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January 9, 2021 2:00 am
Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote, "A grave, wherever found, reaches a short and pithy sermon to the soul." He's right! Cemeteries remind us of our future on this earth--the only real estate we'll hold onto for awhile! But what happens to a believer after death? What about those who have died already? What are they doing now? Today and next week we will look at the experience of the death of the believer and what takes place afterwards.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Son Alisa was writing a letter to the Philippians he was in prison he said for me to live is Christ and the guy is.
He said you know the quandary here.
I'm certain this is straight between two feelings and opinions on one hand I want to stay here because it's more profitable review. I can minister to you or I can be with Christ, which is far better, far better you would use those terms. If you thought Diane Devens at all in my my soul sleep for many years direction for me to live is Christ to die is gain its gain is far better because for me to be absent. Bodies sometimes at night, if you're up for walks, improvements will be open. You may notice that you can see the living rooms and kitchens of the houses in your neighborhood but you can't see everything like a glimpse of color and movement walked to the year and correctly Skip weekend division Skip Heitzig elaborates on something that we can all be glimpse of in this life you turned glimpse is pretty breathtaking Seymour. She continues her newest teaching series from the age of eternity prefers this update from the correctly Skip resource Center. The best biographies will like you personally intimately know the person you've read about Mozart's and Mother Teresa Sojourner Truth to Steve Jobs. It's exciting to learn the details of influential people, but one biography stands out above the rest.
Biography of God hears the author skip.
I think there's nothing more elevating to mankind than the study of God himself discovered the omnipotence paradox is an mystery central to God's being and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is. I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate God gives new book is our thanks when you give $35 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air, call 800-922-1888, or get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer. Our focus today is first Thessalonians chapter 4 yellow Bible Bible app. I hope the intruders would begin now here's Skip Heitzig the book put out by a cardiologist named Dr. Morris Rollings, associate professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee is not a believer at all anything supernatural to believe in heaven didn't believe in hell until he watched hundreds of his own patients die and come back you wrote a book called beyond death's door, which he wrote, among other things, these words I am thoroughly convinced that there is life after death and that there are at least as many going to hell is going to happen. The turning point in my own concepts occurred when the patient experience, cardiac arrest and dropped dead right in my office.
Course, that alone didn't change my thinking. But the fact that this 48 years old or 48-year-old was screaming these words I am in the hell keep me out of hell. Each time he responded to resuscitation efforts did cause me some concern, and then he wrote about 50% of the revived persons told of having gone to a place of great darkness, not light filled with grotesque moaning and writhing bodies, crying out to be rescued from this place, with overwhelming feeling of very nightmarish terror and so then he writes why is it then that those books are written about in those stories are published all the other stories of bright light friends relative being of light.
All of the wireless published. He says because people are too embarrassed to admit them. And doctors are too embarrassed to make inquiries into such matters, but nobody can afford. He says to ignore the reports of these patients. I'm convinced that there is a hell and that we must conduct ourselves in such a way as to avoid being sent there at all costs. Good words to heed good work Steve avoid going to hell at all costs. So Paul writes to dispel ignorance and ignorance for the Thessalonian believers was much of what the world around them, told them about life and death and the afterlife. So much of what people today buyers.
What books are written, and what popular philosophers tell them, not what the Bible says. Second thing I want you to notice.
Also in verse 13 is that this ignorance is concerning their loved ones who had died. I do not want you to be ignorant brother concerning those who have fallen asleep and he's referring to Christians who have died and yet he uses the term fallen asleep. Use the three times I want you to notice as the first one verse 14. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who sleep in Jesus. Verse 15 for we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep another margin of my Bible every time it's asleep or asleep, says dead or or have died. That's in the margin of the Bible, but the word sleep refers to somebody who died and we know that despite you keep reading. The understand verse 16's for the Lord himself.
He continues will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, with the voice with the trumpet of God and the dead.
There is the dead in Christ will rise first. So those who are asleep is simply a way of saying Christians who have died so that begs this question why does he use that term then why does he say sleep. Does that not inferred that your unconscious is that mean you're sort of in a suspended state of stasis were you don't know what's going on until the resurrection is your soul dormant until then, answer no sleep is a biblical description and the reason its use. Because because of the appearance of the body at death, it looks like a person sleeping laid out their eyes closed and has the physical appearance of being still. Somebody was being asleep.
The word sleep. By the way in all three of these verses is the word coin model toy mouse sleep we use it in a modern term cemetery coin monetary on cemetery. A sleeping place refers to those who have died. Now that's what Jesus had in mind. We spoke about death and the coming resurrection.
