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The Biblical Worldview on the Afterlife: Who Gets to Go to Heaven

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 3, 2021 3:00 am

The Biblical Worldview on the Afterlife: Who Gets to Go to Heaven

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 3, 2021 3:00 am

People can talk all day about what it takes to get to heaven. Inevitably, the discussion touches on the golden rule, and includes phrases like “be true to yourself” and “it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere.” People can be sincere and sincerely wrong at the same time. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie goes straight to Scripture for the real answer. If we want to know how to get to heaven, it’s best to ask the God of heaven. And that’s what we’ll do today.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about harvest partners@harvest.org by living the good life really don't know what living of the Lord because there is no living people in the know today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie shatters the myth of heaven is for practical. Heaven is not able cover this for given people. Everyone who churns there since you go to heaven inevitably touches on the golden rule reasons like be true to yourself and it doesn't matter what you believe as long as your sincere and be sincere. Same time today on the new beginning pastor Greg Laurie go straight to the real answer. Want to know how to get to heaven to ask God rub our Bibles and Revelation 20 and Luke 16 and the title of my messages.

The biblical worldview on the afterlife. What happens to a Christian when they got very simple answer. What a Christian guys go to heaven you will love one to believe in Jesus and they died there in heaven right now the Bible is very clear about the subject.

That tells us over in second Corinthians 5 it were competent and I would say were away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it so were absent from the body were present with the Lord. This doesn't take months or years.

It's instantaneous. The moment you take your last breath on earth you take your first breath and have Paul even said in Philippians 123 I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better, though it falls and I would like to be in heaven right now. Notice he didn't say I would desire to the pardon just live in sort of a soul sleep for decades. No or I have a desire to depart with Christ in purgatory for a while and atone for my sins though. He says I am a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better than others. Questions are popular minds about the afterlife like okay what we still have our bodies in heaven. Actually, the answer to that question is yes and no.

You are given new bodies, but they're not completely disconnected from the body you're in now, it's just a radically upgraded version of you were told over in first Corinthians 15 our earthly bodies will die and decay, but they'll be different on the resurrected then they'll never die our bodies now disappoint us remember that but one of the rays will be full of glory their week novel. When the raised will be full of power. So what is this me means if you are disabled on earth you will not be disabled in heaven.

That means if you were facing the ravages of age on earth. You will not face those in heaven. If you would cancer on earth you won't have cancer in heaven. So we talk about the differences but there are similarities you see heaven as the earthly life of the believer glorify and perfected.

We pastor the other side. Our minds are memories are clearer than they've ever been before, because all of the clouding and damaging effects of sin are removed and the Bible says will know as we are no I don't think that means that God takes everything that he knows and puts it into our brain.

The moment we enter eternity, but what the Scripture seems to be saying this over time in eternity. The Lord will unveil to us more and more great screws on our knowledge will expand as we spent time in his presence, worshiping him and we will be reunited with those that have gone before us who trusted in Jesus going to be amazing. Think of the purest joy you have ever experienced on earth. Multiply it up thousand time and you of a fleeting glimpse of the euphoria of heaven. The Bible says in his presence there is fullness of joy and on his right hand pleasures for evermore.

Okay, that's what happens to a believer now what happens to a nonbeliever.

Let's look at Revelation 20.

Pretty bleak. Verse 11 I saw a great white throne and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them and I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was open, which is the book of life and the dead were judged according to their works for the things were written in the books notice plural books.

The sea gave up the dead that were in it, death and Hades or hell delivered up the dead that were in them and they were judged, each one according to his works, and death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Anyone not found written in the book of life was cast in the lake of fire. There, this scene, this is the most serious sobering and tragic passage, perhaps in the entire Bible. John the apostle, the author of this either great white throne. The throne is white because of its awesome power. It's a place of judgment, its employees, a purity, the verdicts that will proceed from it.

Now our righteous verdicts W no debates at the great white throne over guilt or innocence. There will be a prosecutor. No defender in accuser, but no advocate an indictment, but no defense mounted by the accused Doug convicting evidence will be presented. They'll be no revival or cross-examination. There will be no jury, but a judge in his holy judgment is binding for all eternity. So what happens to the nonbeliever when they die.

Now they go to Hades uses Gordon eventually. It is an interchangeable word with Dell but let me explain. Sometimes there's confusion.

