It's a question we all ask, what about life after death? Let's go to God's encouraging Word and discover the answers together. The Encouraging Word This is The Encouraging Word featuring the Bible based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton. As we study the Word together know that we're here for you 24 hours a day at 866-899-WORD.
That's 866-899-9673. The Encouraging Word And now today's teaching from Dr. Don Wilton. We're in the middle of the beginning of a wonderful study in God's Word, life after death. And folks, I want you to open your Bibles this morning to Luke's Gospel in chapter 16. You're going to absolutely need your Bibles. We always do. Every time we come together.
But I would say that you most particularly will need it today. And in the days and months that lie ahead because we're going to be studying one of the most intriguing and remarkable subjects that I think anybody could ever study. The problem is that none of us know a whole lot about life after death.
The reason is quite simple. None of us have been there. I haven't been there. I haven't been to heaven. I haven't been to hell. I haven't died and come back from the dead.
I haven't been there. I've heard a lot of stories. I have my own. We all have stories of life after death, the absolute certainty of life after death. My own story impacted me so much that I wrote a book. And I hope that you've got a copy of that book. It doesn't even come close to the Bible. I'd much rather that you look at the Bible.
The Bible is the only thing to look at. But God gave me the opportunity to write a novel about life after death based upon what Jesus had to say. I must say we're getting hundreds of calls and emails about the impact of this novel. Why novel? Because it is a life portrayal of the absolute certainty of life after death. It's a novel. It's a fiction.
But it puts everything into perspective and it's based upon the Word of God. This subject of life after death brings to bear a number of very important questions. For example, how do we know that what we say is actually going to happen?
Now that's a good question, isn't it? How do we know that if we've never been there? We're going to be studying some very deep things.
Some of them are going to be rather difficult to think about. I don't mind telling you that there's a lot about life after death that, to be quite frank with you, I'd rather not talk about. Because we're taught some awful things in the Bible about what happens to people if they don't give their hearts and lives to the Lord Jesus. Which is the reason why I'm so glad today to be able to present to you the Lord Jesus Christ.
Because the whole saga of life after death centers in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I'm going to invite you to give your heart to Jesus. Even in my novel, in the introduction, I write very clearly before you read this book, here's how to give your heart to Jesus.
You don't have to go through the things that I write about in this book. And they'd happen in the life of this particular man by the name of Albright, my one character in the Bible, in the book. And the Bible is very clear about this. And we're going to look at a lot of things in the Bible.
And you've got every reason to listen to these things and then to say things like, well, pastor, you know, on what basis do you make that statement? Well, when you study the Bible about all issues, but in this case about life after death, how are we going to look? Where we're going? Are we going to be able to talk after we die? How are we going to recognize each other and how do we know that?
What are we going to do? And so the list goes on. Will we even be able to remember things?
Will our brains function after we die? Well, on what basis do we make these statements? Well, there are three principles of operation. And I'm just sharing these with you. Let me just tell you that I'm going to say the same thing next week. So get ready for that. And I might even feel led to say these same three things the next week.
Because I know there's going to be somebody every week who hasn't heard anything the previous weeks. I want them to know how you attest to the truth of things. Well, there are three criterion or three principles by which you arrive at the point at which you know something is true. First of all, by the simple fact, and I want you to listen to this very carefully, folks. By the simple fact of asking the question, is it inferred by the Bible? Now, boys and girls, that's a big word, inferred, inference. Perhaps a really good word to use here. Is there a suggestion about that?
Have you ever suggested something to someone? An inference is the weakest way in which to determine whether something is true, but it is part of the process. If you talk about an inference in the Bible or something is inferred, what you are saying is it doesn't exactly say that. But you can deduct, you can deduce, you can assume that this is where it is headed.
It's the weakest way to verify truth, but it is part of the process. And I want you to know as best as I can, I'm going to let you know. I'm not going to try and pretend that something is in the Bible if it's not there. And if it's just an inference, I'm going to say to you, now, folks, I want you to know. I cannot give you a scripture to back what I'm saying, but I believe if we understand God's word in its whole, that this is what is inferred by what we are learning.
Well, where do we go after that? The second question we've got to ask is, is it implied in the Bible? Now, when you imply something, it means that it doesn't say exactly what you are saying in that passage, but an implication always has supporting evidence.
In other words, I may read you a passage and I might say to you, Jesus here or the Bible is saying, this is black and white, and it may not say this is black and white, but I can take you to other passages of scripture that provide supporting evidence. That's an implied statement. And so I'm going to look at inference. I'm going to look at an implied statement, but here's the third one. Is it stated in the Bible? When something is stated, it falls into the category of absolute truth. Really, if you want to categorize these, inference is personal conviction, is personal preference.
Implication is personal conviction. Statement is absolute truth. And there are going to be many times like the passage I'm in right now, in Luke chapter 16.
