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TNG Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
September 14, 2018 9:13 am

TNG Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland

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September 14, 2018 9:13 am

TNG 09-16-18 Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife by Truth for a New Generation

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Love Worth Finding
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Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan Burroughs together bringing you the truth for a new generation.

This is TMG radio a very in this verse is Ecclesiastes 311.

This is God has made everything beautiful. Some translations say appropriate in his time he has set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end eternity in our hearts. Think about that as we welcome you to today's edition of TMG radio Alex Smith for tier with Dylan Burroughs, Dylan. It's good to be with you and good to talk about what the Bible has to say regarding eternity yes and it's so common for people today to think about the here and now and what's going on in the moment, but the reality is we are all headed toward the next life, not just this life and what we do in this life determines our eternity. We want to talk about that today, as we discuss heaven hell in the afterlife and Ecclesiastes 311 is a good introduction to that.

So what we want listeners to take away from today's. We talk about these issues of eternity. Alex well on the main thing that II think we want listeners to take away is to recognize that thinking on eternity is a universal human phenomenon 90 people everywhere think about this.

We quoted Immanuel Kant, the philosophers said that you know two things fill the mind with ever-increasing on wonder the starry skies above me in the moral law with inmate and Dostoyevsky the rider he he thought about the basic questions of the Christian worldview, even though at the time he probably wouldn't of been able to articulate it, but he asked these questions in a why am I here what is the purpose of my existence and what happens after I die. And so when Ecclesiastes 311 says that God has put eternity in our heart. It is a universal human phenomenon to think about eternity Dylan. I've I've debated atheists that would in front of an audience on a stage doggedly maintain that there is no such thing as God and then back in the green room alone talk about their fear of death in their questions about what happens when we leave this world only comment a little bit on Ecclesiastes 311 will come to another verse. Some translations render this God has set eternity in our heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God is done from beginning to the end that wording. There yet so that man will not find out are really the more accurate rendering of the Hebrew is without which man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning.

The bottom line is this your never really going to understand life purpose, meaning, healing from wounds and being ready for the next world you're never going to have that inner peace and those answers if you don't allow God into the equation.

I think one of the reasons that people that are militant secularists can become angry is because you can't really do life.

You can't get you can't really understand life without letting God into the equation. Would you agree will certainly and it's interesting to me that even though everybody in every culture has some kind of view of the afterlife that there are many different aspects into how people determine what they believe about the next world you have use of reincarnation. For example, and on the skeptical side you have those who say there is nothing after this life you going to the ground and that is all.

The question becomes where do we get accurate information about the afterlife or the raw studies of near-death experiences are these adequate or is there something else we need to look to now, as believers, the one place we look to their source of truth is the Bible as we want to look at today is what the Bible itself tells us about heaven and hell in the afterlife and to be honest, even many people are Christians are not very clear about what the Scriptures say on this will exactly the question when people tell me you will you know I've always thought this or the way I see itů And in the question for all this is what is your authority, what is your authority now when we talk about the Bible says this or that some people might object and also I don't recognize the Bible.

I don't believe the Bible and we talked a number of times about the Bible has an impeccable pedigree compelling lines of evidence point to the reality the trustworthiness the divine origin of the Bible we speak to matters of eternity. We've got the clear content of the Bible. We've got to the clear promises and warnings from Jesus who also has an amazing resume virgin born sinless life rose from the dead.

So God has shown us answers to these questions about origin, purpose and destiny eternity in our heart and we we need to rise above just mere opinion speculation conventional wisdom we need that.

The reality, the rocksolid truth of God's revelation and that's what we have now let me just say this and we want to move on, but there's so much rich meaning in that Ecclesiastes 311 horses.

God has set eternity in our heart and the warning there really means perpetuity, or timelessness, and others. Think about it. One of the greatest human forces is the will to live.

Most rational people don't want to die and Dylan. In fact, I've had atheists who said to me that they wished they could live forever, and there is this drive this spark that God has put in our heart and are sold in and in our psyche. The desire to live. Yes, God has made us for eternity. I had a professor at liberty of mentioning before John Morrison who has a PhD from the University of Virginia, brilliant scholar thinker and John Morrison was giving a lecture about how all cultures have this aversion to death and we tried to have a legacy and immortalize ourselves whether it's through art or reputation. We all you know and I've seen this is a pastor, men especially, that are in the hospital bed about to leave this world. I want to know what what mark they've made, and if they've left a legacy and John Morrison at liberty University said there's a reason that we recoil from death, the body and the soul he said is a separation that somehow intuitively we know was never meant to occur.

