C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

Comment Policy: No profanity or blasphemy will be posted. You do not have to agree, but if you would like your comment posted, you will have to adhere to the policy.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Location of Hell Examined (Pt. 5)

Point 5: “The heart of the earth”, not just the grave.

There are 3 recordings of the word “paradise” in scripture.

Christ told one of the others crucified with Him that they would be together that very day in paradise.

Luke 23:43,
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Yet Christ also told the people that He would not rise for three days.
Matthew 27:63; Mark 8:31

Paul said that paradise was in the third heaven [2 Corinthians 12:4], and the apostle John says it has the tree of life and those that overcome will be able eat of it [Revelation 2:7] in the city [Revelation 22:14]. Interestingly the tree of life was in the mist of Eden [Genesis 2:9].

We know that Christ did not ascend into heaven within the three days following the crucifixion, for He told Mary that He had not as of yet on the day of His resurrection [John 20:17].

If paradise was in the third heaven (1 – where birds fly, 2 – moon and stars, 3 – God), then did Christ lie to the man on the cross with Him? No.

Remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus? (I am aware than some consider this to be only a parable, which I disagree)

The rich man and Lazarus were in the same corporate location, but Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom (rest) and the rich man was in torment. They were separated by a gulf that neither could cross [Luke 16].

As Christ died, He said He would go to “the heart of the earth” [Matthew 12:40], but not be left in hell [Acts 2:31]. Yet Christ did not tell the one crucified with Him, “We will be together today in the grave”, but “We will be together today in paradise”.

During the three days between the crucifixion and the resurrection, Christ also “preached to the spirits in prison” [1 Peter 3:18-20].

Consider Ephesians 4:8-10,
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

In the above verses, we see that Christ, at His crucifixion, He “descended first into the lower parts of the earth” and then “ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men”.

Christ did not lie, but indeed met the thief in paradise (Abraham’s bosom) that day they both died, and upon the ascension He brought with Him paradise, the saints of old, to the third heaven, whereby it was seen by Paul.

No comments:

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.