Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Encouragement: Heaven and Hell

"Hell" is used 13 times in the NAS, 14 times in the NIV, 32 times in the NKJV and 14 times in the ESV. "Heaven" is used 436 times in the NAS, 404 times in the NIV, 501 times in the NKJV and 460 times in the ESV. The differences arise from different translations of a couple different words and both hell and heaven have different meanings in some of these verses (ex. hell sometimes refers to the grave and heaven sometimes refers to the skies). I don't want anyone to read more into this than we should but it is interesting to note that scripture, on average, talks about heaven 25 times as often as it does about hell. I think the main idea is that God doesn't want any to perish (2 Peter 3:9) and He does want everyone to come to know Him (1 Tim.2:4) - that is the desire of His heart! He is passionate about heaven and He is passionate about saving the lost (Lk.19:10, Mt.18:12-14). I want to share His heart for the lost and I want to share His passion for seeing them saved. What we do today will make a difference for eternity! I hope you get a chance to share the Good News with your whole town this week. They didn't put my letter to the editor in the Herald today - I hope they will tomorrow. I will link it as soon as they do. Enjoy sharing your faith today!

As a side note, the NT uses the phrase eternal life 44 times and similar phrases that refer to heaven (ex. eternal salvation, eternal redemption, etc) a handful of other times. Eternal punishment is only used twice.

Check out this message for an encouragement on being 100 times more fruitful!

For a great perspective on heaven, check out Randy Alcorn's book.

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