If you're not born again before you die, you'll spend eternity in hell.
Who hasn't heard that "sermon" or something like it before? That one statement contains four religious lies and proves such a preacher apparently doesn't know God, Jesus Christ or the Bible well enough to know differently! Nothing wrong with that, of and by itself, except an error becomes a lie when folks persist in it after it's been exposed (John 3:19-21).
First, Yeshua said that which is born of the flesh is flesh (like we are now in this life), but that which is born of the Spirit IS SPIRIT. He also said you can't even see or enter into that Kingdom of God unless you're born again, which nobody has been but Yeshua by a resurrection from the dead and transformation from human to divine, from flesh and blood to SPIRIT. Those who are born again have SPIRIT BODIES.
Paul confirms and clarifies this awesome truth:
1 Corinthians 15:45-57
45So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being" [flesh]; the last Adam, a life-giving SPIRIT...
47The first man was of the dust of the earth [flesh], the second man from Heaven [SPIRIT].
48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth [that which is born of flesh is flesh]; and as is the man from heaven[Spirit], so also are those who are of [not in] heaven [that which is born of SPIRIT IS SPIRIT].
49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man [flesh], so SHALL we bear the likeness of the man from heaven [SPIRIT].
50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God [just like Yeshua clearly stated that unless you're born again, a SPIRIT BEING, you can see or enter the Kingdom-Family of God], nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable [yet those who bleat they're already born again say they can - let God be true and every man a liar].
51Listen, I tell you a mystery [remains a mystery to most]: We will not all sleep [not go to "Heaven or Hell" at death], but we will all be changed--
52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP. (not in this life or at death) For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed [born again].
53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality [YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN].
54When the perishable has been clothed [with our heavenly bodies - not bodies in heaven] with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
55"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This clearly shows Adam was flesh and blood, mortal, corruptible and we're just like him - but the good news is we can become exactly like the Second Adam and be transformed - BORN AGAIN - at the resurrection into brilliant God-beings, composed of divine nature and holy composition: BORN AGAIN SPIRIT BEINGS!
Further proof nobody is born again is Yeshua is yet to return and establish the Kingdom of God on Earth, and the glorified saints are yet to rule with but under Him as divine Priest-Kings, SPIRIT-BEINGS (having truly been born again).
Those who understood what it means to be born again, and just what the Kingdom of God really constitutes, agree with these very clear Scriptures:
44 And in the days of these [10 kings/EU nations] kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
27 Then the kingdom and dominion,
And the greatness of the kingdoms UNDER the whole heaven [not in Heaven],
Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High [then born again].
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
The King of the Jews, the King of Israel, is yet to return and establish the Kingdom of God on Earth, smashing all opposition. The faithful still pray, "Thy Kingdom Come" and it certainly will in God's good time!
This is the Kingdom-Family of God that will administer the one world government of God that you can't even enter UNTIL you've become born again as a divine SPIRIT-BEING, just like Yeshua said and Paul taught: two witnesses to this truth.
This is the Kingdom of God (not some pretty platitude, sanctimonious feeling or spiritualized stupor or experience), the GOOD NEWS Yeshua preached and the true Church of God announces is coming soon! May all REPENT and believe the gospel, so help us God.
The Church of God is the Kingdom of God in embryo, as Herbert W. Armstrong taught. We're begotten now, are converted and being converted, but we'll be born again at the return of Christ and first resurrection. We can celebrate that the Kingdom of God is coming soon in power and great glory: the Lord Yeshua with all the glorified, transformed saints then divine SPIRIT-BEINGS.
The righteous are not in Heaven and sinners are not in "Hell."
Scriptures clearly reveal all the saints are dead and buried, asleep, awaiting their resurrection at the return and reign of Yeshua. The dead in Christ (they're dead - not alive in Heaven) haven't received their inheritance YET and won't until we all do so together:
39These [all those listed in the chapter of Faith] were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised [which was never Heaven anyway]. 40God had planned something better for us so that only TOGETHER WITH US would they be made perfect [at the seventh trumpet, at the return of Christ, at our resurrection and transformation].
The Scriptures cannot be broken and are consistent - something idolatrous traditions clearly aren't. Remember, immortality, eternal life is a GIFT from God, but the wages of sin is death. Eternal life or eternal death, plain and simple, thus said the Lord (yet some insist on twisting parables out of context, rejecting the clear black and white Scriptures).
God is not the sadist that traditional Christianity misrepresents Him to be. Those who submit to the Word of God rather than fall for Roman wolves in sheep's clothing (with their Babylonish beliefs and pagan myths), know the unrepentant will be put out of their misery, destroyed in the Lake of Fire, having suffered the second death.
The meek shall inherit the Earth and the wicked will be history! So says YOUR Bible. Why not believe it over idolatrous traditions of men?
"For evildoers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. But the wicked shall perish [John 3:16], and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off! The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever" (Ps. 37:9-12,20,22,29).
And notice Psalm 104:35: "Let the sinners he consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more.
Notice the great contrast: eternal life or eternal death; inherit the Earth or be destroyed from off the face of the Earth.
