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Everyone Lives Forever - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
January 29, 2023 5:00 am

Everyone Lives Forever - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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January 29, 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?


So why do we need a resurrected body?

It's pretty simple. Number one, to reverse the effect of original sin, which we see every day in our lives and our physical bodies. And number two, because the future environment demands it. There's going to be a physically renewed earth called the Millennial Kingdom the Bible teaches that will require a physically resurrected body.

Welcome to Connect with Skip weekend edition. Some say there are many different ways to attain immortality. Some say we live forever through our children. Some say those who find a way to become truly legendary live forever. Others say it's what we do and achieve that allows us to live on. There may be some metaphorical truth to those things, but the fact is we're all literally going to live forever. That's right, everyone will.

However, there will be a big difference in how some will experience that eternal life. We'll explore what that difference is today here in Connect with Skip weekend edition. But first let's find out more about this month's Connect with Skip resource offer. Ready to upgrade your Bible study in 2023? We have a plan and a package for you. Skip Heitzig's book, The Bible from 30,000 Feet, is an ideal companion for a survey of the entire scope of scripture.

Here's a great goal for the coming year. Conduct a personal study of all 66 books as Skip Heitzig guides you from a biblical altitude of 30,000 feet. We want to give you firm direction to unlock the riches of God's word by sending you two resources from Pastor Skip. How to study the Bible in a joy fit and the Bible from 30,000 feet.

You'll gain helpful Bible study tools as you practice how to observe, absorb, and interpret the Bible, then apply it to your life. These two resources are our thanks for your gift today of $50 or more. Skip has asked the team at Connection Communications to make it a priority in 2023 to take the daily messages as you have heard them today and expand them into more metropolitan areas.

Will you help us make that happen? And with your gift, you will receive copies of How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It and The Bible from 30,000 Feet. Both books by Skip Heitzig to kickstart your 2023 Bible study plans. Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at slash offer.

That's slash offer. With this study, you will never stand before God being judged for your sins because you have trusted that Jesus Christ died for your sins. And that's once and for all. So if you have this picture that you're going to stand before God and he's going to say, OK, Gabriel, roll the videotape. And here comes the whole tape of your life. And you go, Oh, my goodness, I said that now everybody knows it.

Not going to happen. You trust in Jesus. And so because of that, you'll never face God for your sin.

How do I know that? Verse 24 says it very plainly. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me.

Do you believe in him who sent him? If you do, then it says you have everlasting life. Now watch this and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. I want to say there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. So believers will not be judged to determine their eternal salvation.

That's already done. But you and I will be judged to determine our eternal status. Our eternal status. We're going to stand before Jesus one day as believers in what Paul calls twice, once in Romans and once in Corinthians, the judgment seat of Christ. Ever heard that term, the judgment seat of Christ? For we must all, Paul said, stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Now that judgment will be a judgment where we are evaluated by Christ, has nothing to do with our sins, but has everything to do with our service to him. Our serving the Lord while on this earth. And we will stand before him and receive a reward or the lack of a reward for the way we serve the Lord. If we did it faithfully, we did it from our heart.

We didn't do it to be seen by people will receive a reward. By the way, the term that I mentioned once in Romans and once in second Corinthians five, the judgment seat of Christ is the Greek word. This raised step was a place in town where speeches were given, laws were handed down. Also in the Greek Olympic Games, when a runner ran the race or performed whatever function he did, if he won, he would stand on a platform.

It's still done to this day, because that's the beimatas, the raised platform, the judgment seat. And there at the judgment seat, they would be given a reward for the way they ran or performed their sport. So we'll stand before Jesus to be rewarded for what we've done. Now, I don't want you to think that heaven's going to be some spiritual competition where, again, play the tape and we're all going to watch each other's works and this kind of stuff. And it's kind of a competition with, oh, really, you did that?

Well, look what I just did. I heard about a preacher who died and he went to heaven. He noticed that in heaven there was a New York cab driver who had a higher reward and place in heaven than he did. He got all upset and he said, Peter, I've been a preacher, man. I've given my whole life to my congregation and to serve the Lord. And Peter smiled and he said, well, you know, up here we reward on results. Now, preacher, whenever you would preach, face it, a lot of people fell asleep.

They were always awake. Not only that, they prayed the whole time. Well, it's not going to be like that. You will individually and I will be individually rewarded for what we did and how we did it in our service to Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 6, lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth or rust do not corrupt or destroy. Then also in Matthew 25, he gave a parable, the parable of the talents.

Talents were bags of money. It was a parable on how we use our temporal resources to serve him. And those who were faithful, Jesus said, I will say to them, well done, good and faithful servant.

You were faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.

So here's how it works. When you die, you're going to heaven. But please listen, until you go there, there's a job that God wants you to do on the earth.

