Death Judgement Heaven and Hell - Part 2

SERMON TOPIC: Death Judgement Heaven and Hell - Part 2

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 30 October 2022

Topic Groups: DEATH, HEAVEN, HELL

Sermon synopsis: We cannot say that a person dies young because of sin or wickedness. There are examples of the wicked living long and the righteous dying young in Scripture, so we cannot produce formulas and try to figure God out.

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The purpose of the Church.

“The Four Last Things”.

In Christian eschatology, the Four Last Things or four last things of man (Latin: quattuor novissima) are Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell, the four last stages of the soul in life and the afterlife.

They are often commended as a collective topic for pious meditation; Saint Philip Neri wrote, “Beginners in religion ought to exercise themselves principally in meditation on the Four Last Things.”

Traditionally, the sermons preached on the four Sundays of Advent were on the Four Last Things.

Martin of Cochem explains that "there are three principal reasons why all sensible people fear death so much:

First, because the love of life, the dread of death is inherent in human nature.

Secondly, because every rational being is well aware that death is bitter, and the separation of soul and body cannot take place without inexpressible suffering.

Thirdly, because no one knows whither he will go after death, or how he will stand in the Day of Judgment."

Hebrews 4:14-15.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Philippians 1:20-26.

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.

Paul did not fear death.

Psalm 116:15.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.

Jesus spoke much about hell and Judgement.

Hebrews 9:27 states clearly

It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

Genesis 6:1-3.

Then the Lord said, My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.

Subsequent average: 70-80 years

Psalms 90:10.

Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

Romans 5:12.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all people, because all sinned.

Genesis 3:22-24.

And the Lord God said, The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. 

So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 

After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

1 Thessalonians 5:23.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.

May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are born once, you will die twice. If you are born twice, you will only die once.

But bear in mind that death speaks of separation. Physical death is separation of the spirit from the body. Spiritual death is separation from God.

Man was given life by the breath of God. Man died as a result of disobeying God (Sin).

Man was once again born again by the breath of God.

  1 John 3:14. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 

1 Corinthians 11:30-32.

That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.

Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

2 Chronicles 33:21-25. Amon the son of Manasseh.

Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. Amon worshiped and offered sacrifices to all the idols Manasseh had made. 

But unlike his father Manasseh, he did not humble himself before the Lord; Amon increased his guilt. Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place.

We cannot say that a person dies young because of sin or wickedness. There are examples of the wicked living long and the righteous dying young in Scripture, so we cannot produce formulas and try to figure God out.

Jeremiah 25:33.

Those slain by the Lord on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be lamented, gathered or buried; they will be like dung on the face of the ground.

Ezekiel 21:4.

Because I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore My sword will go forth from its sheath against all flesh from south to north.

1 Kings 14:1-4.

At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, and Jeroboam said to his wife, Go, disguise yourself, so you won’t be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there, the one who told me I would be king over this people. Take ten loaves of bread with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy. So, Jeroboam’s wife did what he said and went to Ahijah’s house in Shiloh.

1 Kings 14:4-5 & 9-13.

Now Ahijah could not see; his sight was gone because of his age. But the Lord had told Ahijah, Jeroboam’s wife is coming to ask you about her son, for he is ill, and you are to give her such and such an answer.

When she arrives, she will pretend to be someone else…. You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me. Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam.

1 Kings 14:4-5 & 9-13.

I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!

As for you, go back home. When you set foot in your city, the boy will die. All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only one belonging to Jeroboam who will be buried, because he is the only one in the house of Jeroboam in whom the Lord, the God of Israel, has found anything good.

Manasseh

2 Kings 21:1-6 & 16-18.

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 

He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. 

He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done.

2 Kings 21:1-6 & 16-18.

He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, In Jerusalem I will put my Name. In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 

He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.

The righteous Hezekiah should have died at the age of 39 but God gave him 15 extra years, yet his wicked son Manasseh ruled for 55 years.

I don’t claim to understand death and sickness, but I know both are as a result of man’s original sin.

