by Steven Gledhill for FREEdom from MEdom Project
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which,if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – These are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” —C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
C.S. Lewis just puts it out there that the flipside of who and what we are in Christ is a horror story; a nightmare. He writes that no matter which side of the door one is on when the time, or age, of perfection comes—the age of perfection being when Jesus enters into the physical experience of anyone and everyone who has ever lived to give an account for where he and she stands concerning Him—there is a course for immortality in Him or free from Him.
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.” — C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
What does it mean to be free from God? It means that God recognizes and acknowledges your choice. I have made choices to drive far enough above the speed limit to get pulled over by the police officer and receive a speeding ticket. I have taken that speeding ticket in front of the judge who has told me that I am guilty of a driving violation. What will happen if I tell the judge that today I choose not to exceed the limit when it comes to my actions behind the wheel of a motor vehicle? “You know what, Steven, I believe you are sincere and you can go without guilt and you don’t have to pay a fine. Just don’t do it again.” With court supervision in Illinois I comply with the traffic laws for awhile and then… that’s right… I have aligned myself with behavior that is entitled to break free from the law and do my own thing. Someone repeatedly driving under the influence of alcohol, as though they are free of those legally enforced consequences, lose their privilege to drive and eventually go to prison.
To break free from the law comes with a price. To break free from God carries with it the ultimate price.
In the case of relationship with God and the opportunity to fellowship in the presence of the king in glory forever, the consequence for sin carried a life sentence and Jesus so generously paid it for you and for me. But for so many, this merciful act of grace has led to indignation (licentious living), betrayal, and rejection of the gift of reconciliation offered by the judge. Then, when it is time to go again before the judge and give an account for such betrayal and rejection, offenders who chose to commit (connect) to the sin that was condemned for eternity, independent from the mercy shone them through the sacrifice of Christ’s blood, somehow hope to rationalize and excuse themselves from their choice.
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Hebrews 6:4-8 (NIV)
It’s all in there! We can have it all or we can give it all way. We can have it all aligned with the King of kings, or we can lose all that has been given to us aligned with the sin and the evil within it that has already been condemned to hell. There is a day of reckoning when repentance is impossible; when the coming age of perfection has come. To not experience the glory of God as “gods and goddesses” in the age of perfection, is to experience the polar opposite of that glory in a nightmare of another kind of immortality.
What that experience entails is not for me to speculate. I will just say this. To not be conflicted about lifestyle habits, routines, and rituals contrary to the will and care of God—living as though God doesn’t exist; and worse, having known and experienced the generous grace of the Savior with revelation of the age to come and then having rejected it, is to have God say to him and her, “Not mine, but your will be done.” What a horrific tragedy that will be; the most and worst of all of time.
“We are warned that it may happen to any one of us to appear at last before the face of God and hear only the appalling words: “I never knew you. Depart from Me… We can be left utterly and absolutely outside—repelled, exiled, estranged, finally and unspeakably ignored. On the other hand, we can be called in, welcomed, received, acknowledged. We walk every day on the razor edge between these two incredible possibilities.” — C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Author Note: “Walking Dead (the forever no one wants to talk about)” contains an image that is intended to be shocking in the proper context. Please be advised. While you may be in right relationship with God, there be family and friends on the outside looking in that might benefit from what is contained in this article.
“Hell” is a popular word. It’s an effective four-letter word in our society for driving home a point or adding emphasis.
“I had a hell of a day.” “I feel like hell.” “What the hell?”
To really get to someone… to provoke a reaction with a few words it’s, “Go to hell!”
Like I said… a very popular word. But a popular subject? Hardly.
Jesus said, “For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.” Matthew 12:40 (NLT)
I think it’s safe to say that hell is a place in the heart of the earth. I believe that Jesus experienced a kind of hell there between his crucifixion and his resurrection.
What else could be said of experiencing hell? What might be said of experiencing a kind of hell on earth? There are many who are imprisoned, enslaved, and tortured for their testimonies of faith in Christ. Many more are tortured in the suffering of disease, famine, and starvation, and living in various forms of societal, cultural and ethnic hell. Then there are those experiencing a kind of physiological and psychiatric hell.
