Judgment, Hell and Paradise in Christian beliefs

Judgment, Hell and Paradise in Christian beliefs

The Biblical message about Paradise and eternal life is different from the Qur’an. Jesus offers eternal life to those who love and trust Him (Matthew 19:29). This eternal life is not by way of sensual delights, but rather the joy of being in intimate relationship with the living God and his people forever (Revelation 21:3-5). Thus, the Bible depicts life after death in the language of relationship for a believer as “being forever with the Lord”, and being “with Christ” (1 Thessalonians 4:17; Philippians 1:23).

On the other hand, those who turn their backs on God and do not accept his gift of eternal life have automatically passed judgment on themselves, because Jesus has said that only through him we can enter eternity (John 14:1-6). Their position will be what the Bible calls “eternal everlasting destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Jesus warns of hell where “fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48). Elsewhere, the Scriptures speak about a lake of fire for all principles of evils to be annihilated (Revelation 19:20).

Jesus during his ministry made it very plain that we have all been given the ability to choose where to spend eternity. He made it clear through his parables and proverbial examples. In his parable of sheep separated from goats on Judgment Day (Matthew 25:32-46) we see how Jesus judges the people. It is important to note that how we treat others reflects if we truly love God, and are following Jesus. We also read of him mentioning the broad way that leads to destruction and the narrow way that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14).  He also shows that being rich on earth does not mean one will be in Heaven (Luke 16:19-21) but rather that people need to listen to God’s message transmitted to the prophets of Israel. Elsewhere, he tells of wheat that is gathered into God’s barn and weeds that are burned (Matthew 13:24-30).

In our lives, we face two paths with two different destinations. One leads to eternal life and the other to eternal destruction. The ball is in our court. The choice is ours. God, who knows everything, knows which way we will go. However, He gives us the freedom to make that choice, whether to accept His plan of salvation as well as eternal life with Him, or not.