How To Choose Between Heaven And Hell
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How To Choose Between Heaven And Hell

My mom and I have a little running joke between us. Anytime we do something that is a bit off the straight and narrow. We tell one another. “Oops! I am going to have to scrub another brick on the streets of gold for that one.”

The majority of people in the world believe that as long as we live a good life that God will shine down upon us and grant us a ticket on that long black train heading to heaven.

But is this true?

I am no hell-fire and damnation preacher. That method of delivering the good news, to me, is a real turn-off.

However, that does not change what the Bible teaches about this subject.

Seriously, I am just a balding man trying to get to heaven with at least a few things to present to my Savior on that day. I don’t have enough hair, nor a loud enough voice to be a wild-haired prophet.

So journey with me if you will, and let’s take a look at what the Bible does say about heaven and hell.

image of a couple in heaven

Heaven And Hell In The Bible

Luke 16:19-31

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet.[a] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and he went to the place of the dead.[b] There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Heaven And Hell Is Real

Jesus Talked About Heaven And Hell

As you can see here, Jesus talks about heaven and hell. Lazarus was in heaven, and the rich man was in hell.

Some would say that this is just a parable. If so, then this is the only parable where Jesus explicitly names people.

Parables were illustrations to illuminate spiritual truths.

Stories, on the other hand, are used to prove a fact. This was a story of a real event that Jesus was sharing.

The Description Of Heaven In The Bible?

So what is Heaven like?

Well apparently from this description it was a place of comfort. It also had water because the rich man begged for water. I would say it is a reasonable conclusion that heaven has all the food and water and all the things necessary to be comfortable and comforted.

In Revelation 21 It says that heaven is

  • Is as beautiful as a bride coming to meet her groom at the altar.
  • That God will live among His people.
  • That He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
  • That it is made of the most expensive materials known.
  • That God Himself will be the light that illuminates heaven.
  • That only those people whose names are written in the lamb’s (Jesus’) book of life will be allowed in.

The Description Of Hell In The Bible?

Matthew 5:22

But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

Hell is a place of fire. Just like the rich man said. “He was in anguish due to the flames.”

2 Peter 2:4

[ Doom of False Teachers ] For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

  • Hell is a place of bondage and darkness. You will be in chains, not partying with your friends.
  • There is no comfort, no solace, no rest, and no hope in hell.
  • There is no reprieve, no amnesty, no time off for good behavior in hell.
  • There is nothing good about hell.

Revelation 20:10

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Revelation 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.”

As you can see, there is a vast difference between heaven and hell. In heaven, you will live with God. In hell, Satan gets to be your roommate.

How Can You Avoid Hell and Go To Heaven?

So how can you know for sure that you are going to get to heaven?

How does a person receive eternal life?

Is the answer found in the words of Jesus himself?

Are you willing to believe what He said?

Are you willing to trust that He was not a liar, or some madman, but He meant what He said?

Then listen to this.

JOHN 14:6


Dear reader, Jesus is that bridge between a destiny in hell and eternal life in heaven. He is the one who brings us into the presence of God.

You see, we have all lied or been cowardly, or had hatred in our hearts, or lusted for someone. I am not excluded from that group of people that are destined for the lake of fire,

However, Jesus, took those sins and shortcomings away when He was crucified on the cross. He then made the way to God.

My only part in getting to heaven is accepting what Jesus has done by faith, asking him to come live with me in my heart, and allowing Him to change me from the inside out.

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I am so grateful for the underserved and unearned gift that He gave to me 32 years ago. And it is because of that gift, that I am just a balding man trying to get to heaven, with at least a few things to lay down at my Savior’s feet.

Now that is something to think about!

You can go here to learn how to go to heaven too!

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.