Earlier in my career working with developmentally disabled adults, I supported a young woman with severe cerebral palsy. From the moment she was born she had no psycho-motor control of a single physical feature from her jaw to her toes. She lives (or lived, it was twenty years ago) in a wheel chair with twenty-four hour care. She has full use of her senses and feels everything. She also had a fairly normal IQ and was definitely intelligent enough to see and hear what she was missing as she experienced life and the world. To the extent of what she understood she was missing in this life only she would know. It was clear that she was angry and frustrated, likely resentful, even bitter, about what she was missing as she communicated through a talk box and mobile by blowing through a straw to operate her chair. Even twenty years ago the technology was amazing. It was incredible to me what she could do and accomplish.
For her though, she was in her hell. Physically, emotionally, and likely spiritually, it appeared excruciating. Her life was torture and I believe she knew it to be. For her hell was a condition; a state of existence; a time in her history. Evil did that to her. My bet is that she is bound for glory or there already.
While that might be another interpretation of experiencing hell in an earthly context, hell is an eternal reality… the forever experience… the experience no one really wants to talk about… unless, of course, it’s for entertainment purposes.
Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” John 5:14 (NLT)
The matter of spirituality and faith can be shrouded in mystery, and the matter of afterlife and heaven can appear to be everything from utopian fantasy to something hoped for as idealistic as it may seem to be. Hell, on the other hand, is becoming more and more passe trending toward fictional imagery for a niche group that wants to party there.
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no hell. —C.S. Lewis
While it is true that there will be a time of judgment, we will be judged for the choices we made and acted upon. Eternal hell is living with the decisions we acted on. To reject relationship with Jesus Christ is a selfish choice, and the afterlife outside of relationship with Jesus will reflect that choice.
Addiction and the addictive lifestyle suggests a life outside of relationship with Christ and an idolatrous worship of self. The addict that swears he does not love himself is lying to himself. If he or she didn’t love himself then he or she would be indifferent to the need for a remedy for failed expectations that emote pain and loss. Addicts come to depend on the remedy to gratify in them what feels to be missing in their lives. Even though such gratification is fleeting at best, it will do in occupying the altar unto the god of an inferior and insecure disposition. The preoccupation with dissatisfaction and acting out the obsessions through compulsive ritualistic behavior is a form self-worship; compelled to improve one’s situation, whatever it takes, no matter the risk, and no matter how and to whom it’s destructive.
I did not say that addicts are destined for hell. Jesus died to save the addict. What I said is that the addictive lifestyle reflects living contrary to the will of God. Sin is the addiction in need of a remedy; an eternal remedy. Sin is an eternal spiritual problem in need of an eternal spiritual solution. A life that reflects a relationship with Jesus is one in pursuit of holiness; separated unto right best living. The pursuit of holiness is what true repentance is all about. When you read Romans 7:14-25, you find that the pursuit of holiness is in dire conflict with a self-absorbed addictive lifestyle. That means to relapse into addictive sin is painful. Paul wrote that his fight with sin was a war for his mind and will, and that it was sickening to him when it felt like he was losing the battle.
As an addict in recovery God’s way, I will relapse from time to time since the sin nature in me is still awake and kicking, and therefore, I do what I hate and do not want to do. But like Paul and King David (the man after God’s own heart that struggled mightily with battles of addiction… read 2 Samuel), giving in to the urge to “act out” renders me miserable. If I was not in relationship with Christ, there would not be conflict about sin as an addiction to self.
So, the bottom line is that if there is not conflict in your rituals of sinning against God, the likelihood is that there is not really a relationship with God; and that, my friend, reeks of eternal consequences.
The purpose of “Walking Dead” is to create discrepancy between new life in the resurrection age as a citizen of heaven and that of eternal dying that has already begun for those hitching their wagon to selfish sin that has already been condemned at great cost in the sacrifice of the Savior. There is a profound contrast between citizenship in the kingdom of heaven as a child of God and being already condemned; dead in selfish addictive idolatrous sin.
Did you catch what he said?
“Christ promised resurrection from the dead. I just thought he had something different in mind.”
How many at the end will forever be whistling that tune?
Jesus speaks of someone whose experience is one of suffering in the afterlife. This person actually engages in conversation with someone in a far better eternal situation. The following is that conversation.
19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.
25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’
27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’
29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’
30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’
31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31 (NLT)
The man appears to have died at a younger age than his brothers and Abraham refers to him as “son”. Or he may have been older but did out live his five brothers. I thought of the man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years who, having been healed by Jesus and able to walk, still had a penchant for errant choices noticed by Jesus who said to him, “Now stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” Suppose that man continued in his sinful ways until he died outside of relationship with his healer. Could he have been the man in the Luke 16 passage?