Let me tell you why this is stated, it's absolute truth. Well, I know that you cannot see my Bible if I was to hold it up here for everybody to see, but in my Bible, in Luke chapter 16, the letters are all printed in red, the color red. What that tells me is that every time something is written in red, Jesus himself said those words. Now stated fact is all of Bible, everything that's said in the word of God from Genesis through Revelation. But if you were to say to me, pastor, what do you particularly pay particular attention to? I'm going to tell you every time if Jesus said it, that settles it. Amen.
Now folks, this is very important. So here we are in Luke chapter 16 and Jesus tells a story about two men. Why do I believe that this is stated fact? Because Jesus said it. Now when Jesus told us the story that I based my novel on about two men, do you suppose that the Lord Jesus one day was sitting there tapping his fingers on his desk and called his angels around and said, angels, you know, come over here and help me. Let's make up some kind of story about life after death.
Come on, somebody give me a good idea. One of the angels said, I know what, let's have two people and Jesus said, ah, that's great. Another one said, no, no, let's have a whole football stand. Jesus said, no, no, no, that's just too much. That's overload. Let's just limit it to two people.
Let's just pretend that there were two people. And let's make up a story because, you know, man, every Sunday I look down there and I see old Don Wilton up there struggling to preach and we need to give him something to spice his preaching up with. Give him something to say. You know, those people need to hear something, man, they love good stories.
People love stories. So why don't we give him, no. You see, folks, the Lord Jesus is holy and he's righteous. Did you know, by the way, that it is impossible for Jesus Christ to fabricate or concoct anything? Cannot do it. Because he is absolute truth.
He doesn't even have an inclination to do that. Now, why am I saying this to you? Because I'm about to read to you something that Jesus said. And I'm here today to tell you that I believe with all my heart that this is absolute fact, that Jesus was talking about two real men who lived on a real earth. They were really here. They died a real death. One went to a real hell and the other one went to a real heaven. And Jesus was showing us about the reality of life after death. So here's what Jesus said. Luke chapter 16 and verse 19, there was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and he lived in luxury every day.
Sounds like we Americans, doesn't it? And at his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus who was covered with sores and he was longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. This man was pretty poor.
I mean, he was at the other end of the social spectrum. He was struggling. He was in pitiful condition. And verse 22, the time came. In the King James version, that word there is and it came to pass. The time came when the beggar died. And he was carried by the angels to Abraham's side.
Now, let me just hold on here, folks. Very important. Why did Jesus use the name of Abraham? Because he was talking to Jewish people. If there was anything the Jews would never argue about, it was the person who went by the name of Abraham.
Probably the most respected of all the people in Jewish history and tradition. Now, they might have argued that this couldn't part. Jesus is not the Messiah. They would have argued about the law and the prophets and everything. But if Jesus wanted to talk to Jews and talk to them about where God is, he just had to say Abraham. Because there was not a Jew alive during Jesus' time that didn't absolutely, unequivocally and unquestioningly believe that wherever it was that Abraham was, there was God. Because Abraham was with God.
They believed that. So, Jesus used it as a synonymous term with the place where God is. So, what is the place where God is?
Heaven. Remember, Abraham had died many, many, many years before Jesus came to the earth. He was long gone. And yet, all of a sudden, Jesus is looking into the faces of all these people and said, you thought he was dead.
Didn't you? And so, the Bible says that this man by the name of Lazarus died. And he was carried by the angels into the place where God is.
He joined Abraham. The word in the Greek text is Abraham's bosom. The womb of God. The place where God is. Now, the rich man also died.
Look at the contrast. And was buried in hell where he was in torment. He looked up and he saw Abraham far away and Lazarus by his side. So, he called to him, Father Abraham, have pity on me. And send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue. Because I am in agony in this fire. But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime, you received your good things while Lazarus received bad things.
But now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And beside all of this, between us and you is a great chasm, a great divide, a great gulf that has been fixed. It cannot be changed so that those who would want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over there from there to us. And so, the man answered and said, then I beg you, Father, please send Lazarus down to earth to my father's house because I have five brothers who are still alive. Let him warn them so that they will not also come into this place of torment. To which Abraham replied, but they've got Moses, they've got the law. They've got the prophets that God called preachers. Let them listen to them.
Oh no, but you don't understand, Father Abraham, he said. They're not listening to the preachers. They're going to church and their ears are deaf. They're preoccupied. All they think about is a football game.
You don't seem to understand. They're not even listening to Moses, to the law of God. But if you would just send Lazarus back from the dead, that'll do it.
Let them hear them. And Abraham said, if they do not listen to Moses, to the word of God and to the preachers, let me tell you, they will not be convinced. Even if someone were to come back from the dead and by inference, besides, someone has come back from the dead. His name is Jesus. You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton, our teacher here on The Encouraging Word.
He'll be back in just a moment as we complete this first day of studying God's Word about life after death. And as we study the Word together, know that we have wonderful resources available for you. As a matter of fact, one that is especially popular about Dr. Don's relationship with Dr. Billy Graham. My book, Saturdays with Billy, is about an extraordinary relationship with a precious man who impacted lives across the world.
