David Crosby, a founding member of the music groups “The Byrds” and “Crosby, Stills and Nash” (which later became “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young” died Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at the age of 81. Several news sources have reported that, just hours before his death, he went on Twitter and, speaking of heaven, said, “I heard the place is overrated……cloudy”
When I first read his statement I wasn’t sure what to think. Was it an attempt at a joke? If so, it was a very bad joke. Was he seriously expressing how he felt? If so, how sad! Was this really his idea of heaven? If so, how misinformed. My own thought centered on two ideas. One, it is impossible to overrate, or overstate, the beauty of heaven. Two, it is impossible to overstate, or exaggerate, the pain of the alternative – an eternity in hell.
First, consider the beauty of heaven. In heaven, we will be with God forever. The apostle Paul wrote, “13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4:13-17. Christians experience fellowship with God now. In heaven, we will be in the presence of God.
In heaven, there will be neither sadness or sorrow. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4. God will wipe away all tears. The burdens of this life will have all passed away.
In heaven, there will be no more sin. “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27.
In heaven, the redeemed will be able to “enter into the joy of their Lord.” Matthew 25:21
In this life, men may often say, “All good things must come to an end.” Not so in heaven for heaven is eternal! “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Matthew 25:46.
On the flip side, it’s impossible to overstate the pain of hell.
Hell is where Satan and all his angels will be. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41.
Hell is described as the second death. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelation 20:14. Just as death always involves a separation, the term “second death” implies those in hell will be forever separated from God and His people.
Those doomed to hell will spend their eternity with murderers, the sexually immoral, hypocrites, the detestable and liars. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8.
Hell is a place where their will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:51. “Weeping and gnashing of teeth” is a figurative expressing indicating the intense pain felt by hell’s inhabitants.
The pain of hell will be eternal. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Matthew 25:46. When experiencing pain in this life, we can find some degree of comfort in knowing that it will end. Not so in hell!
This list is certainly not exhaustive. But it should be enough to answer the question, “Is heaven overrated?” Is heaven overrated? Not at all!
Heaven is where I want to spend eternity. And it’s where I want everyone reading this to be! Thankfully, God has not left us in the dark as to how we can have that heavenly home. We must all believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, having willingly died on the cross as the only sacrifice that can provide forgiveness of our sin (Romans 10:9-10). We must come to a recognition of our sin and repent of our sin (Acts 17:30). We must then confess our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior (Romans 10:10) and be baptized into order to receive the forgiveness of our sin (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:1-4; Galatians 3:27; I Peter 3:21). We must then live a life of faithfulness of God. What a tragedy it is to see those who were once faithful decide to forfeit their salvation (II Peter 2:10; II Peter 2:20-22)!