I have at times pondered what the various realities of hell might consist of. What is hell for the guy or gal that didn’t kill anyone… you know… who wasn’t really that bad of a person… someone fairly decent… an alright kind of sinner… that rejected relationship with Jesus Christ, from whom mercy flows? What if this “good person” sinner doesn’t burn in hell, but does experience eternal dying in hell outside of fellowship with Jesus? What might that look like?
What of the person in torment begging for even a drop of water on his tongue, not wishing his experience on anyone? What if his torment isn’t necessarily burning in a lake of fire for eternity (the lake of fire is certainly the destiny of Satan, all of the demons, and false prophets and teachers that led Christ followers into rebellion against God), but is simply the matter of existing in a setting where his human body is forever deprived of a life source and drifts into decline and decay forever; what I typically refer to as eternal dying? What if eternal dying is decaying steadily throughout eternity but, even as the body withers away (starving, thirsty, suffocating), it simply will not get dead? What might that look like?
I am not presenting this image merely to scare or offend anyone. I didn’t even post the entire image. Half of her torso is already gone. She isn’t reaching out to get you. She is begging for help. Can you help her now or should you have tried to help her when she still had a chance. Come on! We need to take this hell thing seriously and recognize it for what it is. It’s far more than an idea or a concept. It is a real place… a real existence… a real experience… the very worst of the dying experience. And it is most definitely forever. If you do not believe that God exists, you best pray that he doesn’t. Say that to your atheist family members, friends and co-workers.
For those in right relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, we are called sons and daughters of God. We are family in the kingdom of God. Jesus calls us His friends (John 15:13-16). The Apostle Paul writes that we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). That is very good for those of us who believe and humbly serve God by the way we live life, made righteous by Him.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us. Romans 8:1-4 (NIV)
Like I said, very good for us who believe and choose to be aligned with the forgiver of our sin, having repented of our sin, which Jesus condemned in the flesh. This is huge! My sin has been condemned for eternity; removed from me as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:11-12). Very good news indeed.
There is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins… Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone… as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant… So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:15-21 (NLT)
What does this mean for the unbeliever who rejects relationship with Jesus Christ? The Bible makes it clear that these folks have rejected the mercy of God, having rejected the sacrifice of His son. God loved us so much that He sent His son as a sacrifice for sin that all might experience the gift of new life; the gift of resurrection from the dead (John 3:16). To reject the gift of resurrection from the dead means what? It is the consequence of sin that destroys and kills what God created never to die (Romans 6:23). To reject the gift of resurrection into new life is to remain connected to the sin that was condemned in the sacrifice of God’s son.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:17-18 (NIV)
This is horrific news for the unbelievers choosing to remain connected to their sin, having rejected the gift of resurrection; new life. Nothing is more a matter of life and death than this right here… eternal life versus eternal dying.
How do unbelievers continue to align themselves with their sin? To align oneself with sin is to pledge allegiance to one’s addiction to self; a slave to sin (John 8:34). Jesus said that to follow Him in relationship is to be set free from sin. This is the truth that sets us free (John 8:32).
1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:1-10 (NLT)
Within this passage from the Bible lies the juxtaposition between new life in relationship with Christ—joy everlasting—and the death emanating from the lust for and pursuit of selfish pleasure in obedience to the devil that results in an everlasting state of dying with him. Some party!
There are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. hey are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. Philippians 3:18-20 (NLT)
There are people all around us absolutely lost in their addictions. It isn’t necessary to label the addictive lifestyle. Addiction is addiction. The chemical properties of alcohol and drugs, though, can do so much to alter cognitive process that everything becomes skewed. As addicts grow more and more dependent in their addiction the more they move away from a relationship with God. Addicts need the attention and support of those of us in recovery to help identify their problem, which is at its core separation from God, to change their course before it is too late.
What I will now share with you is unpopular scripture that supports unpopular theology. As you read and come to comprehend this writing of the Apostle Paul, understand this: Whether or not a person chooses to believe something or not, the truth does not change. The facts are the facts and the truth is the truth. The wise adjust their lives to accommodate the truth. The foolish hope to adjust the truth to accommodate their lives.
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires…
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. Romans 1:34-32 (NLT)
1 You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
5 But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. 9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
Romans 2:1-11 (NLT)
Hell is waiting for them with open arms. All the while Jesus knocks at the door of their hearts. We in recovery, having experienced salvation in relationship with Christ, are equipped in love to help addicted people find their way to the right door.
