We only have one way of knowing if there really is a Heaven and Hell, and that’s by the revelation God has given us in the Bible. This IS our authority and thus we will turn to its sacred pages to answer this question.

In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to DESTRUCTION, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to LIFE, and there are few who find it” (NKJV). In these solemn verses the Lord Jesus was teaching that all men are traveling on one of TWO ROADS that lead to TWO ETERNAL DESTINIES. There is the “broad way that leads to DESTRUCTION” (Hell) and there is the “narrow…way which leads to LIFE” (Heaven). Someone may be thinking, “But the Lord never used the words HELL and HEAVEN is this passage.” True, but we shall see that Hell is the place where the unbeliever will experience DESTRUCTION and Heaven is the place where the believer will experience LIFE. In Matthew 25:46 the Lord Jesus put it this way, “And these (the unbeliever) shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous (the believer) into eternal life.”

Now let’s read some verses where the Lord Jesus used the word Hell. In Matthew 10:28 He said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Notice, men can only kill the physical body, but God can DESTROY THE SOUL AND BODY IN HELL. The word DESTROY is the same word as what we saw in Matthew 7:13 (the word DESTRUCTION). Some, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, teach that this word means “a loss of being” and thus they say the unsaved are “annihilated” in hell. But the word does NOT mean “a loss of being,” but rather “a loss of Well-being.” It means to be “ruined” and NOT annihilated. When a farmer loses his crops in a hailstorm we say they have been destroyed or ruined, but they have not been annihilated. The word destroyed or destruction in the Bible has that same meaning.

In Mark 9:43 Jesus said, “It is better to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell.” He speaks emphatically here of “entering into hell” for it is a definite PLACE. He goes on to describe hell as a place where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” (verse 44). And in Matthew 8:12 He calls it a place of “outer darkness” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” The fact is Jesus spoke more about hell than He did heaven. Why did He do this? Ah, because He loved people and wanted to warn them to “flee from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7).

The Lord Jesus also spoke of heaven. In Matthew 5:12 He encouraged believers who were willing to suffer persecution with these words, “Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN.” Again, heaven is a REAL PLACE where believers will live and where they will be rewarded. It is where our “heavenly Father” lives right now, for we read in Matthew 5:48, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN is perfect.”

We have looked at passages where Jesus spoke of heaven and hell, but His apostles were inspired to write of these two eternal destinies as well. I will close by giving you some verses to look up and study. For “heaven” see Acts 1:10-11; 2nd Corinthians 12:2; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 1:5; 1st Thessalonians 1:10; 4:16; Hebrews 9:24; 10:34; 1st Peter 1:4; Revelation 4:1-2; 19:1, 11, 14. For “hell” see Philippians 3:18-19a; Jude 7, 13; Revelation 14:10; 19:20; 20:10, 15; 21:8. (257.9) (DO)