Separation from God has created a place within each of us that is void. The famous scientist and philosopher, Blaise Pascal said that there is a God-shaped vacuum inside of each of us. God created us to recognize this empty place inside so we would earnestly seek to fill it with Him. He alone can fill the void.
Instead, we try to fill this hollow place with a glut of things we think will make us feel fulfilled and happy. We intuitively know filling this void will make us more peaceful and content, and so we spend much of our time and energy struggling to fill the void.
We attempt to fill this emptiness with lots of things besides God.
We seek satisfaction and meaning with material things, success, beauty, love, sex, or food. Some of us even try to fill the void with a practice of “spirituality” or with religion. When we acquire one thing, such as money, and find this does not make us happy or fill the void, we try something else.
The problem is that you cannot fill this void. Nothing you can buy, create, earn, or do will ever make you permanently content or give life true meaning. All of the stuff you try to fill the void with may gratify temporarily, but it will never enduringly satiate the emptiness you feel. It will not eternally fill the void. It was never intended to.
Your void is God shaped, and only God can fill it!
This deep desire for something, or some One more, is the result of your separation from God. The only way to fill the void is to connect with God. The only way you will ever feel content and experience peace now and in the future is to allow God to fill the void inside you with Him.
Do you want to experience more meaning in life?
Do you want to feel more satisfied and content inside?
Do you long to experience peace, now and forever?
Only God can give you what you need. Only God can fill your void.
God is the only one who can satisfy the emptiness inside you; only He can permanently fill the inner void. God is the only one who can give you lasting peace, contentment, and joy.
The good news is that God wants to fill the void. God loves YOU! He wants to have a relationship with you and so fill the emptiness that resides within. He wants to come into your life and fill the God-shaped void.
God loves you and has a purpose and a plan for your life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
The God of the Universe wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to fill your void. The Bible tells us that God provides a way to have a relationship with Him, but it requires that you first realize and acknowledge there is a problem.
You need to admit the problem separating you from God is SIN.
Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Many people do. We often look around and compare ourselves to others and think, “I’m not as bad as he is, or she is much worse than I am!”
In comparison, you may feel rather good about yourself. You are probably not a murderer, or a thief, or a perpetual liar. You may think, what is all this talk of “sin?” I’m a good person!
The problem is that God does not grade on a curve! He does not compare you to any other person. He compares you only to Himself. And compared to God, face it, you are found wanting. You are not alone.
The Bible says that we all fall short of God’s perfection. God is Holy (set apart), perfect, and without sin. He is God. We are not. We have a sin nature and we have all sinned.
How Good is Good Enough?
The Bible says we can never be good enough to warrant God’s favor.
“There is no one righteous, not even one.”
The Bible says, we have all sinned and fall short of God’s perfection.
“There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Why is sin such a problem?
The problem is not just that we sin, and sin separates us from God, but that sin makes us “unclean.” Sin results in devastation, destruction, and death.
“What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a person ‘unclean.’”
The Bible tells us,
“The wages of sin is death.”
In other words, what we have earned in this life (our wage) by living apart from God is death. The result of our sin nature is separation from God (the source of life) and spiritual death. We were born dead in our sins.
Logically, here is the problem:
If all people sin,
and sin separates people from God,
then all people who are separated from God are spiritually dead.
If you are a person, then you sin.
If you sin, you are separated from God.
This separation makes you “spiritually dead.”
If you are person separated from God you are “spiritually dead.”
You may be thinking, I’m not sure I believe any of this. “I don’t feel dead.”
You may be asking,
What does it mean to be “spiritually dead?”
What are the consequences of being “spiritually dead?”
Why should I care?
What really happens to you when you die?
Dead or Alive
Q: Why should you care if you are spiritually dead or spiritually alive?
A: Where you spend eternity depends on whether you are spiritually dead or spiritually alive when your body dies. “Spiritually dead” souls remain separated from God forever.
God created each human with a body and a soul. Made in God’s image, humans are like Him in some ways, but to a lesser degree. Similar to God, humans have intellectual power, moral freedom, and spiritual immortality.
Although our bodies die, the human soul lives forever.
God created us. He gave us divine directives and good commands to live by (for example: don’t kill each other, don’t lie to one another). From the beginning, humans have disobeyed God and broken His laws. What is a righteous or just God to do?
Like a good judge or a loving Father, God must discipline the lawbreaker and allow consequences for human disobedience.
No one has kept all of God’s moral laws. We all have broken His divine directives and earned our due punishment. We have all sinned. The Bible tells us, the wages of sin is death. Consequently, we all deserve death.
There are two types of death: one is physical, the other is spiritual.
One day all of us will cease breathing. We will all die physically. Our bodies will decay and we will no longer exist in the physical realm. Physical death and decay is a result of original sin.
