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Everyone Lives Forever - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
January 22, 2023 5:00 am

Everyone Lives Forever - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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January 22, 2023 5:00 am

My mom used to wake me up early every morning with her sweet voice saying, "Rise and Shine!" It took a few times but I eventually got up out of bed. As Jesus declares that He will be in charge of the future judgment, He too will usher the call to everyone who has died to "Rise up!" But not everyone will rise up to shine; some will rise up to suffer. Let’s consider three inevitable and unalterable truths about the future for all of us: We will all die, we will all be judged, and we will all rise again to live forever... but where?

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If I were to talk about God as Father and God as Friend and God as Helper, the one who forgives us of our failures and our failings and our sins, which is true, you see smiles come on the face and heads nod up and down.

People light up, yeah! But if one dares to speak about God as the final judge, who will evaluate every life and render an eternal verdict, and God is the judge to whom we are all accountable, you see a very different reaction. It's a substantially healthier life as well. Easy, right?

Well, eternal life is just as easy to attain and just as accessible to everyone who wants it. We'll look at how everyone can live forever today here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. But first, let's see what's going on in the Connect with Skip Resource Center this month. So it's another new year, and you've resolved to study through the entire Bible again. Very often, somewhere around 2 Chronicles, that wonderful goal can grind to a halt.

Well, this year can be different. We have a package of resources with an excellent strategy for successfully studying through all 66 books this year. It includes Skip Heitzig's book, The Bible from 30,000 Feet, which lifts you to a new biblical altitude to help you get a new view of the full counsel of God's Word.

Make 2023 the year you truly make it through a solid survey of the entire scope of Scripture. This package also includes Skip's super accessible book, How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It, along with The Bible from 30,000 Feet. Both are our thanks when you give $50 or more today to help reach more people through Connect with Skip Heitzig. Skip has asked the team at Connection Communications to make it a priority in 2023 to take daily messages as you've heard today and expand them into more metropolitan areas. It is obvious that the population centers of our nation are in deep need of hearing the truth, and that is exactly our plan for the future with Skip's teachings. Will you help us make that happen? Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer.

That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Today we're in John chapter five, starting with verse 25. So turn there and let's join Skip Heitzig as he shares the story of an unusual name. I read a news article about a British teenager named George Garrett who changed his name to 13 words, 13 names. This is what he called himself. He legally changed his name, Captain Fantastic, Faster Than Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Wolverine, Hulk and The Flash combined. That's his name. Now the news article said that he's been getting beat up a lot lately by his peers.

When I read that I said, duh, I mean kids react to anything that is strange or different. Besides that, when anybody makes outlandish claims about themselves that aren't really true, you can expect controversy. Jesus made some pretty outlandish claims about himself. He said, as we have already seen last week, he said that he had the same nature as God the Father. He claimed that as God, he should be honored in the same way as God the Father and he said that he would judge the world and raise the dead. He said all of those things about himself, outlandish claims. At least that's what his enemies thought they were. They would accuse him for blasphemy and that would lead to his crucifixion ultimately. But there's a big difference between George Garrett of England and Jesus Christ.

You see, George Garrett just pulled all those names out of a hat and decided to call himself those things. What Jesus, however, claimed to be, he proved that he was by healing people, by walking on water, turning water into wine, by raising dead people, and by his own personal resurrection. Now what he does in the paragraph we're about to read is he looks toward the future.

Keep something in mind. All of this is a response to the leaders who have gathered around him and are accusing him because in their view, he has broken the Sabbath. He didn't break God's Sabbath.

He broke their petty little traditional regulations that they added on to the Sabbath but he didn't break it at all. So what he does is he launches into a monologue about who he is. And he continues on that vein. He now turns toward the future and he looks at things that will be common to every single person. And there's three basic things. You may not have an outline in your bulletin but the outline is simple.

Here it is. Everyone dies, everyone is evaluated, and everyone rises. That's what Jesus says. Everyone dies, everyone is evaluated, and everyone rises. I want you to think about this.

A lot of people, this blows their mind. Every single person who has ever been born is going to live forever, ever. In one sense, every single person has eternal life in the sense that they continue consciously to live forever. So the big issue isn't, will I live forever, will I have eternal life? The issue is where will I live forever?

How will I spend everlasting life? And once again, Jesus has this way of taking every single human being and putting them in one of two camps. And we notice that as we look at verse 25 through 29.

Let's look at it together. Most assuredly, I say to you the hour is coming and now is when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He is granted the Son to have life in Himself and has given Him authority to judge or to execute judgment also because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation. Rutgers University in New Jersey decided to host a class in their college. It was called Death and the Afterlife. What kind of interest do you think they would have in a class called Death and the Afterlife? Well, they were surprised because they had to cap it off at 100 when 400 people almost immediately signed up to find out what happens after death.