When I worked in Telkom before I went into the ministry, my Chief Technician had never been off sick for a single day in 25 years, but his wife died of cancer.

In Acts 8 Stephen was stoned to death but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were delivered from the fiery furnace.

God protected Job’s life, but all his children died.

Incorrect teaching on sickness and death has destroyed the faith of some immature Christians and believers need to be reminded that faith does not make us immune to death and disease but enables us to cope with them and be more than conquerors

Romans 8:36-37. As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Acts 12:1-5.

King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 

When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. So Peter was kept in prison, but fervent prayer for him was persistently made to God by the church.

Acts 12:6-7.

The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.

Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. Quick, get up! he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

Although the Apostle Peter was set free from prison by an angel, this was not the case for Paul the Apostle.

Acts 20:22,23.

Prisons and hardships are facing me.

2 Corinthians 11:23.

In prisons more frequent.

Ephesians 3:1.

Paul refers to himself as a prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Imagine if Peter wrote a book on

“How to get out of prison with Angel intervention”

Those doing prison ministry would have always recommended that Paul read it.

In the case of John the Baptist, he got offended with Jesus for leaving him in prison.

Matthew 11:2-6.

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else? Jesus replied, Go back and report to John what you hear and see:

The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.

Luke 4:16-21. (Isaiah 61)

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.

He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

Luke 4:16-21. (Isaiah 61)

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

Setting the captives free from imprisonment from man was not the focus and thrust of Jesus ministry, in fact many Christians today are imprisoned because of their faith in Jesus and for sharing that faith with others.

John the Baptist was not going to be set free, in fact he would be put to death by Herod to honour the promise to his wife’s daughter who had impressed him with her dancing.

Which prisoners did Jesus come to set free?

Ephesians 4:8-10.

When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people. What does he ascended mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.

Jesus told his disciples that the gates of Hades would not prevail against His Church. Why?

Because he came to set the captives free. Before Jesus died on the cross no-one who died went to Heaven, they went to Hades where the righteous and the unrighteous were separated by a chasm that no-one could cross.

Matthew 16:18-19.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 

The original in the Greek is “the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” Hades is not a place where Satan is.

Hades is a place where the righteous dead used to go before Jesus died and where the wicked dead still go.

Abraham Lazarus

The Rich man

Paradise

Torment

Hades

Great gulf

The rich man could see Lazarus and begged Abraham to send Lazarus to dip his finger in some water and to put it on the tip of his tongue.

Both people were in Hades, but the Bible says there was a great gulf, that separated the two of them.

Abraham Lazarus

The Rich man

Paradise

Torment

Hades

Great gulf

We need to put aside accounts of life after death experiences etc. Doctrine must be built upon the Word of God.

To get an accurate understanding of the subject of Hell, one needs to look at the original Hebrew and Greek texts and not how it is rendered in the King James Version of the English Bible.

For the sake of clarity I will use the KJV for further references as well.

Luke 16:22-23.

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died and was buried; And in hell (Hades in Greek) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Matthew 23:33.

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell (Gehenna in Greek)?

2 Peter 2:4.

For if God spared not the angels that sinned but cast them down to hell (Tartarus in Greek), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.

Three different words, three different places translated Hell.

2nd Resurrection

Different places of imprisonment before the second death

Psalm 16:9-10 (KJV)

Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psalm 16:9-10 (NIV) Therefore, my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead (Hebrew-Sheol), nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

Messianic prophecy

Acts 2:24-32.

God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

For David says concerning him, I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore, my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.

For you will not abandon my soul to Hades or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.

Acts 2:24-32.

Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

Being therefore a prophet and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.

Genesis 37:35.

For I will go down into the grave (Sheol in Hebrew) unto my son mourning. Thus, his father wept for him.

Psalm 16:10.

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (Sheol in Hebrew); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Numbers 16:30.

But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit (Sheol in the Hebrew); then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord.

Three different translations for the same word.

The Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Hades describe the same place.

“Sheol” means place of the departed dead and it appears 65 times in the Old Testament and the KJV translates it as follows.