There's a difference between the lake of fire in Haiti, the lake of fire that we just read about is the final destination of nonbelievers and the devil and his angels. The lake of fire. I is the destination nonbelievers are said to after the great white throne judgment. The great white throne judgment has not happened yet it is still in the future. So what happens when a nonbeliever dies they go to Hades. What is that Hades is spoken of, among other places over in Luke 16 and that is an amazing story that Jesus told about two men that died on the same day. One was rich. One was poor. One was powerful one was weak. One was a believer. The other was a nonbeliever. The believer was named Lazarus, not the same Lazarus that Jesus raised from the dead.

John 11 everyone but that he died and he was carried by the angels into the presence of God. But then we read that the nonbeliever, the wealthy man, and by the way, his sin was not in as well. His sin was in his rejection of God, but he dies and he goes to a place of torment.

So at this time. Historically, Hades affectively had for lack of a better way to put it to section a sort of a comfort section and eight torment section the believer in our story. Lazarus is there and what is described in King James is Abraham's bosom reason a place of comfort.

Meanwhile, the nonbeliever dies and he separated from this place of comfort in the place of torment and so will we read death and Hades delivered up the dead that were in them, to the great white throne judgment is sort of like you're arrested and you're in a jail. Now you're being transferred from a jail to the judge who's going to give you your final sentence, which will send you to prison so the nonbeliever now is waiting no what happened to the believer coming back that comfort section is no longer there for us to go to because when Christ died and rose. He went down to Hades he preach to those who were waiting in faith, those who had died waiting for the coming Messiah and there in heaven and that so we go now so this is no longer a destination for a believer, but that judgment or I should say the torment section of Hades is the destination for the nonbeliever.

Now here's some hard-core truths about hell number one people in hell suffer, they suffer a Luke 1623 being in torment and Hades he lifted up his eyes, a far off to Abraham.

The fact that he speaks of torment shows that this is real in the afterlife.

In fact, the word torment is used four times in the text of the story that Jesus told in Luke 16 on number two. Once you're in hell you cannot cross over to heaven. The impossibility of crossing from one side to another suggests that your eternal destiny is settled here and now and not in some future world number three.

Your conscious and hell and fully aware of where you are. Listen hell is just as eternal as heaven is an even as you are fully conscious in heaven.

You're also fully conscious in hell. Verse 24, Luke 16, I cried and said father Abraham, have mercy on me. This is the nonbeliever and send Lazarus and he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue bribe tormented in this flame. So he's aware of where he is. He's aware of why he is there any decision on what I have five brothers are 28 send someone to testify to them so they don't end up in this place of torment. This sort of refutes the idea that tells a party place is no partying, and hell, there's no fun in hell. Their separation from God. There's outer darkness there's torment there will be some surprises eternity.

Pastor Greg points out that some people who seem like nice folks will make it into heaven, and some that seemed evil to the core will be in heaven. More on that just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here.

You know my uncle Fred Jordan at one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called church in the home. I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents only have church in the home for you every weekend is called harvest that you can find it@harvest.org we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home harvest.well were considering life-and-death truth today.

Pastor Greg is bringing us a study called the biblical worldview of the afterlife was continue coming back to the great white throne judgment. Now this happens before people are sent to the lake of fire. Who's going to be at the great white throne judgment. Simple answer. Everyone who was rejected God's offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and obese sinners.

There, in general, but there's different kinds of sinners. First of all, there are what we would call out it out. Sinners oral report of them is garden-variety sinners. I used to be one of those by the way, and many of you did to you might be a different tennis center or were and I get to that in the moment, but these are the folks it just say I don't want God. I don't want church. I don't want the Bible. Although say things like I don't need organized religion. All of the way that I want to live. I'll do what I want to do. They may even go out of their way to mock Christians audit of five with the Bible says so those sinners will be there for sure. Number two. Listen to this self righteous people, self-righteous people. That's another kind of sinner, by the way, it's different from the garden-variety center that knows there is center. Maybe they even celebrate the fact that there is center.

Maybe they have a big tattoo in their chest that says I am a sinner but then there's a self-righteous person. Although there more cultured and and there are not like that other person and they try to do good deeds and they tried to be considerate of others, and that's a good thing, but they need Jesus as much as the garden-variety center.

Listen to this. You don't get to heaven by living the good life and you don't end up in hell by living a bad light.