There is no remedy for physical death; it cannot be avoided. We all die.
When our bodies die physically, our souls (or spirits) will be separated from our bodies. Our souls are that part of us that God created to be immortal, or eternal, and so that part of us never ceases to exist. Our souls live forever.
Spiritual death describes the state of our being apart from God. It is the result of original sin and our inherited sin nature; all people are born spiritually dead and will remain spiritually dead unless God intervenes.
The remedy for spiritual death is to know God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
“This is the testimony: “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son his life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
(1 John 5: 11-12)
Whether you are spiritually “dead” or spiritually “alive” when your body dies (whether you know Jesus or not) determines where your soul resides for eternity.
Heaven or Hell
The Bible tells us that our souls (or spirits) are immortal. Your soul will exist forever. Some souls will reside in Heaven and some will exist in Hell.
When a person who is in a right relationship with God dies, he or she is said to be spiritually alive. The physical body will cease to exist in the present state, but this person’s spirit enters the Lord’s presence and will be with Him forever.
The Bible says this person’s soul is temporarily “away from the body, but at home (or present) with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
When Jesus comes to earth again to rule and reign, He will resurrect all physical bodies before He judges the living and the dead. The spiritually alive souls of the dead that are already with Jesus Christ will be placed in new, imperishable bodies. They will exist with God forever living in eternal bodies in the new heaven and new earth!
The Bible says,
“The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
(1 Corinthians 15: 42-44)
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
(John 17: 3)
Heaven is being in God’s presence forever. This is eternal life.
When Christ comes to earth He will resurrect all the dead. Those who know Him will be given a new body. Those who do not know Christ will be resurrected and judged according to the deeds done in the body. Then they will experience a “second death”— eternity apart from God. This is what we call Hell.
When a person who is not in a right relationship with God dies, he or she is said to be spiritually dead. The physical body will cease to exist in the present form, but this person’s spirit will live forever separated from God.
This person will be banished from Heaven.
Hell is eternal separation from God’s presence. This is eternal death.
The Bible says,
“He (Christ) will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.”
(1 Thessalonians 1:9)
Does God Send People to Hell?
On Heaven and Hell
Pope John Paul II
On July 28, 1999, in his weekly address to approximately 8,500 people, the pope described Hell as “the complete frustration and emptiness of life without God.” He also gave these statements:
“Rather than a physical place, hell is the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy.”
“Damnation consists precisely in definitive separation from God, freely chosen by the human person, and confirmed with death that seals his choice for ever.”
“The only thing I could say for sure is that hell means separation from God. We are separated from his light, from his fellowship. That is going to be hell. When it comes to a literal fire, I don’t preach it because I’m not sure about it. When the Scripture uses fire concerning hell, that is possibly an illustration of how terrible it’s going to be – not fire but something worse, a thirst for God that cannot be quenched. (p. 74, bold added)” – Time Magazine 11/15/93
“Could it be that the fire Jesus talked about is an eternal search for God that is never quenched? Is that what it means? That, indeed, would be hell. To be away from God forever, separated from His Presence. (p. 74-75, italics in original)” – The Challenge, Sermons from Madison Square Garden, 1969
You may say, “I don’t believe in heaven and hell.”
Frankly, it does not matter. You will still face God on Judgment Day whether you believe it or not.
If you step off a huge cliff expecting to bounce when you land, you can say, “I don’t believe in rocks and gravity.” But your lack of belief is not going to change reality. It will still be a hard landing!
If you do not have a relationship with God and His son, Jesus Christ, you are spiritually dead. If you are spiritually dead, you will be separated from God forever. You will be in Hell after you die.
How can you change your eternal destiny?
Where will you go after you die?
At the end of the age when God’s son, Jesus Christ, comes to earth again, He will come to judge all people. Even if you choose not to know Him, acknowledge Him, or seek to obey Him now, when Jesus comes back to earth again the Bible says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Is Lord.
The eyes of your heart will be opened, but it may be too late.
Do you believe that you have ever broken God’s laws? Have you ever told a lie? If so, you have broken God’s law. When God looks at your life and judges your obedience, will the verdict be innocent or guilty?
Remember, God does not grade on a curve. We all are guilty and fall short of His perfection. We have all sinned. The problem with sin is that it separates us from God. The results of sin are physical and spiritual death.
Does this concern you? If so, there is Good News!
Regardless of what you have or have not done in this life, God does not determine where you will reside in eternity based on how many laws you have broken or on how good a person you have been.
What will determine your eternal destiny is your relationship to Jesus Christ—whether or not you accept his “solution” to your sin problem.
God has provided a solution to your sin problem. He has provided a way for you to have a relationship with Him and so to be made spiritually alive.
You do not have to remain dead in your sins and eternally separated from God.
There is a solution to your sin problem.