptism.           

        r   13     Holy Communion.

        r   14     Born of Christian Parents.

        r   15     Confirmation.

        r   16     Penances.

        r   17     Extreme unction.

        r   18     Membership in a lodge or fraternity.

 

2. Now check the explanations of the items you have ticked and find out whether you are on the way to Heaven.

 

IF  YOU  HAVE  TICKED:

No. 1 - You are definitely not on the way to Heaven.  The Ten Commandments are good and holy, but they cannot save you. The Bible states unmistakably;

“Therefore by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His (God’s) sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sins.”  (Romans 3:20)

“Now it is clear that no one is justified by the Law before God, for THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”  (Galatians 3:11)

No.  2, 3 or 4 - You are basing your hopes on something which, according to God’s Word, will never save you.

“He saved us, not because of righteous works that we have done, but because of His mercy.”  (Titus 3:5)

No.  5, 6 or 7 - You will never see Heaven’s golden streets on the basis of these works, for the emphatic declaration of God is:

“For by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

No.  8, 9, 10 or 11 – These things will not to you to Heaven:  Although they are all good in themselves, and although they might seem to you to be sufficient to save you, yet God declares in His sacred Word:

“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags. All of us shrivel up like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, sweep us away.”  (Isaiah 64:6)

No.  12 or 13 - You are utterly mistaken and deluded.  Baptism and communion are for those who are already saved, for those who are true believers (Acts 2:41; 1 Corinthians 11:2, 23-32). These ordinances cannot save any one and were never intended to do so.

No. 14 - You are resting your soul on a false hope.  Children born into Christian houses need to be saved like anyone else. One must be born of  God to be saved. This is definite! 

“But to all who received Him {Y'shua, Jesus), to those who believe in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God; children born, not of blood (of natural descent), nor of the will of the flesh (human decision), nor of the will of man (a natural father), but of (YHWH, the Almighty) God.”  (John 1:12, 13)

No. 15, 16, 17 and 18  - You should wake up before it is too late.  None of these things are even mentioned in the Bible.  They are merely inventions of men, and it is nothing short of ridiculous to hope to reach Heaven by any of these means.

Therefore, the inescapable conclusion is that the way to Heaven is not found in any one or in any combination of the 18 items listed above.  Even if you did all of these things, you would still fail in your attempt to enter Heaven’s gates at last.

What then, is the divinely ordained way of salvation?  The Bible gives a very definite answer.  The only means of spending eternity with God in Heaven is:

FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ALONE

It was because man could not save himself by any means that God sent His only begotten Son to die as a substitute for sinners.  If man could have achieved righteousness in some other way, then obviously the Saviour need not have died.

When the Lord Jesus died on Calvary and rose again on the third day, He finished the work necessary for salvation.  Now all that God requires is that we should acknowledge our need of Him, and receive Him as our Lord and Saviour.

Thus, we read over and over in the Bible that the way to Heaven is by believing in the Son of God.

“Believe in the Master, Y’shua the Messiah (that is, give yourself up to Him), and you will be saved.”  (Acts 16:31). 

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life.”  (John 3:36)

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten, the one and only unique Son of God.”  (John 3:18)

In short, man is a sinner and cannot reach Heaven by so-called good character, personal effort, or merit of any kind. His only hope of salvation rests upon the finished work of Christ upon Calvary’s cross. Thus, when the sinner trusts the Saviour, he is saved and on the authority of God’s Word, is bound for the promised land  -  Heaven.

Now, the question is, “Will you accept God’s way of salvation?  Will you renounce the dead works in which you are now trusting, and base your hopes for Heaven henceforth upon the finished work of Jesus Christ?”

The choice is yours.  You may continue to trust in those things listed in 1-18.  If so, you will go to a Christless grave and wake up in a lost eternity.  Or you may believe and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

Be wise! Choose Christ! And tick the box below if this is the choice you are making today -

 r    My hopes for Heaven are based upon Y'shua, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for me and paid the penalty of my sins at Calvary, and who rose again to be my Master.  He is the One I trust, and own, as my Saviour and God.

 

WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY ?

 

Many people say, “Oh . . .  I’ll take my chances.”

