Life After Death
John 14:1-3, 2 Corinthians 5:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
Introduction: We all live with the reality of our eventual death someday. Most however, do not like to think about it. We love life so much it is hard for us to accept that one day, life in this body will end. All the death and violence on TV has desensitized us to death. But the truth, we all know, is that death is coming for us all. Sooner or later and we hope later we will face death.
All over the world people have tried to cope with the fear we have of death in many ways. People have invented thousands of religions all directed at coping with death.
There is something supernatural about death isn’t it. We all recognize that. But I am not going to send time this morning addressing the many false ideas and religions that man has invented trying to calm his fear of death.
What I will do is tell you what our God and Creator who made us has to say about life and death. To some it is great comfort to know that death for them is nothing to be afraid of.
It does not mean we welcome it foolishly, because one result of death is separation from family and friends.
There is genuine sorry in losing a loved one, but as 1 Thessalonians explains, the family whose losses a loved one who was sincerely a believer in Jesus Christ.
Their sorrow is not like the lost world, who has not believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior and who have nothing to be comforted by. It says we, meaning Christians, do not sorry as the world sorrows.
I have preached and attended many funerals over the years. Several times I attended funerals where the one who conducted the funeral in glowing terms told how the person was better off now enjoying the joys of heaven and being reunited with loved ones who had died. Yet, several time the person whose funeral it was not a Christian, had no testimony of Christ in their lives, and often lived a worldly sinful life.
But for the true believer God says,
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 God tells us plainly of the coming resurrection for those who have died in Christ Jesus. That means those who have by faith alone received Jesus Christ as their Savior.
God says, “. . . wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
I have preached a good number of funerals for the unsaved also. I never gave false hope to the family, but rather explained God’s plan of salvation. The comfort of a family of an unsaved person lies only in their memories of their relative...but not in their being in heaven.
Surely, when we lose a loved one we desire comfort. The comfort God offers is in His son Jesus Christ. The message for the ones a Christian leaves behind is that based on God’s promise, their loved one is with the Lord. He is not dead, but fully alive with the Lord in heaven.
The loved one has gone from this earthly existence with all the sorry and pain it give us...to the wonders of a sin free heaven and the presence of our God and Savior.
However, this comfort is only given and only applies to the loved ones of the one who believed, was born-again, had their sins forgiven and received eternal life from Jesus Christ.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10) 2. Note it says they will not be ashamed. People who have believed in Jesus Christ are not ashamed of Him and will live a godly life.
3. People who have truly believed in Him, God says “walk in the light,” which means they believe God’s word this Bible, and their belief can be clearly seen because they live by God’s word.
The Bible says on earth believers have fellowship one with another, meaning they love their brethren in Christ, are faithful to their local church and have a common bond in Jesus Christ.
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7) 4. Jesus wanted those that believed and followed Him to be comforted and fully assured about what faced them after their lives.
2. He says that God has prepared for us a “building of God, a house, eternal in the heavens.” The word “building” means a structure. The word house is the Greek word that means an “abode” mean where some resides.
3. For this new tabernacle the Bible says the true child of God “earnestly desires” even audibly sighing when we think of what it will be like to be in heaven with the Lord.
4. Verse 6 gives us the promise, “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6)
2. Note Verse 14. This promise is to believers in Jesus Christ. It states the only Gospel that God has given us. That Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells us what the Gospel is:,
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
This is the Gospel preached by the Apostles and down through the centuries by God’s true preachers and churches. 3. He says this truth if from God. V15.
Those believers who are alive when the Lord returns at His second coming will not “precede” (prevent) those which are alive. He say the Lord Himself will descend from heaven, with a shout and the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God.
The dead will rise first.
Then, verse 17, believers who are alive will be caught up in the air, with the dead who have been resurrected and will meet the Lord in the air. Christians call this resurrection the “Rapture” because the verse says we will be “caught up.” It literally means “to be seized, or plucked, or caught away quickly.”
Note it says they will forever be with the Lord. 4. Then the wonderful next verse gives comfort to the person who has received Jesus Christ as their Savior. “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
2. The believer will be instantly given a new body, an eternal and incorruptible body and thus we become immortal.
3. Once again the Lord comforts us say “death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death, where is thy sting.”
4. For so many, death is to be feared. It takes them from this life. Everyone deep down knows that they will face death.
For many dead is uncertain. Many know the truth that after death there is no second chance as some religions teach. There is not reincarnation, no new opportunity to be allowed to go to heaven. For those with the false hope in their false religion they should fear death, because for anyone to die without Christ is to wake up in the fires of Hell. 5. In this wonderful Bible, God’s word, is also God’s warning about those who chose to reject Him and His free offer of salvation. Hebrew 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27)
Do you remember what 2 Corinthians 5:3 says.... If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” Those that die not believing and receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior, when they die will not get a new and wonderful tabernacle.
Revelation 20:15-18 explains their sad and unnecessary fate. I will read the passage, but remember...God has made provision for our salvation that we do not have to be at this tragic judgment. Everyone at this judgment died in unbelief. They now face eternal separation from God and the judgment of their sins.
B. My friend, you are the creation of God. He has a purpose for you life, but He will not force Himself on anyone. He freely offers salvation to all who will by faith accept it.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
You and I have sinned against God and heaven is a perfect place. God wants us there with Him, and He has made the way.
By simple child like faith, if we will believe and accept Him as our Lord and Savior...He will forgive our sins, make us perfect in His eyes, give us eternal life and the absolutely surety of heaven when we die.
C. Jesus had two messages, two truths He proclaimed in John 3. First is the offer of salvation and forgiveness and life to those who will believe.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
The other is found in verses 18-20.
“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” (John 3:18-20)
Thank God for those that believe!! But, folks sadly, many reject God’s truth, God’s message and offer of salvation, because they would rather live in their sins. They are not interested in God or their eternal souls. If they do not change their minds, repent of their sins...then death for them will be a tragedy.
Romans 6:23 is God reaching out to the unsaved, to those who have not believed. He gives a loving warning and a wonderful promise.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
The Bible tells us “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
The message is clear. It is to everyone gather here this morning. It is a message as true and real if the Lord Jesus appeared before us and gave it to us.
It is the message of salvation, victory over sin and death.
The question too is clear....
What will you do this morning with God loving outreach to us.
Will you believe to the saving of your soul, or go from this place in darkness...face a sure separation from God?
Where will you send eternity. I saw to close friend enter the portals of heaven this past week. I rejoice at their home come.
But I am also fear for those I know who have not believed and stand in jeopardy...on the edge, the periphery of hell. There is hope, there is a Savior who throws out the life-line, and will forever save the soul who believes.
It is always encouraging to receive email from those who find the messages helpful, or who have comments.