Where is Heaven? Where is Hell?
By Randy Kay
Is Heaven located in a different place or a different plane? What is the New Jerusalem spoken about in the Bible? Where is the location for hell? How do we know for certain where Heaven and hell are really located?
Where is Heaven?
I know from my own experience and from the testimonies of others I have interviewed that Heaven is a literal place of paradise where God lives, and hell is a place where God is absent. People loosely use the term, “this is heaven” when they experience something enjoyable, but nothing on earth truly compares to what Heaven is like. Heaven cannot be fully explained by our limited languages and experiences, for it is too wonderful for words and it appears too indescribable to relate to by word pictures. Heaven is part otherworldly and part familiar, meaning Heaven has some familiar qualities to our world and some mind-blowing differences.
“You have to be there,” as the saying goes. One misconception often conveyed by images is that being in Heaven will be like floating on a cloud and playing harps while chubby little cherub angels fly around. This is nothing like the Heaven I saw or my other friends who traveled there. There will be lots to do in Heaven, and I like to say that the activities that cause joy for us in this world will be continued and perfected in Heaven. So, if you enjoy something good in this world, you will be able to do it more joyfully and more perfectly in Heaven.
The Bible talks about three heavens, and most of us afterlife survivors experienced all three. The first heaven is the sky and galaxies. The second heaven is where demons battle angels in the netherworld. But the third heaven is where the very throne of God resides and where Jesus reigns. Heaven is more real than this world as I often like to say, and there are angels there who 24/7 declare praises to God. All of Heaven is full of God’s glory. When Isaiah got a glimpse of Heaven, he fell to the ground, and I did the same when I first met Jesus in Heaven.
I can relate to what Isaiah perceived when he said in Isaiah 6:1-5, “I saw the Lord. high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another, “holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
As Isiah noted and I concur, these majestic looking Holy Angels praise God without ceasing. The book of Revelation also speaks similarly to what I and others witnessed in Heaven. In the book of Revelation it explains that, “Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come “(Rev 4:8). Heaven is very real, and both the Bible and our afterlife testimonies confirm that fact.
The New Jerusalem
One phenomenon that the Bible talks about is when Heaven will come down to a new earth, the New Jerusalem. To understand this amazing future, one must go back to the primary definition of Heaven as God’s home. That is what makes Heaven, Heaven. And God’s presence brings Heaven wherever He resides. In Revelation 21:1-7 we read about this New Jerusalem:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”
Here we read that the New Jerusalem comes down from Heaven and this is the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven which Jesus spoke of while He walked the earth. Heaven is a paradise apart from this world as I and others witnessed. At some point, God will work a miracle to create a new Heaven and earth as it says in Revelation 21. Jesus said that “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3). This new heaven will probably be similar or the same as the one I and others experienced, but somehow or someway it may be integrated with the new earth and not separated from earth as Heaven is today.
Jesus said that Heaven is a place and that He would come back to take us with Him to be where He is. For those of us who clinically died and visited Heaven while witnessing others there who died before us, we know that Heaven is where the spirit bodies of God’s children who have died now live. We saw them in Heaven, just as I saw my deceased grandmother in Heaven – and she was young as were all the others. Heaven is a real place, and that place is where you will be and where Jesus will be with you after this life ends. That will be the case for those who have placed their trust in Him.
The uncanniness of the similarities of what I and others with whom we have interviewed describe about Heaven are confirming of their truth, and they are complemented by similar accounts in the Bible that describe many of the same attributes, and they testify of the validity of Christian afterlife accounts. There is an afterlife, and at some point in the future, that afterlife will take on another dimension. Heaven contains a majestic city and dwellings, much like John writes about from his vision. The Apostle John goes on to write about his vision by saying, “It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev 21:12-14). John is describing Heaven as the new Jerusalem.
Thus, this New Jerusalem has walls, gates, and it is called a city. This is no cloud floating, harp playing place, but an actual, literal location with real, tangible things in it just as I and others saw in Heaven. Several of our afterlife survivors have described the exact same place as John explained in Revelation. Heaven is real and it is gigantic – greater than we can imagine.
How big is the city in Heaven, the New Jerusalem? This “city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement” (Rev 21:16-17). This is an immense city that Bible scholar’s estimate will span about 1,400 miles wide, 1,400 miles long and 1,400 miles high. The square footage is in the billions! This city has foundations, walls, gates, streets, and a temple but the temple is God Himself (Rev 21:22).
The Heavenly Jerusalem is explained likewise in the Book of Ezekiel. The New Jerusalem is literally heaven on earth. It is referred to in the Bible in several places (Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 11:10; 12:22–24; and 13:14), and most fully in Revelation 21.
Revelation 21 records the end of humankind in this present world after Christ has gathered His church in the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17) and the Tribulation has passed (Revelation 6—18) as well as the battle of Armageddon that was won by our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:17–21). At this point Satan has been chained for the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth (Revelation 20:1–3). Revelation records a new, magnificent temple that has been established in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40—48) and the final rebellion against God that has been quashed, and Satan has received his just punishment, an eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7–10). The Great White Throne has taken place by this time, and humankind has been judged (Revelation 20:11–15).
