The theme of this year’s Answers for Women conference is Defend: Ready to Give an Answer. God calls each of His beloved children to share the hope He has given us through Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). Yet how can we share this hope when so many are questioning the very foundation of our faith and false stories abound about Christianity? How would you answer a friend asking if Jesus truly resurrected? How do you share the hope of heaven among all the stories of visits to heaven? Is the Bible even God’s true Word? Should we be involved in things like holy yoga and contemplative prayer? We want to equip you with answers.
Joining Grace Mally, Amy Spreeman, Bodie Hodge, Erin Benziger, and Marcia Montenegro at this year’s conference is Corey Abney. Corey is the lead pastor at Florence Baptist Church where this year’s conference will be held. He holds an MDiv and PhD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and was one of the favorite speakers at last year’s Discern conference. Corey is a dynamic speaker who will be presenting on the very relevant topic of heaven and hell. Here is what he had to say about his presentation for Defend.
A flurry of best-selling books about heaven has flooded the market over the past decade. Several of the heavenly depictions are based on near-death experiences, with children playing a central role, as with The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven and Heaven is for Real. The question is, To what extent should Christians accept these depictions of heaven? More significantly, do heaven and hell exist at all, and if so, what are they like and why is the conversation important for Bible-believing Christians?
These are crucial questions because many Christian leaders do not talk enough about heaven and hell. Many pastors have never preached on heaven or hell to their congregations, with some abandoning a belief in hell altogether. The result is a declining belief in the realities of the eternal state. For example, approximately 60% of Americans believe in the existence of hell, with 80% believing in heaven . . . and these numbers are moving downward. Fewer people believe in a literal heaven and hell than at any point in our nation’s history. People are less concerned about where they will spend eternity and more apt to liken heaven to a mere better version of their earthly experience. Even people who state some belief in heaven or hell often envision a reality that is vastly different from what is stated in the Bible. Without question, misunderstandings persist about whether or not heaven and hell exist, and if so, what they look like.
Christians must have a solid, biblical view of our eternal destination. Our convictions about where we will spend the future largely shapes how we live in the present. This is one of the reasons Jesus talked so much about the eternal state. Join us for Defend on April 7–8 as we discuss the realities of heaven and hell, why they matter so much to our spiritual growth, and how we can defend a biblical view of them. Knowing what awaits us at the finish line has numerous implications for how we run the race!
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For his light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)
Corey has a real passion for God’s Word, and he’s a very talented communicator that speaks the truth in love.
Register today to take advantage of the early-bird price (ends February 1). Remember the price includes lunch on Saturday, free admission to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter for the attendee, and 20% off admission for accompanying spouse and children. This year’s conference will be held at Florence Baptist Church (20 minutes from the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter) because we’ve outgrown Legacy Hall at the Creation Museum—what a wonderful problem! Be sure to download the bulletin insert on the event website to advertise the conference at your church.
Keep fighting the good fight of the faith!