To Die Is Gain
July 12, 2009 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: If we are Believers, there is no need to fear death.
Focus Passage: Philippians 1:21-26
Supplemental Passage: (Galatians 2:20 NASB) "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
I. Death will come to you someday.
a. There once was an undertaker who signed all his letters, “Eventually yours.” He was right; death eventually comes to all of us.
b. Why do we die? Have you ever thought about that question? The answer is found at the very beginning of the Bible. God gave the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, just one rule: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 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” (Gen. 2:16-17). You probably know that they disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit…and people have been dying ever since.
• Natasha Richardson- Head trauma
• Jett Travolta- Head trauma
• Mike Tyson’s Daughter- Asphyxiation via treadmill chord
• Dom DeLuise- Kidney failure
• David Carradine- murder or accidental death
• Ed McMahon- Bone cancer
• Farrah Fawcett- Anal Cancer
• Michael Jackson- Cardiac Arrest
• Billy Mays- Heart Failure
• Karl Malden- Natural Causes (97 years old)
• Steve McNair- Murdered (Shot in the face)
• Oscar Mayer- Natural Causes (95 years old)
II. Death may come to you sooner than you think
a. [Luke 12:16-21] The rich farmer had his future all planned out. What he didn’t know was that his future would last only a few more minutes. He had given lots of thought to farming, making money, and having a good time; but he hadn’t made any preparations for death. He wasn’t ready to die. He assumed that he had many years left to live. But he was wrong. And, like that farmer, you and I have no guarantee that we will live a certain number of years.
III. Death will take you to one of two locations—heaven or hell.
a. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
IV. Death has been defeated by Christ through His death and resurrection.
a. "Since the children have flesh and blood, [Christ] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might…free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death" (Heb. 2:14-15). Jesus Christ became a man so that He could die on the cross and rise again and deliver us from the fear of death.
b. His/her body goes to the grave.
• His/her spirit goes to heaven. "We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8).
• His/her body and spirit will be reunited on the day of Christ’s return. "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words" (1 Thess. 4:16-18). Paul wrote in verse 13 that Christians don’t need to grieve like the rest of men. There is hope beyond the grave.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies….” (John 11:25-26).
V. Death can be seen as better than life to those who put there faith in Christ.
a. The story is told of two Christians who lived very healthy lives. When they died, they went to heaven. As they walked along, marveling at the paradise around them, one of them men turned to the other and said, “Wow. I never imagine heaven would be this good!” “Yeah,” agreed the other. “And just think, if we hadn’t eaten all that oat bran we could have been here ten years sooner”
b. Revelation 21 describes the heavenly city. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Rev. 21:4). In heaven, we will say, “Goodbye sorrow. Goodbye sickness. Goodbye pain. Goodbye poverty. Goodbye hatred. Goodbye injustice. Goodbye prejudice. Hello paradise.”