A couple of years ago I heard a sermon entitled "Heaven is no trick, Hell is no treat." This was a very catchy title to a sermon, especially at this time of year. However, it is not just catchy it has some very real truths amid the title.
Heaven is very real and attainable
Jesus often speaks of heaven and the reward that awaits the faithful. Matthew 7:21 says "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." Attained heaven is really at the end of the day not very difficult to attain. Do what God says and be faithful. Now the logistics of that and the day-to-day can be very difficult, but the concept is not. Jesus says in Matthew 18:3 "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Little children are innocent and unless we become as they are we can never enter heaven. Heaven is a very real place, not a fantasy land that does not actually exist. Do you live your life with the reality of heaven very aware? Or do you live your life not caring where you will spend eternity?
2. Hell is very real and just as bad as the Bible describes it.
Hell is described in multiple ways in scripture. Some of those ways are a lake of fire (Revelation 20:15), a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12), outer darkness (Matthew 8:12), a place separated from the presence of God (2 Thessalonians 1:9), everlasting destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9), and hell is eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). According to scripture hell is definitely a real place that is very undesirable. It's not just a facade, a way to scare us to do right, it actually exists. Does this sound like a place you want to spend eternity?
While the title of this lesson I heard was catchy and had a nice ring to it, the truth of the lesson was maybe harsh for some. Heaven is very real and attainable. But on the other end so is hell. Hell is so much worse than we can ever even imagine or put into words. It's not something that is water downed by God. The good news is we have a choice. Do we want to spend eternity in heaven with the streets that are lined with gold? Or would we rather be separated from God in eternal darkness for eternity?