Share This Episode
Truth for Life Alistair Begg Logo

Death and Dying

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
August 22, 2022 4:00 am

Death and Dying

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 824 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

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

August 22, 2022 4:00 am

Are you prepared to die? The apostle Paul didn’t dread his final days. Can we say the same? Explore the reality of death, and find out why being ready to face eternity is the key to living with a sense of peace. That’s on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


COVERED TOPICS / TAGS (Click to Search)
Truth For Life Alistair Begg Bible teaching Parkside Truth For Life Paul the Apostle
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

Important question. How ready are you to die. Apostle Paul didn't read the end of his life. Can you say the same today on Truth for Life will cure listener favored a message titled death and dying Alastair beg explores the reality of death explains why being ready to face eternity is the key to living with a sense of peace, but I invite you to take your Bible, send resume our studies in second Timothy by giving her attention to just one verse, and that is the sixth verse of chapter 4 that is nothing like the prospect of death to clarify the issues of life. If you've had a cancer diagnosis. You know how quickly her mind goes to your will. How quickly the question goes there. Do I have enough money if I if I leave everybody now will they all starve to death. You immediately started think questions that you can think before it's death that clarifies the issue of life Samuel Johnson who was a witty fellow. Put it this way in his day.

When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight and concentrates his mind wonderfully. It will really focus your attention. What is happened to Paul is that he finds himself in the jail and his attention is absolutely focused, it is imperative he says that the gospel be placed safely into the hands of those whom he leaves behind, and particularly here in the person of Timothy note what is an intensely personal paragraph Paul is urging Timothy in light of the fact that he Paul has done what is necessary in the time. Granted to him and it is not vital that Timothy does what is necessary in the balance of time that he has to live and in the first half of verse six, Paul uses a metaphor to highlight the process which he is going through. And then he uses a second method for in the balance of the verse two gift to us an understanding of the prospect that he faces. I just made a note of those two piece to try and help me navigate and so will say something about each of them and then try make application of it to our contemporary environment. First of all, in the process that he identifies it's there in the text. I am already being poured out as a drink offering when the world does that mean I don't know if you said to anybody lately that you are that you are feeling a bit like a drink offering I be surprised if you did, but this terminology would not be difficult for people in first century Ephesus, both in the Greco-Roman world as well as in the Jewish world. It was a figure of speech that he understood and when you read the Old Testament and you can search for this with a good concordance, you discover that Moses gives instruction to the people of God as others in shooting died in the sacrifices that God is established, there will be not only grain offerings and animal offerings, but there will also be the offerings of lying or oil and when not oil or wine was poured out either as a primary expression or as a complementary expression. It was simply a picture and illustration of all life poured out so they poured this out.

It would have been perhaps relatively expensive and it would be of significance and in the pouring out of it. They were saying. As this oil is poured out as this wine is poured out so may our lives be poured out for you gracious God.

And when you think about that you realize what a wonderful picture.

It is just as an animal sacrifice was complemented by their pouring out off the wine so if you like the life of Paul. He says my life is in the process of being poured out. Jesus has made the sacrifice for sins, he is the only one who has been able to deal with sin and now my life is not sacrificial in any sense.

In comparison, or in context of Jesus, but rather it is a response to the sacrifice of Jesus, the pouring out of wine. As I said med might've been regarded by some who observed is a complete waste and some my thing would've looked on it. Paul's imprisonment.

I say that's a complete waste as well is what a waste pouring out that wine we could've dreamed that we are the views that I want waste in this apostles life that is stuck there in the jail. Paul doesn't see it in those terms. As he says no I am already being poured out as a drink offering no notice is not active is passive.

He doesn't say I am pouring my life out, which he is. He says I am being poured out. In other words, God is superintending what is happening in his life is not as if he pours his life out when he has a chance to determine his own agenda when he's not in jail know whether he's in jail out of jail with reason successor in disappointment when he is in you know great encouragement or times of despondency.

Still, his life is being poured.

God is at work in the life's of his servants all day every day.

Enjoy and in sorrow. Well, that's the process. Secondly, the prospect, the prospect is all of his death or is he refers to it is departure and once again in Philippians, he has use the same terminology back in Philippians 2 writing to them.

