On January 6, 2019, we’ll be starting a new Sunday teaching series at Westminster. It’s called “Heaven & Hell – What does the Bible teach about what is true? (Instead of what we want to be true.)”[Scroll down for a short video.]
Here’s the backstory:
A 2007 Gallup poll revealed that 81% of people believe in heaven, but only 69% believe in hell. That seems strange. But it’s also very telling. We like to believe in things we like, but not in things we don’t.
We like heaven. But we don’t like hell, right? But the Bible talks about them both. They are taken seriously. They are reality.
The Scottish theologian James Denney did a survey of Jesus’ teaching and found that 13% referred to judgment or hell. Speaking about final judgment in Matthew 25:46 Jesus said that some people will “go into eternal life,” but others “will go away into eternal punishment.” And yet, we often close our eyes and ears to this reality simply because we don’t like it.
If judgment isn’t real why did Jesus talk about it? If hell isn’t real why did Jesus talk about it? Plus, what is heaven like? Is it boring like the T.V. commercials suggest? Or is it much more? If faithfulness, forgiveness, and love don’t matter, why did Jesus make them central to his teaching and work?
And, perhaps most importantly of all, what does the Bible teach about who goes where?
At the heart of this series is a pastoral and loving concern to teach what is true (and not just what we want to be true). That’s why we’ll open the Bible, and take very seriously what it says.
We are to live wisely—not based on what we want to be true, but on what actually is. Join in. This may be one of the most important topics you ever explore.