Eternal Life (Series 1, Lesson 3)
What is eternal life and eternal separation? Why heaven and hell?
eternal life, heaven, hell, eternal separation
These lessons are designed to be easily used for personal Bible Study or as a guide for group Bible Studies. Each of the lessons will include a set of discussion questions at the end of the lesson, which can be used either privately for introspection or in a group setting as provocative discussion builders.
In the same way as God gave us life, gave us food to eat, and gives us the daily needs to maintain our life, he has also given us eternal life. The state of that eternal life will be a reflection of our response to His given, while we are here on earth. You see, for those of us who recognize His Creatorship, His Godship, and worship Him as such, we will spend that eternal life with Him, in His presence. O, what a beautiful time that will be! Forever, with the Creator of the Universe!
For those who reject His Creatorship and Godship, He has ordained a place for them in eternal isolation from Him. This eternal isolation is so intense that it is referred to in the Bible as a Hell, as a place of eternal torment. It will still be eternal life, but it will be eternal life in seclusion from our Lord and Maker.
Have you ever been alone? Really alone? You think no one cares? No one wants to talk? Imagine a place on this earth of isolation. Imagine the prisoner of war who is put into an earthen cell, and fed once a day. But even that prisoner, as alone as he may feel, is not truly alone. Perhaps he can see the soldiers when they come to bring his daily food. Perhaps the rats and cockroaches visit him in his cell. Perhaps he hears the tortured screams of other prisoners. Perhaps he converses with his God. He is not truly alone.
But nevertheless, he is experiencing a type of living hell. Now imagine what that same cell would be like with no food, no rats, no soldiers or fellow prisoners, and worst yet, no God. That is Hell.
You see, when God created us, He created us for Heaven, not Hell. He created us to always have communion, fellowship, and communication with Him. Starting with the first man and the first woman, Adam and Eve, man as a race has chosen to ‘eat of the forbidden fruit’, to sin, or turn away from God. Everyone who has ever lived to the age of understanding has done it, turned away from God, and failed to recognize Him as God and Provider. Not only failed, but purposely tested Him to show that they are in control of their own lives. The Book of Romans tells us: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3: 23).
Once we have sinned and rejected the promises of God, His life-giving power, once we eat of the forbidden fruit, so to speak, once we firmly establish that we own our lives and our futures, we effectively tell God that we no longer need Him, that we can do it on our own. And the natural and fair end of that decision is that God gives us exactly what we ask for and desire: eternal separation from Him. Because He is Holy, he cannot tolerate the presence of the unholy, of sin. The natural and normal result of the choice to sin, to refuse to accept His Creatorship and Lordship, is eternal separation from Him, which is effectively death (Rom 6: 23).
Fortunately, God in His infinite mercy has crafted a plan, one which He set into motion before He even created the earth, knowing what His creation would do. He ordained that His own Son would die to bridge the gap between God Himself, from whom every man chooses to separate, and man, the creation. By being God Himself and taking on the nature of man, when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was put to death, his death was able to pay the penalty, not of His own sins, because He had none, but our own sins, because He was pure in His death.
You see, the acceptance of His death for our sins is the same difference as not eating of the forbidden fruit (which we have all done, in one form or another). It is the same difference as paying a tithe of our property and our yearly increase. It is the ultimate form of recognizing that God created everything, including us, and that He gave us everything we have. It is simply saying that I cannot, as man, do it on my own; I need a mediator, someone to stand in the gap for my rebellion, and prevent eternal isolation from the Creator of the universe.
Questions for discussion:
Describe your view of the nature of God and His redemption plan.
Have you struggled with what you perceived as God’s wrathful and vindictive nature?
Does this lesson help you see that eternal separation is a direct result of our sin, not His vindictive nature?
Have you sinned (rebelled against the Creator of the universe)?
Can God, in His holiness, permit sin in His presence?
Have you accepted His loving plan to keep you from eternal separation?