Find out what that is and do it. As one person said, heaven will be for enjoyment, but this is the time for employment. Serve him. Christ will last. That's the judgment we will face, not a judgment for our sins that's taken at the cross, but for our service.

However, let's flip the coin. If you're not a Christian, then verse 24 doesn't apply to you because you don't believe in him who was sent by the Father. And so you won't go from death into life. If you persist in your belief system as an unbeliever, you will go from death to death to death. You go from being spiritually dead, everybody's born that way according to the Bible, spiritually dead and separated, to the second phase, you'll die, physical death, to the final phase, eternal death.

Not death to life, but death to death. I was an actor back in the 1920s and 30s. He died before I was born, but I've watched his black and white flex. He was the guy who talked like this all the time with a cigar.

He'd always have that voice. Well, he was on his deathbed and he was not a believer, never really cared for Christ or the Bible, but he had a Bible on his deathbed. His friend came in the room and said, what are you doing reading a Bible? And W.C. Field said, I'm looking for loopholes. There are no loopholes except one and his name is Jesus Christ. He's the only loophole God ever provided for the sin of the world.

That's the only one you'll find. Everyone dies. Everyone will be evaluated. And finally, everyone rises. Verse 28 and 29. This mystifies a lot of people because a lot of people don't think of both believers and non-believers being raised physically from the dead, but the Bible teaches that. He says, 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.

Wow. Everyone rises. I don't want to pressure understanding too much, but this will help. Some mistakenly believe because of this verse and the word hour in this verse, there's coming an hour, the word is aura in Greek, very similar to Spanish, that there will be one general resurrection that will happen at exactly the same time. That's the picture that a lot of people have in their minds of every human being standing in a huge crowd kind of waiting their turn to be judged. But Jesus makes a delineation between the resurrection for believers, the resurrection to life, and the resurrection for non-believers, what he calls the resurrection to condemnation. In fact, in Revelation chapter 20, we see that there are a thousand years between these two resurrections, that before the millennium, there will be a resurrection of physical bodies for the righteous dead. Then there's a thousand years, and after the thousand years are over, there is an evaluation and resurrection of the unrighteous dead. So, contrary to what people believe, that after you die, you just stop existing, there will be an evaluation and there will be a resurrection. Now, whenever I read or study about the resurrection for the believer, I get pretty excited. I get excited. A lot of people will say, well, Skip, why do we as believers need a physical resurrected body?

Really? You're going to answer that? I mean, no disrespect, but have you seen yourself lately? I mean, we're not going in the right direction. We're going from whatever we are to much worse, and it will get worse as we get older and we degenerate and we slow down and we decay.

We look in the mirror, but the hope is we will be changed. We're going to get a resurrected body. People say, well, what will it look like? My answer, a lot better.

The new model will be a lot better. It's what Jesus calls in verse 29, the resurrection of life. So why do we need a resurrected body?

It's pretty simple. Number one, to reverse the effect of original sin, which we see every day in our lives, in our physical bodies. And number two, because the future environment demands it. There's going to be a physically renewed earth called the Millennial Kingdom, the Bible teaches. That will require a physically resurrected body. After the thousand year reign of Christ on the earth, there's what's called the eternal state, new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem, and it's eternal. That will require not this, but an eternal body. So because of that, there will be a resurrection to life. But notice that last phrase that we close with, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation.

Now that's for the unbeliever. And I want to close with a passage. Would you turn to Revelation chapter 20?

We'll see how all this plays out as we close. Revelation chapter 20. I'm having you turn there, though it's not my favorite chapter. Trust me, it is the most sobering scene in all of the Bible. It's a courtroom scene, but it's very different from a human courtroom, an earthly courtroom. Because here in Revelation 20, we have a judge, that's Christ according to Jesus. There's a judge, but there's no jury. He's the judge and the jury. There is a sentence, but there is no appeal. There is a punishment, but there is no escape.

It's a very, very sad scene. Revelation 20, let's look at verse 4. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.

This is the first resurrection. Verse 7, now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison. Go down to verse 11, then I saw a great white throne and him who 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 the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. So the Bible teaches two events.

They're separated by a thousand years, but two events. The resurrection of believers, the righteous dead, resurrection of life, the resurrection of unbelievers, the unrighteous dead, resurrection of condemnation. It's pretty sobering, isn't it?

Now what I'm about to say is even more sobering. Here's a question, and then I'll answer it. Why do unbelievers need a physical resurrected body? I understand why believers need it, but why do unbelievers need it?

Well, it's very similar actually, but with a twist. Just as believers require a physically resurrected body to enjoy all of eternal bless, so the unbeliever will require a physical resurrected body to endure all of the punishment of the future. It's a very sad and sobering thought.

