Ecclesiates 7:2 Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart. (NKJ)
The short answer to the question where will we go when we die? According to the Bible, those who have a saving faith in Jesus will receive a gift from God, eternal life in heaven. If we have saving faith in Jesus, God sees our sin already being judged in the torturous death of Jesus on the cross 2000 years ago. This sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf allows God to righteously pardon us from our sin and give us the gift of eternal life in heaven. The entire New Testament is filled with verses that explain why Jesus had to come, suffer, and die in our place for the sins that we had committed. Jesus lived a perfect sinless life and did not deserve to suffer or be judged for sin. But Jesus, out of profound love for us, allowed us to torture and execute Him as punishment for our sin. This act of supreme love allowed God to pardon us, if we believe.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin </em><strong>[Jesus] </strong><em>to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NKJ)
If we do not have faith in Jesus, then God as a righteous judge must bring judgment against the sins committed. Since the unbeliever has rejected the substitutionary death of Jesus, he/she calls upon themselves the full judgment for their own sins. Unless the person has lived a perfect life, this results in eternal damnation in the lake of fire, also called hell.
Revelation 21:2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (NKJ)
Rev 21:8 “But the cowardly, <strong>unbelieving</strong>, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (NKJ)
We pray you will consider accepting the gift of life if you haven’t already. You can do so by agreeing with God and confessing to Him that you are a sinner. Get on your knees and talk to Him as you would any friend who loves you. He is all-present and hears you. Confess to Him that you cannot save yourself. Agree with Him that what He calls sin (lying, sexual immorality, taking His name in vain, coveting, stealing, etc.) are sin. Agree with Him that you deserve to be judged and sent to hell for the sins that you have committed. Confess to God that you want to repent (meaning turn away) from a life of sin. Tell Him that you believe He sent Jesus to take the punishment you deserved. In exchange for this incredible act of love tell Him that you want to stop fighting God and instead want to serve Him out of Love. Tell the Father that you want the power of Jesus to come into your life. Tell Him you want Jesus to start changing your heart, and to speak to you in a spiritual way through His word, the Bible. If you do this, you will become born again and you will have everlasting life.
But my non-christian friend told me…..(the long answer)
In our age of information overload, there are as many proposed answers to this question as there are religions in the world. The atheist, who believes there is no God, would say there is no eternal soul and that when the human body dies you as an individual cease to exist, and the body is simply left to decay in the grave. The crass will simply say, “You become worm food.”
The Hindu reincarnationist would answer that you go into the spirit world and wait to come back as another human being or animal depending on how you lived your present life.
The Buddhist would say that if you reached the point of spiritual perfection (called Nirvana) in this life, then you will have broken the cycle of birth, aging, death and rebirth, thus never having to experience the hardships of life again.
The list goes on and on, but there is one answer that stands out from the rest. It is the answer given in the Holy Bible, which says the eternal condition of the soul after this life is either dependent on your works (which result in Hell) or on your acceptance of a gift from God (which allows entrance into Heaven).
Human effort to achieve spiritual works on the other hand, can only result in eternal judgment in hell because all people sin and the Bible teaches that sin must be judged by spiritual death.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:21-23 — What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things [your sins] is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin [talking to Christians in Rome], and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJ)
Death in the above verses means spiritual death and eternal separation from God in Hell as a result of the sins committed. In other words, since we all sin, we all deserve death and hell.
But the gift of God is offered to those who want eternal life in Jesus. A belief in Jesus sets us free from sin. This does not mean that Christians will never sin again, just that they are set free from the effects of sin, which is death and hell.
A believer in Jesus becomes a friend of God and desires to please Him. They change from being a slave of sin, to becoming a voluntary slave of God. And because of the Christian’s love for God, God promises to reserve a place in heaven as a gift, not as an earned reward.
Book of Hebrews 9:26-28 He [Jesus] has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself [On the cross]. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (NKJ)
The last verse above promises that those who eagerly wait for Jesus to return will be receiving salvation, meaning eternal life in Heaven with Him. He came the first time to take our sins upon Himself, but when He returns, He is bringing the gift of eternal life!
Verse 27 above makes it clear that belief in reincarnation is a deceptive lie. Mankind has only one life to determine their final condition. When we die, God judges us.