The Messiah is still exhorting and warning:

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” (Matthew 7:13)

What chances are there for a man to escape the doom at the end of the broad way that leads to hell - if he continues on that way?

There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

(Proverbs 14:12)

“The wages of sin is DEATH” (Romans 6:23)

Eternity is not “a game of chance.”  It is a serious choice each person must make. If you remain indifferent, and follow the way of the world, the way of sin, you are in fact choosing a horrible eternity from where there is no come back.

“As righteousness tends to life,

so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.”

(Proverbs 11:19)

Many people simply go on as if they had no soul to save, no God to meet, no eternity to spend, and glibly talk of “taking a chance” concerning the end results.  But God has warned:

“The wicked will be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God.”      (Psalm 9:17)

The way to God, to Heaven, is not a “try your luck” affair.  Y’shua, Jesus the Messiah said:

“I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

Jesus also said: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast away.” (John 6:37)

“I am the door; whoever enters through Me will be saved ... I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep ... My sheep hear and listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” (John 10:9, 11, 27-28)

Now, I hope the answer to the following question will help you to clinch the matter  ...

how to get to heaven ?

Do you WANT to go to Heaven? 

What a question! We all want to go to heaven.

Then let us consider seriously the way that has been provided for us to go there.

 

THE  GLORIES  OF  HEAVEN

Our hearts are thrilled when we read about the glories of heaven as described in Revelation 21 and 22.  Heaven, is a place where there will be no death, no sorrow, no pain and no darkness.

What a wonderful place Heaven must be!  The glorious truth is that God has prepared Heaven for man.  Now He is busy preparing man for Heaven. 

 

SALVATION  IS  OF  GOD

No one but the omnipotent (all-powerful) God can save a soul and make it a fit subject for Heaven.  The person who reaches Heaven must be God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:10) 

Salvation is a work of God for man, not a work of man for God. 

“Salvation belongs to the Lord.”  (Psalms 3:8)

Salvation requires divine forgiveness and no one but God can forgive sin.

“Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Luke 5:21)

 

EVERYONE  NEEDS  SALVATION!

“Why must God save me?  I surely haven’t committed such great sins that I cannot go to Heaven.”  Sad words such as these have come from many lips.  The speaker of these words may not have committed the worst things that men calls “great sins,” but with God there is no classification of sins.

“For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”  (James 2:10)

“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (I John 1:8)

When Adam sinned he brought all humanity down with him: 

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all have sinned.”  (Romans 5:12)

Like begets like, and no exception is possible. 

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh.”  (John 3:6)

“For he that sows to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption.”  (Galatians 6:8)

Many have asked, “How bad must a man be before he is lost?”  They don’t realize that all outside of Christ are lost!

“All we like sheep have gone astray.” (Isaiah 53:6)

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten, the one and only unique Son of God.”  (John 3:18)

 

GOD MOVES TO SAVE MAN

God made the first move in the matter of man’s salvation, and He has been making all of the moves since that time.  Man is hopelessly lost without God; but God, because of His love for all mankind, has made salvation possible.

God, in His infinite love, paid the penalty Himself.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, the Messiah died for us.”  (Romans 5:8)

“For YHWH (Yahweh), the Almighty God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten (His only and unique) Son (Y'shua), so that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal (everlasting) life.”  (John 3:16)

Y'shua (Jesus) was sinless; therefore, He was the only One who could die for another. 

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Our sins were placed upon Him, and He died for them. 

“For indeed the Messiah died for sins once for all, the Righteous on behalf of the unrighteous, so that He might bring us to God. He was put to death in the body, but was brought to life by the Spirit.”  (1 Peter 3:18)

“And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed.”  (1 Peter 2:24)

 

WHAT PART DOES MAN HAVE TO PLAY?

SAVING FAITH

There are two kinds of faith. Historical faith is the acceptance of Christ, like Napoleon or Caesar, as a mere historical character. Saving faith is the personal appropriation of Christ and His finished work on Calvary.  It is not actually faith that saves; it is God’s grace that saves, but faith is what you need to avail of the provision of God.

“But to all who received Him (Jesus), to those who believe in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God.”  (John 1:12)

This is beautifully illustrated by Christ in the words which He speaks to John in Revelation 3:20:

“Look here! I am standing at the door, knocking; if anyone hears and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will eat in fellowship with him, and he with Me.”