Now speak that for a moment. Death was not part of God's plan was it doing no. Originally we see that death became a consequence of the fall of humanity in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were there part of their judgment was that they would experience death, and that was not only physical death but also spiritual separation and so when the New Testament comes about. We see these comparisons between the first Adam and the neck. The last set of Jesus Christ and how he came to give us eternal life, and to give us a way to escape the effects of judgment that started back at that point. So when we look at what the Bible says about the afterlife were given to clear categories were given heaven and were given hell we want to speak about that we come back because they're all kinds of alternative uses, well, what about purgatory. What about soul sleep. What about the eternal state how all these concepts fit in and we'll talk about that more and we come back a treat for new generations of stick with this will be right back. First Peter 315 tells us to be ready always to give an answer for the hope we have were instructed to be prepared to defend our faith. This is Alex McFarlane for the life answers teams students we train at North Greenville University, a leading Christian college in South Carolina. The life answers.

Teams are made up of students who will inspire and equip your congregation. These apologetics teams, we train speak in churches to youth groups and train Christians of all ages to address key issues of our times. From a biblical perspective like is there a God is the Bible true.

What about gender and moral issues. Call me at 864977 2008 and we will arrange for the life answers team to come to your church and give a presentation that will benefit your people for years to come.

864-977-2000 eight and always be ready. Our country is falling apart, political unrest, social upheaval, the breakdown of the family. The rise of atheism. The rise of Islam are religious freedoms are under attack. There's gender fluidity gender identity is making a mess of freedom of expression.

So we need to put some skin in the game and love this nation. As Christians we are to stand strong. There has to be some personal investment in the living out in the preservation of stand strong American is that you face help you become a champion champion for Christ in stand strong American Jason Jimenez and I lay out the facts about our nation. The current condition and how you yes you, your family, your church, community can be involved in keeping this great Republic stand strong America is a guide for encouraging wherever Christian will Alex McFarlane Dylan Burroughs were talking about with the Bible's about heaven he'll eternity the afterlife and know this folks, only God's word reveals the truth. The truth about death and the afterlife don't trust your eternity to wishful thinking or something you you know read on a horoscope. Only God's word is is the true story about death and the afterlife. And you know all cultures. Dylan you never have thought about eternity in the burial customs of of cultures throughout history and many of the rituals related to death reflect what people have thought about or speculated, and ultimately all cultures of people throughout history have recognized their own mortality and put together rituals to try to respond to that. But let's talk about what the Bible says because according to the word of God, the afterlife is comprised of two places heaven and hell and yes folks, yes, the very same Bible that depicts the glories of heaven warns about the horrors of hell to heaven though. Paul read about this much was written by Paul about heaven in first Corinthians 2 verse nine the word of God says quote but as it is written, what no eye has seen, and no ear has heard, and what is never come into the heart of man is what God is prepared for those who love him that the mind struggles to really imagine the beauty and the glory and the joys that await those in heaven for all who have trusted Jesus is not right. Yes. And there are several examples in the Bible to make it very clear that heaven and hell are the only two options. You often hear from other religious backgrounds that there is a a different version such as a limbo or purgatory, where people can go or some different degree of the afterlife where you earn your way from one level to the next. But if you look in Scripture as some examples that I think are insightful. One is the gospel Luke where it talks about Lazarus and the poor man, and at the time of death. One goes to be at Abraham's side and the other is in torment and there is no discussion of anything in between.

There is no way one person can go from one side to the other is simply to options and that is it's another good example is the thief on the cross we see Jesus on the cross and one of the people beside him eventually sees that their end is near, and they want to do something different and says remember me when you come into your kingdom and Jesus says today you will be with me in paradise.

So even though it was a last-minute salvation in this man's case, there is nothing he had to do to earn it. There was nothing he could do to earn it. He could not be baptized, he could not be trained in his faith. He simply believed in God respected his belief and gave him salvation. So these are just some of the examples were given of the two options of heaven and hell. But we also want to be clear that there is heaven, and there is a hell it's become popular in our time to talk about hell in some state of mind or some temporary place that doesn't really exist. But the Bible talks a lot about hell is a real place any and eternal place of punishment doesn't Alex, what will it really does and you know not only does God's word talk about it but it seems just in Nate that those who don't want to be in the presence of God shouldn't be forced to have to do that and really you not think about.

