Summary: Death is something that many people fear but as Christians we have great hope that because of Christ conquering death we too have nothing to fear. We know that death is only the door to the beginning of everything.

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Heaven Series Part 1

The End is Really the Beginning

Pastor Ryan Akers

I Corinthians 15:54-58

Me- Heaven Video- found on sermonspice- Man on street video that ask people if they believe in Heaven.

Starting a new series today on Heaven- What’s it like? What will we do there? Where does this concept of heaven come from? What is this new Jerusalem?

Heaven- end game for any religion.

Buddhism- has no personal God- Nirvana- reached through 8 fold path- Right understanding, right intentions, right speech, right conduct, right occupation, right endeavor, right contemplation, right concentration

Judaism- living a good life- being obedient to God’s teachings- Waiting for a Messiah to bring world peace.

Muslims- must perform regular duties (5 pillars of Islam)- believe in Allah and Muhammad his prophet, pray 5 times a day facing Mecca, give a tithe, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca(once in lifetime)

These religions= Heaven is earned by works

Christianity is only religion…1.not what we do but what we believe, 2. Not because of fear we obey but because of love.

Other religions- obey out of fear or personal gain (highest level of heaven)

Christianity is the only religion…prophet rose from the dead.

We have a Father who loved us enough to send his son to die for us so that we would not perish but we too could have everlasting life, not by our works but by our simple acceptance of who Christ is and yes our obedience to him out of love. God loved us so we love him like a child loves and obeys their parents we love and obey God.

We- Christians- have hope-yet fear death (unknown-like control, death=no control)

All- Death is enemy- I Corinthians 15:26- (fight sicknesses and disease to ward off death) Work hard whole life only to lose to death- “don’t store up treasures on earth, store up treasures in heaven.”

Rick Warren, “It’s not a sin to be rich, it’s a sin to die rich.”

It is our fault there is death. Romans 5:12

Pain in death- sadness and mourning. Jesus wept (John 11:35- maybe wept because he was brining him back to life)

Death-surrounded by sadness, anger, mourning. It is seen as an end to all that was good in your life. And to many death signifies the end. To them they will simply go back into earth as worm food.

To others there is a life after this one but unless you work better than everyone else you can’t achieve the best possible outcome.

God- The one true God wanted us to know that there is hope beyond this life. God wants you and me to know that the end of this life is really the beginning of True Living.

Death should not be feared because our savior over came it- because salvation frees us from it. Spiritual death is much worse that physical

God sent his son because we need a savior to save us from spiritual death.

Luke 19:10- seek and save the lost

John 11:25-26a- bring eternal life to dying sinners

For us to over come death we needed a savior to help us over come it.

Ephesians 2:5-9- conquer spiritual death

I Corinthians 15:54-57- conquer physical death

John 3:36- Everlasting life is found only on the belief in Christ

Salvation through belief in Christ gives us eternal life. God says don’t be sad. My children by joyful over death because of salvation through Christ you will overcome death.

Phil. 1:20-24- live is Christ to die is gain- win, win for believers

John 14:1-3- God has created a place for us in heaven to be with him for eternity.

Christ and salvation over come the power of death.

You- God gives us hope that although physical death is imminent Christ has over come it. Salvation has over come it, heaven has over come it resurrection has over come. When you look at it in this light through the eyes of Christ death seems pretty weak. And what I love about my Savior is that he doesn’t put the pressure on me to perform. There is no pressure to have a check list that must be completed as quickly as possible in order to achieve a certain level of heaven or eternal reward. There is no check list because if there was than we would boast about our works and our obedience. Like the Pharisees did. They would boast about their ability to live holy and follow all the religious laws.

People today boast about all the great things they have done, all the places they serve in ministry all the money they give. But God doesn’t reward those that boast. He rewards those that serve because they love because they want to please Him. They don’t do it because there is personal reward but because God asked them to and their lives are consumed with obedience to him. They have felt a love from God that many people may never achieve because we have yet to move past our, “what’s in it for me personality.”

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