My purpose in posting this book online is to serve those who have read Everyone Is Going to Heaven (which is a post of only about 900 words, and is – in effect – a summary of this book) and want to hear more from the Bible about this truth. Therefore, what follows is an elaboration on what ancient Israel’s prophets and apostles - and therefore, of course, the Lord Himself – have taught us about our ultimate destiny. Because it is a book, it is written in chapters and not the shorter blog posts to which you may be more accustomed.
The post, Everyone Is Going to Heaven, is from the blog I write: A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom. If you don’t know me and want some background, see About in that blog. I also write two companion blogs: Bible Notes for “A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom” (where, as you can see, this book is actually posted), and A Bible Reader’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.
In order to achieve its purpose, this book incorporates quotations of – not merely references to - Bible verses. This is a departure from the way I normally write in my blogs, which is to simply cite chapter and verse and let the reader use his own Bible – whatever the translation. While I claim no copyright for anything I write my my blogs (and this book is no exception), 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 its: 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 subject to no error – and He did – then that’s good enough for me. If you want a brief elaboration on my rationale, see 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. I’m just passing along what I’ve 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