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What Happens When You Die? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2024 5:00 am

What Happens When You Die? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 4, 2024 5:00 am

Nate Heitzig concludes his message “What Happens When You Die?” and shows how you must choose Jesus if you want eternity in heaven.

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It's not just a choice of heaven or hell because everybody would choose heaven if that was the choice.

If it was like heaven or hell, of course I'm going to choose heaven. The choice isn't heaven. The choice is Jesus. If you choose Jesus, heaven is part of the package deal. You don't get to choose heaven without Jesus. The choice really isn't heaven or hell. The choice is Jesus or no Jesus.

If you want to go to heaven, you've got to want Jesus. And today on Connect with Skip Hyten, Pastor Nate Heitzig concludes his message, What Happens When You Die, and shows you how you must choose Jesus if you want eternity in heaven. But first, here's a timely new resource from Skip with biblical insight on the current war in Israel. Israel at War.

That's the title of a new book by Skip Heitzig. Modern Israel has been at war from its very first day of existence, as Skip points out. On the day after Israel became a nation, that was May 14, 1948. On May 15, virtually every Arab neighbor attacked Israel to destroy it. Israel had been a nation one day.

They didn't have an organized army. Israel at War is up to date concerning current events in the Mideast and includes Skip's comments during his December tour of the Gaza border and a video link to Skip's interview in Jerusalem. The new book Israel at War is our gift to you this month to anyone who encourages the growth of Connect with Skip with a gift of $50 or more.

Make your financial vote of support at connectwithskip.com or by calling 1-800-922-1888. Israel at War will give you Skip's insight from over 40 trips to Israel and decades of Bible study. I know the Middle East seems like a very complex situation.

It's actually pretty basic. One side wants the other side dead. On one side you have a Jewish nation, a Jewish state called modern day Israel. Israel wishes to exist as a sovereign state living in peace.

Most Palestinians and other Arab nations, not all but many of them, deny the right of Israel to exist. Receive Israel at War by Skip Heintzig with your gift. Go to connectwithskip.com or call 1-800-922-1888. Great. Let's get started. We're in Luke 16 as we join Pastor Nate today. The Believer's passage to heaven is a direct route. The moment we take our last breath on earth, we take our first in heaven. As soon as we are dead, we as those who have received Jesus Christ will be with the Lord. Jesus told the thief on the cross, I tell you the truth. Today you will be with me in paradise. Not after you work off all your sins over a number of years. Today you will be with me in paradise. Paul declared, I desire to depart and be with Christ.

He also affirmed, we would rather be away from these earthly bodies for then we will be at home with the Lord. Death for a believer in Christ is compared to sleeping on many occasions. The scripture tells us that when Stephen had finished his message and he was stoned, he fell asleep. You know, when you're a child you often fight sleep. Anyone who has kids knows it's hard to get your kids to take a nap. You tell them to go take a nap and you might as well be pulling their teeth. It's like a punishment for them, right? But when you hit 30, 40, 50, if someone tells you go take a nap, you're like, thank you.

It's a reward. It's like a luxury to be told to go take a nap once you get older. Sleep is incredible.

Sleep is a joy. As a Christian, we don't have to fear death any more than we have fear of taking a nap, going to sleep, getting some rest. But that's not the case for the unbeliever. What happens when you die? Well, number one, some will go to heaven. Number two, most will go to hell. In the bulletin it says some will go to hell, but I want you to pull out your bulletin.

I want you to cross out some and I want you to write most above that. See, I turned my outline in before I found those statistics that I read at the beginning and I was so shocked to read those statistics that 71% of people believe in hell, but only half of 1% expect to go there when they die. And yet, Matthew 6, 13 to 14 says, enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction. And there will be many who go in by it because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life.

And there are few who find it. See, this is Satan's great deception to think that everyone just kind of goes to heaven when they die. Satan would love for us to believe that, that so many people believe in heaven and hell, and yet most people think they're going to go to heaven and very few think they're going to go to hell. And yet, Matthew tells us that most are going to go to hell and very few are going to enter by the narrow gate and go to heaven. When you say the word hell, people bristle at that idea. Most people think that from birth, they are automatically going to heaven, that it's a one-way ticket, that that's just kind of the standard route everyone takes and that's where you're going to end up unless along the way you become a really, really, really, really bad person. That somehow hell is reserved for the worst criminals, the worst deviants in society, but everyone else just ends up in heaven.

And that's just not true. And I'll tell you in just a second what you have to do to go to hell and heaven. But first, let's take a behind the scenes look at the reality of hell as given by Jesus himself. Verse 22 to 23, we're introduced to hell.

It says, the rich man also died and was buried and being in torment in Hades. Now, while we as believers can talk about the great hope beyond the grave, for the non-believer that's not the case. The ultimate tragedy for the non-believer is death. For us as Christians, the best is yet to come. For a non-believer, this is as good as it gets. And if this is as good as it gets, I don't know about you, but I look around at the world and the things that are happening, I'm like, if this is as good as it gets, that's a bummer. For a Christian, the best is yet to come.

All the things that I read, everything about heaven, that's our future. But when a non-believer dies, it's the greatest tragedy in the world. You know, when someone dies, we say that that person is dead. But that's not really the case because while the body might be dead, the spirit lives on. When you die, you don't just cease to exist. You don't just go into a suspended state, the movie's over, lights out, it goes to black.

That's not what happens. Your spirit lives on because the real you isn't the shell that you live in called the body. And this is so dramatically evident when a person dies.

Anyone ever been to an open casket funeral or seen a dead body before? It's a sobering sight, isn't it? Because you look at that person, you look at that body, and though it looks like the person you once knew, that spark's gone. The spark of life isn't there. That which gave them character, personality, uniqueness of that individual, it's gone. You're looking at a shell.

Why? Because the real person has departed. If they were a believer, that real person has departed and they're with God in heaven. But according to scripture, the future destiny of non-believers is hell. And from this text, we also read that in Hades, people are fully conscious.

Again, it's not a suspended state. They know what's going on. They know what their old life was and they know where they are and they know where they're gonna spend eternity.

They even have the ability to communicate. According to this passage. It's also, according to this passage, a place of great pain. It says, being in torment in Hades. And in verse 28, the rich man wants to get word back to his brothers and warn them of the torment. Warn them not to come there.

The rich man didn't say, hey, Abraham, I'm just having the best time here. Can you send someone to go tell my brothers to get down here as quick as they can? Because we're gonna party for eternity. Again, a lot of non-believers think hell's gonna be a party.

All my friends are gonna be there. We're just gonna be partying for eternity. There will be no partying in hell. There will only be torment, suffering, and eternal separation from God.

Now I wanna pause and I wanna make a distinction. I told you I would define heaven and hell, Abraham's bosom and Hades, because the heaven and hell we read about here is not the hell and the heaven where people will spend eternity. As a matter of fact, if you're a believer, the heaven here in Luke 16 isn't even where you're gonna go when you die. In verses 22 and 23, we read about Abraham's bosom and Hades. Now, Hades is a Greek word, it is a general word, that is neither positive nor negative in nature, that simply means the place of the dead. And within Hades, we're given a picture throughout scripture of a good compartment and a bad compartment. When a person died in the old covenant, now the old covenant is prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So in the old covenant, when anyone died, they went to Hades, good and bad.

When the non-believer died, they went to the compartment in Hades, which was torment. If they were a believer, they went to the department of Hades, which is comfort, that's referred here as Abraham's bosom. Now, Abraham's bosom is not a place that is a Jewish understanding that simply means by Abraham's side. You went to the place that Abraham was, you were seated beside Abraham. It's not like we're all nuzzled up on Abraham's chest.

He's gotta be a really big Abraham if we're all gonna be sitting there on his chest. No, it just means you're beside Abraham and the place that Abraham was. Hebrews 11, 13 talks about this and it says, all these people were still living by faith when they died. This is referring to the hall of faith, all these great men and women of faith prior to the coming of Christ. They did not receive the things promised, that is the Messiah and heaven.

They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. Ephesians 4, eight through 10 further clarifies this and it says, therefore he says, when he, referring to Jesus, ascended on high, he led captivity captive and he gave gifts to men. Now this, he ascended, what does it mean? But that he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth.

He who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens that he might fill all things. Now we need to define this because there is an unbiblical teaching in the faith movement that teaches that Jesus actually went to hell. Not only that he went to hell, but that he suffered and was tortured in hell by the devil and his demons to pay penance for the sins of humanity.

They actually teach this, this is a quote from one of their teachings. One of their teachings, do you think that the punishment for our sin was to die on a cross? If that were the case, the two thieves could have paid your price, which by the way isn't true because they weren't sinless, but that's another errant theology we don't have time to talk about. No, the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time in hell separated from God. Satan and all his demons thought they had him bound and they threw a net over Jesus and they dragged him down to the very pit of hell to serve our sentence. Now this is such an errant theology and it's rooted in the idea that some have that God and the devil are of equal power and they're duking it out and the verdict's still out on who's gonna win and this time Satan won. He dragged Jesus down to hell as if, as if he has that power. Jesus went down to Hades willingly and it wasn't to get tortured, it was to declare victory in hell. Satan would love you to think that he's got Jesus in the corner and he can drag Jesus down to hell.

He doesn't have that power. Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah. Jesus is the one with power.

They are not equal powers. Jesus did descend into hell, but not the hell you're thinking of and certainly not to be punished. 1 Peter 3, 8 through 10 tells us exactly why Jesus descended. And by the way, this is my favorite part of the message. This is one of the coolest things in the Bible for me personally, looking at the way that this weaves from Genesis all the way to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So I'm gonna connect a bunch of things for you here because this is really cool. 1 Peter 3, 18 through 20 tells us why he descended. It says, for Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but made alive in the spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. Now, who are these imprisoned spirits from the days of Noah? Again, I'm gonna connect for you a few verses here to give you a whole picture of this story. Jude tells us that these spirits are the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode.

He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. And it actually tells us what their sin was. It says that their sin mirrored Sodom and Gomorrah, having given themselves over to sexual immorality. So there's demons who left their own abode and were sexually immoral that are imprisoned in everlasting chains. Now, remember that story where Jesus casted out the demons legion from that man who was demon possessed. And the demons begged Jesus, what did they beg Jesus? They begged him to not be cast out of the country and not be thrown into the pit, but instead to be put into some pigs. So the demons know there's a pit. The demons know there's a place of bondage and everlasting chains, and they don't wanna go there. And they know that there's a line that they can cross that will send them there.

What is that line? Jude says they were sexually immoral. Where do we get that? Go back to Genesis six, one through two, in the days of Noah. Remember the spirits that were imprisoned since the days of Noah. Says this in Genesis six. When men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God, that refers to angelic beings, saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. It further tells us that these demons, these angelic beings laid with women and had offspring referred to as the Nephilim. Anyone heard that term, the Nephilim? The Nephilim were a race of angelic human hybrids that were super strong and were men of renown that referred to as giants. And it says that when this happened, God was so disgusted with what was happening to mankind that he sought to destroy the earth and its inhabitants. But Noah found favor in his sight. So these are the spirits that were in bondage since the days of Noah.

Now, this is where it gets really, really cool. You remember in Genesis when God was handing out the punishments to Adam and Eve and to the serpent. What was the punishment to the serpent?

The seed of woman will crush your head. From that moment, Satan's number one goal and mission was to stop the seed of woman from crushing his head. How has he done that throughout history? Well, go back to Moses and go back to Pharaoh where he wanted to kill the firstborn of every Israelite, but Moses got away. Go forward to Herod taking all the Israelites and wanting to kill all those who were under assault. Were under a certain age because he heard that the coming Messiah was coming. But Jesus miraculously got away. This was all instances of Satan trying to stop the seed of woman from crushing his head.

But what was his first strategy? Genesis six. If I can't stop the seed of woman, I'll pollute the seed of woman. I'll have angelic beings lay with women, pollute the seed of women.

Then the seed can't destroy me. Didn't work though. Jesus came, Jesus died on the cross. Jesus rose again.

And I'm sure that when Jesus died on that cross, those demons that were in bondage from the days of Noah, I'm sure that for a brief moment in hell, there actually was a party. They were cheering, yeah, we did it. We stopped the seed of woman. We're gonna get out of here. We're gonna be freed. We conquered.

They thought they had won, but Jesus had some important work to do after the cross and before the resurrection. And he went down to those demons bound in prison from the days of Noah. And he came down and he said, hey, the seed of woman that you tried to stop, that's me. And I just crushed your head.

I just won. And he declared victory over the spirits that were in bondage from the days of Noah. When Jesus died, he descended into Hades. He proclaimed victory in the place of torment.

And he proclaimed liberty in the place of comfort for those who had died in faith. And that's where it talks about in Ephesians. He descended and he brought with him all those who are in the place of comfort from Abraham's bosom, Hades, that place of comfort, into heaven, the place that he told the thief in the cross. Today, you will be with me in paradise. And now, today, every one of us who is a believer in Christ, when we die, that's where we go immediately upon death. Not Abraham's bosom, not Hades, but heaven, until the day when Jesus returns and makes a new heaven and a new earth. And then that is where we will spend eternity. However, if you die today as a non-believer, this place of torment, Hades, is still where you will go until you stand before the great white throne judgment.