In Revelation 21:1 God completely transforms a new heaven and earth (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:12–13) “where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). After the re-creation, God reveals the New Jerusalem. John sees a glimpse of it in his vision: “The Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). It is the place where God will dwell with His people forever (Revelation 21:3). Inhabitants of this celestial city will experience pure joy (Revelation 21:4).
I know this may sound confounding but take comfort in that it will all be good in the end. What exists today is the Heaven confirmed by Jesus when He told the confessing thief on the cross next to Him that the thief would be in paradise that very day. Heaven is your real home, and life on this earth is more like a workstation where we are called to carry out our God ordained purposes each moment of every day. Countless others like our program guests and I have confirmed the existence and features of Heaven – what you can expect after you die or when you are raptured to Heaven. Everything God does is perfect, and what is not perfect will be perfected in the end.
Where is Hell?
I have interviewed numerous individuals who died and experienced hell as non-believers. Their descriptions of hell are blood curdling. So where is hell? First, hell is separation from God for all time. Satan and his fellow demons and all who have rejected Jesus as their Lord and Savior reside there because only those made perfect through Jesus Christ can inhabit a perfect Heaven. Hell is separation from God, and everything apart from God is evil. Hell is a place of pure evil.
Since Jesus is light and the absence of God is darkness, then hell is a real place, and it is a place of utter darkness as Jesus said that it will be a place of “outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 8:12). I remember each of my interviews with hell survivors, and each one talked about the complete darkness in hell. The absence of God is the absence of light and the weeping will be tears of regret for eternity for not having believed in Jesus. The gnashing of teeth will be anger for being in hell as the inhabitants of hell gnash their teeth in anger over Jesus. Those we interviewed who went to hell explain this exact same description and oh my, it sounds worse than a nightmare. They explain a perpetual place of torment since only those opposed to the God of Jesus live there – and they hate each other.
To Lazarus who went to hell, heaven was very real just as the rich man knew that hell was a literal place. In the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, Jesus spoke about hell being a place from where no one could escape. The story is recorded in Luke 16:19-31:
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ “‘No, father Abraham, ’he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Those I interviewed describe it as a place of unending torment, and likewise the rich man says that he couldn’t return to warn others in his family, that “those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us”, so that the rich man could not cross over to Lazarus nor could Lazarus cross over to where the rich man was, that the rich man was thirsty; this means that he had his senses all in place, and that correlates with what our hell survivors describe as well.
The rich man knew about his unsaved family, he was in torment from flames, he could not quench his unquenchable thirst, and he knew that his lost family only had the Bible to know how to be saved (Moses and the prophets). There is no mistaking that this place was real to the rich man just as it was to the hell survivors I interviewed on our programs. The rich man did not go to hell because he was rich, but because he didn’t believe “Moses and the prophets” or the message of salvation found in the Bible.
We really don’t know exactly where hell exists, some believe it exists in the depths of earth or some other galaxy, but we do know that it is a real place and a place of unending torment – both physical and mental – consider that the rich man had all his memories still active of his family and of Lazarus. Those who will be in hell will live with eternal regret that they failed to trust in Jesus, that they ignored all of those who tried to share their faith with them, and they will be forever separated from God with no second chance. Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. What our interviewees on the Randy Kay YouTube channel say about hell is exactly corroborated by the biblical accounts of hell.
What is Your Destiny?
Now that you know that Heaven and hell are real places, where do you think you will end up? If you were to die tonight or if Christ would return today, do you know for sure where you would go? If you are not sure at this very moment, it is still not too late. God told Ezekiel to “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’ because God has said” (Ezk 33:11).
We know from Scripture and my own meeting with Jesus in Heaven and others that God “wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (I Tim 2:4). Please remember that “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Thus, my advice to you is to “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Act 3:19).
Why is this critical? God does not want anyone to go to hell. People send themselves there by their rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If someone does not have Jesus as their Savior and mediator, meaning they are not made righteous through Christ, they cannot inhabit God’s perfect Kingdom. Their sinful nature cannot inhabit a sinless place without sullying all of Heaven.
Decide now beloved of the Lord Jesus Christ, for tonight or tomorrow, if you were to die, or if Christ would return, you would be lost forever without Jesus as your Lord. No one has any guarantee that they will live beyond tonight or tomorrow. The Bible describes this life like a “mist,” it comes and disappears in an instant. Tomorrow may be too late. When you die or when Jesus returns, He will either be your Judge or your Savior (Rev 20). Decide right now because, “now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation“(2 Cor. 6:2).
I have seen Heaven. I have met Jesus. I cannot imagine a life without my Lord, and I want to make sure you are there with all of us who know Jesus as our Messiah and Lord. And if you are one of my fellow believers in Christ, please share the GREAT new of Christ’s salvation. Let us take as many with us as possible. The end is near – your end and mine. Let us make the most of it. God does not want anymore “armchair” or lukewarm Christians. It is time to get serious about our walk with Christ and to be doers of His Word, not just hearers.