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August 10, 2020 2:00 am
Many Christians and non-Christians alike are uninformed or misinformed about death. In the message "View from Death's Door, Part 1," Skip shares some biblical answers for questions you might have about death.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
The focus of most everyone is what goes on here during this life, but we all know that death is a part of life we all know the rarely do we think about it we don't like to think of someone who was one day the future real estate will occupies in our own homes with acre or two or much smaller but just little plot of land 6 feet underground will be there. Our bodies unless the Lord returns anytime soon will be there for a long time.
There were a lot of opinions about what happens when we got but there's only one authoritative source on the subject today on connect with skip-Skip future physical answers to common questions about death and the afterlife. Before we begin using great resource to tells a compelling story explores affairs in the middle years Skip with Joel Rosenberg to talk about this month's offer Joel's book the Jerusalem assassin Joel Rosenberg releases a new book. I can't wait to read it.
He never disappoints. Recently, I was able to talk with Joel about this book from his home in Jerusalem is about an American president who's about to roll out his Middle East peace plan Joel Rosenberg's novels are dramatic stories written from the reality of today's headlines have a savvy Israeli peace plan would be huge. That will be historic summit in Jerusalem set up of the Jerusalem assassin and what's amazing about that is this is a plausible scenario for Jerusalem assassin by Joel Rosenberg is our special offer. This month your hardcover copy of the Jerusalem assassin is our thinking gift you give $35 or more today to help expand this Bible teaching outreach with Skip lines so call now to get your copy 800-922-1888 will give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer. I hope you will order your copy of the Jerusalem assassin by Joel behind-the-scenes look at global events and you will be supporting our media ministry. That's 809 two 288 online securely connectwithskip.com/offer first chapter for today as we get into the teaching with skip-you know that if you walk into a store worker magazine racks there's publications all about life as magazines about hobbies about news about people and many of them use the word life. When I grew up there was boys life and then girls wife and then another's woman's life.
There's a magazine called Mac life if you really really think that Macintosh computers are your life. There's a magazine called S life for another one called natural life. Another one called Vermont life in several states have such titles, you'll probably never find a magazine called death magazine or dying. Today magazine or dead people find people, but as all of his living people. You never find dead people magazine or never find one called Victorian cemeteries or magazine called death week, you will find that it's all about living it's all about life and the focus of publications. The focus of most everyone is what goes on here during this life, but we all know that death is a part of life we all know though rarely do we think about it we don't like to think of so unpleasant that one day the future real estate will occupies in our own homes with an acre or two, or much smaller but just little plot of land 6 feet underground will be there.
Our bodies unless the Lord returns anytime soon will be there for a long time. Malcolm Muggeridge used to say when he was living here on earth.
He said I have 1 foot in heaven and 1 foot on earth, and the foot on earth is on a banana peel. He knew that life was precarious here that matter. If we work out. If we eat right. If we take vitamins count calories pump iron stretcher finishes back. Eventually, we lose that battle and death will overtake us that there's even a Washington DC undertaker that signs all of his correspondence. Instead of light we write cordially yours, he always ends his letters eventually yours just to remind people where they're all heading. I've done funerals for over 25 years I buried hundreds of people young younger middle-aged old believers and unbelievers. I've watched many people die over the years, including my own mother. This last year and I learned a few things in doing data and watching people die.
I've learned that you want to live in such a way so that when you die, you're going to be missed and you're going to be ready for the future without any regrets without any longings that you should have done something different for the future part a story about three guys.
They all died in the same auto accident. They were taken out to sort of an eternal holding tank for orientation. They were all asked this question that if if during your funeral as people are mourning your loss and they're saying things about you in there and they're weeping over your casket. What is the one thing you'd like people to say about you. One guy said why like to say that I was a wonderful family man and Dr. the second I said I'd like him to say that I was a great teacher who helped kids out and I love my wife with all my heart. The third guy thought about a while and he said I think I'd like to hear people say she's moving, there's a guy who lived with some regrets. There's a guy who didn't want to end it all. He wanted to go back. He lived in ignorance and without any assurance, and those are the two things that I want to talk you about out of this text I want to talk about the ignorance concerning death and the assurance that as believers we have concerning death. Those two themes emerge side-by-side in verses 13 through 18 of first Thessalonians chapter 4.
Let's look at those verses together, but I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first and then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words of those verses that we just read at a first Thessalonians chapter 4 will occupy our time this week and next week as we look at a view from death's door.
We want to follow those themes of ignorance and assurance that Paul is writing about ignorance concerning death and assurance that we can have concerning death because this section will answer many questions that we have questions like we discussed a few of them last week and in that we said we want to answer some of them in the series. What happens at the moment of death when we die.
Are we unconscious are we what some people call in soul sleep since Paul says those who sleep in Christ is that mean were unconscious during that time. When will the resurrection take place. Is it proper to grieve when a Christian when a believer dies or though Jesus Christ triumphed over death by resurrection and promises triumph over death to believers. Jesus said whoever believes in me will never die.
