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Six Complicated Questions

During my years of ministry, I have been asked many questions about heaven and hell—and about who will be going to each place. Some of the questions asked most often relate to people who have died without ever hearing the gospel story about Christ. This section includes six of these questions, each of which is complicated and must be answered from a scriptural point of view.

Question 1

 "I lost a child whom I love dearly at an early age. She was like an angel to me. I am hoping that in heaven she will be the same age (age five) that she was on Earth. Is this possible, or will she be a grown woman when I see her? Will she know I was her mother? It greatly burdens me that she will not know who I am!"

Answer: First, consider that we are all a tripartite creation—a body, soul, and spirit. It is the spirit of a person that, if it stepped out of the body where you could see it, you would recognize as that person. This was the case with the rich man who recognized Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) and with Moses and Elijah, who were recognized by Christ and by Peter at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3-4). Thus, the spirit and soul have the same appearance as the physical body. This is why we will be known in heaven as we were known on Earth (1 Cor. 13:12).

Portrait of Heaven: Video

Watch Choo Thomas recall her vision of heaven and hell.

 

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To Hell and Back Again



Watch Bill Wiese expound on his trip to hell below.

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Upclose With Peter Hitchens

British journalist Peter Hitchens believes faith is reasonable, and that's no small feat. The brother of popular God Is Not Great author Christopher Hitchens embraced atheism as a teenager and burned his Bible when he was 15. But at age 30, he began to drift slowly back toward Christianity. Now part of the Church of England, Hitchens says there is "a good, firm, reasonable case for belief in God," which he explains in his newly released memoir The Rage Against God. Recently he talked with Charisma about his book, his journey to faith and the future of Christianity in Britain.


Do you see others in your generation returning to faith?
I think my generation is particularly hostile to faith in Britain. There's something about the way they were brought up, the circumstances they were brought up in. It's one of the big differences between not just Britain and the United States, but Europe and the United States. The huge damage which the early part of the 20th century did to religious faith in general, particularly the First World War, it just went very deep. And we caught a sort of rather large after shock of that, I think. When I go to church now, there are people there who are older than me and there are people there who are younger than me, but very few are the same age. Mine is just a particularly secular generation. And it's one that's been very lucky so therefore not as most generations in human existence have been compelled to confront the sort of things, which make people think about the broader, deeper subjects which lead you toward faith. We just haven't needed to. Now that we're all approaching the grave, it might become more urgent, but I think most people would say I don't practice. I don't think it will really come to it. You've got an awful lot of British people who don't know what it means declaring that they're atheist these days, of my generation. It's a matter of pride and something that distinguishes them in some way.

See Israel

Journey through Israel through the lens of a camera. Follow Charisma associate editor Valerie G. Lowe as she gives you a glimpse of the holy land.

Introduction video with Valerie G. Lowe

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Protecting Israel

Watch how humanitarian aid organizations are protecting the next generation of Jews.

Leket Israel

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David Platt is Calling All Redicals

David Platt talks with Charisma editor Marcus Yoars about how every believer can live radically abandoned for Christ.

 

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Christians’ Debt to Judaism

The Christian faith is intrinsically tied to Israel. Watch John Hagee expound on the this topic.{youtube}WgXGpZkpO7s{/youtube}

Brian Zahnd Speaks

 

Brian Zahnd is pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Mo., and author of What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life. His next book, Unconditional? (Charisma House), is scheduled to release in January.

 


Brian Zahnd

God is shifting the church from one seasonal platform to another. Are we ready? Listen to Brian Zahnd elaborate on the future of the church.

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Vision for 2020 Extended

American Church in Crisis
Rick Joyner
I've been told the same word for "crisis" in Chinese is also the same word for "opportunity." That may best describe the period we are entering-both crisis and opportunity.









One of the most remarkable verses in the Bible is Revelation 3:20, where we see the Lord standing outside the doors of His own church, knocking to see if anyone will hear Him and open to Him. During this age He won't enter where He isn't wanted, even in His own church. For the last few decades America has basically asked the Lord to leave every public place. In our public schools you can now use the f-word without impunity, but if you say the name of Christ (except as a curse), you can be expelled. The meltdown of American citizens' basic character has occurred, and studies show that in basic morality and integrity you can no longer distinguish between Christians and non-Christians. Without revival or another Great Awakening, America will not likely survive this decade as either a great nation or a free nation.

Easy Ways to Bless Mom

Moms bless us 365 days a year. Why not go out of your way to make your mom feel special this Mother’s Day. Here are some unique, inexpensive and easy ways to reflect God’s love to your mother this season.

Goody Basket
Make mom a goody basket. Fill the basket with small items you know your mother will love.

De-stress-her 
Treat mom to a massage at a classy spa or a nice relaxing night at a hotel in town.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Chapman & family

 

Glimpse into the life of Steven Curtis Chapman and his family.
Exclusive Haiti Coverage

 

See Charisma’s exclusive coverage of the devastation and relief in Haiti.
A Texas Family of 70

 

Peer into the small Texas town whose residents adopted more than 70 children.
The Chile Earthquake

 

Look at how Christians and others are faring after the earthquake rocked Chile.

Maria's Lasting Hope

Learn more about Maria's Big House of Hope.

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Seeing Digital

The church is more technologically advanced than you might think. Here are five ways believers are paving the way with their innovation. Below are video demonstrations of some of inventions by Christians.

YouVersion.com
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The Glo Bible
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Jarbyco.com
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Share: Your Turn

In the comment section below share what you wish you had known at age 21.
Nicki Pfeifer

Leaders Predict Where the Church is Going

Five Keys for 2010

There are 5 strategic keys that will help propel you into your future and the destiny God has for you this year. Ask Him for specific insight and direction for you and your life, and allow Him to manifest in these areas throughout 2010.

1. God is sounding a wake-up call.

God is sounding a wake-up call to the body of Christ! There has been a lull and a spirit of slumber that has spread over much of the body in the last couple of years. We have become satisfied with "church as usual." Unfortunately, many people have settled into a place of comfort and complacency—but God is shaking and waking this sleeping giant once again!

21 Emerging Leaders

Jaeson Ma is a church planter, filmmaker and music artist.

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Avoid the ‘Wouldas’ and ‘Couldas’

Charisma tracked down a few veterans in the faith to give young people sage advice about faithfully standing the test of time. Go to mentors.charismamag.com and get advice to avoid your own "wouldas" and "couldas."


Embrace Change

One of the most important lessons for any leader to embrace is that change is constant, and change is our friend. God has ordained a life of change, for our entire lives. David wrote, "Because they do not change, therefore they fear not God" (Ps. 55:19). It is during times of change that we realize our need of God.

What Are You Chasing?

This month we’re highlighting young ministers  who are sharing their passions for the next  generation. What are you passionate about?  In the comment section below, tell us what you’re pursuing. We may feature your answers in an upcoming issue of the magazine.




A Cry for Intimacy With God

I'm part of a generation that hungers to know God. We want a real relationship with Him—the kind that's filled with the laughter, tears and honesty even when it hurts. We want a relationship with God that isn't tampered with by artificial additives that promise to make it sweeter, sourer or tastier than it really is. We want an organic relationship with God.Why organic?

Charisma — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit