Part 8 – The Most Encouraging Biblical Exposition You Have Ever Heard on the Doctrine of the Final Fate of Mankind
This message continued with the theme of eternal rewards and punishments that was first discussed the previous Sunday. I first clarified (as I also did in last week’s Sermon Summary) that the Bible in it’s original language is perfect in all its ways, but there have been occasions when the English translation of some Bible versions mistranslated certain words. The best example is how the King James Version mistranslated ‘Sheol’ into ‘the grave’ or ‘Hell’ instead of keeping what it really is: Sheol is Sheol – the place of the dead.
I then clarified that the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory is not the same as Sheol/Hades. Purgatory, albeit an incorrect human doctrine, says that its residents are believers who are being purged of unconfessed sins, and they will eventually be qualified for Heaven. The residents of Sheol/Hades will never be released to Heaven, but rather will be sent to Hell after their appearance before the Lord at the Great White Throne Judgment.
The message then went into glorious detail concerning the heavenly reward for those who had come to faith in Jesus Christ by the grace of God. But the question was raised, “How can Heaven be a glorious place if we know of loved ones and friends in Hell?” That is indeed a difficult question, especially when we are told in Revelation 21:4 that the Lord “will wipe every tear from their eyes”. How can He do that when the horrors of Hell for loved ones will be evident to us all? The answer is really beyond our finite and fallible comprehension, but it is found in what God’s Word tells us again and again concerning His perfect holiness, justice, and righteousness of God.
We, in our redeemed state as Christians are still finite and fallible, so it is obviously difficult for us to grasp the immensity of God’s sovereign decrees that are always righteous, holy and just. God ALWAYS does the right thing, so if He has decreed that some would be redeemed and thus inherit eternal blessing in the Lord’s presence, while others receive justice and eternal punishment, then we have to trust that our God is completely wise and righteous so He has done the right and wise thing.
When we get to Heaven, then we will no longer see through a glass darkly, but when we see the Lord face to face then we will understand….better….not perfect, but much, much better. So, that is why the Lord can completely wipe away our tears, for their will be no more mourning or crying or pain, because the Lord will make it clear to us. This is why we need to continue to hide God’s Word in our heart, worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and trust that He is completely sovereign, good and wise.