THERE’S A LOT OF CONFUSION AS TO WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE DIE.
- Nothingness, reincarnation, different versions of paradise, angels, ghosts, Purgatory, etc.
- Because there are so many views we have to ask the question, “Which view is correct?”
- In order to answer that question, we have to ask, “Who has the right to speak authoritatively to this question?”
- Jesus is different from any other person in history. He is unique! (See John 3:11-13 and John 10:30)
- There is so much more evidence that confirms the Bible is authentic and true compared to any other book in the world.
- To answer opposing views, we will look at an overview of what the Bible has to say regarding the afterlife.
- In this series, we are not going to be able to unpack every question that every person has.
SEE TIMELINE ON THE BACK.
IN THE BEGINNING, GOD CREATED, AND IT WAS GOOD.
- Because true love requires choice, God gave us freedom to choose. Man chose sin.
- God took away our ability to live on earth forever. (See Genesis 3:22-24) That was a blessing!
- When we talk about death, we are referring to the death of our physical bodies. We are all eternal beings due to being created in God’s image. We have a body and a soul.
- This has massive ramifications for us. We no longer have to fear death (See 1 Corinthians 15:54-56).
THE CHOICE GOD GIVES US REGARDING SALVATION HAS ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES. (See Revelation 20:14-15)
- This choice leads to one of two outcomes. When we die, there is an initial judgement of faith.
- For those who were pre-Christ, it was faith in God and choosing to live a righteous life that resulted in salvation.
- Jesus gives us clues as to what happened to people before Jesus’ sacrifice. (See Luke 16:19-31)
- We don’t “soul sleep.” (See 2 Corinthians 5:8 and Philippians 1:23-24)
- We are not reincarnated. (See Hebrews 9:27-28)
- We don’t go to Purgatory. (See Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Sheol (the Hebrew name for the place of the dead) is a temporary place for both the lost and Old Testament saints, and it has two parts.
- Abraham’s side: the place of peace and rest for the righteous before Christ
- Hades: a preliminary hell for the unrighteous
JESUS CAME ON THE SCENE AND CHANGED EVERYTHING.
- Many scholars believe He brought people from Abraham’s side to heaven when He died and rose again. (See 1 Peter 3:18-19 and Ephesians 4:8-9)
- Jesus ushered in the Church age. We are in that age now.
- We no longer go to Abraham’s side of Sheol. Now we go to Heaven.
- Jesus set about restoring all things. One place we see this is found in John 3:14-21.
- Jesus is speaking as plainly in this passage as He ever does.
- Jesus makes it clear that there is a way to be saved from sin—it is through Him only.
- Those who choose Him receive spiritual healing and salvation. Those who refuse to look up to Him have already made their choice.
WE ALL DIE. THE MORTALITY RATE IS 100%.
- The one exception is if Jesus returns in what we call the rapture. (See 1 Corinthians 15:50-53)
- In the next several weeks, we are going to look beyond the church age as well as at Judgement, Hell, and Heaven.
BUT TODAY, WE ALL HAVE A DECISION AND A RESPONSIBILITY…
- …to personally look up and choose Jesus as both Savior and Lord.
- …to tell others what we know so they can make the same choice.
- All of us can choose to live for this world like the rich man, or we can live for Christ.
“Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in;’aim at Earth and you will get neither.”
– C.S. Lewis, The Joyful Christian
QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS IN LIFE GROUP OR WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS:
Passages to consider: Luke 16:19-31 and John 3:14-18
- Share from the sermon what was insightful to you.
- What have you heard about this topic from the society and media? Or: What do you think the people you around believe? (Consider the people you know from where you work, live, and play.) A) What have you thought about this topic?
- What from the timeline was impactful to you? A) What questions do you have? (This doesn’t mean you or your life group have to have the answers, but write them down and send them in to the address below.)
- Take a look at Luke 16:19-31. What are some things you observe about what happens when someone dies? A) What are some insights you gained? A) How does viewing yourself and others as eternal beings impact how you interact in the world?
- Take a look at John 3:14-18. What is Jesus saying to Nicodemus and to us?
- Where are you in the process of believing Jesus? What is your next step in that process? A) Who in your life needs to hear about Jesus and eternity? What is your part? (Ask God to show you, and look for opportunities.)