Do Baha'is Believe in HEAVEN & HELL?
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Do Baha'is Believe in Heaven and Hell? (1:1)

Many people turn away from religion because of the concept of eternal burning in hell-fire. They cannot accept a God who burns His helpless creatures for ages and eons. Because so many people are affected by this concept, it is treated here in detail. (1:2)

To be true to God's Word and fair to ourselves, we should not turn away from or ignore what we don't like. What we desire will not change reality. We should, rather, face the reality with full confidence and courage and without fear. Instead of ignoring this critical word or repressing it, we should investigate and understand it. (1:3)

The Baha'i perspective of hell and heaven differs sharply from traditional beliefs. Baha'u'llah teaches that heaven is nearness to God and hell remoteness from His presence. True happiness comes from fellowship with God, and misery from separation from His glory. (1:4)

O SON OF MAN!
>Sorrow not save that thou art far from Us. Rejoice not save that thou art drawing near and returning unto Us.1 Baha'u'llah (1:5)

Blessed is he that draweth nigh unto Him, and woe betide them that are far away.2 Baha'u'llah (1:6)

A heart devoid of love is hell on earth and points to one beyond. A man told his guest, "Our town offers many advantages. The main problem we have is with the people and the water supply." The guest replied, "That reminds me of hell. The main problem in hell is lack of loving people and living waters." The road to hell is paved with apathy, impurity, and injustice and in hell with "I wish I had...Why didn't I? Why? Why? Why?" This is what the biblical metaphor of "insatiable worm" means. (1:7)

...hell...where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:44-48 (For details, see I Shall Come Again) (1:8)

People have a tendency either to dramatize the consequences of hell in fiery and fearsome terms or to take them lightly. Both extremes are inaccurate, unjustified, and unhealthy; the first leads to irrational and excessive fear, the second to apathy and a lack of concern for the consequences of one's deeds. (1:9)

God sends an invitation to all people to enter paradise. Its doors are wide open, yet some people choose actions that prevent them from entering: (1:10)

Verily, on the First Day We flung open the gates of Paradise unto all the peoples of the world, and exclaimed: "O all ye created things! Strive to gain admittance into Paradise, since ye have, during all your lives, held fast unto virtuous deeds in order to attain unto it." Surely all men yearn to enter therein, but alas, they are unable to do so by reason of that which their hands have wrought.3 The Bab (1:11)

He who is a true believer liveth both in this world and in the world to come.4 Baha'u'llah (1:12)

Our Creator assures us that the key to the Kingdom is ours if we but stretch out our hands. He tells us that heaven, with all its glory and splendor, is our home if we but seek it with our hearts and souls. (1:13)

Baha'u'llah makes this statement about the destiny of "the infidels"-- the ones who deny God's new Messengers and Redeemers: (1:14)

The souls of the infidels, however, shall-- and to this I bear witness-- when breathing their last be made aware of the good things that have escaped them, and shall bemoan their plight, and shall humble themselves before God. They shall continue doing so after the separation of their souls from their bodies.5 (1:15)

As the passage implies, at the very instant of death, even before the soul is separated from the body and before we have entered the next realm, all the veils of self-deception are removed from before our eyes. Suddenly, we recognize all the excuses we have used for denying God and His Messengers and for living a selfish life. The instant of "resurrection" arrives before we have fully released the cord of life. (1:16)

The Bab speaks of "pangs of remorse:" (1:17)

This mortal life is sure to perish; its pleasures are bound to fade away and ere long ye shall return unto God, distressed with pangs of remorse...ye shall soon find yourselves in the presence of God and will be asked of your doings.6 (1:18)

The Bab defines both paradise and hell-fire as: (1:19)

Paradise is attainment of His good pleasure and everlasting hell-fire His judgment through justice.7 (1:20)

Heaven and hell are not places but conditions that can exist in both this world and in the next. To be in hellfire is to be remote from God, the Source of all joys and perfections, and to sense a burning desire to attain His Presence. (1:21)

The suffering in hell comes not only from being far from God but also from being close to the ungodly: (1:22)

Paradise is decked with mystic roses, and hell hath been made to blaze with the fire of the impious.8 Baha'u'llah (1:23)

Obviously there is not much joy in hell. What happens when a mass of joyless people get together? What happens when the fire of remoteness spreads from person to person? What happens when instead of saying "I am glad" people keep saying, "I wish...If only...?" In heaven there is an abundance of perfume from "mystic roses," in hell an abundance of burning desire for the joy of nearness to God. What a contrast! (1:24)

Pleasing God is the master key to paradise. The following verses declare that heaven is for those who love God and please Him. How can we truly love God and please Him? By loving and obeying the One who speaks for Him. Obeying is the inevitable consequence of loving. (1:25)

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Do Baha'is Believe in HEAVEN & HELL? - G. P. Pamphlet