Why is it the Christians still die when will death eventually be over with. Therefore Paul said is correct. The last enemy that will be defeated as death. When will that take place not just a little background before we jump in and begin running a cover part of this tonight, not the whole thing. It will take at least two weeks to get through it. But here's the deal Paul on his second trip. We called it a second missionary journey stop by the town of Thessalonica and there for three successive weekends Sabbath days he preach the gospel in the synagogue. People came to faith in Christ because of an uproar of persecution that took place. Paul had to for his own life get out of town, but a body of believers was established there say from the Greco-Roman pagan world.
Now they are believers in Christ. Paul had been telling them that Jesus Christ is going to come back the ready form he could come at any moment. But time passed and during that time, relatives, friends, loved ones, died, and now they're worried. And Paul gets wind of the idea. The fact that they're worried they're worried because when minute.
If Jesus is gonna come back and and and start his kingdom again here.
What about my friends will what about my relatives. Those who have died will they miss out on all of that, they were panicking because some of the people that they thought would share in that glory have died and so he writes about that. So let's consider tonight the the ignorance of death and again look at verse 13. That's what we want to camp tonight. I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as those who have no hope of something that Paul does bring up in this verse that that I do want you to notice is just how widespread ignorance of death is he's writing to Christians and he says I don't want you to be ignorant, brethren who are brethren. Brethren are Christian believers that you don't tell somebody look I'm writing because I want to dispel your ignorance unless there is a level of ignorance among those writing to. So even though they were believers in Christ. There was a level of ignorance about death that they held and it hasn't ceased. From that time onward. I read a story about a man who got up every morning and read the newspaper, but he'd always read the obituaries first.
Every day he read the obituaries finally turned to one of his relatives and since I just can't figure out how it is that people can die in alphabetical order of non-Christians and Christians are uninformed or misinformed when it comes to death and dying, but I've always loved the little quip about the four-year-old boy with his dad on the beach. Four-year-old boy grabs dad's dad's a Christian man been the church a long time and the little boy brought his dad over to a dead Siegel and said what happened here, and that dad came up with the dad! The bird died and went to heaven. And so the little boy looked down and looked up at his dad promised with and why did God throw them back down. I think that's an excellent question.
If you cannot explain it like that.
We sometimes don't do a whole lot better when it comes to explaining death and the afterlife.
Okay the people in Thessalonica were surrounded by a culture of ignorance and I want to explain briefly to you what the Greeks and the Romans thought about death. Just so you know how important the statement in verse 13 is most of you know that the Greek culture was filled with mythology that several gods in the pantheon of deities that they thought existed and believed in one of the lesser deities was a golf God named Thanatos Thanatos we get the idea of death from that Thanatos was the personification of death and mortality. Thanatos was the offspring of two gods Knicks and Arab boss which means night and darkness and he had a twin brother by the name of hip mass where the idea of sleep comes from.
According to their mythology, Thanatos despised human beings and human beings despised Thanatos and so there are some Greek stories of how certain people cheated. Thanatos cheated death and were able to live longer than was expected that sort of the nutshell of what Greeks believed the Roman culture displayed as much ignorance as the Greek culture that's evidenced by reading some of the tombstones. You can still find in Rome today go down below the city, and there's miles of catacombs, and many of those graves were filled with her. The unbelieving remains of people who occupy them. There's a few of the gravestones, some are apathetic about life and death, and on one tombstone reads I was, not I became. I am not. I care not another Roman grave. It's on the tombstone reads lives for the present hour since there is nothing else in yet another Greystone expresses some of the religious superstition that some Romans had reads I lift up my hands against the gods who took me away at the age of 20. Though I had done no harm. This would happen when the Roman died when a Roman citizen died they laid the body out and they put a coin in the body's mouth. The person's mouth of the coin was to pay the fair to a deity called care own who was the sort of the Guardian in the underworld. The ferryman in the underworld who would convey the person's soul across the river. The river Stokes and your soul would take the journey across the river where you would be met by three judges who would demand an account of your life tree would be impartial if you are a warrior or a hero. Your soul was sent to a place called the LEC in fields or sort of an ancient view of paradise. If you are an honorable citizen. Your soul would be ushered somewhere else. If you really perturb the gods that he would pay for your misdeeds. You pay off the debt to society only for a period of time. There was never a thought of eternal punishment in the Roman world. So that's the ideology. Some of them that these Thessalonians were surrounded with, so it helps to know that when you read this verse I don't want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. The Greco-Roman world was empty, hopeless, bankrupt when it comes to anything eternal and young believers in Thessalonica, though they heard the gospel and rejoiced in salvation and were told that Jesus was gonna come they thought, he's gonna come like tomorrow like next week or like next month and then months go on and the people died. And they wonder will now what's gonna happen, or they can cease to exist. That's what we've always been taught or have they been taken somewhere else those the kind of questions that filled their minds so the ignorance was pretty widespread. Now that ignorance continues today in our modern, sophisticated, educated, world, both among believers as well as in the secular world. I think you know a lot of them already ask the average person about death, heaven, hell, afterlife, and they'll probably say things like, well, are you to go to heaven is just die. That's what I noticed at funerals. There's a person who lived his whole life without any thought about God at all. Suddenly when they died or some preacher who will say wonderful things, another in heaven, so I gotta do to get to heaven is die or people say well if you're good enough you get to heaven. All good people go to heaven or everybody goes to heaven. You never hear anybody stand up at a funeral and say today were remembering somebody who's not in heaven you'll ever see that if you are very disturbing to see yet Jesus taught that only very few people go to heaven right said God is the way the least destruction, and many enter therein. Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, and only a few enter therein. So what people think, well, the materialist believes in extinction. You live you die. There's nothing else, no hope to look forward to know afterlife, nothing at all make the best of it, because after death. You just cease to exist and complete unconscious. Others who were little more superstitious, more along the new age lines will teach absorption that were all part of the divine cosmic mind. I'll even call it the Christ mind and will all merge back into that United mine, whatever that means though I've read stuff I still don't get what they mean by another parts of the world. People hold to an animistic belief tribal religions that when you die, your soul stays on earth or goes to the underworld where you merge with the souls of your ancestors in you forever eternally wander without any joy without any sorrow at all. Hindus believe in reincarnation. That's a pantheistic worldview says the soul is recycled from one form to another. It's become very popular in our culture.
Though even in my unbelieving days. It did not seem attractive to me. The idea of coming back here and going through certain experiences. Again was not attractive to me. I don't want to go to diapers again. I don't want to do another first date ever again. I don't have to take high school English ever again or just certain things I like to just not do.
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. It's over. One of the big causes of ignorance in our culture over the last several years. I'll say 30 years is a thing called near death experiences which used to be more prominent doctors will save you you read less of them because people are more drugged and sedate. When they approach death and they were back then. But there are several books about that, especially from the past. Raymond Moody wrote a book called life afterlife where he interviews several people who have similar experiences they die. The pronounce death even here the pronouncement of their own death.
There out of their body. In this temporary state they meet friends. They need relatives and and some of them even most of them even talk about this being of great light that they saw who accepted them. No matter how they live.
No matter what state had done this being of great light is waiting for them. Course I cringe when I read that because the Bible does say that Satan is an angel of light.
Any masquerades as such, he would love people to live in a cavalier nonchalant way alter their life with no worry about eternity at all. Probably the most famous books was on the New York Times bestseller list for 40 straight weeks was a book years ago by a woman named Betty ED a book called embraced by the light. One of the unique things about her experiences. She said she saw herself pronounced dead. She went out of her body and she met Jesus Christ, she said, but when you read her account. It's not the Jesus Christ of the New Testament. In fact, this Jesus says were not sinful people to need redemption. In fact, all of us were spirit beings that actually help God in the original creation of the earth, so you have a lot of these stories were people reasonable. Wow, here's a person who's been there they were on the threshold they saw and how they wrote about but surely getting part of the picture you're not getting all of those other experiences that nobody wants to write about you, what are you talking about the book put out by a cardiologist named Dr. Morris Rollings, associate professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee. He was not a believer at all in anything supernatural to believe in heaven didn't believe in hell until he watched hundreds of his own patients die and come back in your book called beyond death's door, in which he wrote, among other things, these words I am thoroughly convinced that there is life after death and that there are at least as many going to hell is going to heaven. The turning point in my own concepts occurred when the patient experience, cardiac arrest and dropped dead right in my office. Course, that alone didn't change my thinking. But the fact that this 48 years old or 48-year-old was screaming these words I am in the hell keep me out of hell. Each time he responded to resuscitation efforts did cause me some concern, and then he wrote about 50% of the revived persons told of having gone to a place of great darkness, not light filled with grotesque moaning and writhing bodies, crying out to be rescued from this place, with overwhelming feeling of very nightmarish terror that Skip message for you from the series edge of eternity right now to Skip to tell you how your support helps keep these messages coming your way and connects more people to God's word. As believers were called to encourage, teach and share Christ with one another.
That's the sole purpose of this radio ministry. We want to connect you and as many people as we can to Jesus to these Bible-based messages in your partnership helps make that possible. Please consider partnering with this ministry today through a generous gift to keep these teachings coming to you and others. Here's how you can do that be should connectwithskip.com/don't need to give your gift today that's connectwithskip.com/donate or call 800-922-1888. Again, that's 800 922 coming up tomorrow Skip Heitzig encourages you on the subject of death with the special promise of life in Christ. Immediately upon death. Your soul is perfected in holiness. Old sin nature is erratically. Boy I hope you think that's good news. That means is the fight over slightly over business model anymore.
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