The following are additional verses that talk of the gift of eternal life for those who have been born again by faith in Jesus, and eternal damnation for those who reject God’s salvation plan:
Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. (NKJ)
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (NKJ)
John 3:35 “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (NKJ)
John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. (NKJ)
John 6:27 “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” 28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him [Jesus] whom He [God, the Father] sent.” (NKJ)
John 6:40 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (NKJ)
John 6:46-47 “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. (NKJ)
Revelation 20:6-15 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death [lake of fire] has no power, ———————11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God [this is the resurrection of those who did not want to have their sins forgiven by Jesus, and rejected His as their Savior], and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (NKJ)
In this last section of scripture, those who believe in Jesus as their Savior have their names written into the Book of Life. This book is a list of those who are FORGIVEN by God for the sins they committed. Those who do not want the gift of forgiveness in accordance with the terms given by God for receiving the gift (which is belief in His Son Jesus) will be judged out of books that record their works on earth. Every thought, every deed will then be exposed and judged. The result is called the second death, where the unbeliever is separated from God in the Lake of Fire.
Once again, we pray you will consider accepting the gift of life if you haven’t already. You can do so by agreeing with God and confessing to Him that you are a sinner. Get on your knees and talk to Him as you would any friend who loves you. He is all-present and hears you. Confess to Him that you cannot save yourself. Agree with Him that what He calls sin (lying, sexual immorality, taking His name in vain, coveting, stealing, etc.) are sin. Agree with Him that you deserve to be judged and sent to hell for the sins that you have committed. Confess to God that you want to repent (meaning turn away) from a life of sin. Tell Him that you believe He sent Jesus to take the punishment you deserved. In exchange for this incredible act of love tell Him that you want to stop fighting God and instead want to serve Him out of Love. Tell the Father that you want the power of Jesus to come into your life to set up home. Tell Him you want Jesus to start changing your heart, and to speak to you in a spiritual way through His word, the Bible. If you do this, you will become born again and you will have everlasting life.
Feel free to contact us if you want someone to pray with you as you give your life to Jesus or if you have mote questions.
Scientists of the world are frantically trying to discover the secrets of the human genome in order to understand and break the cursed aging process. If they were to succeed, then the age-old pursuit of the fountain of youth will have been attained. The Bible declares that man will not discover the secret cure to the aging process until God again allows access to the tree of life (Revelation 22). Until then, access to the tree of life is guarded by a sword-wielding angel (Gen 3:24). Therefore (except for those who will be raptured) we can all be sure that we will certainly die.
But what happens when we die, where will we go? And how can we know for sure? We have already answered “Where Will you Go When you Die” in a separate answer on the Taste and See web page; where the simple summary is: we will all go to heaven or to hell.
But how can we know for sure that these are the only two options, or how can we know for sure we will go to heaven? If one bases their answer on the sacred writings of all the religions except Christianity, then the answer is, “You cannot know.”
The Buddhist does not KNOW they have reached the state of Nirvana in this life, thus they cannot know they have finally broken the depressing cycle of reincarnated life/death.
The Mormon does not know if they have tithed enough, worn their special underwear long enough or accomplished the secret rituals correct enough to become the god of another planet when they die.
The Jehovah Witness does not know if they have pounded on enough doors to be worthy of the heavenly calling (only allowed for the top 144,000 corporate employees) and they can’t even be sure their works have sealed a place in the earthly calling.
The modern day Muslim is told there is one way they can be sure of eternal life with 72 virgins at their disposal. All they must do is die in the act of killing the infidel for the cause of Allah and their future is assured. I agree their future is assured according to the Bible, but it won’t be in heaven with 72 virgins, instead it will be in the lake of fire with the devil that deceived them.
Rev 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (NKJ)
The bottom line is that NONE of the religions of the world advertise that their adherents can KNOW what happens when they die, except Christianity.
Christianity alone promises the believer in Jesus that they can have an assurance of everlasting life.
John 20:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
I Jn 5:11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (NKJ)
From these verses it can be seen that eternal life is contingent on having a personal relationship with God through belief in His Son, Jesus.
If one has embraced Jesus as their savior, then they have a promise of eternal life in heaven. If not, then when physical death occurs, spiritual death follows, called the second death.
John 3:35 “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (NKJ)
Rev 20:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.(NKJ)
This leaves the remaining question. How can we be sure the Bible is telling us the truth? If the Bible promises assurance of heaven, provided the gift of salvation is received on God’s terms, then we still can’t KNOW unless we can also know the Bible is the truth.
