Summary: Looks at what the Bible has to say about death and what comes after death
Life, Death and then…?
I am taking a week off of our Series “From Ordinary to Extraordinary.”
We will get back to that next week,
but after Simon preached about the essential nature of Christ’s resurrection and the power it offers for life now and eternal life,
and with the death this week of our dear sister in the Lord, Pat Wells,
I thought it a good to talk about
what Scripture has to say about death and about what comes after death.
What happens after you die?
There are many views out there about what happens when you die.
Some believe in annihilation, that you just cease to exist.
Some believe in reincarnation, that you come back in another form or as another person until you get it right.
There are some who believe in only a heaven, that everyone who dies goes there.
Christians believe that there is a heaven and a hell and that the only way to heaven is for a person to receive Jesus as Savior. Everyone else is separated from God eternally in hell.
Now with all of these different views, who is to say which one is right?
Why do I believe the Christian view of things versus any one of these other options?
A Risen Savior
It is because Christianity has something that no other religion has and that is a Savior who died and was resurrected to new and eternal life.
It is because nobody but Jesus Christ has ever actually defeated death.
Not Joseph Smith
There is no person that ever defeated death and came back in their same body to never die again, except Jesus Christ.
We believe His teachings of heaven and hell through the Bible because He is supremely qualified, having defeated death, to tell us what comes after and how we can overcome this world and inherit eternal life.
It is by the fact of His resurrection that showed He is the True God and that He has the power to overcome death and keep His promises to us.
This is why the verses in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, that Simon preached from last week, are so essential and why Paul spends so much time offering proof of the resurrection of Jesus in the eyewitness testimony of more than 500 people.
Because as Paul goes on in the following verses we see that without Jesus’ resurrection, there is no hope.
Look with me at
1 Corinthians 15:17-20 (up on screen)
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Without the hope of resurrection, we have no hope of eternal life.
Without Jesus’ resurrection, we would live and we would die and then we would have no hope for anything else.
Listen to what Paul says if there is no resurrection.
“If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’"
I think it is important for us to understand death and what the Bible says about death, if we are going to truly understand our hope of resurrection and eternal life.
Death in the Bible always speaks of separation.
There are 2 different types of separation with the second type having different parameters.
For instance, we see that sometimes the Bible speaks of
Job 14:10 - 10 But man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more.
This is talking about physical death and when a person dies physically, they are separated physically from others.
This physical separation is what we mourn as Christians.
Our sister Pat has died physically and we mourn her physical absence.
For a Christian this is like leaving those you love for extended periods.
Laura is out in AZ this week.
When she leaves, my mother in law is probably going to cry because they are going to be separated physically for most likely the next year.
So this is one of the ways that the Bible speaks of death, in terms of our physical death.
Sometimes when death is used, it refers to
Spiritual death brings spiritual separation from God.
This is the primary type of death spoken about in
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."