Heaven, Hell, & The Old Testament.
I find it intersting that God didn't let the Israel know about heaven and hell. In the Old Testament we see no evidence of God saying to Israel you follow me you will spend eterity with me in heaven and if you don't and are unfaithful you will spend eternity in hell. Hades and Hell aren't even mentioned in the Old Testament.
As I read the Old Testament when refering to heaven it usually is taking about the skies, space. You do see Isaiah's vision in chapter 6 but would the Isreaelites really understand that vision. You have the Jaboc's dream and other instances of visions and encounters with angels and God but do the Israelites undersand it to be a place where they would be if they were faithful to God? Maybe they knew that God was there but do they have understanding that they would be? Did they understand the consequences and concept of hell if it isn't even mentioned. Enoch walked with God and was no more and Elijah taken to heaven. Notice their response and understanding where Elijah went in 2 Kings 2: 16: "Look, they said, "We your servants have fifty able men. Let tehm go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in the valley."
Why is the concept of heaven and hell not evident in the Old Testament and made evident in the New Testament?
Can we understand their lack of knowledge and understanding about a Spiritual Kingdom and Messiah?
Will those who where faithful to God in the Old Testament be in heaven and those who weren't be in hell? Is that very fair?
Is Heaven and Hell even real?
How would you respond to someone saying, "Would a loving God send someone to hell?"
Is hell a real place of burning fire and sulfer or is it just Jesus trying to describe to us what it is going to be like? Is hell just separation fom God?
How do you picture heaven? Will we know everyone? What is it going to be like? Do you think we will be suprised on who we are going to find in heaven and hell? Why? How does the world view heaven and hell? How should we teach and preach on these two subjects? Should we use them to motivate people to becoming Christians and disciples? Has the churches preaching on hell effected how people view the church, and now teach and preach to the world?
What do you think?
Share your thoughts.