“Heaven” and “Hell”

I have been revisiting that place or condition or existence called “heaven” and “hell.”  My traditional views have been reshaped with this new study.  This subject, like so much of the Bible, is inexhaustible and so what I am writing is definitely not the final word or consideration of these incomprehensible places, environments, or relevance to such an environment.  But the latest in my pensive imagination may be best described by the following charts.

Imagine an environment in which the following is a description of everyday life known as


Imagine an environment in which the following is a description of everyday life known as


There is no unselfishness in the acts of those dying there.  All things are done with complete selfishness as one looking out for his/her interests only. There is no selfishness there.  All acts are done with the complete consideration of someone else.  Even one’s act of eating, working, health are done so that they can be better at the consideration of others and honoring the One who provided all the goodness that is experienced there.
You are working on something in an effort to accomplish a goal.  Every time you are about to complete the goal, something happens to interrupt your success.  No matter how long or hard you work at it, you are never successful in accomplishing the thing you wanted to complete.  No completion to anything ever. Every moment of every day there is a sense of accomplishment.  Your existence, your ability, your gifts given and received, your life, your rest, work for work itself, all things, feelings, learning, and participation come with a sense of accomplishment.  Every moment is filled with a conscious awareness of accomplishment.  Everything – time, relationships, work, rest, our existence – is always complete.
Constantly looking for love and approval and never finding it. Never having to seek for love, approval and identity because all things, material and immaterial, envelope us with perfect love.
All relationships are based on tit for tat, an evaluation of whether what you have given has had an equal or greater reward.  And it is never an adequate trade. No record of giving or receiving other than in the constant praise of Who has been doing the giving all along.
The necessities of a physical existence is plagued with plagues – of men, pestilence, and consumers.  There is never a feeling of having enough no matter how much exists around you.  You can see all that is available but you can’t get to it.  Or if you get to it, you find it only drives you to want more.  There is a constant drive toward fulfilling the never-ending needs without ever being fulfilled or complete. There is no thought for necessities.  All needs are met when and where they are needed.  At the hands of men, all things are available with providence from the Provider being more than adequate.
You are always wondering about what is missing and can never figure it out. All things are so complete, you don’t even think about what might be missing.
Dark skies, never any natural light, constantly cold even though you are next to a fire. Sunshine when needed, rain when needed, the temperature is always just right whether for humans or animals or plants.
Always knowing that the love of God is available somewhere else that you cannot get to or experience and that all exchange between individuals, whether men or demons, is based on an agenda. Basking constantly in a complete love experienced in the reality of emotions, social justice and equality and appropriateness, acceptance without agenda, never a need to ask for it.
Unwanted animals are always vicious Interaction between all life – humans, animals, plants – is in perfect harmony and always complete in relationship
Always sick in body, mind, and spirit. Never feeling rested, never hope for wellness No diseases or sickness in body, mind, or spirit.  Always in a state of rest and wellness.
Always afraid of what someone will be thinking about you and constantly working on trying to impress them otherwise.  Everyone is always suspect of the others. Acceptance, approval, and trust is the norm and all that exists
Total chaos, always a feeling of trying to bring things into order but never accomplishing any. Total order without trying, no OCD
Always feeling alone even though there is a crowd constantly in one’s space Never feeling alone even in moments of solitude and never being overcrowded with the people you want to be with.
Worry, fret, fear, anxiousness, desperation constantly with never any relief and hopeless that anything can or will change. All things are good and without fear because everything is right.
There is so much frustration, disappointment, depression, agony to the unfulfilled needs socially, physically, mentally, and economically that you want to die but you are already dead and this death after death is never ending.  I am reminded of the movie Live Die Repeat.  In this movie there seems to be some progress or success each time Major Cage comes back from death to the same suicide mission with some memory of why he failed before.  In this “hell” we are describing, there is never any accomplishment because you are driven by the same selfishness without any memory why it went bad before. There is so much joy, peace, love in your social interaction, your physical well-being, the evidence of all needs being met for those around you that all you want to do is live.  And this is exactly what you have been given – life forever.


There are many more scenarios that could be imagined but even our imagination cannot fully describe the agony of incompleteness in one place or the exact completeness in another place.

So if I were going to try to give some metaphors to describe the indescribable environments of either place, what would they be?

“Hell” – a “fire” that is constantly purifying but never eliminating any evil, a “thirst” for even one ounce of refreshment from the “torture” that I am feeling every moment of every day, the constant “grinding of my teeth” from the worry, resentment, anger, and lack of relief from all things evil.  A constant “darkness” or absence of light from the relationship with God.  These symbols and metaphors cannot fully describe the torture.

Heaven” – “life giving water” that never runs dry, beauty beyond “jewels or precious metals”, a “light” of life always being visible and as needed giving evidence of the presence and our relationship with God, a “constant smile” of gladness and joy without fear or anguish.  “No tears” (except maybe from joy).  All things “restored” to the “perfect garden” where God lives with us and we are given the “tree of life.”.  “A city from above” where “heaven and earth merge” without interference or obstruction of evil.

As I am reading through the chart again, I am confronted with the issue that much of what I read on the “hell” side exists today on earth as does some of what I read on the “heaven” side.  It is in the reading that I have to ask the question, what kind of life do I want to be living and presenting to the world that is in desperate conflict?  How can I participate in bringing “heaven” to earth?  Do I need to wait to engage and demonstrate the availability of “heaven” for God to physically come again to earth or is He already here in Spirit joined with the spirit of men and women?  How much do I like being selfish and is “hell” just a continuation of my being selfish along with a lot of other selfish people?  Or can I promote an interest in others with a consideration of their needs above my own thereby bringing “heaven” to my environment now?  Is this attitude just a continuation in the “heavenly” environment of a lot of other people putting others before themselves?

One author presented “heaven” and “hell” as more of what we really want, what we really like or desire and are working desperately toward accomplishing now.  Get all you can and can all you get?  A little humanitarianism in an attempt to cover up the selfishness does not impress the judge.  The intent of the heart may be what we ultimately get in life after death or death after death.  “Knowing the Father is eternal life,” Jesus said.  Knowing Him helps me find my identity and purpose along with the desires of my heart.  Seeking Him, seeking His rightness first, here and now, may be the very continuance of my existence and environment in my life after death.  Or then there is that other environment.  I wonder which one I really desire.  It will be evident by my life here and now.  Are my good deeds a payment for “fire” insurance or because I really desire that life more than a life lived for myself?  The struggle will continue between my flesh and spirit but the Spirit of Jesus has given me the power to overcome if I but engage with Him in what He is doing. May “heaven” merge with earth even now.