Heaven and Hell
Heaven and Hell are places mentioned in the Bible as the eternal destinies for humans after they die. However, there is a big difference between the two. This information allows people to understand the many differences. Most people understand the basic differences to be that one place is good and the other bad; one includes joy and the other suffering. Unfortunately, many people believe that they will end up in one place or the other based on their actions alone. For example, people may think that doing good deeds during their lives will guarantee a place in paradise.
Furthermore, people also assume that Hell is reserved for bad people, namely those who steal, kill, lie and harm others without remorse. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. After reading about Heaven and Hell, consider clicking on one of the links for a Bible quiz related to the subject. When tested, some may find that they knew little about the subjects, while others may already be well versed regarding the eternal destinies.
When God created the world, He also created Adam and Eve and placed them in paradise, or the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve failed to follow God's command not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. Because they committed an act of disobedience, the basic human desire to know all and be like God entered the earth. Sin reigned on Earth because of that choice, until humans eventually were saved through Jesus Christ. God could have done away with humans completely, but God longed for them to be by His side - for them to spend eternity with Him.
Therefore, God sent Jesus Christ, His Son, both fully God and man, to be the perfect sacrifice and wipe out the sin marking all humans. Now, there is only one requirement for humans to have sin wiped away and to be united with God: Humans must believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, the Messiah, and that He died on the cross for all sin, as well as for the sins of all human beings. There is nothing that people can do themselves to make up for their sins. People must repent, confess and believe that Jesus is the Savior.
With Christ as one's personal Savior, paradise, becomes that person's destination. Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father" (Matthew 10:32). Christ also outlined some characteristics of believers that would result in the reward of paradise. In Matthew, Jesus said that the kingdom belongs to those who are persecuted for Jesus' sake, and to those who are poor in spirit. Jesus also said that people must become like little children in order to enter the paradise. Jesus uses many parables, or stories, to explain Heaven and how people are to invest in it, and share their knowledge of it with others.
When many people think of the heavenly paradise, they may think of the pictures of angels playing harps on puffy, white clouds. However, this probably is not an accurate depiction. Even though it is home to angels, the Bible includes descriptions of it as a kingdom, the location of God's throne, and the place from where He reigns over all creation: "The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth" (Psalm 33:13-14). It is further described in the Bible as being lit by the very glory of God. Additionally, paradise is described as a place without tears, pain or suffering, and as a place of eternal worship where God and man dwell in peace for eternity.
On the other hand, Hell is the complete opposite. Many people think of it as a place of eternal fire. Additionally, it is also a place that is completely absent of God. According to the Bible, those who do not believe that Jesus Christ died for sin are in danger of an eternity apart from God when they die because pride stood in the way of their acknowledging Jesus as the Savior. In Matthew, Jesus also talks about those who judge their brothers in anger being in danger of Hell. Get a greater understanding of God's Word by taking the Bible Quiz.
When thinking about life and eternal destination, realize that everyone has sinned and fallen short of God's standard. Everyone deserves to be abandoned by God because of the natural human desire to rebel and do things independent of God. Even those who think they are good people need to know that Jesus alone can bridge the gap to Heaven. Take the time to consider eternal destination today. It's the most important decision a person will make.
Rewards In HeavenRewards in heaven are great for those who are willing to fully surrender to God and desire His will to be done in their lives. Many Christians are not open to complete and total surrender. They want to make their own plans and live life as they think it should be lived. Some of these only go to church on Sunday and the rest of the week they choose to compromise their faith. There are also mentions of crowns in the Bible to faithful Christians who choose to be faithful to God and work for His kingdom. These are mentioned both in the New and Old Testaments. Some of these are crown of righteousness, crown of glory, crown of life, crown of rejoicing, incorruptible crown, soul winner's crown, and crown of gold.
The crown of life is promised to those who endure suffering. No person who has ever lived will suffer like Christ had to suffer because his suffering was not just a physical process he suffered with taking on the sins of the world. However, the Bible does indicate that we will suffer for Christ. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). The crown of life is mentioned in the book of Revelation about suffering persecution. God's word also says that those who love the Lord will receive this crown. Crowns in the Bible are real and a study about each one will no doubt prove to be very interesting and good food for thought. In addition, a study on rewards and treasure may provide additional scriptures to enhance a person's knowledge on the subjects.
Anything that is mentioned in God's word should be given complete attention because we know His word is true and every word is there for a purpose. God's word never returns to Him without accomplishing what He sent it out for. The Bible does say that a person can have treasure in heaven if he or she is willing to sell all and give to the poor (Mark 10:21). The word of God indicates in many places that making sacrifices for the Lord is not done unnoticed and that rewards or treasure in heaven is the result. Rewards in heaven are real and this gives us more incentive to do the right thing although the ultimate reward is going to be that Jesus will be there. Those who really love the Lord want to go there just to be with Jesus. Their goal is not to receive a reward but just to be with Him for eternity which in itself is viewed as the only really important reward.
Some sources believe that rewards will be given out at the judgment seat of Christ when Christians are judged for their deeds. A Christian's attitude should be to work for Christ out of love and devotion instead of for what will be received for self. However, if knowing that a person will receive a reward or a crown that can be given to Christ, why not work that much harder for Him? Crowns in the Bible help Christian's to realize that what they do here on earth for Christ does not go unnoticed. The soul winners crown is one that everyone should try to attain for the Lord. The Bible says that those who win souls are wise. If every Christian helps to win one soul for the Lord it could mean winning many if the person won does the same thing and so on.
When a Christian makes a determination to do the right thing no matter what he or she can be assured they will one day receive the crown of righteousness. This reward is also associated with those who will love the appearing of Christ who long for Him. Rewards in heaven will not have much meaning if Christ was not there. Those who truly love Him just want to spend time with Him. The thought that Christians will have an eternity with Him is too wonderful to put into words. He is the ultimate reward for those who love Him.
Inspiration is given to Christians that read God's word. This inspiration can be grasped when reading Paul's words about fighting the good fight in the book of II Timothy. Paul said that Christ would give Him the crown of righteousness at the appropriate time. Crowns in the Bible are associated with a righteous judgment that indicate Christ is seeing all of the sacrifices made, all of the suffering, and all of the devotion and faithfulness done for Him in this life. Every single act of kindness, of love, and forgiveness is noticed by Him to whom Christian's must give an account. Jesus is the inspiration for all good deeds and is the ultimate treasure received.
Those who love the appearing of Christ will receive the crown of righteousness. Rewards in heaven come to those who hang on His every word, who want to be with Him. Some of the other words associated with receiving crowns and rewards are being faithful to teach and preach the word of god, run a good race, looking for the better life in Christ, laboring to save souls, and enduring trials. The blessings are not reserved for heaven for God blesses His people while they are living on earth as well. The main thing to always remember is to keep one's priorities in order by putting Christ first in every single day.