Are You Going to Party in Heaven or in Hell?
Have you ever heard people talking about how they are going to party in Hell? Just this week my children were talking to me about people they had run into who were commenting that they were going to Hell, but they didn’t care cause they were going to party it up once they got there. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. In Luke 16, we read about a rich man who had no mercy on an “utterly destitute man named Lazarus, (reduced to begging alms and) covered with (ulcerated) sores” (v. 20). Both men died. When the beggar died, he was “carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom” (v. 22). When the rich man died, he was “in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment” (v. 23). Doesn’t sound like much of a party.
The rich man begged Abraham in verse 24, “Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.” Doesn’t sound like much of a party. When the rich man was told that couldn’t happen, he begged to save his brothers from coming to this place, “Then, father, I beseech you to send him to my father’s house–for I have five brothers–so that he may give testimony and warn them, lest they too come into this place of torment” (v. 28). Doesn’t sound like much of a party.
The Bible describes Hell in Matthew 13:50. “And cast them (the wicked) into the furnace of fire, there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth.” Jude 7 speaks of “perpetual punishment” and “everlasting fire”. Doesn’t sound like much of a party. Actually sounds like a place a wise person will do everything in his or her power to avoid.
So, what’s the alternative? Heaven? What’s that like? Revelation 21:11 tells us of a city “Clothed in God’s glory (in all its splendour and radiance). The luster of it resembled a rare and most precious jewel, like jasper, shining clear as crystal”. Verse 18 continues, “The wall was built of jasper, while the city (itself was of) pure gold, clear and transparent like glass”. Have you ever heard of gold that is transparent like glass? I researched this, and I found that in order for gold to be transparent like glass, it would have to have no impurities. The shield on an astronaut’s helmet is made of transparent gold because it protects from the sun’s rays, extreme temperatures, and small objects. In verse 21 we read that “the main street of the city was of gold as pure and translucent as glass.” Imagine walking on these streets! Sounds like a place to party.
“The foundation (stones) of the wall of the city were ornamented with all of the precious stones. the first foundation (stone) was jasper” (v. 19). I thought jasper was only a yellow stone, but apparently, it can be found in red, yellow, brown, green, and rarely blue. Sounds beautiful.
Verse 19 tells us that the second foundation stone is one of my absolute favorites, sapphire. This was my father’s birthstone for September. For years I have worn my mother/father/daughter ring with a sapphire in it. I think this blue stone is one of the most gorgeous stones that exist. It can also be found in many different colors.
The third foundation stone is chalcedony or white agate. This stone reminds me of what marble looks like. Beautiful!
The fourth stone is another of my favorites, emerald. One of my sons, Joshua, has this for his birthstone. My family ring has an emerald because of him, and I’m so glad. I think the green of this stone is my favorite color.
The fifth stone is onyx. Usually you will find this stone in black or white, and again, it reminds me of marble.
The sixth stone is sardius. What’s sardius? Today, this stone is called carnelian, and most of these stones have a reddish color.
The seventh stone is chrysolite. What’s chrysolite? This is a gold or greenish-yellow stone. Another beautiful stone.
The eighth is beryl. Pure beryl is colourless, but with impurities, colors can be found. I can imagine it will be pure in Heaven.
The ninth is topaz. We are used to seeing topaz as a yellow-orange color, but again, it can be found in many colors.
The tenth is chrysoprase. This lovely stone is found in shades of a beautiful green.
The eleventh is jacinth which is usually of an orange-red color.
The twelfth is amethyst. I really like this violet-colored stone. Another of my sons has this birthstone, so again, I get to have this stone in my family ring.
Doesn’t all this sound absolutely stunning? This is just a description of the streets and foundation stones of this city. The twelve gates are each “built of one solid pearl” (v. 21). There is also a river “whose waters give life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God” (Rev. 22:1). “On either side of the river was the tree of life with its twelve varieties of fruit yielding each month its fresh crop” (22:2). So many gorgeous sights here.
Yet the greatest thing about Heaven is that you will be in the presence of God. “And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to give light to it, for the splendour and radiance (glory) of God illuminate it, and the Lamb is its lamp” (Rev. 21:23).
Two books that give awesome descriptions of Heaven are written by two people who were given a glimpse of Heaven itself. One book is called “Within Heaven’s Gates” by Rebecca Springer and “Heaven: Close Encounters of the God Kind” by Jesse Duplantis. If you have a loved one who has gone on to be with Jesus, I encourage you to read these books. They will give you great insight into exactly where your loved ones are and what they are doing. One thing I know for sure. They would not come back here, but they are looking forward to and waiting patiently for the time when you will join them.
In John 14:12 Jesus tells us, “In My Father’s house there are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you.” God knows you better than you know yourself. He knows what you love the most. As he prepares your mansion, he is including in it everything you love the most. In Springer’s book, she talks about the beauty of the plants and trees. She talks about lying on coloured stones in the river. She talks about the balmy temperature in the water and out. She talks about waiting patiently for your turn to walk and talk with Jesus Himself. She talks about a love emanating from Him that is the greatest thing there could ever possibly be. This is where I am going.
I encourage you to give your life to Jesus and follow Him all your days. If you are not sure how to accomplish this, I encourage you to read my previous post. I encourage you to avoid Hell at all cost. I want to walk with you on those transparent streets of gold. I want to visit you in your mansion, and I want you to come over to see mine. There will be many, many flowers in mine-inside and out.
Many wonderful blessings are also available to us now. We don’t have to wait until we get to Heaven to enjoy God’s Blessing. II Corinthians 9:8 tells us “And God is able to make all grace (every favour and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient (possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation.)” God will give us earthly blessing. That’s here and now. We don’t need earthly blessing once we’re in Heaven. He also will furnish us with abundance. I like abundance.
When you are planning your eternity, make sure you pick the right place to party. You only get one chance to make the right decision. I plead with you to choose wisely. I want to party with you in a place so gorgeous, our human minds cannot even comprehend it. God is a good God!