Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship church in Riverside, California, believes people will not be given a second chance to choose Heaven after they die, and insists that those that go to Hell send themselves there.
"We need to think very seriously about this, because once we die and enter the afterlife, we can't change our destination. You can decide right now where you will spend eternity. But once you die, there are no more chances," Laurie wrote in a message shared on his Facebook page on Saturday.
The pastor, who often talks about the topics of Heaven and Hell, said that he is not approaching the subject "from an ivory tower of theory," since a number of members of his family have died.
"My mother is in Heaven. My father who adopted me is in Heaven. My son is in Heaven. I have had to face death head-on," he wrote.
"I know what it is like to feel that pain. I also know what it is like to know the hope that Christ can bring, because I know death is not the end. Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live' (John 11:25 NKJV)."
Laurie said people don't talk enough about the afterlife, given its importance, but noted that people get to make the decision on where they will spend eternity right here on Earth.
"The last thing God wants is to send any person uniquely created in His image to the place called Hell. Jesus died on the cross for us so we could be forgiven and not end up there. Hell wasn't made for people. According to Jesus, Hell was created for the devil and his angels," he continued.
"But if someone is bound and determined to reject the offer of forgiveness from Jesus Christ and ends up in Hell one day, it really will be his or her own fault."
He said that the resurrection of Jesus gives people assurance that one day they will overcome death as well.
"One day we will receive new bodies. And those bodies will no longer age or get sick or break down. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we will have resurrected relationships. One day we will be reunited with our loved ones who have died in faith. We will be reunited with loved ones who have gone on before us," Laurie said.
During the 27th annual SoCal Harvest at Angel Stadium last month, Laurie again warned that those who reject Jesus are facing an eternity in Hell.
"They go to Hell. Some of you are saying, 'Man, I was digging your sermon until you said that.' Sorry, I am just the delivery boy," Laurie contended. "I don't write the script, but I have to deliver it faithfully."
"Listen, friend, if you end up in Hell one day, you will have to practically climb over Jesus to get there," he asserted.
In another Facebook post earlier in August, the Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor insisted, however, that God will not send someone to Hell if they have never heard of the Gospel.
"You're going to be held accountable for what you know, not what you don't know," Laurie said at the time.
"But to the point: the testimony of God is everywhere. It's in nature, it's all around us, the handiwork of God. Then there's the human conscience that tells us what right and wrong really are. God will judge you accordingly."