I don’t know why it took me so long to write about this, but one day; shortly after becoming a brand new babe in Christ, I remember going to bed with a huge smile on my face. I was being bathed in the glory of God (in the heavenlies) and I knew it. My smile was ear to ear. I never felt so safe and warm and secure!
Then suddenly I felt myself being transported. Paul says it like this…
2 Corinthians 12:2-3 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
This had nothing to do with me and everything to do with God. He was showing me something, and I am writing this 34 1/2 years after it vividly happened. I went from from one experience of being safe and warm, to one of unbelievable shock. Paul experienced what heaven was like, while I was experiencing what I can only describe hell to be. The conclusion I came to was that you had know what being alive In Christ was like, before you can realize what death outside of Him was like, based on what happened to me personally. I cannot vouch for what happens to others, but only for myself.
Anyway – Suddenly the Holy Spirit transported me to the place of Death: where all unbelievers go at the time of their deaths, and “Removed” Himself from me, as the only way I can describe this thing. I went from the very best to the very worst of conditions, and the Holy Spirit brought me here and then removed His presence, so that I could experience the full horror of the place.
It was beyond anything I had ever experienced before. Death (outside of Christ) is and was so unbelievable, that it cannot be described… words cannot describe it, but I’ll try. Death is a place where I could not believe how awful, and terrible, and alone I could be. This place I was in was Death, and I was helpless and totally unable to move. I remember that the skin of my forehead was as if it were being ripped off of me, because of the unbelievability of this place. I simply didn’t believe that anything, anything could be this horrible. (1 Corinthians 2:9-11)
I was in a place where you Know you are dead, you Know you are dead forever, and you Know you are dead without any hope of being alive (resurrected from this state of being in Death) ever again. Talk about corruption! (Daniel 10:8; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55) You remain fully conscience of all of this but you are unable to move a muscle to do anything about it, because you are powerless. Think about it!!!
– Death – is what I can only call the worst condition of them all. It proves you are seperated from God! You can’t move! That’s what Death is! You’re Dead!!! Not only are you Dead, but you are fully aware of this dead condition you are in, and you are without hope of ever being raised to life again! “Death = Seperation from God, Powerlessness, and Hopelessness, and all because of sin!” The only power to move was in your body, and that died – then we have your spirit, but that is removed or returns to God when you die. The soul is who You are – it has no power – it has plenty of recognition and comprehention though, but no power to even move and/or acheive eternal life.
The scariest thing was my inability to move because every pour of my being screamed out, and I died without any Hope of ever being resurrected again because (I can only say) of what it was like to die without knowing and having the Lord Jesus Christ. All I can say is that I experienced what Life In Christ was like before I knew what Death outside of Him is really like. Again I would like to say that we have nothing to compare either eternal death or eternal life with.
*Hebrews 2:9 “He tasted Death for every man” – and – *John 8:52 “If any man keep My saying shall never taste of Death” – which leaves no doubt that He is speaking of His own sheep = those who keep and obey His words.
To the Unbeliever He says –
Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”: The Judgement of non-believers before God”!
To know that you are in this very unbelieving state or condition, forevermore, and without any hope of ever being raised to new life again, brings to full impact the implications of exactly what this all means. This was definitly and without a doubt, the greatest horror that I ever experienced – to realize the meaning of Death and what it was like. But I do know of an even worse scenario…
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Mark 9:43-44 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
In the end God will and is able to resurrect the souls and bodies of unbelievers and throw the dead into the hellfire (Rev. 20:14-15) where they will be seperated from God without any Hope, and live in torment forever. There is nothing that can compare to dying without having and knowing Jesus Christ. If I may I would like to conclude with what Jesus says concerning a man named Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31.
Knowing all about this is no less an authority than Jesus Himself who says that a man named Lazarus is in the “bosom of Abraham” (another word for paradise) while the rich man is in the clutches of hell. He cannot even wet his finger with Living Water so as to revive himself from the tormenting fire. He has learned his lesson, but too late, for he has died. There exists a great divide or chasm between himself and Lazarus, and it is impossible for one to go from one place (death) to the other place (eternal life) (and visa-versa).
This, my friends, is what Death and Hell are like!!! And the only way I know how not to arrive there permanently is to heed the word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. All that I am saying is this: In my case: Before you know what Life is, you have to know what it means to be Born-Again, you have to come before Him, have Him, know Him, and trust fully In the Lord Jesus Christ… and as Jesus told the rich man who begged Him that his relatives would not come here…
Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Over and over Jesus talks about life and death, and He says that Death is not the place where anyone should go. To hate someone, including your enemies is to wish their death upon them! This is not the right Christian attitude. Remember Stephen (Acts 7:55-60)? Remember Jesus (Luke 23:24)? Surely you can see why Jesus speaks always of love. Only a Born Again Christian can do this…
Matthew 5:44-46 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
To me Death is the final solution, as far as eternal life or death goes. James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. It is the Spirit that gives life! Once the person dies, either by obeying God thus becoming born twice: born again of the Spirit and renewed by Him — or by disobeying Him thus born (as always) born once: born of the flesh, it is final. Upon our Death it is too late to do anything about it. Death without God, or Life with God, is the end — forever.
A Christian cannot do anything if the person does not believe (obey) God or what He says (because the man opposes doing what the law and the prophets command – Luke 16:31). An active and understanding Belief in Jesus’ death on a cross, and in His resurrection from the dead, therefore obeying Him as the Lord of your life, is what keeps us all from being deceived and coming to this place (Romans 6:23)!
Death (and Hell) because of sin is the place that He saves us from (1 Corinthians 15:56), and heaven (thus God) is the place that He offers freely to anyone who believes on Him, thus coming to Him through faith in Him Personally for eternal life (Romans 10:9)! God wants none to perish but all to repent and come to Eternal Life in and through the Lord Jesus Christ! (2 Peter 3:9) God does not and can not lie.
By: Biff Clement