Wednesday May 1, 2013
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2C
Heaven and Hell

You can hardly attend a church service without HEAVEN AND HELL being mentioned at least once but have you ever stopped to think about how little you know about these places?
You do know that Heaven is the desirable choice but what do HEAVEN AND HELL look and feel like. Are they substantive places and if so are they places that a deceased person may now be?
Questions easier asked than answered but you begin with the premise that Heaven is wherever God is and Hell is where Satan and his ungodly followers end up.
You begin by going to Psalm 139:8 (KJV) where Heaven appears to be an upward direction:

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

Since Heaven is where God is, Psalms is implying that you should have a desire to be where He is; ascending up is a figure of speech.
Knowing that Satan is the Tempter, 2 Peter 2:17 (KJV) refers to hell as forever darkness:

These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

Darkness is emptiness and nothingness; it is where you were before God created you; it is where you return if God sentences you to Hell.
Amos 9:2 (KJV) talks about digging your way to hell as well as climbing up to Heaven:

Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

Amos is not saying that Heaven is up and that you find Hell by digging down; he wants you concerned about HEAVEN AND HELL and the consequences of going there.
Returning to the New Testament, 2 Peter 3:11-12 has us looking forward to the day God returns:

Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Recalling that Heaven is wherever God is Heavens on fire is addressing the end of this Heaven and Earth Age, the Age where you now reside.
Following Christ being here a Thousand Years God returns to judge you and after Judgment fervent heat dissolves this Heaven and Earth Age.
Peter now shows the Third Heaven and Earth Age arriving with you staying put. You go nowhere; Heaven comes to you.

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Heaven and Earth are one and the same, a place where righteousness dwelleth. The next Age is a forever place, a place you dwell with God.






And now Matthew 10:28 (KJV) addresses the Hell portion of HEAVEN AND HELL:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Hell, as well as graves and corpses, have no souls; no one is there. God removes you from your flesh when you die and Hell is not a place that holds people; it consumes them. Revelation 20:14 (KJV) shows Hell consuming you being the Second Death:

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

The second Death, the death of your soul, is you and Hell vanishing when cast into the Lake of Fire. But there is good news; in Heaven you will have no recall of anyone sentenced to Hell ever existing.
Are your views of HEAVEN AND HELL changing?
Do you find yourself hard at work, making sure that you do not fade away, forever?


Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at or viewed online at