Summary: Today…we’re going to begin a series entitled, “AfterLife”… looking at what the prophets…and Jesus…and Paul have said about eternal life.

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What Happens When We Die?

Series: AfterLife

Brad Bailey – April 27, 2014


Here’s a question to get us started in hearing god his morning…Where are you going?

—not for lunch… not in your career … I mean the “BIG going.” What awaits you when your bodily life comes to an end?

Today…we’re going to begin a series entitled, “AfterLife”… looking at what the prophets…and Jesus…and Paul have said about eternal life.

Last week we gathered around the events which pierced through human history like nothing else…the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

> What was the purpose? To exalt and extend… to open the way back into eternal life.

He was the “first fruits.”

When he defeated death… he left the door open.

That empty tomb was meant to be entered.

The stone wasn’t rolled away so that Jesus could come out. In his resurrected body he entered without using doors. The stone was rolled away so that the various disciples and all who came….could go in.

So what has God made known about life beyond this dimension? Simply a place of rest? (A nap may sound good to some…but a really long nap may not sound all that exciting.) Are we issued halos and harps? Is such a future merely a matter of consolation… conjecture?

My hope for you …is that you will be able to realize heaven with greater confidence…greater clarity of what that means…and not just in your head…but in your heart.

Death is the tragedy of our separation. Death may be natural for these bodies…they grow weary…. But it’s not our truest ultimate nature. There is a dimension without entropy and separation.

And God has planted such an “eternity in our hearts” …in our longings.

Ecclesiastes 3:11, 14 (NLT / GW)

He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. … whatever God does will last forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken away from it.

God planted something in you…placed it there… he placed eternity “in our hearts”…longings. There are longings for life beyond our current conditions.

• We long for relationships without the end of separation.

• We long for justice…knowing there are some things that are just wrong…and at some level there is a very real right.

• We long for significance that transcends the futility of aging and death.

• We long for the beauty we now only catch in part.


“We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves—that, though we cannot, yet these projections can, enjoy in themselves that beauty, grace, and power of which Nature is the image. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can't… Or not yet. For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously… then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendors we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.” C.S. Lewis [1]

We have a longing for home…a home beyond this home.[2]

Naturally…apart from the light of God… any variety of ideas will arise about what the afterlife..

Through the ages….every cultures emerges with certain myths and ideas.

In our modern western culture, that which has stirred the most current interest are Near Death Experiences.

There has been a growing amount of books sharing near death experiences that included what individuals believe are encounters with heaven. [3]

• Back in 1992…huge bestseller…Embraced by the Light - Betty Eadie

• 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper (2004)

• Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife (2012) by Eben Alexander

• The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven (June 28, 2011) by Kevin Malarkey

• Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

by Todd Burpo

#1 NY Times bestseller…sold over 8 million copies…and became a feature film starring Greg Kinnear that was released last week.

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