Share This Episode
Grace To You John MacArthur Logo

What Happens When a Christian Dies? B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
February 10, 2021 3:00 am

What Happens When a Christian Dies? B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 613 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

February 10, 2021 3:00 am

Understanding The Times
Jan Markell
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey

To wish for heaven is to love God above all to wish for heaven is to desire Christ above all to wish for heaven is to long for pure fellowship to wish for heaven is to hate sin and the weakness of the flesh, to wish for heaven is to resent Satan and his world system wish for having perfect holiness, perfect claim to have died and gone to heaven and then come back again and maybe you've wondered if there's some truth to their tails if heaven is really like the said it is but there's no need to wonder. You only need to answer this question, how do their stories. Square with what the Bible says about dying and what comes after well in John MacArthur's current series is tackling some of the difficult questions about dying and heaven and also hell so stay here as John continues his look at the day when we all get to heaven follow along.

Now, as John begins the lesson.

First Peter 113 was this when we were last time where in the middle of the verse fix your hope that's a command fix your hope. Set your hope completely pretty strong language, set your hope completely. Don't put your hope in anything in this world. If you have hope in this life only or of most of all men most miserable.

This is not where you are put your hope picture hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ upon the appearing of Jesus Christ are your meeting him when you have died when he is fully disclosed to you in the next world you will at that point be given the greatest gift of grace and that is eternal perfection in heaven. So fix your hope completely on that future grace now less than look at this, for which we should have constant interest and affection and desire and earnestness and eagerness this future glorification must be real basic one of the components that bring this about guns to give you some things to think your number one death you have to die to get this okay. Then what body and soul are separated. So let's talk not about death, let's talk about what many call it the separated state okay.

The separated state bodies in the grave and the soul of the spirit, the inner person soul and spirit, meaning same thing, the inner person. The outer person soul and spirit is with the Lord. For the believer body to dust in the spirit to God. Stephen asked seven being crushed under the stones of those who are murdering him had his theology right Stephen was being stoned. He said Lord Jesus, receive my spirit knew there was no intermediate state. There is no limbo purgatory waiting place. He knew that his spirit was going immediately into the presence of the Lord Jesus.

He knew that the apostle Paul said in Philippians 1. Far better to depart and be with Christ. There is no gap segment is 580 said absent from the body present with the Lord. No middle place. So when a person dies instantaneously. There, in the presence of the Lord forever spirit body in the grave the ground the ashes were so that until the resurrection which hasn't happened yet.

The soul exists without a body.

Look at Hebrews 12 for a minute. Hebrews 12 verse 23 Hebrews 1223 helps us with this says that them in heaven talks about the general assembly and church of the firstborn firstborn the proton across the premier one, Jesus Christ, the church of Jesus who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, when you come to Mount Zion. Verse 22. When you come to the city of the living God. When you come to the heavenly Jerusalem you're coming to myriads of angels are coming to the Gen. assembly in the church that belongs to Christ you're coming to God and you're coming to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, so all who die in Christ there spirits, the inner person the real person goes immediately into the presence of the Lord absent from the body present with the Lord depart and be with Christ.

Heaven is the place of the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and so they are there without bodies up to this point. Up to this point. In fact, revelation six, nine pictures the tribulation and says under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and they were crying out with a loud voice hello Lord, holy and true, will you refrain from judgment in avenging our blood. So here you have souls praying spirits occupying heaven bodies are not yet there. So there is a separated state, and though the spirits the souls the inner person are now in heaven. The bodies haven't been joined to them and that is true, beloved that is true with the exception of the Enoch and Elijah that is true that the bodies haven't been raised either for the Old Testament saints or the New Testament say because the resurrection hasn't happened is the resurrection doesn't happen until after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the time of his coming.

