God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton and this edition of The Encouraging Word. Today Dr. Wilton continues in this powerful study on life after death. You'll find this and more messages on our website as well at www.tewonline.org.
That's www.tewonline.org. And now today's teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. We are in an incredible subject at the moment about life after death.
And I'm going to just tell you right up front just like it is today, folks. I would absolutely rather not preach on the subject that I'm about to preach on. I would rather avoid this subject like a plague.
I would rather join the bandwagon in the United States of America. Because what we're finding is that the latest trend here in our beloved nation is that fewer and fewer preachers are willing to even mention the subject. It's just not popular.
It's not the right thing to do. It threatens our level of comfortability. It makes us feel a little somewhat queasy.
It rattles the cage. It upsets the status quo. It defies our religious traditions.
It's not politically expedient. But I find that we have no choice. Because the Bible tells us and teaches us about what happens when we die. Hitherto, I've been under the impression that when someone dies, they are dead.
I'm coming to understand that they are not. According to the Bible, not one single person who dies is dead. Every person who has died is very much alive even as we speak. Now some people are going to say, well, pastor, how do you know that what you're saying is the truth? Well, I share with you just briefly again, there are three ways in which you attest to the truth. Number one, is what is being said suggested by the Word of God? That's called an inference. Is it inferred? So when we say something about somebody who has died and yet is alive, is this just a suggestion?
That is your weakest point of argument. But it has a certain validity. There are many churches today across America that have been built on suggestion. On human inference. On personal preference.
What I think instead of what I know. So number two, number one is, is what I am saying inferred? Is it just a suggestion? Number two, is it implied in the Word of God? And when you talk about something being implied in the Word of God, it means that what you're saying may not necessarily be right there in black and white where you are reading, but an implication or an implied statement of truth always has supporting evidence. So while we may read a passage today and then we go and say, well, this is implied in the Word of God, what I'm saying to you is that there are places elsewhere in the Bible where we can provide supporting evidence.
It is spoken of elsewhere. But the third and most important way to attest truth is not inference or suggestion. It's not whether or not it is implied in the Word of God.
The third question is, is it a statement of fact? That's where we land upon absolute truth. That's one of our essential values here at First Baptist Church. That's one of the essential values of the encouraging Word.
Broadcast ministry. You may be listening to me in Chicago today. I'm so glad that you are. You may live in Seattle, Washington. I'm so glad that you are. You may be in Phoenix, Arizona.
You might be sitting in your living room. I just want to welcome you today to the encouraging Word. We believe that this Word is an encouraging Word because it's God's Word. And the value upon which we stand today is absolute truth. We believe that when God says it, that settles it. It's not open to our political dispensation or our religious belief or our leaning or our cultural heritage. It's not subject to anything that you and I might have to say.
Opinion polls are declared to be invalid. And so it is that the Bible tells us some incredible truths. One, for example, that's a statement of fact is that God loves you.
That's a statement of fact. God is love. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to die just for you and just for me. That's why I'm able to say to you today that what Jesus Christ has done for me, He'll do exactly the same thing for you.
Did you know it is a statement of fact that God desires that no person would perish and go to this place called hell? Oops, I said the word, I beg your pardon. But I can't help it because Jesus said it.
I wish I could come up with a substitute. Maybe this is not Republican enough or Democratic enough. Maybe we should find some other way of talking about these things so that we don't disturb one another. But Jesus spoke truth. He said, listen, I do not desire that anybody would go to this place called hell.
In fact, that's the very reason why Jesus died on the cross. I want to present to you today the Lord Jesus Christ. He'll forgive you for your sin. He'll write your name in God's book in heaven. And one day when you die, I will guarantee you, we're gonna look upon these things, that according to the Word of God, you will be transported by the angels into the presence of the Lord. You can know that you know today, right now, that you're going to heaven to be with Him.