31 times it is translated “HELL”

31 times it is translated “GRAVE”

3 times it is translated “PIT”

Matthew 12:40. (KJV)

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so, shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Luke 23:42-43. (KJV)

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

So, Paradise was in the heart of the earth before Jesus died, but we can clearly see from Scripture that after He died it was in Heaven.

It is these three days in Matthew 12:40, that Jesus was in the heart of the earth, that are at the centre of theological debate and speculation.

There are three notable perspectives:

Christ spent his three days suffering the wrath of God.

Christ spent his three days proclaiming his victory over the Satanic kingdom.

Christ spent his three days preaching the Gospel to the Old Testament believers who dwelt in a separated portion of the netherworld.

Acts 7:56-59 (KJV)

And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city and stoned him:

And the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul, and they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:8.

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 12:1-4.

It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Paul was still alive, so, Paradise was in the heart of the earth, but it has been relocated since Jesus’ resurrection.

Luke 16:22-26.

The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So, he called to him, Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.

But Abraham replied, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.

And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us

In the New Testament, the most extended depiction of the afterlife is found in Luke 16:19–31. There we learn that, like the Hades of Greek mythology, the biblical Sheol has two compartments:

Hades proper (where the rich man is sent, Luke 16:23) and “Abraham’s bosom” (where the angels carry Lazarus, Luke 16:22).

Hades proper is a place of torment, where fire causes anguish to the souls imprisoned there. Abraham’s bosom, on the other hand, while within shouting distance of Hades, is separated from it by “a great chasm” (Luke 16:26) and is, like the Greek Elysium, a place of comfort and rest.

Following his death for sin, then, Jesus journeys to Hades... He liberates Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, John the Baptist, and the rest of the Old Testament faithful, ransoming them from the power of Sheol (Psalm 49:15; 86:13; 89:48).

They had waited there for so long, not having received what was promised, so that their spirits would be made perfect along with the saints of the new covenant (Hebrews 11:39–40; 12:23).

Firstfruits of 1st Resurrection

2nd Resurrection

2nd Resurrection

People talk about hell as if it’s some place where the devil is, but the devil is not in hell. People have this idea of the devil poking people with a fork in hell. You get that out of the comics; you won’t find one scripture to support this notion.

And yes, I know that people have come back from the dead supposedly and they’ve had all these wonderful revelations of what happened, but we don’t build our doctrine on anyone’s experience or visions which are not supported by the Word of God.

John 12:31.

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

Ephesians 2:2.

In which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Revelation 12 states that in the time of the tribulation he’s going to be cast out of heaven down to the earth.

Now, however; he is allowed access in heaven, where he accuses the brethren before the throne of God day and night.

Revelation 12:7-10.

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.

The great dragon was hurled down, that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

If Satan has got access in heaven to God’s ear now, he has got better things to do than go around pricking people with a fork in hell.

Demons aren’t in Hades either, tormenting those who are there awaiting the Great White Throne Judgement. The demons cast out of legion, begged Jesus not to cast them into the Abyss.

Luke 8:29-31.

For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times, it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, What is your name? Legion, he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

When Jesus died, he descended to the lower regions. Jesus went to Hades (Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise) and not to the place of torment where the rich man went to in Luke 16..

Jesus was not beaten up and tortured by demons and spat upon and all the rest. That is another unbiblical, doctrine that went around several years ago, initiated by EW Kenyon and made popular by Kenneth Hagin.

The people of the Old Covenant had to go to Hades because Jesus had not yet died for their sins. Before Jesus died on the cross and paid the penalty for sin, when the righteous died they also went down to Hades.

Matt 16 v 18

On this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

The above statement made by Jesus was a promise of the resurrection.

Ephesians 4 v 8 & 9 Paradise once separated from the presence of God and part of Hades was now relocated as sin was “Judged” at Calvary.

When Jesus said that the gates of Hades would not prevail against his Church, he was speaking about the “New Covenant church” that he was going to build, who would not pass through the gates of Hades.

Revelation 1:18.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.



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