So heaven right now is filled with the spirits of the just who been justified by faith and are now perfect in the presence of God. You said you think they're kinda hanging around Santa when we get our bodies will first of all, you have to understand that in the dimension of heaven there is no time. There is no time something anybody waits for anything. Whatever it means to live in an environment where there is no time. I really don't understand, but there were the Lord today with him in paradise depart and be with the Lord as the body present with the Lord. So the third element that we have to talk about we talk about death, we talk about separated status talk about resurrection the spirits and the souls now in the presence of the Lord, enjoying all the full perfection that a spirit can enjoy are still not complete because they don't have their bodies was a 23 says that the that there is a groaning among us waiting for the redemption of our body. There will actually be a body and its I do. I don't know that I can go any further than this except to say it'll be you and it'll be me and not some alien form because Paul says this corruptible shall put on in corruption. This mortal shall put on immortality and by the way, there will be a resurrection for the wicked and the righteous right now. The wicked are suffering in their spirit and in their soul without their resurrection bodies.

But Jesus said in John chapter 5 in verse 28 do not marvel at this an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear his voice, Jesus has the power to give life to the bodies of all who have died in history of the world and all will come forth, some to a resurrection of life, some to a resurrection of judgment. Verse 29. All who ever lived will be raised. There are bodies fit for hell and bodies fit for heaven bodies in which the souls that are damned will dwell in bodies in which the souls that are glorified will dwell in Daniel chapter 12 there is a wonderful prophetic promise of the coming resurrection of the Old Testament saints, and many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

There's an Old Testament texts the same thing that read you the words of Jesus in John five everybody comes to life, some to everlasting life. Enjoy some to everlasting contempt. Now in the New Testament we get a bit of a description of what the body is going to be for the righteous.

We have no description of the body for the unrighteous, it will be a body suited to the suffering. But for those of us who are believers, we find out what our resurrection body will be like trying Philippians chapter 3 Philippians chapter 3. Here we read in verse 20 that our citizenship is in heaven as I was saying earlier, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and again that word eagerly is put in there because I think it's so easy for us to lose sight of this one could wish we lived in a more depressed deprived, painful, difficult, burdensome world and we live in because the level of our comfort gives us such satisfaction that we lose that eagerness for the life to come, but our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Look at verse 21 who will transform the body of our humble state. It will be the body of our humble state transformed metamorphosis into conformity with the body of his glory and he will do this by the exertion of the power that he has even to subject all things to himself. So the way to understand the body of our glory is that it will be like the body of his glory will be like his resurrection body and moved around it. What went through walls and through doors that were shut, he could speak he could move, he could be touched and even the scars that he had from the cross could be seen and felt the eight this is the glorious body of the Lord Jesus Christ that is coming that is coming.

No one has that resurrection body yet. The Old Testament saints are still waiting for it but New Testament saints are still waiting for by the Bible describes this as the first resurrection and the first resurrection actually has four components. First of all is the primacy of the resurrection and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In him we live, because he lives we live resurrection we receive comes through the power of Christ demonstrated in his own resurrection of all who would ever be raised. He is the proton across the premier once so the first phase. The first feature of the first resurrection is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, secondly, comes the rapture of the church. This this is imminent, imminent IMM this is imminent.

It could happen at any time know prophetic things need to take place before this. We live in expectation we live. Believing the doctrine of immanence. See the Christ to come at any moment the rapture his church. This is what I read you. First Corinthians 1551, 52, first Thessalonians chapter 413 to 17 and John 14, 1 to 6 the rapture of the church. That's the second. At that point, the dead in Christ and the church will be raised and they will receive their glorified bodies and those who are alive at that time will be metamorphosed on the way up in a nano second. The third aspect of this first resurrection. The third component will be at the end of the period called the great tribulation, a seven year period of divine judgment in the world that follows the rapture of the church at the end of that seven year period will come the resurrection of the Old Testament saints as prophesied in Daniel chapter 12 comes at the end of the time of tribulation, and it comes immediately preceding the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ. If you follow the flow of the prophetic literature of the Old Testament you know that the resurrection of the Old Testament saints is in preparation for the glory of the Messiah, which will be revealed in the world at that time also tribulation saints will be resurrected, who died under the reign of terror of Antichrist in any who are alive will go in their physical bodies right into the final element, the millennial kingdom.

