The Height Of Heaven And The Hole Of Hell

The Height Of Heaven And The Hole Of Hell

Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail  

A question came up in class this past week that sparked some interesting discussion.

“There Are levels or degrees of reward in Heaven?” 

Jesus told his followers each of them would receive a reward in heaven based on what they did here on earth. Consider the words of Jesus, 

Matthew 16.27

“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.”

Let’s take a look at two key words in this verse. 

  1. The word recompense (apodidōmi) means “reward” or “to pay” and is determined by one’s 
  1. deeds (praxis), meaning “a doing, a mode of acting, a deal, a transaction.” 

While some place these levels of reward into a speculative category, there’s more clarity on the flip side of eternity. Several  passages indicate various levels of punishment. Consider the following examples. 

Romans 2:5-6

“But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds…”

Luke 12.46-48 

“The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Some have argued that degrees of mental anguish which are based on a knowledge of the Truth is what these scriptures are referring to. One would spend their infinity thinking about what they could have, should have, or would have done differently in life. Scripture leaves no doubt that this will be the case for too many which should motivate us that we have a saving message and a mission to save.  

While it may be difficult to imagine hell being any worse and heaven being any better on an individual basis, getting to heaven is the author’s main goal. 

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalm 84.10-12 

Dale Pollard

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