There are many arguments that can be made to PROVE the reliability and validity of the Bible, but lets take just a couple in light of topics in the news today.
If the law of God found in the Bible pertaining human sexuality were followed by everyone on the earth, then AIDS would be gone in 15 years (with very few exceptions as a result of transfusions and health care accidents – which may take a generation to be completely gone) and all other sexually transmitted diseases in one generation. God said He is the God of life and Love and that if you followed His law you would not come down with the diseases of the nations that committed sexual immorality.
Deut 28:15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: ——– 21 “The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. 22 “The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish. —————- 27 “The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. ———— 35 “The LORD will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
These are symptoms of many diseases suffered by those who have broken God’s laws pertaining to sexual immorality. In the 1950’s and 60’s doctors were scoffing at these laws saying antibiotics would rid the world of sexual diseases. History has now shown man to be a liar, and the God of the Bible to be trustworthy.
Secondly, the Bible alone predicts the future with authority. It gave dozens of prophecies pertaining to the first coming of the Messiah of Israel, Jesus. It predicted which city he would be born in, how he would be betrayed, how much money he would be betrayed for, how he would die, etc. All literally fulfilled with exacting detail.
It doesn’t stop there. The Bible also predicts that the Jews will return to the land of Israel in the last days after being scattered to all the nations of the world (Ezekiel 36-37 – as one of dozens of examples). God said the entire world would be in a heated debate over the city of Jerusalem in the last days (Zechariah 12:1-3). Can anyone debate that this is being fulfilled nearly every day on our nightly news?
And finally, God stated the moral and spiritual condition of man prior to the second coming of Jesus:
2 Tim 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
This nearly 2,000-year-old prophecy is clearly describing the condition of the world today. If someone wanted to escape the moral decay, where would they go? For the first time in history it is global. We cannot run to another “New World.” This ship is sinking into the ocean of the Tribulation period described in the Bible.
In summary, you can be sure that your soul will spend eternity with God if you have embraced Jesus as your Lord and Savior because the Bible promises forgiveness and everlasting life to those who do, and the Bible is proven to be a trustworthy letter from God.
If you reject Jesus as your savior, then you can be equally assured you will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, as part of your second death, because the Bible promises it to all who hate God as demonstrated by their rejecting His Son, Jesus.
Which will you choose?
The answer to this question depends on the definition of good. I have visited prisons and been told by those incarcerated that they believe they are good and don’t deserve to remain in prison. They do not deny they committed the crime for which they are serving time, but they consider that their prison mates, who have done worse crimes, are the “bad people” and they, in comparison, are good.
If this is the standard by which we should judge who is a good person, then, following the same logic, everyone on the face of the earth is a “good” person, except for the one individual who is the vilest. Would the family of a murdered young girl feel like justice was done if a judge released the murderer because his attorney stated that his client was a good person compared to a mass murderer who killed many more? I believe that most would say that letting a murderer go free with this argument would not be just.
Jesus said that there is no one who is good except God (Matthew 19:17). God makes it clear that we are not to label our goodness by comparison with other people.
2 Cor 10:12, 18 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. ———— 18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.
So who is it that the Lord commends as “good?” The answer is two-fold. When the Lord is comparing the goodness of man to Himself, then He declares that NO ONE is good.
Ps 14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one. (NKJ)
Rom 3:10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” (NKJ)
Paul the Apostle further emphasizes this in Romans 5 when he states that when we are compared to God Himself, we are all ungodly. When Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins, He was doing so not because we were good, but because we were all ungodly sinners.
Rom 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJ)
However, when you, an ungodly sinner, admit that you are not “good” and instead are a sinner in need of a savior, and embrace Jesus as your Lord, then you have done the only thing that can make you “good” in God’s eyes.
The following verse explains how this kind of goodness is a gift from God. He takes the true goodness of Jesus and puts it on us.
2 Cor 5:20 Now then, we [believers in Jesus] are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled [stop fighting and become a friend] to God. 21 For He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NKJ)
In summary, you are not a good person and neither am I, and no one is, unless God makes them “good.” Therefore we are all sinners and the Bible teaches that that wages for our sin is spiritual death (Romans 3:23 and 6:23a). However, there is a way out of this sentence of death, but it must be on God’s terms.
