On this journey, we have our “RULES FOR THE ROAD”

Rule 1: We always keep the end in mind

Rule 2: We Major on the majors, minor on the minors

Rule 3: We trust the Story the Bible is telling

Rule 4: We believe with both our minds and our hearts

Rule 5: We research before we repeat
The last several weeks have been pretty heavy

  • Hell
  • End Times


Today is HOPEFUL!


We’ve all experienced a LONGING  (strong wish/desire)

  • Vacation
  • Loved one to return home
  • Favorite meal


For Christians, there is another longing — The Longing for HEAVEN

  • To be with the Lord
  • To be HOME
  • To be made whole

Now, our culture has many answers to this longing…

  • Busyness
  • Success
  • Power
  • Physical satisfaction

But Christians view life differently…

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. ~ C.S. Lewis


There is NOTHING that can satisfy this longing other than being with God
Today, we are answering the question: What does the Bible say happens when we die?
>>Reminder that the way the Bible communicates eternity is through “TRAJECTORY”

  • Either live life headed for Heaven
  • Or live life headed for Hell


Let’s start by talking about HEAVEN

Most of us think of this…

I think we can do a better job of understanding heaven

  • To have the HOPE of HEAVEN, we must have a good THEOLOGY of Heaven


First, Let’s define it…

Heaven: Describes both a physical part of the universe and the dwelling place of God


Context tells us the difference
Physical Space:

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

  • Heavens = The space “up there”
  • Earth = The place “down here”


God’s Space:

Matthew 6:19–20

19 “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.


Philippians 3:20

20 Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.


>>So while it is correct to sometimes refer to Heaven as “UP THERE”

>>We are also talking about “The place where God dwells”
With that said, here is a few things we need to know about heaven…

1: Going to Heaven is the first stop in a two-step process


I think Theologian N.T. Wright says it really well…

We should remember especially that the use of the word ‘heaven’ to denote the ultimate goal of the redeemed, though hugely emphasized by medieval piety, mystery plays, and the like, and still almost universal at a popular level, is severely misleading and does not begin to do justice to the Christian hope. I am repeatedly frustrated by how hard it is to get this point through the thick wall of traditional thought and language that most Christians put up. ‘Going to heaven when you die’ is not held out in the New Testament as the main goal. The main goal is to be bodily raised into the transformed, glorious likeness of Jesus Christ. If we want to speak of ‘going to heaven when we die’, we should be clear that this represents the first, and far less important, stage of a two-stage process. ~ N.T. Wright “For All the Saints: Remembering the Christian Departed


So “going to heaven” is NOT the end goal but a MIDWAY POINT to the final PHYSICAL resurrection


This time period is called the “INTERMEDIATE STATE”

  • The state between death and the final resurrection.

Why is this important?


Because of RULE FOR THE ROAD 3

Rule 3: We trust the Story the Bible is telling

  • What story is that?

That Humans are two things:

  • DIRT


Genesis 2:7

7 Then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.
Genesis 3:19

19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”


This is God’s original design and purpose

  • It was Good



  • We are “Earthlings”

To die is to be “Disembodied

  • Not the way God created us
  • Ok for a time, but not how things will always be

Philippians 3:20-21

20 Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself.


The Bible ends with HEAVEN (God’s Space) coming to earth

  • New Jerusalem coming out of the clouds
  • Heaven is brought to earth
  • A New Garden of Eden


2: Those in Heaven are with Jesus and taken care of

It is natural to wonder and be concerned about those who have died

  • We can trust and have peace that they are Good and with God

Paul understood this

  • He longed for heaven but understood his assignment


Philippians 1:22-24

22 Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose. 23 I am torn between the two. I long to depart and be with Christ—which is far better— 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
Another example is Jesus himself

  • On the cross

Luke 23:42-43

42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


Paradise = Garden (Garden of Eden)
This means we believe that:

Christians who die are Aware

2 Corinthians 5:7-9

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. 9 Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him.

Christians who die are Experiencing Joy


2 Corinthians 12:3-4

3 I know that this man—whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know; God knows— 4 was caught up into paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a human being is not allowed to speak.


Final thoughts

We don’t believe in “GHOSTS”

  • Absent from the body, present with the Lord
  • There are no examples in the Bible of this

We believe in the supernatural

  • Demonic power
  • God’s power


2 Corinthians 11:14-15

14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no great surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their works.
Hebrews 9:27

27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment…


We do not pray to those who have passed away

Deuteronomy 18

10 No one among you is to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire, practice divination, tell fortunes, interpret omens, practice sorcery, 11 cast spells, consult a medium or a spiritist, or inquire of the dead.


There is only one who goes before the Father on our behalf

  • Jesus


1 Timothy 2:5

5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus…


We Don’t become Angels

  • “_______ got their wings”
  • But these statements, regardless of their intent, are wrong


1 Peter 1:12

12…These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.

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