Because there's going to be bad people in heaven and there's going to be good people in hell that make sense. Let me explain. There's going to be bad people and have by that I mean the garden-variety center that owns it admits their sin and ask God to forgive them will be in heaven. Then though. Be good. I put them in quotes good people in hell people that were moral to some degree people that said they don't need Jesus Christ to live by their own rules and they think that those good deeds they did will save them and they deceive themselves. Heaven is not for good people. Heaven is for forgiven people. Everyone who turn from their sin can go to heaven. This is why God sent his son Jesus to die for us on the cross. Thirdly, the be procrastinators. These are the people that may be one antagonistic like the garden-variety sinners, but they just said talk to you later another day but they never got around to making that decision.

And lastly, the be unsaved church members.

Let me put it another way, none believing church attenders and ledger in church today, but you know attending this church will not make you a Christian. In fact, what will happen is attending this church will make you accountable for what you've heard, and if you hear and see. I heard my sermon today and I did my duty for God today and you blow it off and disregard it and ignore it.

That's almost worse in the garden-variety center because Alisa garden-variety center knows there is center admits a sinner but you might say well I was in church today. I was at harvest today and you will that's good, but you need to do what the Bible tells you to do and church attendance will get you the heaven, having your name on a membership roll won't get you to heaven.

So every one who doesn't believe stands there and this is the key thing they did not believe Jesus said in John 318 he that believes in me is not condemned, but he who does not believe in me is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten son. It's not just that I'm a sinner it's that I projected God's solution. God is saying I love you I want you to go to hell.

I put my own breath on my son who I love for you so you can be forgiven if they are really whatever I don't care I don't want Jesus.

I don't need Jesus. I don't care about Jesus. Forget it. That rejection of him is what brings that judgment. It's not going to be a sin question on the final day of going to be a son question S0 and what'd you do with Jesus. We don't want people to go to help say say all right I don't. I agree what why do what you do you warn people. I was a senior.

My friend James Merritt this morning.

He's I listen him every morning. Every Sunday morning when I'm getting ready for church and I'm making my breakfast and today he was talking about. True story of a doctor who was arrested and sent to prison for 30 years is crying. He took the medicine that was used to treat cancer patients and diluted it to make more money and die and they said that at least 15 of his patients died. Who would've lived longer if they have the proper dosage so because he diluted the medicine people died and he did it for money, that's a horrible thing to horrible crime, but you know it's worse diluting the message of the gospel because this has eternal ramifications.

How do you diluted. We only talk about heaven in the never mention help and we need to tell people the whole truth, and here's what the Bible says we need to go and snatch people from the flames. Jude 1 snatch them from the flames of judgment. So you say that's okay. I want to do everything I can to warn everyone I know so they don't have to end up in this horrible place. I'm not saying you should go call up everyone and say you're going to hell because the Bible says it's the goodness of God that brings us to repentance, so tell them about what Christ is done for you. Tell them about the hope of heaven. Tell them about the forgiveness of sin.

Tell them. Lastly, that if they don't believe what the repercussions are don't leave that part out. See, we want to edit it because it's awkward awkward you know this is a way and I don't really want Jesus and I don't want to go to the Crusade with you and I don't really care. So what's gonna happen to me when I die like warm climates don't dilute it. Don't be like that Dr. dilute the message so here's the truth I hate to say this but it's true. And this is the last thing I want to see happen to you and you pray for them and I I'm thinking God is going to use us if we just get a better understanding of the afterlife. We have the hope of heaven, but we don't want anybody to go to hell. So you say this is not going to happen to my child this is not going to happen to my husband or my wife or my mom or my dad or my grandparents or my neighbor or my coworker.

This is not to happen if I've anything to say about it. I know it's ultimately up to God to say people but I wanted make sure I do my due diligence and engage them with the gospel and pray that they'll believe in Jesus and I believe as you do that, you'll be glad that you did let me just close by saying this. If you've joined us here today and most of you have the least physically some of fallen asleep, and those of the pastors in the front row. No joke there might be somebody here Jan talking about heaven, how awesome it is. But you're sitting there thinking I don't know that I'm going to heaven.

Have you believed in Jesus WS him to forgive you of your Sendo than do that you can go to heaven.

You can change your eternal address, but you must say Lord forgive me of my sent. If you haven't done that yet. Let me give you an opportunity to do it.

As we pray together. Let's all bow our heads. Father I pray for everyone here. Everyone watching wherever they are. If they don't know Jesus, help them to see their need for you, Lord, help them to come to you now and be forgiven of all of their sin in Jesus name I pray for Greg Laurie important closing prayer and if you like to do is pastor Greg suggested and make things right in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning wraps up if you weren't able to hear all of today's insight you can catch what you missed online@harvest.org just look for the study, called the biblical worldview on the afterlife and that is a real joy to make available a new book called the women of the Bible speak written by Shannon bream. Shannon, as you may know, is the anchor of Fox News at night on the Fox News Channel.