Belief in Jesus is this “only way (John 14:6)” If we repent and believe in Jesus as our Savior, then we will be declared good in God’s eyes. Jesus took our sin upon Himself and then died on the cross as just payment for our sin. If we believe in Him and this act of love on our behalf, then Jesus takes His sinless goodness, His righteousness, and places it on us (Revelation 3:18). Therefore, when we stand before God on judgment day, the Father will see the goodness and righteousness of Jesus, rather than the sinfulness and evil of our own works. It will be this imputed righteousness of Jesus that will give us access to heaven where we will be with God forever.
Those who reject, through unbelief, the imputed righteousness of God will stand before Him with their own deeds open to His scrutiny. The all-seeing and all-knowing God will then judge the unbeliever based on their works, and those works will demonstrate that they were not “good” but instead were evil. After this pronouncement is made, the unbeliever will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (NKJ)
It is our prayer that all those reading this will cease trying to establish a righteousness of their own and embrace the righteousness (goodness) that only comes through a saving faith in Jesus (Romans 7:18-8:4).
Rom 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (NKJ)
Gal 2:16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” (NKJ)
As explained in answer to the question, “Are you a good person?” only God is good because only God has never sinned and cannot sin.
Some consider they are good enough to be allowed entry into heaven on judgment day. Be honest with yourself if you are one of those people. When you stand before God how will you convince Him that He should let you into heaven?
Imagine going to a job interview where the CEO will be personally questioning you about your answers on the job application. The application gave the conditions for employment with the company. There are 613 company commandments. On the application you are asked about every one of them and you are told that you will not be hired if you have ever violated a single one.
In order to keep the interview short, the CEO will concentrate on only ten of the 613. You know that you have lied in response to many of the questions pertaining to these company commandments but in your own mind you have justified your untruthful answers by the fact that you know that no one could possibly have avoided violating them and think the CEO could not be serious about these unreasonable requirements.
The CEO invites you into his office and begins the questioning with, “Have you ever stolen from anyone, any previous employer, family member or friend. In defining stealing I mean anything, no matter how small, even a paper clip or a pen?”
You squirm for a moment and realize you have already answered, “no” on the application. You know that another company commandment is that you have never lied. If you now admit to the CEO the petty theft you have done in your life, then he will find out that you lied on the application and you won’t be hired. You decide to take your chances and say, “No sir, I am a very honest person and have never stolen anything from anybody.”
He then reaches across the desk to grab a massive book. You can’t help but notice the title, which has your name on it and in bold letters says “Book of Works.” He opens up to a chapter that is titled “Acts of Theft.” You are shocked and horrified as he starts reading account after account of times you have been a thief. How could he know? Who gave him the right to spy on you? After awhile you blurt out, “OK, OK I have stolen, but everybody has.”
The CEO is not impressed and sends you out of the interview after informing you that your application has been denied. You can’t help but notice that there are employees who are working for the company on the other side of the glass in the CEOs office. You can’t believe that these people could all be perfect. How did they get the job?
As you are leaving his office, you muster up enough courage to ask the CEO how these people got the job if the company commandments are impossible for anyone to have adhered to their entire life.
He responds, “They didn’t comply with the commandments.” Incredulously you ask, “Well then, how did they get through the application and interview? “There is only one way to work for my company, and this is it,” he answers. “They didn’t even finish the application. They realized that the company commandments were good and honorable, but that they had failed to live by them. They stopped filling out the application and were honest and humble enough to come and confess their shortcoming. They knew they wanted to work for me and that I was a kind and loving boss. They asked if there were any way to still work for me even though they had failed to comply with our righteous hiring requirements. I told them there was only one way. They all accepted the condition and will be working for me the rest of their lives.”
This is where the analogy must stop and the real truth presented. The CEO is God. The 613 commandments are the laws of the Old Testament. The 10 are the Ten Commandments. No man has ever followed all of them except Jesus, the God/Man.
The law was given to show us how sinful we are, not so that we would think we deserve heaven by doing some of the commandments. We cannot be “good enough.”