Listen to what he said in John chapter 11 about his friend Lazarus, Jesus said our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up housing and wake him up resurrection right. He had physically died and Jesus was going to physically resurrected medical wake up with the description.
His disciples replied, Lord, if he sleeps better right over their head.
Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought that he meant natural sleep. So then Jesus told them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
That's the same description given in acts chapter 7 when Stephen dies, and the New Testament author Lou said he fell asleep with the New Testament, and even an Old Testament description of a person who dies in the Old Testament. Sometimes kings it says they slept with their fathers or the Psalm is Psalm 13 says what you know, revived my life lest I sleep the sleep of death. So Christians use the term sleep not only because the appearance of the body, but because asleep is temporary.
You take a nap. You wake up in the waking up part is the resurrection. So in Daniel chapter 12 verse two.
Those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
It's funny when you're a child you fight sleep what time to go to bed. No, it's like the worst thing in the world and is like the best thing for you. Please stay up for me to stay up till like four in the morning and ruin my life knowing time, go to bed for about an afternoon which are take a nap all do I have to. It's like punishment when you're a kid. The older you get, though, that changes, it's a reward, not a punishment I get to take a nap. Another reason were never worried about taking a nap or going to sleep at night is because we know regular what wake up so a Christian has no more to fear about death that anyone taking a nap.
They're going to get up and getting up will be resurrection of the body. I want to turn with me to Luke chapter 16 from Luke chapter 16 is get a very interesting story that help us tonight and in the weeks ahead to get a handle on. I sense a story is not a parable because whenever you read a parable Jesus will say here a parable or he'll compare something it's very obvious, but this is the story not a parable.
Luke chapter 16 beginning in verse 19 Jesus asserts there was a certain rich man now. It's a story not a parable, there was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the Masters table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died. Every illuminator that I was here that was such a great licked his sores. Gross, so it was that the beggar died and he was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried, and being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus in his bosom and he cried out.
He said father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted you are tormented beside all of this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from their pasts to us and then he said I beg you therefore, father that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment. Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.
And he said no father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent. But he said to them, they do not hear Moses and the prophets are the word of God, neither will they be persuaded, though one rise from the dead. I.e. we could spend a couple weeks on just that parable is this what I want you to notice it's pretty obvious that after a person dies there fully conscious there, fully aware they're not in some kind of soul sleep.
They conceal they can emote their very very conscience is pain as well as comfort and notice. This guy is so alarmed by his situation, being in Hades you want to get word back to his brothers.
Notice what he says in verse 28. You just can't pass this by up at five brothers.
I want to testify to them, lest they come to this place of torment. It's not what some people say yeah man, I want to go to hell like you can't wait to people come and join because rogue apartheid.
This guy woke up in the hell is very conscious and he's alarmed and he doesn't want people to follow in their so what do we know that happens when a person dies are less narrow that what happens when a Christian dies you to be very conscious will be comforted you feel really good.
If you're in pain now and suffering that bad back with a chronic disease were that horrible situation that will cause your eventual death.
You'll be conscious but you'll be comforted. That's number one number two will be immediately in God's presence.
Immediately, do not pass go, do not collect $200 just right there in God's presence.
We know that because Paul wrote to the Corinthian second Corinthians chapter 5 verse eight to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Son Ali said he was writing a letter to the Philippians he was in prison and he said for me to live is Christ in the diet is gained and then he said you know I'm in a quandary here.
I'm sort of in this in the straight between two feelings and opinions on one hand I want to stay here because it's more profitable for you. I can minister to you or I can be with Christ, which is so far better. He said far better he would use those terms.
If you diamond and Diane death ends at all and Mike my I go to soul sleep for X amount of years of the resurrection for me to live is Christ and the die is gain.
It's game. It's far better because for me to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. That's why Jesus said in this what Jesus meant when he said whoever believes in me will never die, not physical death.
You'll go on and experience consciousness and bliss and comfort in the presence of the Lord.
So you be conscious will immediately be in God's presence. Here's 1/3 thing we know that happens to a Christian when they die immediately upon death. Your soul is perfected in holiness your old sin nature is eradicated by II hope you think that's good news. What that means us is the fight is over completely over.
There is no struggle anymore with flesh and blood with temptation says in Hebrews 12 verse 23 speaks of the spirits of the redeemed in heaven now made perfect you're in a glorified state. At that point the fight is over.
So what will we be doing specifically them in this heaven and this other side and what some theologians and I'll discuss it more next week called the intermediate state because none of you know this or not but you talk about dying and going to heaven.
