In the next message of his Heaven series, Pastor Jeff Vines actually talks about Hell and helps us make sense of God in the midst of the pandemic.
Covid-19 has caused us to understand the fragility of our world and our lives, and we need to take the existence of both Heaven and Hell seriously.
Jeff believes we can only find peace by listening to Jesus. Every year will bring us new life experiences and prompt us to ask the deeper questions of life and eternity. We need to be honest about what ultimately matters to us.
Jeff starts by examining what is the goal of our lives is. “We are heavily influenced by our culture and we want to create our own reality to escape actual reality. In the post-modern world, we are very confident that we can shape our lives to suit ourselves. In fact, we are so confident in our ability to control the physical that we think that we can control the spiritual as well, which ultimately means that we think we can control God.”
So, what then does Jesus teach about Heaven and Hell? Jeff says, “Hell is quite simply eternity apart from God. It’s a wasteland where this is no meaning or purpose where we are separated and isolated from the presence of God.
In a world where God has created and sustained all things, Heaven and Hell make sense. Jesus uses the parable in Luke of two men, comparing and contrasting the life of a self-absorbed man who is blind to suffering to one who is totally dependent on something other than himself. In eternity the trajectory of our lives here on earth continues in our life that is to come.”
The story is really about dependence on God, and what the ultimate pursuit of your life is.
Jeff continues, “The soul is eternal. The way you live now continues right on into eternity. Jesus talked about Hell as a place where you are outside the presence of God. Hell is the absence of the presence and influence of God Himself. If there is no God, then there is no good thing. There is no joy, love or wisdom. All good things in life are inextricably tied to the presence of God. Make no mistake, you are going to live somewhere for eternity. The soul was meant to last. If we remove our souls from the ultimate source of life, then darkness falls and disintegration begins.”
Jeff believes we experience so much of the goodness of God right here on earth, whether we follow Him or not. “We were originally created for God’s presence; we are only whole in His presence. What is true physically is also true spiritually. If the light of God was totally withdrawn, our souls would be dark for eternity. Heaven is far greater than we can ever imagine, and hell is far worse. Hell is the trajectory of the soul living a self-absorbed life for eternity. The soul that doesn’t connect with God here on earth will be isolated for eternity in Hell.”
Jeff says, “All God does in the end with people is give them what they want, including freedom from Him. Hell is not about the bad things people have done, but the attitudes that led them to it. Poverty does not cause people to denounce God, affluence does. It causes us to become distracted and we have other things to live for besides God.”
Jeff believes there is only one thing that can fill the void in our hearts and minds, and that is God. “We would be wise to ask ourselves where the trajectory of our lives is heading. Are we moving towards God?”
Listen to more of Jeff’s message below.