But what happens if you don't? What does the Bible say about people who die having turned their backs on the Son of God? Having said there is no Jesus. I don't believe that Jesus died on the cross. I do not believe that God loves me. I don't believe perhaps that God exists. I'm gonna paddle my own canoe. I'm gonna do it my own way. Perhaps there's someone who said, listen, I'm gonna take my chances with everybody else.
I don't want to get all excited about something I don't know about. Well, in Luke chapter 16, we have not an inference or a suggestion. We don't have something which is implied. We've got a statement of fact. Jesus said this. Jesus told us something.
I'd like to just read it to you. Luke chapter 16 verse 19. Jesus Himself said that there was a certain rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and he lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. In fact, his condition was so pitiful the Bible says even the dogs came and licked his sores. I have personally in my life, I have met people who are so down and out they would absolutely qualify.
I've met people who cannot get off the street sidewalks, their condition is so down in the bottom of a barrel, poverty stricken, stranded, helpless, hopeless. Now the Bible says in verse 22, Jesus said that the time came, an unavoidable fact and it came to pass that when the beggar died that he was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. Remember Jesus was speaking to a Jewish audience. It didn't matter where Abraham was, God was.
There was a point of identification here. We're talking about the God of our fathers, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. So Jesus said, listen, I want you to know that this man died, he was carried into the place where God is.
This place called heaven that we're gonna look at very detail, great detail over the next several weeks. The Bible says that the rich man also died and note the contrast, he was buried. And in hell, Jesus used that word. Where he was in torment, he looked up and he saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side so he called to him. He said, father, Abraham, won't you please have pity on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue because I'm in agony in this fire. But Abraham said, son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things while Lazarus received bad things but now he is comforted here and you're in agony. Beside all of this, between us and you, there's a great chasm, a great gulf, a great divide and the Bible, Jesus uses the word there, fixed an unalterable, unchangeable fact, an irreconcilable difference between where the one group of people were and this other man.
Said beside this, there's a great gulf fixed between us and you so that those who would want to go from here to you cannot, even if they wanted to, nor can anyone cross over to there from us. And he answered and he said, then I beg you, father, won't you please send Lazarus to my father's house in Chicago? Won't you please send Lazarus to my father's house in Orlando? Won't you please send Lazarus to my father's house in beautiful Spartanburg, South Carolina?
Because I've got five brothers, they haven't died yet yet. Please let him warn them so that they, those that I really love the most would not come into the same place of torment and Abraham replied that they've got Moses, they've got the law, they've got the prophets, they've got the preachers, let them hear them and he said, but you don't understand, Abraham, you just don't get it. They've been listening to those preachers and reading the Bible since they were just born. They saturated with churches. They got churches behind every bush. They live in the most Christianized nation in the world. You don't seem to understand there's freedom of religion where they live. You don't seem to understand they're so used to going to church. I mean, it's just like a habit.
I mean, they just rock in there after the ballgame and rock out there after the ballgame. You don't seem to understand they've been listening to the preachers and reading the Bible from when they were just children. But if somebody went back from the dead, that'll do it. To which Abraham said, to which Abraham said, you don't seem to understand. They're not going to listen if they do not in verse 31, listen to Moses and the prophets. They're not gonna be convinced about life after death, about the reality of heaven and the reality of hell, even if someone were to come back from the dead and here's another inference, suggestion from the mouth of Jesus. Besides that, someone has already come back from the dead and his name is Jesus. And yet they would not believe.
What more do you want them to have? I wanna ask you a question today. What's it gonna take for you to give your heart to Jesus? Can you hear that in what Jesus is saying? Now folks, we've already looked at some things that just jumped out of us. We discovered things like they were both alive. We love that because we're all alive. That's the good news part of what Jesus said. We also discovered that they both had a decision to make while they were still alive.
Evidently, the decision that you make that is going to affect whether you go to heaven or hell, it has to be made while you're living on this earth. Number three, we also discovered that they both died and it came to pass. I think we talked about the fact that we spend a lot of time, don't we, trying to prolong our lives a little bit.
