Heaven and Hell

Won’t a Good, Moral Life Get Me to Heaven?

by James F. Williams

“Good little boys go to heaven and bad little boys go to hell!” Probably most of us, at one time or another, have undergone the ordeal of having a parent or a teacher point a finger at us (or a neighboring miscreant) and warn of the ultimate outcome of unacceptable behavior.

This “Santa Claus” mentality suggests that God is “makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.”

Everywhere we turn, we hear people speak of this religion: it is the most popular approach to God on the planet. And we are very familiar with jokes about what happens to the person who dies and is immediately face to face with Saint Peter at the Golden Gates of Heaven. Peter stands there ready to evaluate and pass judgement on whether we’ve been good enough to be admitted and accepted inside. Saint Peter expects us to give moral account of ourselves before we can go inside.

The general, world-wide assumption is that, when we die, our good deeds and our bad deeds will be placed on the divine scales and weighed to determine if we go “up” or “down.” However, from Christianity’s viewpoint, this is a great, global heresy.  (read more)

A Deeper Look at What the Bible Says about the Afterlife

What happens when I die? It’s a question we’ve all asked—or at least thought.

Nobody enjoys a funeral. Death is a constant reminder that something is wrong—terribly wrong—with the world. Our frustration with death comes not only from the miserable pain it brings, but also from the fact that death and the afterlife are such mysteries. The afterlife evades our test tubes and refuses to subject itself to our experimentation. Everyone must experience the transition from life to death without the benefit of knowing exactly what that transition looks and feels like. To call the afterlife “the great unknown” is an understatement. (read more)

Is a Belief in Hell Incompatible with the Truth that God Is Love?

Many people today act as if we are the first ones to really believe in God’s love. On the contrary, this has been a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith throughout the ages. The Puritans believed strongly in the love of God. It never prevented them from embracing the doctrine of Hell, since that is revealed in Scripture also.  (read more)