1. The Bible is not consistent in stating what happens to someone when they die. Therefore, can we really know what happens after death?
A. There is a progression over history as to what happens to those who die
a. Prior to Christ’s death: All dead are in Sheol
b. After Christ’s resurrection: Righteous in Heaven; Unrighteous remain in Sheol
2. What do we mean by “righteous”?
A. Those who accept Christ by faith
a. Prior to Christ’s first coming, those who accepted by faith that their coming Messiah would be the sin sacrifice for their sins and that would be their only merit to enter Heaven
b. After Christ’s first coming, those who accept by faith that Christ paid the penalty for their sin on the cross and only through Him do we have merit to enter Heaven
3. Doesn’t the Old Testament supports soul sleep? No one is conscious until they are resurrected, right?
A. Many scriptures contrast death to the living which can sometimes feel there is no consciousness there; yet, there are many scriptures that allude to being with loved ones, activity, and speaking that occurs in Sheol.
4. Isn’t it true that there is no torment or flames in Sheol? Doesn’t only the parable by Christ in New Testament state torment or flame?
A. There are passages in the Old Testament that do refer to flames and/or torment in Sheol for those who were labeled ‘wicked’
a. There is no torment mentioned for those labeled ‘righteous’
b. Yet, neither are there passages that consider Sheol to be a paradise for the righteous
5. If God is going to send people to an eternal hell, why wouldn’t there be more verses in the Bible that are clearer on this topic?
A. God expects people to understand the subtleties in scripture
a. It was a concept understood by Jewish society and therefore did not need emphasis
b. Only when one tries to justify their own will can the scriptures be ignored
6. Isn’t sending people to hell is outside of God’s character of love?
A. We should not confuse ‘love’ with ‘longsuffering’
a. God loves everyone but mankind also has responsibility
b. Is love true love if only one-sided?
c. Can one hate God and not reverence Him and yet claim it is unjust to receive consequence?
d. You can rest on God’s love or His justice. God has never been ‘fair’ because it is not a Biblical concept.
7. What is the purpose of the Rapture?
A. God removes the Church so He can “remember” his covenant with Israel.
a. This is the prophetic significance of Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets)
b. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb cannot occur until the entire Church is with Him
c. Another concept of the Rapture would the The Receiving: that is, the receiving of the bride (the church) by Christ (the groom)
8. What is the purpose of the Tribulation? Why does this have to occur?
A. The main purpose is so God can work with Israel once again.
a. It is a final fulfillment of Dt 28 & 29
b. It is global because Jews and those of Israeli descent are worldwide today
c. This time fulfills scripture of how God will again bring Judah and Israel back together into one nation
d. This time forces Israel to do what his loving prodding could not: accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah before He returns to the earth.
e. God’s will still prevails even when Satan is supposedly in control
9. How do we know Christ’s Millennial Kingdom will be an actual physical kingdom?
A. Not only Revelation, but many passages in the Old Testament refer to this time and describe it as a physical kingdom.
a. This re-establishes the theocracy that was lost by Adam and proves why Christ is superior to Satan
b. This allows Israel to become the kingdom of priests to the world originally offered to them
c. This further tests humanity and proves that their rebellion has nothing to do with Satan
10. Why would Christ’s Millennial Kingdom need to come to an end if it is supposed to be so wonderful?
A. Christ’s earthly reign is not perfect. It is a theocracy containing sinful people.
a. Sin has to be removed in its entirety before a perfect kingdom can be established
b. Therefore, the earth and all those not responding to Christ must be removed
c. A sinless earth and heaven is created, populated by sinless people
d. However, it is likely there will still be humans without the propensity to sin present who will continue to “inherit the earth”; and maybe even the universe
I hope this helps you understand the Bible presents a cohesive message and not a hodgepodge of ideas to be interpreted any way one wishes. God has a plan and you are a part of it.
Heaven & Hell
Heaven – Hell Summary
Biblical Paradox: Salvation