Now listen carefully. Here's the big point I want you to get. This is why churches exist and preach the gospel. This is why missionaries go overseas. This is why people have radio and television programs and books. This is why to get the message of Jesus Christ out so that people will choose Him and enjoy the resurrection of life.

That's why. I read a statistic the other day that I found shocking. I'm not quite sure I believe it, but it was a poll that was taken, so I believe at least in part what I'm about to tell you. According to one poll, four out of every five Americans, and I'm quoting, agree that we will all be called before God at Judgment Day to answer for our sins. Is that hard to believe?

Four out of five Americans believe that? Question, what are they doing about that? If they really believe that, as the poll says, what are they going to answer them?

If they're going to stand before God to answer them, what are they going to answer? Uh, sorry? Oops?

Or are they going to say, I'm confident because I trusted in Jesus Christ? C.S. Lewis wrote a fabulous set of books called The Chronicles of Narnia. There's seven volumes in it. The very last book is called The Last Battle. And toward the end of the book, and I'll close with this, toward the end of the book, Aslan, the lion representing Christ, tells Peter and Edmund and Lucy that there has been a railroad accident and that they are dead. Now listen to how it ends. And as Aslan spoke, he no longer looked to them like a lion, but the things that began to happen after that were so great and so beautiful that I cannot even write about them. And for us, this is the end of the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them, it was only the beginning of the real story. Their life in this world, all of their adventures in Narnia, had only been the cover and the title page. Now at last, they were beginning chapter one of the great story, which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever and ever, in which every chapter is better than the one before.

Isn't that great? Every chapter is better than the one before. This morning, if you're not saved, your best days are behind you. If you're saved, your best days are ahead of you. I know there's a book out called Your Best Life Now.

It's wrong. This isn't it. The best is yet to come. The chapter of the unfolding is yet to come. If you're an unbeliever, the best is behind you.

The worst is yet to come. It didn't have to happen that way. It didn't have to end that way. That's why churches do what they do, and missionaries and evangelists do what they do, to persuade men and women to commit their lives to Christ. You know, it's always better to have something to look forward to. As Christians, that's part of what makes life so exciting and enjoyable, because so much good stuff lies ahead.

However, if you don't know Christ, as the sands of time sift through the hourglass of your life, there's less and less for you to look forward to. But as Skip said, it doesn't have to be that way. You can make a change. If you'd like to learn more about how to make that change, give us a call at 1-800-922-1888.

We'd be happy to talk with you about that. Or if you're already a follower of Christ, don't keep that good news to yourself. Go share it with someone today.

That's pretty much going to do it for today. But before we go, here are some final thoughts from Skip and Lenya. You touched on a very serious topic today, Skip, God's judgment. We don't like to think about that very much. That's a tough subject.

It's a tough repercussion. It's kind of, there's two sides of the coin, right? There's this grace and his judgment, or mercy and grace, sometimes companion in the New Testament. And then you flip the coin, and there's God's judgment. Yeah, it's growing more and more popular, even among some who claim to follow Christ, to deny the existence of hell. Last time I checked, it's still in the Bible. A lot. Yeah, a lot. Jesus talked about it more than anybody else.

Which is shocking. I don't think we... We think of Jesus in that. We think of him meek and mild, look upon this little child, and we think of him always loving, which he was love, and always opening his heart to people and being with little children. But he spoke about hell quite a bit, and I think it's because he knew what it was like. So you're telling us hell really does exist. You know, G. K. Chesterton once said that hell is God's great complement to human freedom and choice. That given the freedom and choice that he has given us, and allowing us to make the choices that we make, he has left that as an alternative. It's a frightening thought, but the Bible does speak about it. And we have departed more and more from it. It's an important thing that Christians understand, that heaven is really real. Right. And imagine if we were to go through our day and look at people, like, is that person going to heaven?

Is that person going to hell? It would change the way we act and react toward people. It should be motivating. It should motivate us.

I mean, I love that old song by Charlie Peacock, which denies my age or exposes it. But I want to live like heaven is a real place. Imagine if we lived like hell was a real place, too. There's much more at stake. Heaven is available.

Hell is escapable. Those two things should motivate us. Boy, there's so many who need to hear the truth about this topic. So thanks, guys, for sharing those thoughts with us today. And you can contact us for a copy of today's study if you want.

It's called Everyone Lives Forever, and it's available for just $4 plus shipping when you call us at 1-800-922-1888. Next time, we'll examine a very important question. Why should you bother believing in Jesus? Join us to find out what the answer is, right here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection. At the foot of the crossing, cast your burdens on His word. Make a connection, connection, connection. Connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-29 04:06:35 / 2023-01-29 04:15:15 / 9

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