We have every kind of injection and every kind of lift known to the book. We walk 100 miles just to stay alive a little longer. Bible says we're all gonna die someday and then there was a fourth one.
This is where it really gets interesting folks because evidently according to what Jesus said, not by inference, not by implication but as a statement of fact, Jesus tells us that when they died, they were separated at death forever. Have you ever heard someone say to you, come on now, let's not do this. You know, we're all gonna end up in the same place anyway. No, we're not. Where do you get that from?
What's your authority? You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton, our teacher here on The Encouraging Word and he'll be back with the rest of today's message in just a moment. But he wants you to know we're here for you, connecting both on the phone at 866-899-WORD, that's 866-899-9673 and on our website at TEWOnline.org where you'll discover great resources like this.
It's easy to celebrate Valentine's Day by buying candy and flowers but when was the last time you actually prayed for your spouse? Join Dr. Wilton as he unpacks a powerful message on the forgiving family. Plus, you will receive 31 days of prayer books for my husband and wife. This offer set will help you learn how to support each other through prayer and how important forgiveness plays in the family. Not only are marriages under attack, the family is also under attack. Support your spouse through prayer and see what God does in both of your lives. Commit to praying 31 days for your spouse. Commit to praying 31 days for your spouse. Let God change your spouse.
Let God change your family. Call us today at 866-899-WORD and request the February offer for your gift of $25 or more per set. Thank you for your support of the encouraging word. Again, that's just one of many resources available on our website, TEWOnline.org.
That's TEWOnline.org. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. Tradition, your church, your feelings. How would you know? How would your tradition know? How would your church know? How would your feelings know?
How would I know? God knows Jesus spoke. They were separated at death. And the Bible tells us that one man went to a place called hell, H-E-double-L.
Most unpopular subject in America today. Now folks, we're going to spend a number of weeks talking about a place that I just can't wait to talk about. I'll tell you yesterday, right here in the sanctuary, two o'clock yesterday afternoon, we had the funeral service for one incredible man.
I was right here with Sal Barone. Mr. Marvin Mathis went to be with the Lord this week. Unbelievable Christian man. What a testimony.
It was an incredible celebration despite the sadness. I can't wait to talk to you about these things. But the Bible says that this one man of which Jesus spoke died and a whole series of events took place. There are at least 11 biblical facts that Jesus shares with us about hell. I want us to look at them together.
Number one, number one. Jesus teaches us that it is absolutely certain that hell is a place of burial. Burial. Did you notice you're juxtaposed in what Jesus said that the one man died and the angels carried him into the place where God is? I can't wait to get there.
I've thought so many times. I try to even describe it in my book, The Absolute Certainty of Life After Death. I'll ask the Lord to try and teach me and show me what does this mean? What does it look like?
And I tried to describe it. But the Bible says that the other man died and he was buried. See, yesterday at Mr. Marvin's funeral here, I was able to look at his grandchildren and say, granddaddy is not here. Because when a person who dies in Jesus Christ dies in this life, they cannot be buried. You're gonna say, pastor, where are you going with this? Why was it that Jesus spoke about one man as having been buried? He referred to the ground. What he was saying here is he was saying, I want you to know in no uncertain terms that when a person dies without Jesus Christ, they are literally put in a box.
Underground. Where I grew up overseas many years ago, a friend of mine told me that, I'm talking about as early as the 50s when hazing was still popular, it was horrendous. But in South Africa where I grew up, I tell you folks, it was the most brutal thing. When you went to college, you had to get ready for it.
University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa, a group of students got a hold of a freshman. This is what they did to him. They blindfolded him, they beat him up for a day. Then they carried him and they put him in a coffin. And they nailed the coffin down, he was blindfolded.