Four hundred people immediately first semester, but they had to limit it to 100. Now in the verses that we read, you'll notice that Jesus talks about two possibilities ultimately, the resurrection to life and the resurrection to condemnation. He in effect speaks about heaven and the other place that nobody likes to talk about. It's fascinating to me how loosely people will play with that word hell and not really give it so much thought. In fact, even playfully, you've heard it every day. One author, John Braun, writes this, it's not unlikely that within the last 24 hours you have heard someone say, what in the hell are you doing?

Or I sure as hell will, or who in the hell do you think you are? The word hell, writes this author, has become a controversial byword in our day. Good friends even dare to say playfully to one another, go to hell. They surely don't mean go to the place of punishment for the wicked after death, though that is how the dictionary defines the word hell. But why use the word hell? Why not instead say, what the jail are you doing? Or well, I sure as school will. Or why not say, go to Chicago?

I heard that. If hell really is the place for eternal punishment for the wicked after death, how come it's used so lightly millions and millions of times each day? Why is there such an apparent lack of seriousness about that word?

Why is a word so heavy with meaning used so indifferently? Why do people pretend that the place doesn't exist? Well, you need to know Jesus didn't pretend it didn't exist. In fact, Jesus Christ spoke more about hell than any other person in all of the Bible. Why did he speak so much about it? He must have seen its existence and knew exactly what was going on there. So as to warn people, he brings this up. Now keep in mind this is a confrontation he's having with these religious elite of Jerusalem.

With every word, with every sentence, he presses further who he claims he is. But there's three great facts of life I want us to consider this morning based on the words of Jesus. Number one, everyone dies. Number two, everyone will be evaluated. And number three, everyone will rise. The first, we don't need the Bible to tell us everyone dies.

We can look around and we can figure that out. But just notice in our text, verse 25, the word dead. Most assuredly I say to you, the hour is coming and now is when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. The word dead is necros. We get the medical term necrosis.

When blood starves a tissue and cells in an organ are damaged, there is a necrotic tissue that develops. The death of a tissue speaks of physical death. And then verse 28, notice the word graves.

Do not marvel at this. The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice. And that word is the very specific word for the place like a tomb or sepulchre where people are buried. We would say a cemetery. A cemetery is where dead people are buried.

Or as I used to say when I was a kid, look, Mom, there's the cemetery. It's where all the dead people live. Everyone dies. Two people per second die. One hundred and two people a minute, 6,136 an hour die. Rich, poor, young, old, male, female, famous, obscure, everyone will die. The only exception to that will be at the rapture of the church when those who are alive and remain will be caught up and instantly transformed.

Other than that, everyone dies. And our death rate is a problem to the governments of this world. Because the more people we get on earth, governments, especially in big cities, realize we're running out of space to bury the dead. I read about an article in Brazil where the government there, the local government, hired an architect to help solve this problem. And the architect designed a 39-story skyscraper, a necropolis, that would be able to house 147,000 corpses. That's the place where all the dead people live, honey.

You imagine seeing that in your town? But we also know something about life and death from a biblical perspective. When the Bible uses those terms, it doesn't always mean literally, physically, it sometimes means spiritually. In fact, sometimes those terms, spiritual life, spiritual death, spiritual birth, and physical death, physical life, are intermeshed together sometimes in the same conversation or paragraph. And so it is here in verse 24, Jesus says, most assuredly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes, that can only be an alive person, only people alive can believe, and him who sent me has present-tense, everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Now those are spiritual conditions, because the New Testament describes people born into this world as being spiritually dead in need of life being imparted to them. Ephesians 2, verse 1, and you he has made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins. So when you come to Jesus Christ, there is sort of a spiritual resurrection that happens as God imparts life to a dead soul.

It's that spiritual resurrection that ensures the physical resurrection of verse 29, what Jesus calls the resurrection of life. Now I know you've heard the old saying that there's two things that are inevitable, death and taxes, death and taxes. I heard one person say, well, that may be true, that death and taxes are inevitable, but death doesn't seem to get worse every time Congress meets, taxes do. Well that may be so, but death can be worse. Death can be worse if after death you meet a holy God and you are unprepared to do so because you have no spiritual life within you. That would be worse than just dying.

Everyone dies. That's implicit in the text. Number two, everyone is evaluated. The word judgment comes up. Go back to verse 22, this is where Jesus first introduced this in the monologue.

For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son. See the word judgment? It's the Greek word crisis. We get the word crisis from it. There is a coming crisis, Jesus would say, and what a crisis that will be, the coming judgment.

Now look at verse 27, same thought, He picks it up again and amplifies it, and He has given to Him, that is the Father, God the Father has given Him, God the Son, authority to execute judgment also because He is the Son of Man. So contrary to what most people think in the world, death does not end at all. I know that's how people sort of live, well you know you live and then you die and then after death there's nothing.

