The Great White Throne
Heaven and Hell
Almost everyone, except the most hard-bitten Atheists have a conception that there is a heaven and a hell.
Satan would prefer that everyone would not believe in either, that way, it is easier to manipulate people into rejecting/ignoring God’s word and will. No heaven or hell, no God! If he can do that, he has ‘gotcha’.
However, since that has proven to be impossible, he uses the deceptive pathway in either causing people to be convinced that regardless of what they do, they are going to heaven, after all, Jesus died for our sins, and God is merciful; or to convince them that ‘hell’ isn’t so bad, and after all, all of your friends are going to be there also, so it will just be a continuation of the big party.
Satan is very good at deceiving people. That is his job. God’s word says that he comes not except to lie and deceive.
There is a global misunderstanding about what constitutes Heaven and Hell.
Firstly, heaven is where God’s people will go after judgment day.
It is the final and permanent reward. We will live with God and Jesus Christ there forever. Eternity. No Satan, no temptation.
Hell is a temporary holding place for people who have died and have not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior (see ’Salvation’ on this site)
David called it the ‘pit’. It is a place of great depression. There is no hope, and God is not there.
Satan’s demons which have spent our live time deceiving us, torment the lost soul, laughing and taunting them with their victory. It is a dark place of anguish and remorse. Further, there is no one there to share your misery. You will be all alone, except for the demons. There is a separate pit for each sinner.
It is a holding pen until judgment day.
The equivalent place on the other side is paradise.
Jesus said to the ‘good’ thief on the cross “this day, you will be with me in paradise’.
It also is a private place, made just for you. Jesus said, I go to prepare a place for you, in my father’s house are many mansions.”
This also is a holding place until judgment day.
The Catholic Church refers to "hell" as purgatory. I believe they consider purgatory as a temporary place of punishment then one can go on to heaven. I believe they place that believe on the fact that Jesus spent 3 days in hell before being raised from the dead. However, He was not being punished as he had not sinned. He was preaching to those lost souls who had never heard the Word.
Hell is only temporary as a holding pen for those who are NOT going to Heaven.
Note: We all have seen cartoons of Satan laughing, tormenting and poking people with his trident (3 pointed spear) in "hell" a burning, flaming furnace. The 'Lake of Fire" was created for Satan, as a punishment, not a play ground. He will be burning and suffering more than anyone else, he will NOT be laughing.
On Judgment Day, we will all appear before God. He will look for our name in the ‘book of life’. If your name is not there, then you will be cast into the Lake of Fire, which was prepared to punish Satan and his fallen angels and demons. If Satan is your ‘master’ you will join him there for eternity. (He is your master, whom you choose to obey).
Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior will have Him as their advocate on judgment day, covered with His blood, God will only see perfection, and He will also find their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
God’s people will be passed into heaven to their reward.
"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.
To one without faith, no explanation is possible."
St Thomas Aquinas
The photo depicted at the top of the article is of "The Great White Throne" a mountainous rock formation in Zion. (Israel)
No one knows what the Judgment Throne of God will look like, but it will certainly be truly awesome to behold. And most certainly terrifying to those who stand before it without Jesus Christ as their advocate!