There's a whole lot more to it than just that happened. There's phases of heaven that you'll be experiencing in the future, but I want to save something for next time. The third thing I want you to notice back in first Thessalonians chapter 4 is that the ignorance whether it's by the Thessalonians, or by the Americans. This ignorance will produce hopelessness again.
Look at verse 13. I do not want you to know I don't do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep last you sorrow as others who have no hope. She didn't say lest you sorrow.
He believes are going to sorrow. Everybody does.
But lest you sorrow like those who have no hope. Ignorance about death and the afterlife, like the Thessalonians had about their loved ones would end up in a hopeless kind of a grief you've heard of good grief, this would be bad grief, bad grief back in the 1960s. LSD guru by the name of Dr. Timothy Leary, everybody lived back then heard of them. He was very he thought he was very cool.
All the kids thought he was cool, and that's all you know you know get high into now dropout unit two men get all that stuff take LSD and he laughed about death. He laughed about the afterlife and he said that when I die, I plan to have my body and brain frantically frozen and so he would always laugh about death. One of his closest friends who knew him best said these words even though he joked about death.
She is as afraid of dying as anyone said his friend may be more so because he really doesn't believe there's anything that comes after this that's the situation were talking about here that's grieving like people who have no hope for Timothy Larry for materialists for a host of others. Death is a hopeless end for a Christian death is an endless hope it's not the end it's the beginning of a whole new phase of existence. The beginning of something much more wonderful in eternity. Now again I just want to cover this point Paul is not saying Christians don't grief just simply our grief is different from hopeless people, hopeless people grieve people with hope grief, but we grieve differently than people who are hopeless, receipts went when a believer dies. What's great for the believer is not great for us and I walk up if you know cyclic Tryon there in heaven. We worried about you be so cruel and heartless yet again for the person who's in heaven, but it's a loss for the people are still slugging it out on earth without the friendship without the love of that person so we can be cavalier about the Bible is filled with people who grieved Jacob when he thought that his son Joseph is torn by wild beasts mourned for many days. David we heard that his son Absalom was killed. It all to bed. He said although my son Absalom. If only I would've died instead of you. What about Jesus that the funeral of Lazarus. He knew what was coming and yet he said it says in their Jesus wept. Jesus wept our grief however is different is filled with hope and you could if you wanted to write in the margin of your Bible. This, what hope means here confident expectation confident don't is not a guy hope you know crossing his fingers going hope this really works.
I hope the say stuff like pays off.
No, the idea of hope here LP.LP DOS means a confident assurance or expectation. In other words, it ain't over yet just the beginning. We are assured of resurrection were assured of restoration were assured of a reunion.
All of the things that Paul will talk about in the next several verses and that's why he closes out in verse 18. Therefore comfort one another with these words and those comforting words of the words we want to look at next time we look at the assurance part of that text. Martin Luther was not only a great theologian.
He was one who mourned him, grieved over the death of his 14-year-old daughter to an interesting story when she lay sick and about to die and he did know she was in a live or die. Martin Luther prayed like any dad would. God oh God, please. I love her so much, not my will but your will be done he would always in his prayers that then he would go over to his daughter's death bed and say, dear sweet Magdalena, would you rather stay here on earth with daddy or would you rather go to be with your father in heaven and she would always answer as the Lord wills, Poppa, as the Lord wills.
While she did die, they later the rest. And at that service. Martin Luther said oh my dear Magdalena, you will rise and shine like the stars in the sun. How strange to be so sorrowful and yet to know that all is at peace and that all is well. Very similar to the hymn writer who wrote that him and see where his children died, it is well it is well with my soul that's sorrowing differently from people who are hopeless, so if I would answer the question that those three guys had answer no interior casket and people gathered around you.
It's the one thing you want to hear people saying it's not.
I don't want to hear that I'd be I don't want to come back. I don't want to hear he's moving. I want to hear some like he's not moving, but he's really live in right now that will be the truth baby Ruth you should review after this life is over, be able to say that you're really living this life is ended. Ultimately, your destination afterlife using your hand and you can choose what happens after you die me encourage you not to make that decision lightly. After all, eternity is a long long time without a mind were going to have to wrap things up for today. This teaching was just one part of our series from the edge of eternity as we dig into Scripture to help us know and understand what to expect after we die and you might want to share this entire series with friends and family who are worried about the afterlife. You can get all 17 teachings on CD for only $39 plus shipping. Find out more in order to correctly skip.com or when you call us at 1-800-922-1880 we know a lot about how Christian should live.
But what about how they die, will talk about that more next time here and correctly Skip weekend division presentation of connection and so you guys never change and ever-changing time