One teen asked: How do you know for sure that Heaven and Hell exist and aren't just a 2,000 year old marketing scheme? After reminding the group that our room is safe haven from the way the outside world treats one another, I asked them to share their thoughts. Then I offered this:
How do we know for sure that Heaven and Hell actually exist and are not just a 2,000 year old marketing scheme?
This is a great question, especially in our jaded culture and age. When you think about it, what better way to get people to do what you want than to threaten that if they don’t, they will burn in hell forever?
My answer might seem simplistic, but be assured I don’t assume it’s easy.
I believe we can know Heaven and Hell are real because Jesus talked about them.
Jesus talked about a judgment that is coming.
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
He talked about a judgment that would decide where we go for eternity.
In regards to Heaven, Jesus referred to it over and over again (the kingdom of Heaven, My Father’s house, eternal life, etc.). Hell is something Jesus talked about more than any other topic. He referred to it as hell, our eternal condemnation, the fiery furnace, etc.
So my answer is simple. I believe in Heaven and Hell because Jesus talked about them.
My answer isn’t easy, because the next question becomes; do you trust Jesus? That has always been the most important question.