It ain't so. After you die there is an evaluation, there's a ruling, there's a verdict that is rendered by the God of this universe. As it says in Hebrews chapter 9 verse 27, it is appointed for men to die once, but after this comes the judgment.

Now you know what? I think I can say this and I think I'm right, I'm safe to say it. The doctrine of divine judgment is probably the most neglected teaching there is, both outside the church and inside the church. Outside the church nobody believes it, inside the church it's pretty much just ignored. Now if I were to talk about God as Father and God as Friend and God as Helper, the one who forgives us of our failures and our failings and our sins, which is true, you see smiles come on the face and heads nod up and down and people light up and go, yeah. But if one dares to speak about God as the final judge who will evaluate every life and render an eternal verdict and God is the judge to whom we are all accountable, you see a very different reaction. You see brows furrow, lips pucker, heads wag this way because to many people it is repelling and unacceptable to view God as such.

Here's the problem. If you don't think God is a judge, you've got to throw away a good portion of the Bible because God's judgment is seen as a thread throughout the Bible. In fact, just a quick rendering of it as I studied this week, the word judgment occurs 190 times in Scripture and all of its form judge, judge, judgment, judging when applied to God 450 times.

Here's the thumbnail sketch. God judged Adam and Eve after they fell in the garden, kicking them out of the garden and pronouncing a curse on them and all of humanity. Then God judged the entire world at the time of Noah and sent a flood to destroy all of mankind. Then God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, engulfing them in a volcanic catastrophe. Then God judged Egypt with 10 plagues to get the children of Israel to get out. And then God judged people among the children of Israel for worshiping the golden calf. And God judged people like Nadab and Abihu and Dathan and Korah and Achan. And then eventually God judged the entire northern kingdom of Israel by sending them into Assyrian captivity, 722 B.C., and a few years later, 586 B.C., all of the southern kingdom of Judah in Babylonian captivity. Now I know some of you are thinking, yeah, but that's just the God of the Old Testament, not the God of the New Testament.

Well, keep reading. Read about Jesus who judged Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bitziah, those three cities around Galilee, saying it will be more tolerable for you in the day of judgment than for Sodom and Gomorrah because He had essentially been in their presence, in their midst, and they had seen His miracles and heard His words and did not repent. Then Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives and judges Jerusalem because they didn't recognize the time of the coming of their Messiah.

And He predicted with tears the coming destruction in 70 A.D. And it doesn't end there. You turn to the book of Acts, and there were two people in the church, believers, Ananias and Sapphira. They were judged by God, killed dead physically.

They had to carry their bodies out because of their hypocrisy. And then in 1 Corinthians 11, Paul seems to say that God judges those who are irreverent at the Lord's Supper, saying some are sick and some have died, rendering that as a judgment of God. Look at this, all of those little examples that I just gave, those are just, that's an intermediate judgment. It's not the big one.

In California, they've had some earthquakes, but they always talk about the big one. Jesus here talks about the big one, the really big, eternal, final judgment when He mentions this, this kind of judgment. Now I have a question, why is Jesus the one who will judge?

He says that twice. In fact, it's not the only time in the Bible this is brought up. But Jesus says very plainly, and I found it interesting, He wants us to know that the Father Himself won't be the eternal judge, that He's committed all of that to Jesus Christ the Son.

Why? Well I think we have the answer right here in the text. Look at verse 25. In verse 25, Jesus speaks of His power to give life. And when He does so, He calls Himself what? John chapter 5, verse 25, that's where we're at. He calls Himself the Son of God. When He speaks about His power to give life, He refers to Himself as the Son of God. But look at verse 27, when He speaks of His power to judge, He refers to Himself as what?

Son of Man. Well one thing we can be sure of when it comes to the fact that Jesus will ultimately be the one to judge us is this, because of His death and resurrection, we can be acquitted of all charges. When the time for judgment comes, our penalty will have already been paid, which is why the Gospel is such good news. Now if you want a copy of today's study, it's available for just four dollars plus shipping when you call us at 1-800-922-1888 or when you visit connectwithgift.com. Thank you for joining us today. Connect with Skip Heitzig exists to connect listeners like you to God's truth, strengthening your walk with Him and bringing more people into His family. That's why these teachings are available to you and so many others on air and online.

If they've inspired you to keep living for Jesus, please consider giving a gift today to encourage other listeners like you in the same way. Just call 800-922-1888, that's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithgift.com slash donate. That's connectwithgift.com slash donate. Thank you.

We'll continue to explore how everyone can live forever if that's what they want to do. Next time here in Connect with Skip weekend edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross, cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection, a connection. Bring you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-22 07:45:13 / 2023-01-22 07:54:24 / 9

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