Many reject theology about eternal judgment and hell because it seems not to make sense to them that God would be so vengeful. There is all kinds of love for a loving God but what about love for a just God? We want the God of love but we do not want the God of justice? And yet some of the vilest of sinners will be found having fellowship within the family of God throughout eternity because the God of justice will declare them innocent of their guilt through their act of contrite confession and repentance, from as I indicated, the most shameful evil behavior. We tend to accept the repentance of our icons—David and Paul (Saul)—yet struggle so to imagine that a Jeffrey Dahmer might actually be present with the Lord in glory. What is fair? It can boggle the mind.
God says, “Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones (idols, self-worship)
so my people can return from captivity.”
The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this:
“I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.”
Isaiah 57:14-15 (NLT)
Justice is compassion, love, and mercy for the truly repentant heart. Justice is also honoring the choice to reject the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, no matter who you are. Why would you reject Jesus as Savior for the sin of man? If it is unbelief, then pray for belief. Too much is at stake.
What I believe is so important about the attention to hell in this article is that it can be a motivator to reach people before they drive off the proverbial cliff into the heart of the earth where they will suffer the torment of condemnation—dying forever in permanent relationship with their sin. This wasn’t written for unbelievers per se, but to get the attention of Christ followers to motivate us to reach out to family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances, and possibly even strangers who wander through life outside of relationship with the One who has already expressed mercy and grace to them some two thousand years ago.
This image from the AMC series The Walking Dead is intended to suggest that perhaps it’s a little bit what hell might look like and identify what the experience might be like. (NOTE: I needed to persuade my wife that the image served a purpose in taking about hell. She found it to be offensive with some choice feedback about why something like that would be on this website.) The woman might resemble what the rich man might have looked like in the Luke 16 story that Jesus told.
The question for me is, “How selfish am I going to be with my life’s activities and time?” Is there a sense of urgency that we might be in the last days before the time of perfection comes? When the time of perfection indeed comes (Christ’s return) to take us home, those left playing on the tracks will be vulnerable when the time of judgment allows evil to come down those tracks like a locomotive to take them into eternal condemnation with their sin.
Shouldn’t we be doing way more to reach more folks in our sphere of influence to fill them in on the promise of new life? Shouldn’t we warn them to stop playing on the tracks since there is an evil train that can roll through at any moment?
All of the life force will be in heaven in the presence and fellowship with Jesus Christ. He paid the price of admission into heaven once for all people… ALL PEOPLE! Then He told us that if we were going to play on the railroad tracks we would be hit by the train and it is coming through. DON’T PLAY ON THE RAILROAD TRACKS! So, are they having fun playing on the railroad tracks? Sure they are… like a child is having fun playing with his ball and chasing it into a busy street.
In the article, “The Empty Cross (the three days no one talks about)”, I wrote that Jesus himself laid across those tracks and took the full blow of the train. You see, the train is sin and the evil that came from it. Jesus would suffer dying in our sin for three days, as he would say, in the heart of the earth—condemning our sin to hell. Then, like the paralytic he healed and the woman caught in adultery, and every single one of us, Jesus said stop playing on the tracks—stop sinning—or something worse will happen to you.
Then, when the train comes through and wipes everyone out that was playing on the tracks, having ignored the warning, they blame the one who originally laid across those tracks to take the full impact of their sin, screaming, “How could a loving God send us to hell?” The truth is that the loving God saved them from hell but they chose to play chicken, if you will, with a fast moving train with ferocious intentions, despite the warning.
There it is. It’s all laid out. The promise of new life in relationship with Christ; and the graphic warning of eternal dying.
What did Abraham say to the rich man?
“You have been warned.”
“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46 (NLT)
Heed the warning. Get off the tracks and come back home where it safe; where the promise and hope of the new life experience is alive and well.
Come home. When Jesus knocks at the door of your heart, let Him in. Allow Him to light up your new life. Invite Him in to live with you forever. Love your life at home with the Father and your brothers and sisters and friends. Love your new life in Jesus.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20 (NLT)
What and where is heaven? Is heaven real? Is heaven a place? Is heaven a condition? Is heaven an experience?
To dig deeper into the afterlife experience of heaven, read What is Your Ten-thousand Year Plan (when the time of perfection comes)?
Note: If you want a more scholarly look at the existence of hell and what hell may or may not be, I found an interesting blog titled, History of Hell… Hell before Augustine for another perspective. It contends that hell may not be eternal dying (punishment, torment), but sites Scripture that might refer to hell as more of a termination from existence.