Gal 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (NKJ)
Something has to get rid of that book that is sitting on the God’s desk. Each one of the infractions recorded in the book demand a punishment. The punishment for each one, according to the Bible, is death. We all deserve to die and be sent to the lake of fire for every lie, every theft, and every murderous or adulterous thought. But God does not want this to be the outcome of our lives. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). God desires that all would be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
As in the story, there is truly only one way to heaven? According to the scriptures we must repent (turn around) from our hostility against God, confess that we are sinners and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. But what does it mean to believe on Jesus?
Acts 3:14 “But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 “and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. 16 “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 “But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 “and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, (NKJ)
Acts 26:19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 “but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. (NKJ)
God is just and cannot just forgive the debt. Instead, His Son paid the price on our behalf on the cross of Calvary (1 Peter 1:17-19). If we come into the Father’s office and confess that we cannot pass the application of entrance into heaven, and yet want Him to be our God, then He reveals to us that His Son Jesus paid the price for each sin in the Book of our Works, He picks up the book and casts it into the burning sea, never to be recovered, and then asks us to come into heaven to be with Him. Our sins are paid for, forgiven and forever removed from us, never to be brought up again.
My friend, do you realize what a precious gift from God this is? Will you accept it?
According to Revelation 20:11-15 every man and woman will stand before God and either be forgiven because their names are in the book of life, or be judged out of the Book of their Works. Which will it be for you?
Truth (trooth), n., pl. 1. the true or actual state of a matter 2. conformity with fact or reality 3. a verified or indisputable fact.
As Webster’s dictionary defines truth as the actual state of a matter or reality. Reality exists despite what we think or believe. Whether or not we believe that there is oxygen, reality is that there is oxygen, otherwise we would not be able to live. It is important to point out that the word “truth” is singular and not plural. It is not possible to have (many) truths. There can only be one truth. If Joe says I have the truth, and Frank claims to have the truth, and they contradict one another, they cannot both be the truth. One or the other is right or they are both wrong.
So what is truth, or how do we know who or what is the truth? As the definition stated, we must verify the claimed facts; whether they are the truth.
In the Bible, Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 Jesus did not claim to be a truth, but the truth. By this one statement alone, Jesus Christ has set Himself apart from every other man, leader, or religious guru who claimed to have found the truth. Jesus claimed Himself to be the truth. Having claimed to be the truth, are there any verifiable facts that would lend weight to His claim? The answer is Yes. Here are few examples:
- The prophecies pertaining to His birth. In the Old Testament, many years before Jesus was born, the prophets of old foretold of such details as the exact place (Micah 5:2) and time (Daniel 9:25) that Jesus would be born.
- The miracles He performed. Throughout the gospels, there are listed many miracles that Jesus performed (Making the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, and the dead being raised) to verify who He claimed to be.
- His death and resurrection. Jesus declared, “as the serpent in the wilderness was lifted up, so too must the Son of Man be lifted up, that He might draw all men unto Himself.” John 3:14 and 12:32-33. Jesus predicted by what manner of death He would die. He also predicted that He would rise from the dead. The Bible declares that during the forty days He walked the earth after He rose from the dead, He was seen by the disciples, by some women, and at one point by over 500 people at the same time. Many of these same people would go on to die for believing that Jesus raised from the dead.
Maybe you are searching for the truth. Maybe you want to know the truth. Consider the following promise from Jesus:
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32
Jesus said we have to look no further than to the Bible to find the truth. If we remain in His Word, then we shall know the truth and be free indeed!!!!
Jeremy McLellan – July 17, 2004
When life is difficult, or things don’t seem to go the way we want; When we find ourselves in a dead end job, or it seems the whole world is against us; When we are faced with extreme trials or just feeling depressed, we often ask ourselves this question, “Is this all there is?”
Many people wonder if there is more to life than just the everyday “rat race.” All of us at one point in our lives have found ourselves searching for peace, joy, or something that will satisfy us for a time. For a time we may look to material possessions for this joy. This may help for a while, but we again become dissatisfied. In the Bible, there was a king named Solomon. Solomon was one of the wealthiest men that have ever walked the earth. Consider the following verses in Ecclesiastes 2:4-11:
4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. 7 I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. 9 So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.
In all of Solomon’s labors to find joy in material possessions, His conclusion was that it did not satisfy or bring fulfillment.
Some will look to popularity or to power in the workplace. Again, Solomon wrote:
“Better a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more. For he comes out of prison to be king, although he was born poor in his kingdom. I saw all the living who walk under the sun; they were with the second youth who stands in his place. There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king; yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:13-16
Ruling over many people or possessing all the riches of the world does not bring satisfaction. It is vanity and grasping for something that we can never take hold of.
