One of the most COMMON questions of mankind is…
WHERE DO WE GO AFTER WE DIE?
- Not a light topic
- Separate the EMOTIONAL from the LOGICAL
Christianity has always claimed that humanity has a LONGING for ETERNITY
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts…
Humans have been trying to answer it for a long time
DESIRE FOR IMMORTALITY AND HOW WE GO ABOUT IT
Literal Immortality Projects:
- Trying to lengthen life through diet
- Freezing their bodies
Symbolic Immortality Projects:
Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) once said…
“To be a star is to own the world and all the people in it. After a taste of stardom, everything else is poverty.”
THEORIES OF THE AFTERLIFE
2 distinct views:
1: NO LIFE AFTER DEATH
View that fall into this category would be…
The view that God does not exist.
The view that the existence of God is impossible to be known or proven
Few things to note:
- If there is no God, then you don’t “Have” a body, all you ARE IS A BODY
- The logical conclusion of atheism is NIHILISM
The belief that, in the end, “nothingness” prevails in a world that is totally meaningless
There is no real truth, no real love, no real meaning past what we give it or what society gives it
Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher/ Father of Nihilism)
“Every belief, every consideration of something true, is necessarily false because there is simply no true world.”
The Nazis were big fans of Nietzsche and his philosophy drove much of their politics
Atheism is not a new idea
The fool says in his heart, “There’s no God.” They are corrupt; they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good.
2: LIFE AFTER DEATH
Most religions have supported the idea of an afterlife
Let’s specifically look at what historic Christianity has viewed about Life after death
A common question asked is…
How could a loving God send people to hell?
- That’s a good question
First, let’s look at what the Bible teaches about Hell
Place of conscious torment and separation from God’s presence after death
Things to know about Hell:
1: Jesus warned MORE about Hell than He did comforting people about heaven
- Contrasted hell with the Kingdom of God
- The ONLY Alternative eternity to God’s Kingdom
41 “Then he will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!
2: Hell is a REAL PLACE
- Not a theoretical place
- Jesus considered it a real place
2 Thessalonians 1
9 They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious strength 10 on that day when he comes to be glorified by his saints and to be marveled at by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed.
3: Hell is a place of MISERY
Jesus strongly WARNS against the misery of hell
43 “And if your hand causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and go to hell, the unquenchable fire.
4: Many MODERN movements don’t believe in hell
The belief that ALL will be saved..
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
5: God only Sends those to Hell who CHOOSE to go there
Sin is a human being saying to God throughout life, “Go away and leave me alone.”
- Hell is God’s answer, ”You may have your wish.”
- In that sense, hell is the ultimate testament to human freedom.
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.” ~ C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
This leads us to the major Question…
How could a loving God send people to hell?
The better question is…
How could a holy God allow me into His heaven?
14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 19 This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. 21 But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”
Now, let’s move on to something more exciting…
The space in which God resides
Things to know about Heaven…
1: Believers are with Jesus as soon as they die
And he said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
2 Corinthians 5
6 So we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2: Heaven is MORE REAL Than Our Current Reality
- Like waking up from a dream
We can only know what we have experienced so far
1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, What no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived— God has prepared these things for those who love him.
3: Heaven is NOT the Final Destination
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.
New Heaven and New EARTH
- Like Jesus, will have physical bodies
4: Eternity will NOT be Boring
Sin is seen as fun
- Sin = Death, not fun
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 Its gates will never close by day because it will never be night there. 26 They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.
We will build alongside God as he originally intended