ACKNOWLEDGE  YOUR  NEED  OF  THE  SAVIOUR

You need to agree with the words of the Lord about your sinfulness and your lost condition. 

The penalty of your sin has already been paid by Christ. But forgiveness comes when you pray, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” and receive Jesus as your personal Saviour.

REPENTANCE?

What about repentance?  When you acknowledge your sinful condition, and turn to the Lord Jesus, believing in Him, you are actually repenting. Repentance means a change of mind and direction. Check up on the following points:

1.  Do you recognize and agree that God is so holy that no sin can enter Heaven, and that you need Him, and want Him, to deal with your sin?  If so, you have repented (changed your mind) toward God.

2.  Do you see yourself as a condemned sinner worthy of eternal death?  If so, you have repented (changed your mind) about yourself.

3.  Do you see that your only hope is in Christ, who died in your place, and rose from the dead - that He is the living Saviour? And are you now trusting Him as your Saviour? If so, you have repented (changed your mind) about Christ, and have turned to Him for salvation.

FEELINGS? 

What about feeling?  Many people mistake feelings and faith. Some say, “I didn’t feel any different, and so I don’t think God has saved me, even though I have prayed for His salvation.

Most people do feel different after they are saved, but feelings do not save them. A person is saved the moment he believes in Christ. Feelings of cleanliness and joy are good, but one should not rely on them for assurance of salvation. 

GOOD WORKS?

Good works are the result of salvation, not the means of salvation.  “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” (Ephesians 2:10).  That which is dead to God cannot work for God. And definitely, no one can save himself by his good works.

“He saved us, not because of righteous works that we have done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of regeneration (the new birth), and through the renewing power by the Holy Spirit.”  (Titus 3:5)

“For by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

Dear Reader, if you are not yet on the way to Heaven, will you, right now, receive the Lord Jesus as your Master, your Saviour and your God, and thereby enter the door into the kingdom of God?  Pray to the Saviour and make sure of your eternity today!

 

MAKE SURE OF YOUR SALVATION

 

John the Baptist, the great messenger of God, pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ and said,

“Look!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  He who believes in the Son has eternal life.”  (John 1:29, 3:36)

The Lord Jesus Himself said,

“He who hears My Word, and believes in Him who sent Me, has eternal life and will not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”  (John 5:24)

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:28)

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” (John 10:27, 28)

Will you come to the Lamb of God just now, confessing you are a sinner, needing His grace and salvation?  Will you come just as you are, like this song expresses?

           Just as I am, without one plea,

           But that Your blood was shed for me,    

           And that You bid me come to You,       

           O Lamb of God, I come.

           Just as I am, and waiting not

           To rid my soul of one dark blot;

           To You whose blood can cleanse each spot.

           O Lamb of God, I come.

 

           Just as I am, though tossed about

           With many a conflict, many a doubt;

           Fightings within, and fears without,         

           O Lamb of God, I come.

           Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;

           Sight, riches, healing of the mind;

           Yes, all I need, in You to find,   

           O Lamb of God, I come.

           Just as I am, You will receive,

           Will welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

           Because Your promise I believe,           

           O Lamb of God, I come.

           Just as I am, Your  love unknown

           Has broken every barrier down;

           Now to be Yours, yes, Yours alone,      

           O Lamb of God, I come.

 

Dear Reader, if you are not saved, but you truly want to experience God's Salvation today, we (every one of the writers of this book) invite you to come to the Lamb of God, wherever you are, and settle the matter once and for all.

The Lord Jesus Christ has done His part, by dying on the cross for you. Your part needs to be simple faith. That's all He's asking of you. He's waiting to hear your prayer.

The words of the following prayer may help you to express yourself.  Read the prayer first, and if this does express your heart, then pray the prayer sincerely, trusting God to answer you.

 

DECISION  PRAYER

 

Almighty God, I come to You in the Name of Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  I come just as I am - a sinner, seeking Your forgiveness and salvation.  I want to live with You in Heaven for ever.

I realize that I deserve Your punishment for my many sins. But as I have read this book, I understand that Your Son Jesus died on the cross in my place, and shed His spotless blood to pay the penalty of my sins. And I believe that You are able and willing to forgive my sins, to receive me, and to make me Your child this day. I bring nothing except my sinful heart, and my faith that You will give me a new heart, and everlasting life. 

