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R929 Life After Death, Pt.4

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2022 8:00 am

R929 Life After Death, Pt.4

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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Today's the day we bring to conclusion this powerful message from Dr. Don Wilton, a series on life after death.

Coming up next. This is The Encouraging Word featuring the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton. Today we're connecting on our website at www.tewonline.org. While you're there, sign up for the free email from Dr. Don.

That's www.tewonline.org. The Encouraging Word. And now today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. Now folks, you're going to need your Bibles this morning. And I'm going to ask you to turn with me to Luke's Gospel in chapter 9.

Luke's Gospel in chapter 9. Now I don't know about you, but I've grown up hearing a lot of things about heaven. I've heard everything just as you have that one can possibly imagine. I've listened to preachers preach about heaven.

I've read about it in books. I've thought about it a lot. I've got kind of images of my own about heaven. I've probably heard every joke that you've heard. People use heaven as points of humor in all different kinds of ways.

We refer to heaven in everything. I mean, I've heard. Have you heard about the pearly gates? Uh-huh.

And for some reason we've decided that Peter is the commanding officer and we call him Saint Peter and what's going to happen? Folks, I've heard the whole nine yards. I've heard about this Clemson graduate and the Carolina graduate that, no, I'm not going to go there. That's what I'm just telling you.

I've heard about it and how they both arrive at the gate and Peter says, well, what makes you boys think you can come in here? I'm not going to give you the answer to that, folks. I know you're all wanting me to go there. I get into enough trouble as it is.

Nope. I tell you, I've heard everything you can possibly imagine about heaven. Here's the bottom line. The Bible tells us that heaven is as real as you and I are looking at each other today. God's Word says that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not die but will receive eternal life. If you go over into 1 John 5, you're going to read the apostle John puts it like this. He says, he that has the Son of God has life. Folks, this is all about the Lord Jesus Christ.

I'm just going to tell you right up front. Now, if you've accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, not only has He forgiven you of your sin, but He has written your name down in the Lamb's Book of Life. There are cults out there. There are religious groups out there.

There are people out there of every shape and size that are going to try and tell you otherwise. The Bible is abundantly clear. Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world. Heaven is about the fact that because Jesus gave His life upon a cross, shed His blood, that you and I can not only be forgiven of our sin, but that because we are forgiven of our sin, that the way is open through Jesus Christ, that we can come into His presence and live with Him forever.

Now, this is a massive subject. It is very big, but we're going to try our best over the next couple of weeks to really ask some very deep questions because I want to know. I want to know how to get there. Who's going there? What are we going to look like?

What does it look like? Does the Bible have anything to say about heaven? I want to read to you two passages of Scripture this morning.

The first one is found in Luke's Gospel in chapter 9. It's a remarkable passage. We know it as the transfiguration. That word transfiguration, just think of the word figure.

Think of your person. The word trance there means to change. And so what happened here is that Jesus went up on a mountain and something happened. He not only changed in front of the eyes of those who watched, but He showed us something about life after death.

I'm going to just read this. I know some of you will find it difficult to agree or understand. I'm not going to comment on it because the next two, probably three weeks, I'm going to be going back to this passage constantly. All right, and then we're just going to remind ourselves of a couple of things that were said in Luke chapter 16. Look what happened in Luke chapter 9 and verse 28. About eight days after Jesus said this, He took Peter, John, and James with Him and they went up onto a mountain to pray.

As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor talking with Jesus. They spoke about His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to Him, Master, it is good for us to be here.

Let us put up three shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. He didn't know what He was saying. And while He was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came from the cloud saying, This is my Son, whom I have chosen.

Listen to Him. When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and told no one at that time what they had seen.

Now just flip over to Luke chapter 16. Jesus told us a remarkable account of two people in Luke chapter 16. This is what He said, verse 19, that there was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and 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.

Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came that the beggar died and he was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. And in hell where he was in torment, he looked up and he saw Abraham afar away with 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 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 are in agony. Now, folks, when it comes down to the discussion about heaven, God's Word is filled with heaven. And the Lord Jesus evidently wanted us to know about this incredible place. I want to just give to you right up front, just three or four, just facts, just to lay the table today about heaven. Number one, that heaven is a place of reward. It's a place of reward.

We know that Jesus here telling us in Luke chapter 16 was trying to impress upon us, I believe, in the reality of this man's life, that heaven is a place where God rewards those who belong to him. Now, I tell you, I've been to a lot of awards ceremonies. One of the things that I love about Upward is that every child is a winner. I want you to just think about that, folks. You know, it's no wonder that God has taken Upward across the nation and around the world. I want you to just think of how significant that is. I love it, Eddie, when we look at these tapes here.

I mean, if I don't see any rising stars, my name's not Don Wilton. And you watch our boys and girls, they have the best fun you can ever imagine, kicking those balls and cheerleading and flag football and basketball and they're out there. I thank the Lord. I thank the Lord for our church. I thank the Lord for the vision of our church. Do you know, folks, some 10-odd years ago, if you weren't around at that time, our church acted in faith, went out and bought some ball fields.

We just did it in faith. Well, we got a problem right now. We've run out. We don't have enough room. We don't have enough gymnasiums. We don't know where to put kids. We've got to turn them away, which we never do. Because we don't want to turn away anybody because we believe in our young people.

And I love it. In this service, so many of our boys and girls who play in our upward leagues. And then the next service, this place will be packed out with boys and girls and moms and dads. I know there'll be a lot more in the next service because we're providing lunch for them afterwards. That's the most important part.

But folks, just think about rewards. Do you know what Jesus said? Jesus said that when we come into heaven, he's going to look into our faces and he's going to say, Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord. Now folks, that applies to every single person who has confessed their sin. And by faith, you've placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. There are no exceptions. There is no such thing as a second class Christian.

I want to announce that again. There is no such thing as a second class Christian. God's Word says that Jesus Christ died upon the cross so that all who know him may receive the reward of eternal life. We are actually a reward driven people. Reward is an incentive.

Now, if you want me to talk to you about heaven, I'm going to tell you something. There is an incentive involved in giving my heart and life to Jesus. The number one incentive is that my sins are going to be forgiven.

That's incentive number one. There are many people today who are living in this world and their life is being bound and encrusted and overtaken by sin. And they're saying, what do I do? Is there any hope for me?

Any deliverance? Can I go anywhere? Listen, I've messed up in my marriage. I've messed up in my morality. I've messed up in my life.

I've messed up in this. The number one reward, folks, for putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ is that if you confess your sin, he will forgive your sin and he will cleanse you. And he'll take your sin as far as the east is from the west. And he'll remember it no more.

But watch this, folks. He'll write your name in the Lamb's Book of Life. Revelation chapter 20, very clear on that, that your names are written down. And if your name is not written down in God's book in heaven, you can't go to be with him.

It is a practical action. We'll talk about that later because I've always wanted to know why in the world did God have to write our names down. He's God. He knows who I am. I don't think he's doing it because of himself.

I think he does it because of you and me. Because so many people, according to the Word of God in Matthew 7 and verse 21, are going to arrive, quote unquote, outside the pearly gates. And if indeed Peter's going to be standing there as the guardian, they're going to say, but Lord, you've got to understand something, Peter. I did this in your name and I did that in your name, to which our Saviour will say, depart from me, you do of iniquity because I never knew you. I cannot reward you because you've never given your heart to me.

You've never trusted me as your personal Saviour. It's a place of reward. Number two, it's a place of companionship.

It's a place of companionship. I love this. Did you notice something, folks, about what Jesus said here in Matthew chapter 19? Here's this man.

Let's just call him Billy Bob. I mean, he's pitiful. Bible tells us. I don't think that Jesus was trying to tell us that poor people go to heaven and rich people don't.

Not for one minute. What he was trying to show us, folks, that this man was pitiful. Yes, he was pitiful in his poverty, but he was pitiful in his loneliness. Someone told me one time that one of the most difficult things to deal with when you're down and out is lonesomeness. Do you know that people all over the world cry out for companionship? It's what I love about families, love about living in a place like this, love about having friends.

I was with a group of friends yesterday and I thought about the fact that we are friends together. What an incredible thing, companionship. Now, I'm going to be perfectly honest with you, folks, when in my mind for years and years when I thought about death, one of the things that scares me to death about death is the lonesomeness, the darkness about it, the abandonment. For years, when I saw someone die or I thought about death, to me the big issue was this darkness, this box, this being on your own. I've heard precious people say, if there's one thing, please, I don't want to die alone. Jesus here wants to make a point, folks, about eternal life. He says, you will never die alone.

You will never be alone. Isn't it amazing that Lazarus was immediately transported right there into the presence of Abraham by name? Well, if you go back to Luke chapter nine, which we're going to look at quite a lot in the transfiguration, just think about it. Jesus called three disciples, Peter, James and John. Then he appeared with two people. Hello, Moses and Elijah.

I'm going to come back to that a moment. So here's this company standing around. I want you to just think about the company, the living and the dead.

Why would Jesus have organised this collective company if he were not trying to tell us about ultimate companionship? Why? I had a lady say to me, I've had this many times, you have too. Will I see my husband again? Absolutely, yes. Will I see my son?

Absolutely, yes. Last night, about nine o'clock or something, I put on the television, Larry King Live, they had the singer Eric Clapton on there. I didn't listen to a lot of it, but if you remember, Eric Clapton in 1991 went through a tragedy. His son, four years of age, was killed and he wrote a song about heaven.

I wanted to climb through that television set and talk to Eric Clapton about the reality of heaven, about the companionship, about what God's Word says, about being together. Folks, this is what Jesus is talking about, is blood stuff. Eric Clapton last night said, well, we don't know whether we just become a force after we die.

Jesus never mentions becoming just a force. Jesus talks about real people, talks about companionship. Number three, heaven is a place of life.

Oh, I love this. It's a place of life. Just consider Lazarus for a moment. First of all, he had a royal escort. I don't know, folks, how to describe it, but the Bible says in Luke 16 and verse 22 that when the beggar died, the angels carried him to Abraham's side. Now, I'm just going to lay my glasses right there and I'm going to tell you something straight up. Jesus said that.

I don't know how to describe it. I've tried to. Other authors have tried to. When I started writing that book, The Absolute Certainty of Life After Death, and I got to that point there and Billy Bob came to the point of death, I knew that God's Word taught me that we are carried by the angels. Folks, here's what I believe.

I believe that when you come to that point to die, that Jesus Christ points to his angels and says, it's okay. You can go and get my sister, my child, my daughter. You can get that person. You can get John and Susan and whoever that person is. You can go now.

Go and get them. The Bible says this man was carried by the angels. What a royal escort. You don't even have to walk to heaven, folks. You don't even have to know the directions. If you've given your heart to Jesus, you've received those directions.

Please forgive the interruption. We'll be back in just a moment with the rest of today's message with Dr. Don Wilton. Dr. Don wants you to know we're here for you 24 hours a day. If you call 866-899-WORD, you'll find someone ready to talk with, pray with, and connect with great resources.

That's 866-899-9673 or online at www.tewonline.org. As a matter of fact, great resources like this. 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. That's just one of the many great resources on our website, www.tewonline.org.

That's www.tewonline.org. Now back to Dr. Don Wilton. I believe with all of my heart, listen, when I went to boarding school in Zululand, South Africa, our nurse, the school nurse, her name was Mrs. Catherine Philby, F-I-L-B-Y. Always have a fond place in my heart as a little eight-year-old boy for Mrs. Catherine Philby.