For those that not a final judgment or deny what the Bible and what Jesus himself clearly said about how women think about it how Jost would we believe God is if a Mother Teresa and on and off Hitler are in the same category. I mean, do we really believe eternity for a Billy Graham is going to be the same as an eternity for an Osama bin Laden course not. Now it's not good work so to be very clear.

It's through Jesus's work that people are saved in and made ready for eternity. But the Bible is very clear that you know I think in Matthew where it says these will go away into eternal punishment.

Those who rejected Christ. But the righteous into eternal life, and people are made righteous through believing in Jesus only said the son of Dylan were planning a trip to the holy land in the fall of 2019 and it's been my joy together before and you see if you're at the garden of Gethsemane you're facing the old city to the left is this place called the Valley of Gehenna, and now it's slightly south of the dung gate where they took the trash out but it was this burning garbage dump in the time of Jesus.

They called it the Valley of Gehenna and Jesus compared that to hell this terrible place that was always burning and smoking and it was where the refuse was thrown away. And hell was compared to that. Although it it's much worse and there's no I don't think Dylan there's any physical thing in this world that can adequately depict the horrors of hell. I think about this on to say this and then get your response. People talk about the punishment of hell.

But here is one of the the horrific realities of of hell that we we have never experienced yet and that's to be cut off from the presence of God and atheist often talk about hell and you know joking terms. But look, we have never experienced what it means like to be estranged from the very very presence of God in and friend don't go there because one minute and you can realize what a tragic choice it was. And there's no recourse or going back so allow God into your life and allow your own soul into his kingdom.

Once you leave this world. Yes always say during difficult times. I don't know how someone who doesn't have God in their life makes it because even with God in my life there times where I think that life is hard.

All I had to lean on is God and his presence in my life while unbelievers experience that in this life and in this world, but they will also experience every eternity after this life and to me that would be the greatest punishment of all to go. Not only all of this life without God in your life and to be separated from his presence but to go for all eternity.

Knowing that God had sent his son Jesus Christ to provide a way for you to have eternal life that he paid the price and all you had to do is believe in you missed out. So if the ultimate disgrace I think is that we will be for all eternity separated from the one who made us and created us and provided a way for us to have salvation's. I want people to understand were not talking about hell because were no just out to be meaner out to get people but at the same time we want to tell the truth of what the Bible speaks on this topic that there are only two options and that those without Christ in their life will be without him for eternity, which makes the call to salvation all that much more important in our lives now as well as our call to tell our friends and neighbors and other people in our lives about the Lord as well. So we come back in a moment will talk more about this in our final segment entry for new generation stick with this would be right back. If you're a Christian parent. You of course want to instill a biblical view of life in the hearts of your children, your pastor, you want to offer ministry that draws young families to your church. This is Alex my file and encouraging you to check out my new book and video curriculum.

The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask about Christianity. I interviewed hundreds of children ages 5 to 12 and we address actual questions from actual children. The spiritual issues that are on the minds of your kids the book and video lessons are great for groups of any size and was produced with the goal of equipping kids to stand strong for Christ in any situation. The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask the book study guide and video series. You'll find that AFA For centuries the Bible has inspired humanity and shape the very world we live in. But how do we know this book is the word of God, not merely the words of man, what we believe about the Bible is based on what we believe about source. The God who speaks explores the evidence of the Bible's inspiration and authority to some of the world's most respected biblical scholars have essentially a geolocation, so it's true to say that Paul wrote Romans is equally true to say that God's decision. We saw this and that sets the Bible apart from everything else in the ancient world and its religious pantheon of gods and goddesses. The God who speaks is a feature-length documentary from the American family Association available now with the God who speaks.all second Thessalonians 1 verse nine. The Bible warns of those that reject Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his mind. Welcome back to the program. Dylan Burroughs and Alex McFarland here were going to continue our talk about eternity and what the Bible says about heaven and hell.