She's also the network senior legal correspondent and in this new book.

She surveys the lives of 16 prominent women in the Bible and highlights the lessons to be learned from their lives. She speaking with Pastor Greg's wife Kathy, if I'm not mistaken I think you begin your book with the story who is unnamed in one of the Gospels, the woman who had an issue with black glad that she was ostracized and she was weak and she was poor and she was powerless but she did one thing that distinguished her that Jesus was amazed by and we are amazed by him outweighs what little strength she had. She knew where to go for help, and we do speak to that. This is an introduction to this entire book you sent her at as I said in the women we need to study and learn from. I love this story so much. I really identify with it because in years. I went through physical trials in chronic pain and doctor to doctor looking for help and I think about that because this one and were told in the Gospels have spent everything she had to been from doctor to doctor Dr. for 12 years. No one can help her, but she heard me in Jesus and she said if I can just touch the hem of his garment, I believe I'll be healed because of this issue bleeding that she had, we believe that she went and considered unclean.

In many societies. She would've been considered an outcast, so she probably very isolated. Not being able to be in the temple or in crowds and other places probably very much confined to her home as many of us have felt this past year cell that she decided to venture out and she found Jesus and she got close enough that she just touch his garment. The Scripture tells us immediately.

She was healed instead of exchanging her in front of that crowd and send your Stephen be out here needing to ask my permission Jesus turned her in every town and Gospels.

The first thing he says to her is daughter love that. I think it is so beautiful that he immediately shows in front of his comets watching he accepts her and what she's done is right.

It's not wrong. There were so many people in those days who are accusing Jesus and always not following the letter of the law of the rules and he recognized that she had reached out in desperation, he said, your faith has made you whole.

He credited her. It was certainly his divine power, but he credited her with that think that she had.

It was enough to heal her.

Just the touch of hand and keep show the people there that he accepted her that she was and not somebody to be thrown out of society that he viewed her as precious as a daughter and I just think her story is so beautiful and so encouraging on so many different levels, with the book is called the women of the Bible speak and you not thinking about the holiday this weekend. They read any other state that any woman in your life is going to benefit from this book. It is so beautiful. It is hardcover and that the artwork in the graphics are so lovely.

I think on every woman would be absolutely delighted to receive this and even though the women in your life that may not be mothers or grandmothers really would benefit from this. At this time because it speaks to ordinary women to strike all of that some ladies out there that are listening.

We need to see how Jesus and how guide can take ordinary women and do extraordinary things. Then just like that woman who had that issue applied by faith. What little faith we have reach out and touch the Lord and seek him first, and she will answer is beautiful.

Thank you so much Shannon for having me at a blessing slitter send you the women of the Bible speak will send it to say thank you for your investment in the work we do each day just right is that a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We are here to take your call anytime 24 seven. That's at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org Pastor Greg mentioned that someone can become a Christian. With just a simple prayer.

That's right. Maybe somebody would like to do that right now.

Could you help them with that.

Sure, I'd love to a simple prayers right unstuck. I would like to just pray a prayer and I would ask you to pray it after me right now. Pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner but I also know that you are the Savior because you died on the cross for my sin and he rose again from the dead. Jesus come into my life and forgive me of every sin I've ever committed. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer.

Thank you for answering this prayer Lord, and I pray all of this in Jesus name, amen. If you just pray that prayer and meant to a one to the know on the authority of Scripture God Almighty has heard your prayer, and he will answer this prayer.

You are now a newly minted child of God. So congratulations, you've made the right decision and welcome to the family of God. I want to send you a special gift because of that prayer. You've just pray it's called the new believers growth packet and then it is a copy of the New Testament in a very understandable translation called the new living translation. It also is filled with hundreds of notes that I wrote that will encourage you in this commitment you made to follow Christ and there's some other outstanding materials in this little packet.

I'll send you as well so order your copy today and let me be the first to see the you congratulations and welcome to the family of God and to get that new believers growth packet. Just contact us and will be glad to send it right out. You can write a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 and you can reach us at that number anytime 24 seven or go online to harvest.org with the words know God will Pastor Greg launches a challenging new series called discipleship the road less taken good counsel next level. I want more next time you beginning past with meat will buy harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to become a harvest partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org


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