He says here I am in the jail and I don't know what I'm going to continue to live in the flesh. Verse 22 Philippians 1. If I do remain in the flesh will that will mean fruitful labor for me and others of plenty for me still to do. I can still teach the word of God. I can still encourage the faithful, and so on. So if I if I stay in the flesh. If I continue in my body then that that will be that will be just fine. Yet, which I shall choose I cannot tell you interestingly can really choose Kenny God is sovereign over the affairs of life and death is an interesting phrase I which I shall choose to go or to stay. I'm hard-pressed between the two because actually my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. Okay, about to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account at Rue who were not here to expand. Philippians 2 would just notice that cross-reference is vitally important in understanding what he's doing here. He does not know the exact time of his departure. He says the time is come for my departure but as you read on in the text. You realize that he is not saying is going to happen this evening because he asks for his partners to be broadcast for his materials be to be brought. He apparently thinks he's going to make it through another winter, which is why he asked for his cloak. In verse 13 and in verse 21 he says do your best to get here before winter so that the sense of the imminence of his death is not something that causes him to say and so_ally back here and wait until it happens know there's still books to be read there still conversations to be had there still a journey to continue in and so on, but it is this notion of a departure which we need to get because the word again. We were helped by the consideration last time the word is a very important words. The word and And it is used in contemporary language of the time to describe. For example, beyond yoking of oxen. Paul says that there's a sense in which my death will be just like that the Lord will take the burden from my neck and and lay it down to Seymour that is used for weighing an anchor and pulling it up and heading into the harbor of rest is the same word that would be used for the collapsing of attendance and heading for your permanent dwelling note, Paul is very, very clear. The reason is able to speak so straightforwardly about this is because of what we just seen in Philippians for him to depart, he says, would be to be with Christ. So for the believer to die is to be with Christ that note no timeline. No waiting room. No soul sleep. I will depart and I will be with Christ. He says that's why it's going to be far better because right now he has the knowledge of Christ you'd seen Christ on the on the Damascus Road but he had no personal acquaintance with him. He would one day enjoy that note, let's just notice.

In contrast to the contemporary views of death that there is no panic on Paul's part when he addresses this. There is no attempt to avoid it. There's no sense in which she is somehow another confused by its possibility and how vastly different.

That is, from our culture.

I think about the hard thing about of the millions of dollars that are spent essentially attempting to make it look as though death has not actually happened. I'm a mortician's what I get paid but they appeared a lot of money, I would think they should because what a job they do you know on gun on old grandpa filberts and whatever it is you know you always, saying he looks fantastic and what I've done funeral snow for 40 years of my life always say you think so I think it was dead because he is dead.

All is left is the 10th note when we think in these terms, we realize how vastly different it is from our society influence not simply by a Western fearfulness but also by an Eastern preoccupation with notions of reincarnation and so on.

And as a result of the fight, the people of never really wrestled with the reality of death itself. Baby boomers in particular my generation are all over the place when it comes to the issue of death and dying and on such occasions, and we've all been there. It's not uncommon for someone to quote the plan which begins death is nothing a tall, I have only slipped into the room next door. I am I and you are you do you hear such nonsense in your entire life that is complete bunk. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows that that is nonsense.

And yet that is standard fare, along with all the notions that are melded in even amongst the Christian community. Listen to professing believers talk in the post funeral meal.

They say things like, well, uncle Joel will be enjoying a great meal right now, or aunt Sally is probably dancing.

You know how she loved square dancing on my part. Who then we just Darien. Sally somehow she dancing she not dancing. We just cremated. Uncle Joel he has got nobody.

He is not eating. I guarantee you see the extent of confusion that exists the nature of humanity, the existence of who and what we are as embodied souls. The only point at which that does not happen is in the interim between the death of a believer and the wrapping up of everything by the Lord Jesus Christ and in that experience. It is alien to what we are is created and what we will one day be in a new heaven and in a you are and Sally will be dancing. We will be needing the nice meal. There is no question about that, but it ain't happening right now you got now one of the commentators that I read said you better be careful that verse six does not become a soliloquy in which you lose yourself okay well I paid attention to that.

But I'm going to disregard his warning because I want to finish this morning by just saying a word or two about this whole nature of our departure. What was that what was the devil's reaction to the expressed promise the judgment of God would fall upon the rebellion of Adam and Eve in the in the coming of death into a world that was never planned to have death or what. Why did the devil say what she said when he said to the evil so we can enjoy all of this but were not to enjoy that and if we do will die when they say all you want I you want die courses follow up line is follow-up lie because everybody knows you do, Diane, Adam and Eve knew that in the death of their son. The judgment of God was in death is spiritually people always teach the passengers. David McCarthy didn't die right then because it's about spiritual death will. It is about spiritual death is actually about death, death, the punishment of sin is death in one out of one dice so the evil one. Now comes the resin says now I know that you know that you die, but what you need to know is death isn't real is not is not is not something to be bothered about it is not you know you're in the daffodils you are absorbing the energy you are you are you know whatever it might be, and since people of good, no good, no mechanism for adjudicating on this there prepared to buy the lie.

