Summary: What happens when people die and when will the end of the world happen?
Last week we concluded our Message Series on the Word of God! Prior to that, we discussed, in general, the “Ages or Dispensations”. We noted that we are presently living in the “Church Age or Grace Age”. This present age, the Church Age, started when Jesus ascended back to heaven and the Holy Spirit indwelt Believers of Jesus Christ.
During this present Church Age, Believers of Christ (Christians) are filled with God the Holy Spirit and are being sanctified (changed more and more to be like Christ) and every person in the world is invited by God to believe in Jesus Christ and be saved from their sins; but as we noted in the past this Church Age will soon end!
We are living in the Church Age; is it really ending soon! Are we really living in the end times and what should it mean for living a life?
First of all, let us note that there are 2 types of endings of life: there is the end of life for an individual person and there is the end of this world as we know it for all life.
Click, click, click…. 6 people somewhere in the world just died in 3 seconds. Statistically, every second, 1.8 people die in the world! A person can physically die at any moment for various reasons; what happens when a person physically dies?
Let us note that when God created human beings, they came from physical ground then God breathed life into them! Human beings are both physical and spiritual and because of sin, disobeying God, humans die. And so, what happens when a person dies? Open your Bibles to Hebrews 9…. Read along with me Hebrews 9:27-28…..
There are actually many truths in this passage:
1. A person dies on earth (a physical death) only once!
2. There is something else beyond the physical death on earth.
3. God is waiting to judge every person who dies on earth!
4. Since every person has sinned against God, only those who believe in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can be saved from God’s judgment!
And so, what happens at that judgment time for those who die? Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 5:1-10….
We can note that human bodies are just earthly tents (earthly vessels) holding the inner self of a person. And according v7-8: When the body of a Believer of Jesus Christ dies, their inner self, their soul, goes directly to God! What happens to the body? We can note from v2: A Christian will be “clothed” again with a heavenly dwelling! We will talk more about this next week.
Now, what about those who do not believe in Jesus Christ when they die? We can learn from Luke 16:19-31….
We can note that the rich man did not end up in hell because he was rich or did not care for the sick and poor but because he did not truly believe in God; he knew Father Abraham in his head but never believed in God with his heart and life.
And so, when a person dies who does not believe in God, especially today not believing in Jesus Christ, their souls are held in a place called hell for future eternal judgment.
And so, we noted that an individual’s life can end at any moment. What about life in general as we know it; what does God say about the current world we live in? We noted that in God’s schedule, we are living in the Church Age and it will end soon. When God speaks about the End Times, they are about the end of the Church Age, and the end of Ages to follow till the Final Eternal Age! In the next few weeks, we will look into more detail the end times after the Church Age leading to that Eternal Age set by Jesus Christ!
For today, we already know that we as individuals can die at anytime; how soon is the end of this Church Age and what does it mean to us Christians? What signs does God tell us about how the end will be? Jesus was asked this question in the Gospel of Matthew 24; open your Bibles there… read along with me from v3-16…
I stopped at v16 because it tells us that Jesus is talking about many things which will happen after the church is established; but as we will see in the next few weeks, there will be many events after this Church Age we are living in.
In v15, we hear Jesus talking about an abomination in the Holy Place close to the end. Jesus cited the Prophet Daniel who spoke about the antichrist declaring himself God in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.
Now, there is no Temple rebuilt yet, but how close is the rebuilding? If we look into this subject, we can find out that Israel right now has all the resources to rebuild the Temple and restart the rituals; all is needed is the exact location! Once that location is set and cleared, the Temple rebuilding will start! And so, God gives us an idea of timing when the end of the world will happen; the end of the world will not happen till after the Temple in Jerusalem is built!