But I do want to remind you to pray for this ministry. We are in some exciting days. I will tell you that we are on the road bringing the truth for a new generation apologetics conferences to cities all around America and were were seen God touch a lot of lives. God is been opening so many doors and let me say a lot of what skeptics and those that are unbelievers will say in objection to the gospel of Jesus Christ we've answered and a lot of our books and I do want to give to websites one is is the truth for a new generation website truth for a new

We've got an app, a mobile device with a searchable database of topics that we've written on topics designed to help you in your Christian growth in your Christian walk and then my own website which is Alex there's an e-book store. Dylan and we've got over a thousand things there books like 10 answers for skeptics. The 10 most common objections to Christianity and how to answer them on the 21 toughest questions your kids will ask about God and so many more. A brand-new book brand-new that I wrote with Dr. Tony Beam from North Greenville on life answers to to curriculum. People are always asking us about how to teach this in Sunday school or church or and in the home and so you can go to our websites look at these resources. You can call us if you want to edit out 1877 yes, God, 1877 yes God one and the point of this all is to see the church equipped to rise to the challenge of first Peter 315 and be ready to give an answer so Dylan love back to the topic at hand. You have often thought about Daniel 12 verse two. Speaking about the final judgment. It says in many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Interesting wording there Dylan.

I think one of the one of the tragic things of of hell those are separated from God to know for eternity. I did this to myself that the shame and the everlasting contempt of Daniel 12 might be a reference to the. The knowledge that the people in hell are there of their own choice. CS Lewis of this, God would move heaven and earth, and in fact Jesus came from heaven to earth.

But here's what Lewis says God will do everything to keep you out of hell short of overriding your free will.

He will offer heaven, but he won't force it said Lewis.

That's a good way to put it in referring back to the story of Lazarus Luke 1622 to 23 says the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side talk about heaven. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his side. The reason I mention that is that even though we may not know all the details of what happens in the afterlife.

You can just imagine the rich man being torment and looking out and seeing what he's missing out on and wishing that he had made a different choice with his life and for people who are listening today. Maybe you've been that person who is been living life for yourself. You been thinking I'll put it off until another time to get right with God. But we do not know what our time will, and that's a very risky chance to take to say that I'll wait until some other time.

We need to be living for God starting today and every day to pursue him, not only for eternal life and to have the best life we can and living for him, moment by moment, day by day so that we can make an impact in the lives of those around us. You only throw this out while were talking about these very serious issues of of life and death and salvation and coming to Jesus you out of one of the macabre, and arose, but I will tell you this, my wife being a nurse have been around a lot of medical people for a long time and I've been around people that are in hospitals and there was a man that died in hospital bed and in his final moments was screaming and crying and he said don't you see my feet my feet is in that fire pull me out and he was grabbing the headboard of the bed as if he was trying to lift himself out of the fire and they knew I was going to go to seminary and so some of the nurses were asking me questions about this. You know Gary have amassed a great scholar talks about near-death experiences and those that have seen visions of heaven will not often talked about and frankly it's not comfortable to think about, but it's reality. There are near-death experiences of those that are not facing salvation but going into death unprepared for the reason that were taking time to talk about this is because this is real and God cares about your soul and the Bible talks about Jesus Christ to has spoiled the grave. Another words done. Jesus is says in the New Testament that he by the blood of his cross has abolished death. I love that verse and so yes there is punishment for sin.

But you don't have to experience. Yes, there is a warning of hell, but you don't have to go there and the Bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord for salvation. You can be saved. That's Romans 1013, so let let's talk about this Dylan in just a brief amount of time we have left God offers salvation, forgiveness, and for those who found Christ and we've got a mission in life to tell others who need Christ. Don't worry we do and I want to encourage people who are believers, especially right now that so many times we get caught up in the same busyness of this world that everyone else does, but the truth is that people are going one place or the other. They're either going to heaven or they're going to hell and we have a role to play and calling people into the light to be those who share the truth of Jesus with others so they can enjoy the salvation that we have and be with us for all eternity. My own father passed away at the age of 49 years old. After fighting cancer for some time I was 24 at the time and he knew the Lord in the last time I saw him before he passed away. He very clearly told me he was ready to meet God and by that he meant that he had made a choice at one point his life to receive salvation through Jesus Christ.

If you're not sure that you've done that, I encourage you to pray to call onto Jesus even now as we speak to say Jesus be the Lord of my life be my Savior. Forgive me of my sins take me to heaven with you for eternity.

When I die in this life. We hope you been encouraged through these words.

If you are a believer if you just made that decision say we want to encourage you to keep living out the faith and if we can help you in any way finds the truth for new and let us know more talk with the next time think something truth for a new generation in association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with the biblical worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes, God, and the number one TMG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 10231, Borough, NC 27404. That's PO Box 10231, North Carolina 27404. Give or truth for a new

Thanks for listening and join us again next time. As we bring you more true for a new generation on TMG radio

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