One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional
Today’s Bible Reading: August 10, 2022
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Clicking on the Scripture links above will open a new window where you can read the scripture from the Holman Christian Standard Bible at Biblegateway.com or choose the Bible version you prefer to read. Check back each day to get the Scripture to read in the One Year Bible Reading Plan.
Heaven is Real…and so is Hell
I recently watched the movie “The Case for Heaven” on PureFlix. In this movie Lee Strobel, author of the popular book, “The Case for Christ,” sets out to show that we have a soul and that after death, our soul continues to live – either in heaven or in hell. In this movie, they interview Jon Steingard, a former singer in the Hawk Nelson band. Jon co-wrote the song, “Drops in the Ocean” along with two of his friends. His father is a pastor and he was raised in Church. Then in May, 2020, Steingard posted on Instagram that he was revoking his believe in God. In the movie, he says:
“If God is real, He has chosen to make Himself hidden in such as way, that we can plausibly say, ‘I don’t even know if God is there.’ And then with that in mind, in Christianity we’re often told we have to make a belief that God is there, you have to make a decision, and affirm God’s existence, and Jesus’ lordship in your life. And if you don’t do that, you’re gonna burn in hell forever. I just go, as a father, would I make myself hidden to my son who I love dearly, would I hide myself from him for his entire life, and then if he denies my existence, or doesn’t love me enough or in the right way or believe the right things about me – burn him forever. No one would look at a parent and say, ‘That’s a good parent.’ That is one reason I cannot believe in this whole way of looking at God and eternity. It just doesn’t work for me. If that is true, than that God is not loving.”Jon Steingard in “The Case for Heaven”
Is Steingard right? Is God real? Are heaven and hell real? Does God – who is love – send people to hell to burn forever? Let’s address these questions.
Hell is a real place
Hell is made of stuff that is worse than your worst nightmare! It is a place of torment (Luke 16:23). It is a place of fire where the flames never die and there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Luke 16:24, Matthew 13:42, Matthew 25:41, Revelation 20:1). Hell is a place were the worm never dies (Mark 9:46). In Matthew 25:30, Hell is a place of darkness. Revelation 14:10 says hell is a place where those who reject Christ will be tormented in brimstone and fire. Job 18 describes Hell as a place where God is not known. And Luke 16:23 says Hell is a place of everlasting punishment.
It is humanly impossible to comprehend the Bible’s description of hell. Nothing on earth can compare with it. No nightmare could produce a terror to match that of hell. No horror movie could describe it’s fright. And no crime scene with all it’s blood and gore could begin to match it’s horror. In hell, at this very moment, there are millions of lost, tormented souls — burning, weeping, wailing — without any hope whatsoever!
Yes! Hell is a REAL place. You’ll see HELL, smell HELL, breathe HELL, hear HELL, and feel HELL. It’ll be beyond anything humanly imaginable!
Does God send people to hell?
1 John 1:9 says, “God is love.” But if God is love, then why does He send people to Hell? The answer is he doesn’t.
Hell was created for Satan who once was an archangel in Heaven, named Lucifer. Lucifer became jealous of God and decided he wanted to be God. As a result, he and one-third of the angels in heaven attempted a coup in Heaven. Only, they were defeated. God created hell for Lucifer and his followers. Lucifer is more commonly called, the Devil or Satan. In the Bible he is also called the Great Deceiver. His followers are known as demons. God created Hell for Satan and his demons.
When man sinned, a great divide was created between a holy and righteous God and sinful man. God created man to have fellowship with us. Yet, when man sinned, God’s holiness could not look on sin and God had to judge sin. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. Just as a child has consequences for disobeying his or her parents, so there are consequences when we disobey God. As a result, we are all dead in our sin. One of the most amazing concepts is that when God created man, He knew man would sin. He also knew that because of that sin, He would have to send His only begotten Son to this earth to pay our sin debt. Even knowing what it would cost Him, he created us anyway.
God provided an escape from Hell
Yes, God is love. We know He is love because even when he knew from before the world was created he knew that you and I would be here. He knew every sin of our entire lives. He knew that we would need someone to save us from those sins and so in his love and mercy, he sent his son to die a horrible, cruel death in our place so that we would not have to spend eternity in hell.
Why do people go to Hell?
Why then do people go to hell? Because they reject the free gift of Christ’s sacrifice and payment of our sin debt. They turn away from it. Revelation 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and the murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Sinners do not want to be confronted with their sin. They would rather create laws that will legalize sin than to confess their sin. However, no law of man would over over-rule God’s law and when we stand before God at the end of our lives he will judge us. At that time, he will either see you covered in the blood of Christ which cleanses you from all unrighteousness and you will spend eternity in Heaven with him or the sins of your entire life will be exposed and you will hear God say the worst words you could ever hear: “Depart from me for I never knew you.” My friend, God does not send people to hell. They send themselves.
What is Hell like?
What is hell like? Pastor Rick Warren describes it like this: “In human terms, it’s tough to define Hell. It’s like trying to explain the Internet to an ant. But Jesus actually talked more about Hell than Heaven. And to read how Jesus — and others in the Bible — described it, we don’t want to have any part of it, and we don’t want anyone we know to have any part in it.”
So what does the Bible say about Hell?
- It’s a place of torment. Luke 13:28 says that in Hell, “You will cry and be in extreme pain” (GW). We get our visions of fire and agony in Hell from the Bible.
- It’s a place of complete separation from God and other people. That’s the worst part of Hell. Go through your whole life saying you don’t want to have anything to do with God, and you’ll eventually get your way. Hell means total separation from God. “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be separated from God — lost forever!” (1 Corinthians 16:22a ERV)
- It’s a place without love. The Bible tells us that God is love. Without God, we’ll spend forever without his love in Hell. The Bible also says, “There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear” (GNT). What’s it like to live without God’s love? It means you’re scared to death all the time.
The Bible says that Hell is place for wicked souls; it is referred to as a fiery furnace, a place of unquenchable fire; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, constant and eternal torment. In hell, there will be no rest; there is condemnation and destruction; you will be eternally separated from God; it is a place of outer darkness; it is a lake of burning sulfur; and there will be eternal suffering. Yet any description we give it, will not compare the just how horrible spending eternity in hell will be.
People who go to Hell, choose Hell
Everyone who goes to Hell chooses to do so. They’ll get what they always thought they wanted — a life away from God. You don’t want that! You don’t want Hell. So Steingard’s statement that says he can’t accept or believe in a good that send people to hell is inaccurate. Steingard seems to struggle with the idea that a God of live sends people to hell. But God does not. People choose hell when they choose to reject God. God’s love is seen in the way of escape He made so that people do not have to go to hell. God’s love provided a way out. That way out was through the sacrifice of his own son – Jesus Christ – who make the atonement for our sin as he shed his blood on the cross.
So how do you not spend eternity in hell? By placing your faith and trust in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. His death on the cross paid your sin debt. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” He died in your place so that you do not have to spend eternity in hell.
In 1974, a movie was made and shown in churches across the country. “The Burning Hell” is a 58 minute film created by the evangelist Estus Pirkle. This film is Pirkle’s interpretation of what the Bible has to say about hell and you can watch it on YouTube here.
Heaven or hell….the choice is yours. Eternity in hell….or eternity in heaven.
What is Heaven like?
What is heaven like? A river, clear as crystal, will flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb [Jesus] down the middle of the city. On each side of the river there will be a tree of life, yielding twelve kinds of fruit every month. The streets will be pure gold, like transparent glass. The walls of the city will be adorned with every kind of jewel, emerald, onyx, amethyst, topaz, etc. There will be no need for a sun or moon, and no need for a temple or church. The presence of the Lord will be its light. There will be no sickness or pain, no death, no tears or sorrow.
Just as our human mind cannot accurately envision the horrors of hell, so can we not fully imagine the splendor and glory of heaven.
God does not want you to go to hell
Yes, my friend, God is love and He invites you right now to spend eternity in heaven with him. Romans 10:13 says, “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
“Whosoever” that means you!
If that is your heart’s desire, then you can pray the following prayer:
“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I confess and believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. Right now, I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
If you just prayed this prayer, please let us know through the contact us page. You will also want to find an evangelical church and talk with a pastor so that he can lead you through the next steps, being baptized, and growing as a Christian. If you just prayed that prayer, then welcome to the family of God! I look forward to meeting you in Heaven one day.
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Romans 8:37 – Kneels Before God
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God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars
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What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?
This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
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