Lord Jesus, I receive You as my personal Saviour, and I ask You to come into my life, to be my Saviour and Master from this moment on. By Your grace I want to live in fellowship with You, and I want to serve You in whatever way You decide.

Father, set me free from all sinful habits, and fill me from now on with Your power and love. Keep me in Your hands, and teach me Your ways.

Thank You Father.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for answering my prayer.  Thank You for Your salvation.  Thank You. Amen.

 

 Signed  .......................................................           Date  ...................

 

Reader, if you have prayed the decision prayer today, please sign your name and keep the prayer with you as a record of this wonderful decision you have made.

We would be glad to hear of your decision, so that we may uphold you in prayer.  And if you have a particular need that you would like us to pray about, please write to your nearest Maranatha Revival Crusade address (inside front cover), or to the address below.

Maranatha Revival Crusade

PO Box 218

APPLECROSS    WA 6953  Australia

 

PLEASE TICK AND WRITE CLEARLY

 

r    Today I have prayed the decision prayer in the booklet, Eternity, Your Ultimate Journey, and I believe God has answered my prayer.  Please pray for me, and send me some literature to help me grow, and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

r    Please pray for me and my particular need

 

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Name  ................................................................................................

Address .............................................................................................. ..........................................................................................................

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ABOUT  OUR  COVER  PICTURE

 

THE WORD Eternity, as featured on our front cover, was displayed on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, at the tick of midnight on 31st December, 1999, to signal the beginning of the new millennium.

The enormous sign, emblazoned across the side of the famous bridge, was a part of Sydney's Millennium celebration's fireworks extravaganza. More than a million people watched the display from around the foreshores of the harbour, and an estimated two billion people witnessed the spectacle on television around the world. But why was the word Eternity so prominently displayed?

Because that word had become such a well-known icon in Sydney. For 33 years Eternity had been drawn, in chalk, on the pavements of the city - an estimated 500,000 times. "All of Sydney" had seen this meaningful and elegantly-drawn one word graffiti, at some time or the other - in all parts of the city. For 24 years no one knew who was responsible for its regular appearance.

When the man was finally identified, the press nick-named him, "Mr Eternity."  His real name was Arthur Stace. He was an unusual man, only 5'3" tall; but he was not what you might call an eccentric. He was a man with a mission - his burden was to cause people to consider eternity and their need to get right with God.

Stace was born in Sydney, in 1884. He had a hard childhood, and daily had a battle to survive. As a youth he worked in a coal mine. At 15 he was a heavy drinker, and served his first jail sentence. He worked as a watchman for gambling houses and brothels and was often arrested.

During World War I, Arthur served with the Australian forces in France and witnessed the horrors of warfare. He himself survived and returned to Australia still suffering from shell shock and the effects of mustard poisoning.

He soon slipped back into a life of alcohol, gambling and crime. He then sought to escape from his despair by drinking methylated spirits.

THE TURNING POINT

In 1930, at the age of 46, Stace happened to wander into a "Meeting for Needy Men" where he heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Convicted of his sin and wretched life, he fell to the ground with tears of repentance streaming down his face, and cried out, "God, be merciful to me a sinner."  A genuine conversion took place, and for the next 37 years, his life was a testimony to God's saving grace.

Two years after he was saved, Stace heard a Sydney evangelist preaching on the subject of eternity. The preacher cried, "Eternity! Eternity! I wish I could sound or shout that word to everyone in the streets of Sydney. Eternity! You have to meet it. Where will you spend eternity?"

From that day on, Arthur Stace began, unannounced, his mission to write Eternity on the streets of Sydney. He rose at 5 am every day to carry out his work - before the streets came to life.  Mr Stace married at 57, and died of a stroke at the age of 83, in 1967.

Sydney has paid tribute to this "unique citizen," with the display of Eternity on the Harbour Bridge - in the same style of writing that Stace had used. The display on the Harbour Bridge may not have been intended to be a one word sermon, but for a short period of time, much of the world was faced with this awesome reality - 

 

Where will YOU spend Eternity?

 

 

 

 

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The One who is coming will come, He will not delay