(Audio book only: Hello. My name is Mike Gantt and I’ll be narrating this book that I have written, which is titled The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven. If you want to know more about me, go to www.mikegantt.com and click on the About section. The print version of this book is available online without cost. If you have questions or comments about anything you hear in this audio version, you can go online and leave those questions and comments at the end of the appropriate chapter of the book. This first audio segment will consist of the preliminary material of the book: that is, the Author’s Note, Preface, and Table of Contents. From this point on, I’ll simply be reading the book as it appears online.)
My purpose in posting this book online is to further serve those who have read Everyone Is Going to Heaven, a blog post of only about 900 words. That post is, in effect, a summary of this book. Another way of saying it is that this book is the biblical case for what that blog post says. That is, this book an elaboration on what ancient Israel’s prophets and apostles – and therefore, of course, the Lord Himself – have taught us about our ultimate destiny.
In order to achieve its purpose, this book incorporates quotations of – not merely references to – Bible verses. Specifically, I am quoting from the New American Standard Bible. It is one of the more literal English Bible translations (others would include the King James Version and the English Standard Version). Less literal English translations (and there are many of them) will often paraphrase afterlife locations, not using the original terms, which make it hard to understand what the original authors were saying. Words like “Sheol” and “Hades” were as important and familiar to people in the biblical age as “heaven” and “hell” are to us. If we are to understand what the Bible is saying, we need to stick as closely as possible to the words that the Bible uses.
While I claim no copyright for anything I write in my blogs (and this book is no exception), all English Bibles are copyrighted (even the King James Version) – hence the notice I am required to give below, and the similar notations I give throughout the text whenever I have reproduced the text of this translation . Any other word-for-word English translation (such as the King James Version or the English Standard Version) will serve the purpose of this study, especially if there exists for it an exhaustive concordance (either online or in print) identifying the underlying Hebrew and Greek words.
Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)
Before you begin reading this book, allow me a confession. I make it shamelessly. Here it is: I believe the Bible.
You may wonder if I always take the Bible literally. No, but I’ve learned to always take it seriously. All human speech involves both literal and figurative elements. Television reporters often declare, “The White House said today that…” No rational adult viewer concludes that the President’s home can talk. Neither does he think that the reporter has been hallucinating. Likewise, when John the Baptist describes Jesus as “the Lamb of God” we do not think Jesus was woolly and crawling on all fours to the Jordan River. The Bible is the word of God but it comes in human speech. Since we are constantly interpreting the mixture of figurative and literal expressions that come our way in human speech by means of context and common sense, it would seem strange to do something different when we come to the Bible. And since I take seriously what television reporters say, it does not seem strange to me to take seriously what the Bible says.
The simplest reason I can give you for my believing the Bible is that Jesus believed it. If He thought it was the word of God and worthy to be trusted as such – and He did – then that’s good enough for me. If you want a brief elaboration on my rationale, see my post Why the Bible Can Be Trusted.
I have no written proof that everyone is going to heaven other than what is in the Bible. If the Bible is sufficient authority for you, then you can believe it and be happy. If you do not consider the Bible authoritative, I cannot be of much help to you because I have no other source I consider authoritative on this subject. In any case, I’m just passing along what I have read.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – The Problem of Death
Chapter 2 – A Place Called Sheol
Chapter 3 – Where Is This Place Called Sheol?
Chapter 4 – The Heavens and the Earth and the Sea
Chapter 5 – The Greeks Called It Hades
Chapter 6 – Coloring Death With Hope
Chapter 7 – The First Resurrection
Chapter 8 – The Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead
Chapter 9 – The New Heavens and the New Earth
Chapter 10 – But What About Hell?
Chapter 11 – But What About Bad People?
Chapter 12 – O Death, Where Is Your Sting?
Appendix I – Four Key Words
Appendix II – Summary of the Book
Appendix III – Individual Bible Verses