The millennial kingdom and anyone who dies in the millennial kingdom would be instantly metamorphosed instantly transformed, there would be no resurrection to wait for. So the first resurrection is launched in the resurrection of Jesus Christ second event that makes up this first resurrection is the rapture of the church followed later after Israel salvation by the resurrection of the Old Testament saints at the end of the tribulation along with the tribulation saints and there will be a sort of private personal immediate kind of resurrection or transformation for anyone who dies during that thousand year reign of Christ described in Revelation chapter 20 after that at the end of the millennial kingdom there's a rebellion by Satan. Satan's rebellion is eliminated immediately by the Lord himself and all the wicked are judged and Satan and his hosts and all those who followed him or cast into the lake of fire and got at that point destroys the creation great white throne takes place and then God creates the new heaven and the new earth. The final dwelling place of the glorified embodied righteous spirits. This is the final grace. This is the future. Grace and we stopped to think about heaven and you ask what what is going to be the dominant thing I keep going back to this with you, and I told you this before the dominant feature of Heaven's joy, there will be a level of happiness there that we can't even comprehend, and it can never and will never diminish. So to find our joy in this world is delivered a very low level. The only place you can find joy really in this world. It's real joyous to find joy in the grace that God gives you to find joy in the fellowship of other believers to find joy in Christian family to find joy in serving Christ to find joy in living for his kingdom and his glory and his gospel to embrace the sinful world to idolize the sinful world is to spurn the comfort of hope and the joy of hope and the fulfillment of hope in us to seek what you can't find, and to forfeit the joy of Hope's anticipation all the all it does is aggravate Earth's miseries. But if you go through life. Don't expect much, then you'll have less disappointment to wish for heaven is to love God above all to wish for heaven is to desire Christ above all to wish for heaven is to long for pure fellowship to wish for heaven is to hate sin and the weakness of the flesh, to wish for heaven is to resent Satan and his world system to wish for heaven is to long for perfect holiness and perfect joy.

Set your affections on things above, and certainly not on things on this earth and you will say with John. Revelation 2212 behold, I'm coming quickly. Jesus said, behold, I'm coming quickly first 20 again I'm coming quickly and John says amen come Lord Jesus. From my perspective. John is saying you can't get here fast enough, some practical things just to think about. If you live with the hope of heaven.

If you live with an eagerness of heaven is evidence of genuine salvation. It is evidence of genuine salvation. It means that your heart is truly God's bid means that it's a flame in alive and exuberant, with hope. Secondly, to live with eagerness for heaven is is to be motivated to the highest excellence of Christian character to to live for what is to come for that future final grace is to be motivated the highest excellence of Christian character. First John three says he that has this hope purifies himself, even as he is pure as a purifying effect to live in excited anticipation that you're gonna see Jesus face-to-face knowing that he knows everything about you that kind of accountability that kind of expectation causes purification purging of sin. Furthermore, to live with a heavenly hope to be eager for the presence of God is the truest path to a life of joy is the truest path to a life of joy because what the world can be full of trouble. Listen to what it says in Romans 818.

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with what the glory it is to be revealed to us.

That's how you approach life if you live with a heavenly hope in a heavenly anticipation, and you begin to understand the fullness of all that that means nothing in this world that goes wrong that brings about suffering can be really debilitating truest path to life to a life of joy to real joyful endurance through very trying times is to have such a shining hope for heaven and to understand that nothing that happens here can even be compared with what is waiting for you there alive eager hope for heaven.

Number four is a preservative against temptation is a preservative against temptation, very much like the second point, motivating us to the highest level of Christian character, but listen to the testimony of the apostle Paul said in Corinthians chapter 5 we have as our ambition, whether home or absent to be pleasing to him, for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

There we will be recompense for what we've done whether it's good or useless.