Note the Westminster divines in the 16th century, when they came to terms with what the Bible teaches us to read their Bibles and they said not what can we make a statement concerning death and dying that is comprehensive will be clear and will be salutary and will be helpful that they determined that he could be just call to you from the Westminster confession. Listen carefully to this after death. The bodies of men decay and return to dust, but their souls, which neither dying or sleep having an immortal existence. Return immediately to God who gave them the souls of the righteous are then made perfect in holiness and received into the highest heavens where they behold the face of God. In light and glory, and they await the full redemption of their bodies. The souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness and they are For the judgment of the great day.

Scripture recognizes no other place, except these two for the souls which have been separated from their bodies ominously for unbelievers and wonderfully for believers, while the human body disintegrates for the time the human soul does not know if you ask how that may all that matter being reassembled so as to reconstitute shade to in Christ in a recognizable new and improved version we bow before the ministry. It is the very ministry of creation itself and it is not a retreat to use the words of the hymn writer when he says my knowledge, all that life is small, the eye of faith is dim. It is enough that Christ knows all and I shall be with him again see all those young people yesterday to me back to Ecclesiastes 12 in the wisdom of of the preacher remember what he says.

He says it is vitally important that you remember your creator in the days of your youth before before start falling off of you before you start to disintegrate before for your walking around like this, you and your taking the coffee on how I've got it I've got it all laid out put a doctor that pleases the don't wait till glad to realize the wonder of God's dealings with you. Ponder your destiny. He says here is the end of the mastery says fear God and keep his commandments, easy to fear God is to know God is to love God is to serve God is to obey God that all synonyms and would you fear and know and love and serve God that it is irksome to do what God says you should do and to do this before again to quote Ecclesiastes dust returns to the air as it was in the spirit returns to God who gave it the shorter catechism asked syndrome in question 30. What is the difference of the grave to the righteous and to the wicked. Is it just the same.

So I believe nonbelievers laid in the great. The catechism says to the one the grave is a resting place to the other. It is a prison house where they are kept in close custody for the judgment of the great day. Here's the good news that you were made by God for God. He loves you so much that despite the Friday. You haven't lived your life in the way he send his son to be the atoning sacrifice for your sin so that you might enjoy the reality of what it means to know him now, and to live with him, then we sang of a dying thief and one of the songs I can remember which one it was so wonderful thought, isn't it, that the dying thief called out to Jesus and Jesus said today you will be with me was interesting. That is, be with me, waiting, going to tomb with him to the Jesus rent in the tomb bodily he would have been thrown out on the on the ashy after his death.

What you mean you will be with me in his soul brought into the presence what about the other fellow see we can't have it both ways lowlands. The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day, presumably the other one did not know I travel quite a bit and so do you and I see you at the airport and sometimes we have a proper conversation, but most the time we don't and usually we just say things to each other.

Like when you leave or what airline are you flying where you going, and the other boarding pass, and as see you Sunday and then it's over.

Let me end in that way wet wet when when we leave or answer that you don't know right and you die. But we know were going can ask you where you going and can ask you to have your boarding pass or you have a boarding pass for hell. It came with your birth, the boarding pass for heaven is provided in the person and work of Jesus and the going to ask you before you board do you have your boarding's do you and you realize that Jesus stands ready to place it in your hands, and to grant to you the forgiveness and the victory in the whole the triumph of not only living through the process of a life the import of facing the prospect of the reality of a departure that actually will be in Christ for it is Jesus alone can offer us a boarding pass heaven, that's from today's teaching on Truth for Life with Alister death and dying is the title of the study we've heard today. This is part of our encore 2022 series. These are some of Alister's most requested messages from blisters over the past year and we know because we hear from you that Alister's teaching has helped you learn more about God's word. If you been enjoying this mix of blister favorites. We have a USB that has 123 of Alister's most popular messages from the past.

In fact, it's a decade worth of messages in the collection looks called 10 years of favorites.

You can purchase the 10 years of favorites on USB for just five as we study the Bible together.

We often express our gratitude for God's goodness for his faithfulness for his patients. One of these traits actually reveal in practical terms is a book we want to recommend to you today called God is.

This is a book that explores 26 unique traits of God.

We discover when we study the Scriptures, the book provides an in-depth look at God's nature. It's written as a devotional so you can focus on a different attribute of God each day and see how these attributes are displayed in the Lord Jesus requester copy of the book God is today the Truth for or call us at 888-588-7884 Bob Lapine do you struggle with worry or anxiety. If so, you're not alone. Even Jesus disciples regularly expressed their concerns. So how does Jesus instruct us to deal with worry. Join us tomorrow to find out Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life with the learning is living

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