Most of us have less than 100 years to determine whether we spend eternity in Heaven or Hell… and eternity is an incomprehensibly long time.
Just picture walking back and forth from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean carrying a teaspoon full of dirt or rock every time. By the time you had completely leveled the immense mountain range to the ground… moving one teaspoon at a time to the ocean… an eternity wouldn’t be half over. It wouldn’t be one-hundredth over or even one-millionth over. Eternity wouldn’t even have got started yet. It’s worth spending a little time investigating the evidence.
If you only believe in Heaven, and you don’t believe in Hell…
If you only believe in God’s mercy, and you don’t believe in God’s judgment…
If you only believe in God’s goodness, but not His justice…
How would these beliefs impact your life? How would they impact your choices? Would you behave differently if you knew hell was real?
Bible scholars tell us that Jesus talked about hell more often than he talked about heaven, and yet many of us ignore these passages. We can’t imagine an all-merciful God casting someone into Hell for all of eternity. God’s ways are often mysterious. Can He be 100% just and also 100% merciful? How do we know if we will which side of the line we will fall on? A loving God would surely leave some clues.
Why Would God Create Someone Knowing They Would Go To Hell? Tim Staples explores why God would call us into existence knowing that some of us would choose something other than Him. God wishes that all will be saved and come to repentance; however, He doesn’t force anyone to choose Him. God chose to create humans with the freedom of will. Sometimes that freedom allows us to choose something other than God. But there is an important distinction… God knowing what we will choose is not the same as God causing us to choose.
Biblical Texts Supporting the Existence of Hell: Scripture is clear that there is a hell and the early church fathers (the Apostles and their apostles), also firmly believed that Jesus taught hell to be a real place of eternal suffering. This video includes commentary on Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 9:43; Matthew 18:18; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:21 and more.
How Many Will be Saved? Early Church Fathers almost unanimously believed that very few would be saved and the Bible echoes this sentiment. Some people today are more optimistic. Perhaps not knowing is good. If very few are saved, we might believe salvation to be unobtainable and not try. If we knew that most people would be saved, we might not turn our focus to God.
How Many Will Be Saved? Again, many early church fathers and saints claim it will be very few people. This is coming from the Apostles and their apostles… the men who learned the faith directly from Jesus and his early disciples:
How Many People Will Be Saved? While the early church claims few will be saved, here is a more optimistic modern viewpoint:
The Remarkable Scientific Evidence of a Transcendent Soul: A review of various scientific studies that point to a transcendent soul. Included is the unique evolution of human cognition and communication explosion that occurred 70,000 years ago (minute 7-20). Also included are peer-reviewed Medical Studies on Near-death experiences (minute 21-30) plus more!
Is There Any PROOF of Heaven, Hell, and an afterlife?
Aside from scriptural passages that refer to Hell, is there any proof that hell exists? Yes, however it is anecdotal evidence and it falls into 2 categories:
Private Revelations: Below you will find the accounts of a number of saints who claim to have experienced Heaven, Hell or Purgatory. It’s worth noting that the Church does not require that the faithful believe in these accounts, however, they have deemed them worthy of belief.
Near-Death Experiences: We’ve all heard accounts of near-death experiences – but what do scientists say? Are they considered valid for scientific research? Click Here for more information on the peer-reviewed medical studies that have been conducted on near-death experiences.
What follows are testimonies of people who claim to have experienced heaven, hell or purgatory. For some this will help them on their faith path, for others, it will hold no credibility. I include them because they support the biblical accounts of Hell and for me they were helpful. At the bottom of this page are some links to the scientific studies that have been done on NDEs.
Priest has Near Death Experience and almost goes to Hell.
Bishop Louis Gaston De Sègur: There is a Hell and I’m In It.
Father Jose Maniyangat Story Hell, Heaven, and Purgatory by Father Mary Joseph in his homily. Click here for another version of this story.
Sondra Abrahama’s: Near Death Experience, Heaven, Hell & Purgatory.
Marino Restrepo: Vision of Hell and Purgatory: Marino Restrepo gives witness to seeing Heaven, Hell and Purgatory and including a detailed description of what he saw.
5 Saints Who Had Terrifying Visions of Hell: Many saints have claimed to have had supernatural visions of hell. Of course, all private revelations of the saints are non-authoritative, so you shouldn’t look to these for your theology. Rather, the saints’ visions of hell should remind us of what our faith already teaches: that hell is a real and terrible place, and people can really go there.
St. Faustina: “I, Sister Faustina Kowalska, by the order of God, have visited the Abysses of Hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence…the devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God, What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: That most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell.” (Diary 741). Click here for more from her diary.
The Pain of Hell: Many of us can’t imagine an all-merciful God casting someone into Hell for all of eternity. However just because we cannot imagine it, it does not mean that it will not happen. Fr explains that every heresy in the history of the church started because someone tried to explain God in ways of human understanding. God is both ALL merciful and ALL just. Listen to this video to learn what that means.
10 Quotes From Saints About Hell as a Real Place: Saints claim visions and experiences of Hell that would scare anyone into Heaven.
The 4 Last Things: Death, Judgement, Heaven & Hell. Two of the four cannot be avoided. The other two are our choice.
Once Saved Always Saved: Click here to explore the “once saved always saved” doctrine and how it’s giving souls a false sense of eternal assurance.
Faith Alone (Sola Fida): Even the devil believes in Jesus. Click here to explore the “faith alone” doctrine and how it’s endangering souls.
Purgatory: Click here to learn more about one of the most hotly debated Catholic theologies… that of Purgatory.
The Population of Hell: Click here for an article that discusses this theology
Books and More Resources:
Peer Reviewed Medical Studies on Near Death Experiences
- Samuel Parnia, M.D., et al — South Hampton University Study 2014
- Pim van Lommel, M.D., et al – Lancet Study 2001
- Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., et al — NDEs and the Blind 1999
- Janice Holden, Ph.D., — Combined Veridical Study 2007
- Journal of Near-Death Studies (International Association of Near-Death Studies)