Our works are gonna be burned up as would a stubble or going to be preserved like gold, silver, precious stones, heavenly mind doesn't stoop to the sensual life as it knows it's going to face judgment in a time of reward, not condemnation, but one who lives in the anticipation of heaven and the coming of the Lord Jesus knows that he wants or she wants the full reward for his glory and his honor and for the love of Christ. I think also that this hope when it shines bright in the heart of the believer maintains the vigor of spiritual service. I think it it really makes the difference in how diligently you serve and how you endure second Corinthians, this is a great, great text verse 16 of chapter 4. We do not lose heart, where Paul and anybody can lose heart.

It would be false just hammered middle his heart. Why even though our outer man is decaying. When we lose heart, because the inner man is being renewed day by day. How do you do that because momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. The more they do to me, the bigger the weight of glory becomes, the more I am faithful and the more I am persecuted and abused, and the more I suffer for the gospel, the greater will be my eternal glory we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen for the things that are seen are temporal things which are not seen are eternal.

This hope this shining anticipation of glory is evidence of true salvation. It is a motive to the highest excellence of Christian character is the truest path to life and joy. It is a preservative against falling to temptation and it maintains the vigor of spiritual service. If you run slow and you work little and you offer the Lord a meager offering of service.

That's probably because you have very little regard for the heavenly prize if you don't endure. It's because you don't understand the things that are not seen. If you are not living godly and faithful and honorable life before the Lord. It's because you don't have a vision of the value of an eternal weight of glory, and so I certainly wish with all my heart that we could live with this hope. That's the Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and use the featured Bible teacher here on grace to you. John MacArthur. He calls his current study when we all get to heaven you know the lesson you just heard. Really, it's the same thing you'll hear every day on this broadcast.

In this sense, every day you're going to hear John MacArthur teach the Bible in a careful, systematic way and John you're passionate about helping people understand the Scriptures, and day after day. We are reminded that people who listen actually share your passion for knowing God's word yeah I think that's the common denominator for people who are part of our grace to family. They have not only learned that we don't live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. They not only know that because that's what Scripture says they've lived it. I think once people feast on the word of God.

They never ever ever can get enough right and that's why you know we don't we don't have people to get exhausted with the word of God and then drop out of our grace to family once they're in, it's like a life commitment. It's amazing to me. I meet people all the time you been listening to Grace to you for decades and decades and you wondering how don't you get tired of this and know it's the word of God.

It feeds our souls is what we hunger for so I would say for people who don't regularly listen to Grace to you. It is an acquired appetite.

If you are not used to feeding on the word of God, you are feeding your souls on something inferior and something very likely harmful once you get a taste of the truth, you can never get enough of it. I say this about, for example, the doctrine of election, people fight against the doctor until the understand and once he understand it. It's like the lights go on everywhere and they see it on every page of Scripture and they can ever get enough of that wonder of wonderful, secure reality that God has chosen me so it it accumulates and it transforms lives when they feed on the word of God, thank you for supporting your local church. If there faithful in doing that and thank you for supporting Grace to you as we continue to bring you the word of God day after day. Yes friend we really can't thank you enough. Your support helps ensure that people in your community and communities across the globe have access to Bible teaching that changes lives to stand with us, contact us today. You can mail your tax deductible donation to Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412. You can also donate or you can call us at 855 race.

Thanks for supporting verse by verse, Bible teaching and thanks for praying for us again to partner with us or call 855 race that 800-5572 23.

And remember, there are thousands of free resources available at our website. If you're looking to grow in your love for God and his word if you want to know how to be a better parent or you want to know more about key doctrines like salvation or holiness, or spiritual gifts, you will likely find a sermon or blog article or a devotional that will help your spiritual needs.

Again, our web address now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to you. Staff I'm Phil Johnson. Remember to watch grace to you television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378 or check your local listings for channel and times and then be here tomorrow as John continues his study when we all get to heaven with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime