The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. Questions about heaven, eternity, God, the Bible, hell, that's what we're going to do on today's edition of the program. We're going to answer listener questions about heaven and eternity. Welcome to the program, Alex McFarland here.
Thank you for listening. Studies show that people have an almost insatiable interest in the things of God. Even those that profess to be atheists and non-believers have so many questions, we get correspondence from people like this all the time. And a mid-2022 study done by the American Bible Society about people's beliefs gave some shocking statistics. You may have seen it in the news recently that 37% of millennials and Gen Z, and even those that profess to be Christians, 37% believe that Jesus sinned when he was here on earth.
Isn't that amazing? Because we know that if he had sinned, it would have disqualified him from being our Savior. And there were many other things about not really believing that the Bible is the Word of God and not really believing in moral positions that line up with the Word of God. But what was interesting, if all of the biblical illiteracy is disheartening, and really overt rejection of some core principles of Christianity, is sad to hear. The good news is that of the people surveyed from young teens to people in their 80s, 75% and sometimes more said they would like to have an understanding of who God is, what the Bible says, and even how to know God.
So what's amazing is, even though many people are uninformed about the truths of Scripture and how to know God and eternity and being prepared, even though people have very often wildly unbiblical beliefs, at the same time people are hungry to know the truth about Scripture and who God is. Well, when it comes to the questions of eternity, our source is the Word of God. And people ask us, is there life after death?
The answer is yes, absolutely. Eternity means to be without a beginning or end. Now God is eternal and created things are not. However, human souls made in God's image do last forever, either in heaven or hell. So in this show I want to answer some common questions about heaven to the best of my ability, drawing from the Word of God, not the speculation of man.
I want to give some answers about these things. Now the Lord Jesus, Jesus Christ, the only man that ever rose from the dead, he had a lot to say about eternity. In Matthew 10 verse 28, Jesus said, quote, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
Rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Now we're living in a time when many worldviews compete for the hearts and minds of people. And worldviews disagree about heaven and being prepared, but we are going to base our views on the Word of God. Living in light of eternity can wonderfully influence how we face each day and the burdens of life, but we've got to understand that the Bible, the Bible is our definitive source for issues related to the state of our soul. Now in John 5, 28 and 29, Jesus said this, quote, do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice, that is God's voice, and come out.
Those who have done what is good will rise to life, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. Now people ask, quote, is heaven a real place, or is it a state of mind? Heaven is a real place where God dwells now, and where believers will go to join him when they die. Now the Bible offers physical visions of heaven.
You read like in the Old Testament in Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel chapter 1. In the New Testament, the Apostle John, the last living apostle in Revelation chapter 4, these prophets visited heaven temporarily in spirit through visions, and other saints appeared in heaven permanently. In Revelation chapter 4, 6, 7, we read about the saints in heaven.
But the Bible is clear that there is a very real tangible corporeal afterlife. Now, after the final judgment, all people will dwell either in heaven or hell. The Bible says there is a lake of fire. Death and hell will be thrown in this lake of fire forever. Punishment for those that reject Christ. But there will be a new heaven and a new earth, a new Jerusalem, where in joy and bliss forever, the believers, the redeemed, will be with Christ.
It will be wonderful, it will be glorious. Now, there are a lot of scriptures that unmistakably show the reality of life after death. The Bible says in Hebrews 9 verse 27, it is appointed unto man once to die.
And after this, the judgment. In John 11 25, Jesus made a wonderful promise. He said that he is the resurrection and the life, and the one who lives and believes in him will never die. And Christ said, though he die, yet will he live. So the believer is ready for eternity. But the question is, the question I have for you as we delve into what the Word of God says, are you ready?
Are your friends and loved ones ready? You can be saved today, ready for eternity by calling out to Jesus Christ, which we obviously hope you will do. Someone writes in and says, quote, how real is heaven? Is it really, really real? Or is it some nebulous, amorphous fog in the afterlife?
Well, consider this. There are 550 Bible verses that contain 582 references to heaven. Heaven is real, and one of the most well-supported topics in the Bible. The Bible begins with the creation of heaven there in Genesis 1, and ends with a series of events concerning heaven. Revelation 4, verse 1 and onward.
And before culminating the creation of the new heaven and the new earth, Revelation 21, 1, Jesus' ministry centered around the preaching of the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 13 and other places I could name. But Jesus completed his earthly ministry and he ascended to heaven, Luke 24, 51. That is, Christ was caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in heaven, and he's there now and he will return in the sky. The skies will open.
I believe that. And so there are in the Bible so many references to heaven, the abode of God, the heavens and outer space where the planets are and where the birds fly. But the believer will be in the kingdom of God, heaven, forever. Now when we come back, we're going to answer more questions that you've sent in.
We appreciate it. Is there compelling evidence for life after death and some of the alleged contradictions that the Bible has, which there aren't any verified contradictions. But we'll continue our talk about heaven, hell, eternity, and common questions about it when we return. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Christian author and speaker Alex McFarland is an advocate for Christian apologetics. Teaching in more than 2200 churches around the world, schools and college campuses, Alex is driven by a desire to help people grow in relationship with God. He arms his audiences with the tools they need to defend their faith, while also empowering the unchurched to find out the truth for themselves. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way. With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit alexmcfarland.com or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at alexmcfarland.com. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.
Alex McFarland here. We're talking about heaven and what the Bible says. And do you know every person will spend eternity in either one of two places, either heaven or hell. It's not that death is just lights out. No, the spirit, the real you. We often say the soul, but that everlasting part of you, your non-physical component, your spirit, it will be very consciously present in either heaven or hell. So what is the evidence for that? Well, life after death is at the heart of the Bible.
I mean, it really is. Those who are born again leave a life of worldly, temporary pleasure for everlasting life with God after death. That's Hebrews 11, 13 through 16. God's word assures us that there is a judgment day after death and God assigns all people a final destination.
I mean, think about this. Revelation 20, 11 through 15, Daniel 12 verse 2 says it lasts forever. So God will assign you, based on a decision you make in this life, either for Christ or not, belief or unbelief, God will assign you a final destination.
But where that will be, the ball is in your court, honestly. You must make the choice to trust Christ and be saved. Now, the final state of all people. The Bible gives illustrations of immediate life after death.
In Luke 16, there's a parable of a rich man and the rich, selfish, unbelieving man suffers in the flames of torment, while Lazarus is comforted in paradise with Abraham. And it's an instantaneous state. There's not going to be just soul sleep, as some say.
No. One nanosecond after closing your eyes in mortality, you are into eternity. So you want to be prepared. Now, people ask the question, will we know each other in heaven? Well, the Bible does speak of things we once knew as quote, passing away.
Revelation 21 verse 4, 1 Corinthians 13 talks about all things being passed away. However, we will absolutely know each other in heaven. And I believe there's considerable evidence that our knowledge of one another will remain in heaven. Now, when Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, this is in Matthew 17, one through three, they knew each other. What's amazing is Moses and Elijah appear, and Peter, James, and John are there. And Moses and Elijah had lived centuries before Peter, James, and John, and yet they knew each other. Now in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, you know, it says, Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face.
And I believe, yes, we will know each other. The martyred saints in Revelation 6, 9 through 11, are aware of what is happening on earth. In fact, Hebrews 12, 1 and 2 may allude to something like that, that we're surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Somebody that witnesses something can see it. The martyred saints in heaven seem, during the tribulation period, to know what is happening on earth.
Perhaps the most solid example is that parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Both men know each other, and their family members remaining on earth, they were able to think about them. So yes, I believe we will be conscious, we will be who we were here on earth. Now believers in a glorified state, you'll be a perfected you, but yes, we will know each other in heaven. A listener writes in and asks this question, How old will I be in heaven?
Well, Jesus is our example. The first man to ever rise from the dead and ascend to heaven, the Son of God, God incarnate, and He appeared to the disciples after His resurrection. This is Luke 26, 36-43. And Jesus appeared to have been roughly the same age as when He died, because they recognized Him, and He allowed them to do so.
He conversed with them, they shared a meal together on several occasions. 1 Corinthians 15 tells us that Jesus appeared to up to 500 people at once. Perhaps what is most important to think about in this, is that the resurrected body we receive will be in a new heaven, a new earth, which has no more pain anymore, no more death. That's Revelation 21 verse 4. So we won't need to worry about aches and pains, thank God, in heaven, in our resurrected state.
Some scholars have believed that perhaps we would be about 30. Maybe Adam and Eve, when they were created. Now think about this, and another little side note. People ask me, they'll say, Alex, you believe in a six day literal creation.
I do. I absolutely believe that God created in six literal days and then rested. I do not believe that the earth is billions of years old. I don't believe that for a minute. Now I know many people do, and it's fortunately not a matter of salvation. You can be an old earth Christian. Salvation is believing in Jesus.
People say, but what about the speed of light, 186,000 miles a second, and we have stars that we know are X number of light years away. Well you think about Adam and Eve were created, and though they were only seconds old, they had a built in maturity at the moment of creation. As far as we know, Adam was roughly the equivalent age of like 30. Why would we say that? Because Jesus, the second Adam, 1 Corinthians 15, 45, and 1 Corinthians 15, 51, and 52.
Jesus began his ministry at age 30. So maybe in heaven we will be like Christ, maybe we'll be roughly 30 years old. Maybe that's how old we'll be in heaven. We simply don't know, but we know it will be perfect.
It will be wonderful. Well someone asked the question, is hell forever? Will the souls that go to hell get annihilated or someday cease to exist?
No. We don't get that in the Bible at all. When God gave Daniel visions about the end times, Daniel said the dead would awake to either everlasting life or everlasting shame and contempt. That's Daniel 12.2. You read Revelation 20.11-15.
The dead are judged. All the names not written in the Lamb's Book of Life are placed in the lake of fire. And it says there is, quote, everlasting torment for them and for the devil and his rebellious angels. Matthew 25.41. This is made clearer, Revelation 14.11. It shares how worshippers of the beast in the tribulation will later suffer forever without rest. So eternity is forever. And yes, that includes hell. Now stay tuned. We're going to come back after a brief break and continue talking about the common questions we've gotten regarding heaven and eternity. Don't go away. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.
Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Are you tired of liberal agendas ruining our country, but you don't know what to do about it? That's why Truth and Liberty Coalition was founded. We want to equip you to take back our country and impact the world. Here's how we do it. We educate through broadcasts, conferences, and our website with resources that inform, equip, and motivate. We unify by collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance, and My Faith Votes. We mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.
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He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to the Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. Alex McFarland here. Thank you for listening.
We're talking about questions regarding heaven and eternity. I do want to remind everybody that our newly redesigned Alex McFarland website is up, and I'm so excited, folks, with school coming in a couple of months. I know it's summertime now as we record this, but a couple of things.
Go to the Alex McFarland website, alexmcfarland.com. For one thing, if you go to the tab where it says Media and Listen, you can listen to these and other radio shows, podcasts that we archive, articles that we write. Also, my speaking schedule is up there. And by the way, if you would like to host in your city a biblical worldview seminar, we'll talk about apologetics.
We'll mix a revival meeting, an awakening with biblical worldview. You can reach my assistant. We'll get the calendar out and we'll come to your city. And you can find where I am on my schedule, but just reach out to us. Alex at alexmcfarland.com.
Alex at alexmcfarland.com. Finally, and I've never been so excited about something, maybe ever, but our clubs. We're helping youth start clubs. And the clubs are called Viral Truth.
And we're chartering clubs just all the time. We give resources to help middle schoolers, high schoolers. We've even got some college chapters of the Viral Truth clubs where kids, they have an activity, they meet for about 45 minutes to an hour, and they talk. They talk about issues. And oh my goodness, we all know there are so many issues floating around today.
Transgenderism, patriotism, God, salvation, homosexuality. Let us come alongside. Reach out to us. We want to help you charter a club led by students. And yes, they meet at public schools.
And if a school has any clubs, they can't deny the starting of a Christian club. And then we coach these young people to have what I call the biblical bottom line, and tell their friends about Jesus. So go to the Alex McFarland website. Reach out to us.
