Summary: This is the first of five sermons in the series, "Life After Death" that give the Biblical teachings on the Intermediate State, Heaven, Hell, the Judgment and the Christian and Suicide. This sermon describes the Christian after death.
Bob Marcaurelle (Sermon Series- Life After Death)
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"ONE MINUTE AFTER DEATH"
(The Intermediate State)
2 Cor. 5:8
“I would prefer to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.”
“You have come to Mount Zion / To the heavenly Jerusalem, The city of the living God. / You have come to thousands upon thousands of Angels in joyful assembly; / to the church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven. / You have come to God the Judge of all men / And to the spirits of righteous men (people) made perfect, and
We will all survive death. You say you don’t like that. We don’t get a vote. You say you don’t believe that. Our belief does not alter the facts. One minute after death we will be in heaven or hell. Jesus told the thief on the cross beside Him, who believed in Him. “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk. 23:43). This is heaven because Jesus said, “I am leaving this world and going back to the Father.” (Jn. 16:28). And Paradise, a Jewish term for heaven, is beside the Tree of life (Rev. 2:7); and the tree of life is in heaven (Rev.22:1-2). Paul said of a Christian death, “Absent from the body, we are present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8).
Of the lost, Jesus spoke of a heartless rich man, who died, and in hades, the afterlife, he was “tormented in the flames” (Lk. 16). 2 Pet.2:9 says, “The Lord knows how to hold the unrighteous for the day of Judgment.”
More to Come-It is not the full and final heaven or hell for three reasons: we will receive our resurrected bodies when Jesus returns at the end of history. The full influence of our lives will follow us to the Judgment to determine our degree of rewards in heaven and punishments in hell. And for Christians, the heavenly age includes this physical universe, including our wonderful earth. 2 Pet. 3 says this earth will be destroyed by fire when the day of the Lord comes, “But according to His promise we are looking for a new heaven and new earth, where goodness lives.” (v12)
How do we know this is true? Doctors tell us a person weighs less after he dies. Could this be the soul leaving? Thousands of people, in near death experiences, have talked about seeing the other world. This is all very interesting, but the only reason we believe in life after death is that Jesus Christ, lived 33 years on this earth, was killed by the Romans, and was buried. But He rose bodily from the grave, and was seen for the next 40 days by thousands of people (Acts 1:1-2)
Because of this event, the frightened band of disciples at his death; were now ready to die for him (Acts 3-5). Also, thousands of people, most of them Jewish, were converted in the first three or four years after Jesus rose. These converts were often being beaten, robbed of their homes, and disowned by their families. But they paid the price because the resurrection of Jesus, a thing they could easily check out, to see if it really happened. Christianity has succeeded and spread because it is based on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And it is in the soul of man to believe in life after death.
Besides this, it is in the soul of man to believe in life after this life.
A man laughed at a Christians comments about life after death, and said, “The only thing we can prove about a human being is that he is made of things like sulfur; iron; magnesium and water.” The Christian ignored the man and kept on talking. The man laughed and said, “Why don’t you answer me? You don’t have any answer.” The Christian said to him, “Yes sir, I do have an answer, but I am not in the habit of talking to a pile of sulfur; iron; magnesium and water.”
Life is real, life is earnest
And the grave is not its goal
“Dust thou art and to dust returneth
Was not written of the soul.
The order of events that lead to heaven seems to be:
- At death we go to be with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8)
- When He returns to earth we will come with Him
(1 Th. 4:12)
- Our bodies will rise and clothe our spirits; and the
bodies of Christians on earth will be changed
(1 Cor. 15: 51-51 / 1 Th. 4:14-16)
- They will be caught up into the air with us