You don't want to miss this opportunity to be inspired by his life too. And they still wouldn't believe. So what are you asking me to send someone back from the dead when the Son of God came back and they still won't believe? Life after death.
There are a number of things here that just strike me immediately when I begin to try and get a handle on this subject. And number one is that they were both alive. They were both alive. Bible tells us very clearly that both of these men lived a life alive on earth.
It's a staggering point. I know you're going to say, well, goodness me, what's so surprising about that? The fact is, folks, that they live a life just like you and me. I don't know what they got up to, but they were probably two naughty little boys.
They probably got up to mischief, did all kinds of things. How about you? You ever sit back and think about your life that you've lived? Remember when you were climbing that tree or sneaking up on someone or when your daddy got a hold of you when you got your bubblegum stuck under the pure church and you couldn't get it off in the middle of the service and you needed it so badly? Do you remember your life?
Are you aware of your life that you live, the life that you're living today? God here confirms something that is rather remarkable and yet sometimes we just simply take for granted in that these two men were alive. And what Jesus was saying here is that the point of origination, the point at which death begins is life. And life is the essential ingredient to life after death.
You have to be alive. You know, I was so just saddened the other day when that millionaire rest by the name of Leona Helmsley died and she left her estate, I don't know, probably billions of dollars she had, probably most to charity, but I couldn't help notice that she left $5 million to each of two grandchildren. She made a point of letting her other two grandchildren that she wasn't leaving them a dime, but here's the catch. She left $10 million to her dog. His name is Trouble.
She left $10 million to her dog. Now, some people may get a lot of amusement out of these things and think, well, ho, hum, and I look around and I see all the poverty and all the things people are going through and the A's epidemics and the needs to build orphanages and reach out and administer to people and here's somebody who left $10 million to her dog. Jesus here affirms the essential nature of life. He brings us back to his hand craftsmanship, to the ultimate moment at which God breathed the breath of life into people like you and me and he said because I am life, live. And in me, you will never die. They were both alive, but there's something else I noticed about them. They had a decision to make while they were still alive. Now, folks, that's good news today. I couldn't wait to get to this part to share some real good news with you today. You know what I love about the fact that they had a decision to make while they were still alive is because every one of us worshiping and listening right now are still alive. I just wanted to share that with you today.
Isn't that great news? Now, some of you may not feel alive, and in fact, the more I look around here, some of you don't look alive. But, folks, I want you to know that Jesus here was affirming one of the most incredible life-changing issues that is at the hand of those whom he created and for whom he died, and that is that while you're alive, you have a spiritual choice to make that can only be made while you're still alive. Have you ever heard someone say, well, I'll just find out one day? No, you won't. Have you ever heard someone say, well, not now?
Later. You're taking an eternal risk. Now, I certainly hope that you and I live to a ripe old age if that's what we want. I don't know that I know of many people who would say, you know, well, I really hope someone's life is cut short. I don't want to die early. I want to do everything I can to stay alive, but the fact of the matter is the Bible says it is appointed unto man once to die, once, and then after that, the judgment.
That's why Joshua said that he had to choose this day whom he will serve. Now, folks, I want to say something to some of the young people here today. Guys, you guys who are young, man, you've got your whole life ahead of you. You may not have it ahead of you.
You need to know that. I know it's a tough thing to think about, but you may not have your whole life ahead of you. I want to say something to the senior adults. Do you know that it's common knowledge that the older a person gets, the harder their hearts become?
Well, it's a fact, because the older we get, the more we're likely to say, you know, I'm set. It's too late. I'm not going to do it. I hate change. I'm not interested in that.
I've had a good life. Thank you. I don't need this.
You cannot afford to do that. The Bible here, Jesus talking, he's giving us fact, number one, that they were alive. Number two, they had a decision to make. They both died. Bible says in verse 22, it came to pass. They both died. Jesus said that.
They both died. Now, you think about how remarkable that is in today's world, because when it comes to the matter of life, what we do in today's world is to try and make sure that we don't die, or at least we want to postpone it. That's one of us, folks. I'm telling you, we do everything we can.
That's why Mary Kay is able to ride around in pink Cadillacs. I got a little problem here, because I thought that when you die, that you're dead. But evidently, Jesus is trying to tell us here that you're not. Such tremendous teaching from Dr. Don Wilton, from the pulpit in God's Word.
And now, as he steps into the studio, bring your heart to what he wants to share next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner, and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today, I repent of my sin, and by faith, I receive you into my heart. In Jesus' name. My friend, I welcome you today into the family of God.
This is exciting news. If you just prayed with Dr. Don Wilton to give your life to Jesus Christ or rededicate your life, Dr. Don wants you to have some wonderful resources to get you started on the right foot. Call us at 866-899-WORD for your special free copies. That's 866-899-9673. And know this, we're here for you 24 hours a day at that phone to talk and pray with you, and connecting online as well at tewonline.org. Drop by the website, sign up for the free email from Dr. Don. You will be glad you did. That's all online at tewonline.org. www.tewonline.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-04 17:04:58 / 2023-06-04 17:14:34 / 10