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Heaven And Hell
11/25/2008

HEAVEN & HELL
    
    I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not knowGod knows. And I know that this man&was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. 2Corinthians 12:2-4 (NIV)
    
    This was Paul speaking to the Corinthians about his experience of being caught up to heaven after he was stoned and left for dead. He refuses to boast about the fact that it was himself that he was referring to, because he didnt want the Corinthians to think that he was some sort of special Christian, and he wanted to dispel the idea that it had added to his personal status or importance.
    
    Paul had been to Heaven, and whatever Paul heard (and saw?), human words were inadequate to relate.
    
    Have you ever found yourself wondering about Heaven at times, and whats it going to be like? How about the thought of Hell, has that entered your mind? Have you ever wondered what it must be like? Many people will allow themselves to think upon Heaven, and they vision it being exactly what they want it to be. And yet there are many who wont even speak of hell, because even the notion of speaking of it, sends shivers running down their spine. Its as if by speaking of it, it becomes more real, or ominous. And still there are others who wont even admit that Hell even exists. How about you?
    
    Has the Lord ever made Heaven real to your heart?
    
    And he said: I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 (NIV)
    
    Has He ever made hell real to your heart?
    
     The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abrahams side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, Luke 16:22-23 (NIV)
    
    Have you ever just stopped and looked at a crowd of people, perhaps even your family, friends or your co-workers and thought, My Aunt, my neighbor, or my friend is going to hell unless they receive the free gift of Salvation which God has so generously provided for them?
    
    This, too, can be a hard thought to think upon, because it is an unpleasant thought. And maybe we dont want to entertain it because it can make us sad or hurt. But maybe we should be thinking and contemplating these types of thoughts. Because if we dont know the answer to whether or not they have known of or accepted the Gospel message, perhaps God wants to share it with them through you. And even if we know their answer, and it isnt one of acceptance, it still causes us to have compassion for them and that should promote an urge within us to pray for them.
    
    There was an allegory floating around the email circuit not so long ago about heaven and hell, and it went something like this.
    
    There was a man who had died and as he passed on he went before the Lord, and he was present with him in a room. As he followed the Lord down this hall, he came upon a door marked Hell. The Lord opened the door, and the man saw many people sitting at a round table. Attached to the end of their hands was a ladle that stretched out a couple of feet past the end of their hands. In the middle of the table was a pot of stew. Everyone was very skinny and sad because they could reach the stew and scoop some out, but the ladles length made it impossible to allow them to bring it up to their mouths. No matter how hard they tried, they couldnt seem to get the stew into their mouths.
    
    The Lord took the man over to the next room, which had heaven marked on the door, and again, He opened it up. As the man looked into the room, he saw the same type of table. It had the same amount of people with the same ladles attached to the end of their hands, and the same stew on the middle of the table. Except these people were not skinny, nor were they sad. In fact, they were well nourished and happy.
    
    The man turned to the Lord and asked, I dont understand, what is the difference between these people, and the people in the other room?
    
    The Lord replied, The people in this room marked heaven are caring people and they put the needs of others first before themselves. So they quickly realized that they could easily scoop the soup out of the bowl and feed it to others with the ladles attached to the ends of their hands.
    
    And then He went on to say, But the people in the room marked hell only care about themselves and they were not willing to help the others, and therefore they could never figure out how to get the soup into their own mouths because it never dawned on them to share.
    
    Maybe thats the way it is with us too; maybe we have everything we could possibly need, but we cant shove it into our mouth, our minds, our wallets, our bank accounts, our garages, or our storage containers. Cant you just see the people of our culture attempting to shove more and more down, but never really getting anything?
    Maybe just Maybe, we should be helping those around us a little bit more. Wouldnt we all be happier?
    
    STUDY QUESTION: Can you see by Jesus words in Matthew 18, that Heaven is real? Can you see by Jesus words in Luke 16, that there is a real hell?
    
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you prepared to see Jesus face to face today? Are you willing to be like those people in the allegory that were willing to help others and consider them more important?
    
    APPLICATION: Dont fear Hell, get right with God, and serve Him. If you have done this, then there is no reason to fear. Be willing to use everything that He has given you to help others if He has laid it upon your heart to do so. He will replenish it.
    
    Father, Thank You for Your generosity, and for every provision that You have given me. Help me to know when to give to others; write it upon my heart so that I will know for sure that it is Your desire. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott
    
    
    

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000