They never said one word, there was no sound. They carried him out into a park crunching their feet on dirt as they walked, carrying his coffin. Then they climbed up on a little stool or whatever it was in that park with ropes and they kind of pretended like they were lowering this coffin into the ground. Then they got shovels without saying anything and they started to throw sand on top of this coffin and that student never recovered from that.
He ended up in an institution for the rest of his life and that was the incident that caused a stop to hazing in the country where I grew up in. It was so horrendous. Why would Jesus have referred to something that you and I cannot begin to conceive? Simply put because Jesus was trying to say to us that hell is real. It's a place of confinement. It is a place of entrapment. It is a place of eternal imprisonment.
It is a place that you cannot get out of. That's what Jesus was saying. It's not that way for somebody who's given their lives to Jesus.
They never end up in a box. He was buried. Well, there's a second thing here. The Bible says that Jesus taught us not only was hell a place of burial but it was a place of torment. Look at verse 23. Now folks will tell you I've struggled with this. I can't tell you how I prayed and asked God to try and help me in the book that I wrote on the subject to give a human depiction of what it means to die and yet never die. To be tormented day and night without ever having the capacity to actually stop being tormented.
How do you describe that? How do you describe what this man talks about being burned alive for the rest of eternity but never dying as a result of that? And the Bible here tells us folks very clearly that this is a place of torment and watch what Jesus said. In verse 23 he said in hell where he was in torment and the syntactical makeup of what Jesus was saying using his words. He said this man being in perpetual, permanent, continual, everlasting torment.
In other words what Jesus was saying is that this torment will never stop. I've had some people who say you don't seem to understand what happens is when you die you go to a place called purgatory. A purgatory is man's solution to what God teaches. Purgatory is man's effort to try and lift the lid off the coffin. The word purgatory literally means to be purged or to be cleansed and people who believe in purgatory actually believe that what happens is that when you die you are sentenced to the coffin. You are sentenced to the world of the underground and that your sentence is determined in direct proportion to the number of sins that you die with that have been unforgiven. And you go into a time of purging and ultimately you get purged and cleansed but ultimately what happens is that all people are going to ultimately be cleansed and everybody is going to end up going into paradise into the place where God is. So you must absolutely make certain that just before you die you get someone to come and forgive you for your sin. Well the Bible doesn't teach that.
It's nowhere in the Bible. It's not mentioned, not one time. It's not even a suggestion.
It falls off the chart. It's not even an inference. You cannot even infer that. The only way you can teach that is from the heart of people like me and folks I'm here to announce if you trust what I say you and I are in trouble because I've never died. I've never been there. I'm not God. I don't know these things.
I have no authority outside of the word of God, amen. Well he was in torment. But there's a third thing here that Jesus teaches us about this place called hell.
It's a place of life. Well folks I thought that when you die that you're dead. But evidently you're not. I can tell you when God began to speak to my heart I have always been under the distinct impression that people who die are dead.
But Jesus was trying to tell us that they're not. Now folks I'm going to tell you this is a point of extreme difficulty for me. I find this very hard to get ahold of.
This is an area where I find myself clamoring. I have to come to the point of my faith which is the ultimate test of the truth. I've got to believe what Jesus said because he is truth. Such powerful teaching from Dr. Wilton. What a powerful statement to finish today's broadcast on. Jesus said it because he is truth. It's not just speaking truth.
Jesus is truth. It's our prayer that during these moments as you've heard Dr. Wilton teaching and preaching from the pulpit, you've heard more than just our pastor's South African brogue. You've heard the word of God and literally you've been moved by the Spirit of God.
And perhaps right now it's time for a decision. I pray that as you've been attentive listening to Dr. Don as he's been preaching you'd open 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 for the Lord? 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've given your life to Christ, praying along with Dr. Wilton moments ago, or rededicated your life, Dr. Wilton has wonderful resources he wants you to have for free if you'll call us at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673 for your free materials. You can also meet us on our website at www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org. We know that we are here to encourage you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-04 09:05:57 / 2023-06-04 09:16:12 / 10