Revelation 19:7 (ESV) … “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready…”
These final chapters of the Bible give us Scripture’s clearest portraits of eternity. In them we see the destiny of saved and unsaved alike.
One stereotype of Christianity that is found in literature and the media is the “hellfire evangelist.” He is usually portrayed as an Elmer Gantry: someone so twisted by his own sins that he finds release only by laying a burden of guilt on his listeners. He frightens them with visions of a God who seeks any excuse to drag people away to endless torment.
Often Christians, captivated by the vision of God’s love in Jesus, turn away from the picture of a lake of fire and the idea of eternal damnation. A few theologians have also looked for other ways to describe the destiny of those who resist God’s grace to the end. Some have suggested annihilation—the idea that for the lost, death is simply the end. The evil people of this world slip into death as into some endless and dreamless sleep; they simply cease to exist. Others have supposed a final reconciliation of all with God. Colossians 1:20 is taken to mean that the Hitlers of this world will find a place in glory with those they massacred.
But the Bible affirms the existence of a real heaven—and a real hell. And the Bible also answers the question, “How could a loving God condemn anyone to a lake of eternal fire?”
Yet we do not need to fear hell. In Jesus, our destiny is heaven.