She was always so kind to us. Her husband, Ron Philby, and Mrs. Catherine Philby served as missionaries in the African nation of Angola and he died of cancer. And just before Ron Philby died, right there at that moment of death, he lifted up a hand and he pointed into the heavens and his face broke into the most incredible smile and he said, There's Jesus! There's Jesus! There's Jesus! And Ron Philby died. Say to me, pastor, what happened? I don't know.

I wasn't there. But I believe with all of my heart that Ron Philby, together with all people who have died, at that moment when we think death is closing us over, that God's angels arrive in their radiant, brilliant glory and we are picked up and placed in a chariot such of which you and I can't even describe. And we are given a royal escort right into the presence of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I believe that with all of my heart, don't you?

That's what heaven is all about. I want you to note in the second place that he had his name. He was called Lazarus. By the way, what was his name before he died?

Anybody know? Bible says in verse 20, his name was Lazarus. All right, this is a test now, folks. One word test.

This will improve your SATs. His name, Jesus said, his name was Lazarus before he died. Okay, after he died, was his name Joe, George or Lazarus? Lazarus, you got it.

Now watch this, watch this. If you go back to Luke chapter nine, okay, to the transfiguration, who appeared with Jesus in front of three disciples? Moses and Elijah.

Everybody say that. Moses and Elijah. I don't know, somebody needs to go and figure out how many years prior to that, that Moses and Elijah had died. If I was here in the south, which I am, I'd just say a bunch of years.

Is that good enough? I mean, those two boys died a bunch of years earlier, folks. They were dead. Now here they are with Jesus in Luke chapter nine and they appear, all right. If you go back into the Old Testament, what were their names before they died? Moses and Elijah. What is Jesus? This is with Jesus, folks. What were their names when they suddenly appeared right now?

Moses and Elijah. I didn't make that up. Was Jesus playing with us? So I'm going to make a conclusion. I believe, if any of you want to know what my name is, it's Don. I absolutely believe when I get to heaven, my name's going to be... That wasn't convincing at all. My name's Don. I know my name's Donald, okay.

Listen, folks. Only one person who calls me Donald and that's my mother. And when she got to the Donald part of Don, it was time for me to get up and come. It was Don, Don, Don. Donald!

When it got to the Donald, I was there in a heartbeat. I believe with all of my heart, you can say that is the silliest stuff I've ever heard in my entire life. Jesus made this point. I wish that I could give you some kind of spiritual description or try to engineer it that actually this is just a way of helping us to identify and this is just symbolical. Jesus did this. Why would Jesus appear, be transformed, give them a demonstration of his resurrected body and carry with him two men by the name of Moses and Elijah who were identified by name as Moses and Elijah?

Jesus did it. Well, he had his name. Number three, he had his body.

Now here we go in the construction business again. If you have a look at Lazarus, now in heaven, we can construct these bodies. He had eyes, he had vocal cords, he had a finger. Folks, there's not one little bit here where the Bible says there was this finger floating around and all of a sudden the rich man looked and said, I see that finger and would you let that finger?

I'm not being facetious folks. He said, would you send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue? Here we have two men by the name of Moses and Elijah.

Can you construct their bodies? Bible says they talked. Bible says they looked.

They were recognized exactly for who they are. He had a body. I thought that these three men, Lazarus, Moses and Elijah, I thought they were all dead.

He not only had a body, but he had abilities. Such powerful teaching from the pulpit with Dr. Don Wilton. Dr. Don Wilton, now open your heart to what he wants to share with you 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. Welcome to the family of God. I'm convinced some of you just gave your life to Christ praying with Dr. Wilton or rededicated your life. And we'd love to put free resources in your hands if you'll call us at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. Dr. Don would love to pray for you, so let us know what God's doing in your life. You can also meet us on our website as well at www.tewonline.org. That's tewonline.org or 866-899-9673.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-03 09:39:40 / 2023-06-03 09:49:39 / 10

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