“Right now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim reflection of reality but one day we shall see reality face to face!” 1 Corinthians 13:12 (Amp)
What happens after we die? At some point everyone wonders what happens after our life on Earth is finished. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10 that nothing we see will last forever. The only things that will last forever are things that are not seen. Listed below are five realities of life with related Bible verses. It is important to understand these truths to know what happens after we die. Take some time to reflect on these before continuing.
THE REALITIES OF LIFE
- God made you to love you & wants your love back. (Jeremiah 31:3)
- You were made to last forever. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
- God has prepared two eternal places. (John 14:2-3, Matthew 25:34, Matthew 25:41)
- You choose where you’ll spend eternity. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28, Deuteronomy 30:15-19)
- There is no second chance after you die. (Matthew 25:46)
One misconception is that God sends people to hell. On the contrary, people choose to go there by rejecting the free gift of salvation made available through Jesus Christ. Since it is a choice and there is no second chance, it is extremely important to determine your destiny now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, or even the next hour. It would be tragic to put off securing your future until it is too late. It is simple to decide your eternal destiny as we will see later in this study.
Open your group with a prayer. This is only a guide – select the points you want to discuss.
- WHY DOES HELL EXIST?
1. BECAUSE EVIL & SIN EXIST
According to Genesis 6:5-6, what was the primary focus of humanity?
- There is little question that evil and sin exist in our world. Name several examples of this in recent events.
- Why was God so upset and disappointed with humanity’s evil nature?
2. BECAUSE GOD IS HOLY & JUST
Psalm 15:1-2 tells us the kind of person who can dwell with God. What are some of that individual’s characteristics?
- Contrast the description of humanity in Genesis 6:5-6 with the requirements to dwell with God.
Despite our best intentions, we all fall prey to our sinful nature, putting us squarely in the position of being imperfect. Heaven is a perfect place, because God is perfect. To bridge the gap between imperfect humanity and perfect God, there is Jesus. God also promised that all people would be judged in fairness and righteousness, therefore there will be a place for the just and the unjust, which is heaven and hell. How can you show your appreciation to God for the knowledge that no matter what happens in this life, He will balance the scales in eternity?
- WHAT IS HELL LIKE? TOTAL SEPARATION FROM GOD.
In 1 Corinthians 16:22 how does this verse describe the condition of those who reject God?
- In this world believers and non-believers experience the blessings of God equally through His creation. Using the descriptions below in the left-hand column, how does every human experience each of these blessings?
GOD IS… WITHOUT GOD, HELL IS…
Love Terrifying & lonely
Light Complete darkness
Good Absolutely nothing good there
Life Eternal death & torment
Gracious A place of no grace
- Hell is described in the Bible as the only place in the universe God is not. Using the right-hand column above describe what people would feel if they were to exist without any of the benefits of God’s presence?
- People often say jokingly something to the effect, “See you in hell,” as if they expect their earthly experiences to continue in that place, just differently. If the real environment of hell is as described above to the right, would this be possible? What would be a more accurate statement?
- What parts of human fellowship such as fun, family, or work would be possible or not possible?
Fellowship – Connecting with others and with God is one of His purposes for our lives. Relationships are part of the blessings of God’s presence. While the total experience of hell may be beyond our capacity to understand, discuss in your group what an eternity with no love and only loneliness would be like. How would you describe this to a non-believer?
- WHAT’S MY RESPONSIBILITY? TELL OTHERS!
Why did God hold Ezekiel accountable for the evil man’s death according to Ezekiel 33:8?
- What is our role in the salvation of others?
- How does our responsibility change once we tell someone about their eternal options?
In Romans 10:13-15 how will others come to know the Lord?
- How does God view those who share the Good News?
- What is the sacrifice that we have to make to share God’s love? Compare that to the sacrifice God made for us.
God is clear on what He wants us to do. We’re not just taking people to heaven with us, we’re saving them from hell. Who do you know that needs to hear the Good News?