But it doesn't get better from there for you. It's out of the frying pan and into the fire. Revelation 20, 13 says, 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. Remember I told you there's two deaths?

This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. So what happens when you die? Some will go to heaven. Some will go to heaven. Most will go to hell.

Our third and final point as we close is all must choose now. Look at verse 24 to 26 with me. It says, then he cried, the rich man, and 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 receive your good things. Likewise, Lazarus evil things.

But now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides 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 there pass to us. This reminds us of a couple of things. Number one, ultimately God's justice will prevail. We've all seen terrible things in humanity. We've all seen murder and genocide and incest and rape. We've all seen people do terrible things to other people.

This shows us that it's all gonna be put right at the end. But it also shows us that there's no second chances after you die. There's no purgatory.

There's no place to work off your sins. The rich man begged Abraham, please, please, Abraham, just send Lazarus to put a drop on my tongue. But he couldn't. He made his choice. He was gonna spend eternity in Hades separated from God until the day when he would be thrown into the lake of fire.

He was stuck. And you only get one chance. If you die without accepting Christ, you've made your choice.

At that point, it's far too late to change anything. You don't get to choose later. All must choose now. Remember I said at the beginning that you get to choose where you wanna go. And I asked you to raise your hand if you wanted to go to heaven.

Everyone raised their hand. No one raised their hand because they wanted to go to hell, good choice. It's your choice. You get to choose, but you have to choose now. And by the way, it's not just a choice of heaven or hell because everybody would choose heaven if that was the choice. If it was like heaven or hell, of course I'm gonna choose heaven. The choice isn't heaven. The choice is Jesus. If you choose Jesus, heaven is part of the package deal. You don't get to choose heaven without Jesus. The choice really isn't heaven or hell. The choice is Jesus or no Jesus.

And if you choose no Jesus, he will honor that choice. He'll say, all right, you didn't want anything to do with me on earth. You didn't want a relationship with me.

You didn't want me in your life. You didn't want forgiveness of your sins. Fine, I'm gonna honor that choice and you will spend eternity separated from me in hell. It's your choice. Choose Jesus or choose no Jesus. Choose heaven or choose hell.

But know that that choice is an echo for eternity. It's like buying a plane ticket. You don't choose where you wanna go once you board a plane, do you? You don't get on a plane and say, hey, Captain, could you please take me to Hawaii? I know you're taking everyone else to Omaha, Nebraska, but I don't wanna go to Omaha. Take me to Hawaii.

Drop me off and take everyone else there. No, you don't get to choose once you get on the plane. You choose sometimes months or years before the flight where you wanna go.

Once you're on the flight, it's too late. It doesn't matter if you don't like where that flight's going, you're going there. Death is coming and we choose where we will spend eternity now by our decision to follow or not follow Jesus Christ. It's your choice if you wanna go to heaven. It's your choice if you wanna go to hell, but choose today and choose wisely. If you say I'm not ready right now, that's a choice because you're choosing to not accept Christ right now. You're choosing to not accept him, which means you're choosing to reject him.

You've made your choice. Death is a fearful thing for a non-believer. I hear people say that they're scared to die, and if you don't know Christ, you should be because when you die, it's too late. And if you say, Nate, I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way.

Okay, Lady Gaga, that's the problem. You were born a sinner. You need to be born again. Unless you're born again, there can be no true happiness for you. If you're born once, you're gonna die twice. You're gonna die twice.

But if you're born again, if you're born twice, you're only gonna die once. That's Nate Heitig with a message from the series The End is Near, encouraging you to make heaven your eternal home when you choose Jesus. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can share life-changing teaching from God's unchanging word with more people around the world. All believers are called to help others encounter the God who is seeking them out. And our goal is to come alongside friends like you to encourage you to help others connect with God through His word. That's why we share these messages with you and with others. And today, you can take action to ensure these teachings keep reaching you and so many others worldwide. This year, I'm praying for resources to grow the reach of these broadcasts into more major US cities. And you can help make that possible with your generosity.

Can I count on your support? Here's how you can give a gift today. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Come back tomorrow as Pastor Skip begins a sobering message about the final judgment that awaits the unbeliever. If hell really is the place for eternal punishment of the wicked after death, how come it is used so lightly millions and millions of times every day? Well, I can't answer that question.

But I can answer one question. And this message will attempt to do just that. And that is, what will the final judgment be of the unbeliever? What will that judgment be like? Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-04 05:06:20 / 2024-03-04 05:17:18 / 11

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