Alex at alexmcfarland.com. And let's continue to link arms to win the lost, equip people of all ages, and see Christ move in our country. We need it so desperately, don't we? Well, we're honored to walk alongside and do what we can do to shine the light of the gospel in America and beyond. So let's get to another question that people have asked.
And here's a question, very sober. Somebody asked, quote, will there be different levels in heaven, or different degrees in hell? Well, let me say this. The Word of God is clear that all people who do not put their trust completely in Jesus and His work on the cross will be condemned for not believing in Him. That's John 3.18. He that does not believe is condemned. No other specific sin earns people a place in hell. People ask, will smoking or drinking or cursing send me to hell? We are sinners separated from God. And rejecting God's offer of forgiveness in Jesus, that's what puts a person beyond the reach of salvation when they leave this world.
People ask, what if I do a bad thing? Look, we are sinners in need of a Savior. But the status of suffering, the level of suffering, appears to be in some way tied to the level of enlightenment that the person rejected. The Bible talks about some beaten with few stripes, some beaten with many stripes.
That's why I think it would be a very tragic thing to wind up in hell having been raised in America. I mean, it's one thing the person in some remote part of the world, and they've got really very little witness other than creation and conscience. That's Psalm 19. The heavens and earth declare the glory of God. There is the witness of creation that had to have a creator. The conscience we feel must have come from a moral lawgiver.
But I mean, you think about the United States of America. There's a church on every corner. You turn on the radio or the television. There's David Jeremiah, Billy Graham.
You go in a hotel. There's the Bible. The person who enters eternity in a state of unbelief from the United States of America will have a lot of accountability for which to answer. And so it is a very serious thing to ignore your conscience or to reject the enlightenment of the gospel that God has so graciously sent. Now concerning heaven, Paul repeatedly describes heaven and blessings beyond our comprehension. First Corinthians 2 9 and 10. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things God has prepared for them that love him. And so there are rewards.
Those who are faithful stewards of what they've been given. Luke 19 talks about rewards. And there are specific promises to those who endure certain things. Revelation 3 5. Revelation 12 and 21. The crown of life for those who endure suffering.
Maybe here in this life you've gone through a lot of suffering. God is going to reward you. And the tribulation martyrs will be resurrected and will rule over earth for a thousand years while other believers wait for a later resurrection. Revelation 20 1-6. So there is going to be reward in heaven.
God knows what you've done for him. And salvation is believing in Jesus. But rewards for faithful service post-salvation.
One final question perhaps we'll have time for in this session. But people ask the question, what is purgatory? Does the Bible teach about purgatory? And I want to be very clear, biblically we really don't find in the Scriptures purgatory. Now if you listen you know I'm about the most pro-Catholic Protestant you'll ever meet because I know about the history of the church and Thomas Aquinas and natural law and I applaud how the Catholic Church has been so vehemently pro-life.
So I'm not one that lauds Protestantism and bashes Catholics. But I do want to say purgatory is a place where I disagree with Catholic theology. Purgatory really has been propagated for a long time about purgation, cleansing, getting us ready for heaven. And it's simply not in the Bible. The Bible is very clear that salvation is by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
That's Ephesians 2, 8, and 9. The Bible does tell us there's a heaven and a hell where the dead go and it's appointed unto man once to die and after this. And so there is no coming back.
There is no intermediate temporary state. You leave this world. The rich man was in hell. Lazarus was in heaven. I believe instantaneously after dying. And let me say near death experiences seem to corroborate this.
People that see heaven or sadly some that have claimed to have been falling into hell. So there's no need to leave this world and then get your soul dressed up and ready because we are righteous in Christ. We're made ready, complete in Christ, says the book of Colossians.
Well, I would be remiss if I did not again say, look, do you know? Be ready. Jesus is as close by as a prayer. If you know Christ, rejoice and be grateful and help others find Him as well. But if you are not sure, then today call on the name of Jesus and He will save you.
We've got a booklet we've given to countless thousands of people. What does God say about my relationship with Him? If we can help you make sure of your salvation, help you know how to turn to Christ and you'll be ready for heaven, then reach out to us. May God bless you. Thank you for listening and I'll see you in our Father's Kingdom. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.
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