The Bible declares that there is more to life than these temporary pleasures. There is more to life than to be born, live, and die. The Bible tells us where we can find a true peace and a true joy. Psalm 16:11 says:
“You (God) will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures for evermore.”
To truly understand what this life is all about, we must first look to the Creator of life. Unfortunately, our sin (breaking of God’s law) has separated us from this perfect and Holy Creator. The prophet Isaiah wrote “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear; But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you So that He will not hear.” As the verse above stated, in God’s presence is fullness of joy, but because of sin, man cannot enter into His presence.
You maybe saying, “I want this joy, and these pleasures forevermore!! What do I do?” First you must admit that you are a sinner, deserving of hell and separation from God (Romans 3:23, and 6:23). Then you must repent (have a 180 degree change of heart) and desire to humble yourself before God instead of fighting Him (Acts 2:37-38, Proverbs 3:33-35). Agree with God the Father that the only way to be forgiven is to have a believing faith in Jesus, His Son and to agree with Him that Jesus alone can cleanse us of our sins (John 14:6).
The Bible promises in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You must simply confess your sin (meaning you agree with God that according to His law, you are a sinner), ask God to forgive you, thank Him for sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross in your place, and ask Him to come into your life and make you new.
I encourage you to act upon this now if you have never done so. Find a place to get alone and get on your knees. Then talk to God as a loving friend whom you have foolishly offended and maligned. Tell Him you want to repent of these acts and give Him the rest of your life. Tell Him that you want to worship Jesus and lovingly follow His commands until He comes. If you do this, your life will change, the Holy Spirit of God will fill you and give you spiritual life (John 20:21-22) and you will have a deep sense of knowing that there is more to life
(1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
The Bible promises that if any man is in Jesus Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away, all things become new. You will now be able to enter into the presence of God and find complete joy and peace in having a relationship with the God who created you and loves you.
In closing, consider what Jesus says in the following verses:
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid.”
Jeremy McLellan – July 16, 2004
In answering this question, we must first define the term “good” and determine from this if there is such a thing as a “good” person. The word good is defined as being morally perfect or having never broken God’s law. In light of this standard, consider the following verses:
Romans 3:10-18 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit” “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Romans 3:23“for all have sinned and fall short of glory of God”
These verses clearly lay out that man is by nature corrupt, and has turned from God. Man in and of himself is not “good”. Man has not lived up to the moral standards that God gave him in the law (i.e. the ten commandments). However, the Bible does tell us that there was a man who did live up to these moral standards. His name is Jesus. The following verses from the Bible testify to this fact:
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
John 8:29 “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Jesus Christ is the only one that is “good”. He lived a perfect, moral life. He obeyed every commandment given by God. Not once did He ever lie, steal, covet, or blaspheme. Yet, at the end of His life, He was rejected by many of the people He loved. He was beaten, spit upon, scourged, his beard was ripped out, he was mocked and crucified. Seven hundred years before Jesus suffered these “bad” things, the prophet Isaiah foretold that this is what the Savior would endure on our behalf.
Isaiah 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
In summary, the Bible tells that these bad things happened to a good person, Jesus, so that whoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life (john 3:16). The punishment that we deserved, for not living up to God’s moral standard, was placed upon Jesus. And in return, if we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and seek to live a life of obedience, then we will be saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 10:9-10). The alternative is to reject God’s gift of salvation through His Son Jesus, and suffer the penalty that is due, eternal separation from God, and the Lake of Fire (hell) for eternity.
Jeremy McLellan – July 16, 2004
where did their souls go when they died?
It is incorrect to say there was no salvation plan before Jesus went to Calvary. God had a salvation plan from the foundations of the world (1 Peter 1:17-21, Revelation 13:8)
There has been a salvation plan ever since Adam and Eve who tried to use fig leaves to cover themselves (Genesis 3:7) after they brought sin and death into the world by disobeying God (Romans 5:12). These fig leaves were man’s way of covering sin. But God rejected their covering and made them a covering of skin. This required God to sacrificing an innocent animal to provide the skin to cover Adam and Eve (Gen 3:21).