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. [But the wicked will be history, although during the Millennium...] 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath [the Sabbath wasn't done away with!] to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
Do you believe in immortal worms? Realize this speaks of the far future - the new heavens and the new earth, and then goes back to the initial thousand year reign of Yeshua when just outside of Jerusalem the Valley of Hinnom will be kept burning as a warning to all of what happens to the wicked - they're burnt up, but their maggots turn into flies and continue to live. Time setting is everything as well as rightly dividing the Scriptures - not falling into the traditional ditch of darkness.
12 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me [it was reserved in Heaven, but it's not Heaven!], to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city [New Jerusalem, a building/city eternal]. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
ASHES OUTSIDE THE GATES OF JERUSALEM. Eternal life vs. eternal death.
8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second DEATH."
1 "For behold, the day is coming [yet future],
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,"
Says the LORD of hosts,
" That will leave them neither root nor branch [eternal DEATH].
2 But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings [eternal LIFE];
And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
3 You shall trample the wicked,
For they shall be ASHES under the soles of your feet [outside Jerusalem]
On the day that I do this,"
Says the LORD of hosts.
That's what happens to something that gets burnt up: nothing is left but ashes. How plain. How logical. How merciful!
5Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. [God didn't torture them].
Why do folks refuse to believe God for vain traditions? The wicked will be completely destroyed, nothing left of them, ashes, but the meek shall inherit the Earth, even as the wicked are cut off forever. Eternal life or eternal death.
The real Hell fire doesn't even exist yet!
Traditional Christianity doesn't believe Yeshua when He said God is able to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna fire; that God so loved the world that whosoever believes in Him should not PERISH but have everlasting LIFE; that immortality alone belongs to God and those whom He offers it as a GIFT; that the wicked will be utterly destroyed and become ashes under the soles of the feet of those who inherit the Earth; that we know no murderer has eternal life in him.
Regardless of traditional disbelief or religious rebellion, the Bible clearly teaches that after God has purified this Earth by fire, making it new, renewing the surface of the Earth as He once did with water, the wicked will be history and ashes under the soles of the feet of those given the gift of immortality - you're not an immortal soul - and all suffering will be a thing of the past. The new heavens and Earth will be filled with righteousness - there won't be any room for evil, no polluted part, no forbidden zone or mythological "hell" to taint the new heavens and the new Earth - if you believe the Bible over idolatrous traditions (Rev. 20:14).
The real Hell fire doesn't even exist yet! So how can anybody be in it? The Lake of Fire that will engulf the entire surface of the Earth is future. Read it for yourself and believe it over misguided men:
2 Peter 3:5-7, 10-12
5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water [Earth was purified by water]. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men [even as water once purified the Earth of wicked men, soon fire will do the same - in the future!]...
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up [this is the real "hell" fire the Bible teaches - much hotter than the pagan myths teach - and it's yet future, not "down there" or any other place in men's twisted imaginations, but the whole surface of the Earth will be consumed and purified by fire]. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea [the fire that purified the earth evaporated it]. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, COMING DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." [This alone proves the Bible teaches eternal punishment - not eternal punishing].
I encourage all to read the rest of the chapter without traditional blinders and be amazed to discover that the pearly gates and streets of gold are going to be right here ON EARTH!
Heaven isn't the Reward of the Saved!
2 Corinthians 5:1
1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Yeshua clearly said: "THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH". The Scripture above nowhere says we're to "go to Heaven" - in fact, it speaks of the heavenS, the universe (which ultimately we'll inherit but remain based on Earth with the New Jerusalem that will come down from Heaven to be established on Earth: "Heaven on Earth").
When properly understood, we know that our heavenly bodies, our new spirit-composed bodies that we'll receive (when we're born again) occurs at the return of Yeshua and our resurrection. Yeshua promises to bring our reward with Him from Heaven - He doesn't take us to receive it in Heaven! There's a big difference.
Verse 3 that clearly proves we'll be clothed with our new "house" FROM Heaven. Those born again will have SPIRIT BODIES.
2 Corinthians 5:2
2 For in this we groan [why groan if we're already born again? - if we're already delivered?], earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is FROM heaven [not in it!]
12 "And behold, I am coming quickly [the Second Coming of Christ TO EARTH], and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Remember Yeshua said in His Father's House [Temple] are many mansions/rooms/offices/positions? Those positions will be filled in His Kingdom-Family that is established when He returns! We're to help administer the government of God.
What about 2 Corinthians 5:8?
8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Nowhere does that Scripture mention Heaven. However, when Yeshua returns, bringing our reward with Him from Heaven - having been reserved in Heaven - (and later the New Jerusalem itself comes down from Heaven with the Father), we will be absent from these bodies of flesh when we're transformed, when we receive our heavenly bodies, our SPIRIT BODIES as those who are truly born again, but it all takes place right here on God's good Earth.
David Ben-Ariel is a Christian-Zionist writer and author of Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall. With a focus on the Middle East and Jerusalem, his analytical articles help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out the Beyond Babylon blog.