Summary: A lesson designed to motivate people to give their lives to Jesus
The First Five Minutes After Death
A. Example - A group of old men was sitting around talking about death. Each one had an idea on the perfect way to die. A seventy-year-old man said, “I want a quick and exciting death—like in an airplane crash.” An eighty-year-old man who had once been a sailor said, “I want to die by drowning, enveloped in the sea.” The oldest of them all, a ninety-year-old man, thought for a second, then said, “I would like to be shot by a jealous husband!”
B. Death. No one wants to think about it. Nobody likes to talk about it. In fact, if we do talk about it, we often joke about it.
C. But unless the Lord comes before we die, we will all experience the mystery of death.
D. It is my desire to be straight forward, kind and loving as possible as we notice a very challenging topic.
E. Lesson Title - The First Five Minutes After Death
F. Before we get to the topic of discussion, I believe it is wise for us to take a moment and notice where we stand in our association to God.
G. I believe all of us here today fall into one of the following categories.
H. Number One - Innocent
1. If we could bring a baby up on the stage or bring someone who is mentally inadequate and incapable of understanding the Bible on stage, we could say that they are innocent.
2. Some say that we are born sinners. They believe we have inherited the sin of Adam. The Bible doesn’t teach either of those ideas.
3. James 4:17 - “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” Babies are not capable of knowing right from wrong.
4. I John 3:4 tells us that sin is lawlessness or sin is the transgression of the law.
5. Matthew 18:3 - “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
6. In addition, the sin of Adam and Eve was NOT inherited but was something that was acquired. Acquired characteristics cannot be inherited!
7. If the sin of Adam and Eve was inherited, then God is sinful because he created them in His own image (Genesis 1:27). But God is not sinful!
I. Number Two - Lost
1. If you are living a life of sin and you have never given your life to Jesus, then you are lost.
2. Throughout the New Testament, whenever people heard the gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus) they did one of two things.
4. Someone says, “But I’m a good, moral person.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
5. None of us can get to heaven on our own goodness. It is only through Jesus that we will see God.
J. Someone says, “Well, I’ve been baptized into Christ. What about my situation?”
K. Number Three - Faithful
1. If you are someone who is in love with Jesus and you’ve dedicated your life to serving Him, then you are faithful. You’re faithful in all areas of your life.
2. Perfect? No! You stumble. You make mistakes. But you walk in the light and have fellowship with Jesus so that his blood will continually cleanse you from your sins. (I John 1:7)
3. There is no doubt that Jesus is first in your life! Clearly, he is the top priority!
L. Number Four - Rebellious
1. At one time, you were faithful and obedient to Jesus. You were so in love with Him and did all you could for him.
2. But now—to be blunt—you’ve turned your back on Jesus! You’ve walked away from him; you’ve turned back to your old ways; you’ve rebelled against him.
3. Just like the prodigal son, you’ve wandered away into a “foreign” country of sin. You have left your first love.
M. Number Five - Lukewarm
1. You’re not hot or cold—you’re indifferent and apathetic. You come to church on a regular basis but you might as well be somewhere else because your heart is not in it. You’d much rather straddle the fence.
N. Which category do you fall into? Think about it, because we will come back to these characteristics at the end of the lesson.
O. Now, take your Bibles and turn to Luke 16 and let’s talk about the first five minutes after death.