Noah offered sacrifice of an innocent animal (Gen 8:20). Job also offered sacrifice in case his sons had sinned in their hearts (Job 1:5). Abraham also offered sacrifice (Gen 22). All of these were before the law was given to Moses. It is clear that God revealed His plan for salvation to the Old Testament saints, a plan that would require a blood sacrifice. Even Abraham knew that the animal sacrifice was just a foreshadowing of the Messiah coming to lay down His life for the salvation of man (Gen 22:14 with John 8:56).
Therefore, everyone in the Old Testament who believed a Messiah would come through the Jewish race to take upon Himself the punishment for sin on our behalf was “saved” when they died.
However, they were not allowed entrance into heaven until Jesus paid the actual price on the cross. The souls of those who died in belief of a coming Messiah went to the comfort of “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). Those who died in unbelief are sent to a tormenting side of Hades (Luke 16:23). When Jesus died he descended into Hades, preached to the souls who died before the flood, and released those who had been captive (presumably in the area of Hades in the comfort of Abraham’s bosom) and who were waiting for the Messiah (1 Peter 3:18-20, Isaiah 61:1 with Luke 4:18, Ephesians 4:7-10, 1 Peter 1:10-13).
In summary, God did not give the law in order for man to become perfect through obeying it (Romans 3:20, Gal 2:16). Instead, He gave the law to show us how sinful we are and thus try to humble us so we would accept His gift of grace (Gal 3:22-25).
Those who accept this plan are saved. Those who do not are damned. Those who die with belief in Jesus as their savior go directly to heaven now that the debt for sin has been paid. Those who reject God’s sacrifice, and instead try to cover their sin with fig leaves (works) will go to the tormenting side of Hades when they die. Then, in the end of time they will be called up to the throne of God to be judged by their works and sent to the Lake of Fire forever.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead [unbelieving dead], small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life [believer in Jesus] was cast into the lake of fire. (NKJ)
According to the Bible, the first man was Adam (1 Cor 15:45). Since Adam was the first man and Lucifer (Satan) was in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were deceived, then the answer to your first question must be, no, he was never a man.
The Bible implies that angels have always been angels (Hebrews 1-2) but angels of God can appear as men (Genesis 19, Hebrews 13:2). The Devil has his angels (which fell with him and are called Demons), and God has His angels who were not deceived by Satan. They are at war with each other (Daniel 10).
The Bible does recognize that Satan can possess men, and as such refers to Satan as a man in the prophecies of Isaiah 14:16, where in context, the prophecy seems to deal with a spiritual being (Satan) and a ruler of a country (possessed ruler). I have included the verses from Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 that talk about the fall of Satan from the throne of God. These passages teach that Satan/Lucifer was created as an angel, became proud, rebelled against God and fell from heaven.
Isa 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. 16 “Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, [I think this is referring to the last day’s Antichrist who will be possessed by Satan himself (Revelation 13:2) and killed by Jesus at the second coming] (NKJ)
Ezek 28:12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre [The King of Tyre was a man, but apparently he was possessed by Satan since the following words of the prophecy cannot be addressing just the man], and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. 14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. 16 “By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. 17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you. 18 “You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. 19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.”‘ ” (NKJ)
In Summary, Satan was created as an angel; fell from heaven (in verses above and in Luke 10:17-18), but still has access to heaven (Job 1 and 2). He accuses us before God daily (Revelation 12:10) until the battle in heaven forever casts him out of heaven and down to the earth during the tribulation period (Revelation 12).
Satan will then have a short time to possess the Antichrist and through him try to destroy all the people of God. He fails to complete this mission when the Lord Jesus returns, kills the Antichrist and sends the Devil Satan into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years.
Then the Devil will be released to have one more chance to deceive those who have been born during the 1,000-year reign of Christ on Earth. God then defeats Satan and those who followed his lies and throws Satan into the Lake of Fire forever and ever. (Revelation 19-20)
Taste and See ministry is a trademark ministry of Calvary Church of Port Orchard Washington.
For those who would like to bring a Taste and See ministry to your church or neighborhood, we ask that you submit a formal request to do so. We will then send you a permit application. As a minimum, your Taste&See trailer should include the questions shown below and have the answers found on the Taste&See section of our web page. This is to ensure this ministry name reflects the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Once you are approved for using the Taste&See name, we will send you information that will assist you in setting up your trailer ministry.