Summary: The Christian has a hope that lives, an inheritance in Heaven, and the protection of God.
There Is Life After Death. I Pet. 1:3-5
INTRO.: Many years ago, I was asked by a resident at a county home where I served as a chaplain, "Do you believe there is life after death?" I assured her I did and took advantage of the opportunity to tell her about Jesus and the resurrection.
Once I had the opportunity to speak to a High School class in comparative religions about my church and beliefs. After a short lecture, I allowed time for questions. One student asked me, "do you believe there is life after death?" maybe she as just groping for a question to ask and couldn’t come up with anything she thought was better. But, in asking this, she asked the most important question we will ever have to deal with.
The answer to this question, "Is there life after death?," is the universal quest of every religious enquirer, every seeker.
Even the ancient Job asked, "If a man dies shall he live again?" (14:14) In asking and answering the question, he found hope and strength in the most severe trials.
For the Christian, the question is settled. Jesus’ answer is crystal clear to all who seek it; "Yes, there is life after death." He proved it by His own resurrection.
in our text, we find three blessings pertaining to life after death that come to us in Christ.
I. A living hope: a hope that lives on.
A. There was a time when Peter lost hope in Jesus and denied Him: Lk. 22:55ff
1. His tears were tears of hopelessness. V. 62. Jesus would have nothing further to do with him, he thought. His hope had died.
2. Mark 16:7 - God wanted Peter especially, to know Jesus had risen.
3. Experiences of the next 40 days and baptism of Holy Spirit confirmed the resurrection and restored to Peter the hope that lives on.
4. Later, he wrote I Pet. 1:23 to give the same assurance to others.
B. Peter’s hope, like ours, is based on the resurrection of Jesus.
1. Because He lives, we know we will live.
2. We serve a living, ever present Friend.
3. Hope was renewed in Jesus’ disciples when they saw Him living. Jn. 20:20
4. After the resurrection, the apostles were all willing to die for Jesus. They knew death no longer had any power.
5. We have a hope that lives on no matter what life brings because our Lord was raised from the dead.
II. An inheritance in Heaven:
A. We went to a restaurant and found a long line of patrons waiting to be seated. The hostess asked, "Do you have a reservation?" When we said we didn’t, she informed us it would be an hour before we could be seated. Many had made reservations.
1. Likewise, if we play tennis or handball, we must reserve a court. We make reservations when we fly in an airliner. It means they will keep a place for us.
2. Peter says we have an inheritance "kept" or reserved for us.
3. God will not refuse us service or put us "on standby."
B. Notice the description:
1. It will never perish: no one can spoil it or take it away. It will not pass away.
2. Never spoil: no sin or sorrow there. No death.
3. Unfading: Old soldiers aren’t the only things that fade away in this life. Everything does. Nothing retains its beauty or excitement. Not so in Heaven.
C. Can you even imagine such a place?
1. No sickness or injury will cause us pain.
2. We will never need to fear death or feel pangs of guilt.
3. No loved one will ever be taken from us because of death.
III. God’s power to shield us from loss and disaster. V. 5
A. ILLUS.: We don’t know what a child will grow up like. Nor do we know what we will be. Just so, we are God’s children and the same is true. I Jn. 3:2
1. Our salvation has not yet been fully revealed (made clear).
2. Death, resurrection of Jesus not all there is to saving us.
3. He is working now on the task of bringing us to Heaven. Interceding for us with the Father. Shaping us through His Spirit within, etc.
4. He is not satisfied with just saving us as we are. He wants to perfect us.
5. There are even bodily changes coming. Phil. 3:21
6. When we see Him, we will be like Him.
B. While we are here in the flesh, we have His promise to shield us:
1. "Shield" is a military term referring to the stationing of soldiers around a city to protect it from attack