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August 11, 2020 2:00 am
When the apostle Paul described departed believers as "those who have fallen asleep," what did he really mean? Tune in as Skip explores the answer to that question in the message "View from Death's Door, Part 1."
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Haley upon death. Your soul is perfected in holiness your old sin nature is eradicated or not. I hope you think that's good news with that mesons is the fight is over completely over the struggle anymore.
Question blood with temptation says in Hebrews 12 verse 23 speaks of the spirits of the redeemed in heaven now made perfect in a glorified state that you might not believe this but when you put your faith in Christ no longer need to fear death today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip examines the special assurance you have as a Christian when it comes to death first want to tell you about a special resource potential intriguing adventure and reveals insight on Middle East affairs here.
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 from the reality of today's headlines have a savvy Israeli peace plan would be huge.
That will be historic. Let's do it. Let's do a summit in Jerusalem set up of the Jerusalem assassin. 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 Heitzig 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 Rosenberg get a behind-the-scenes look at global events and you will be supporting our media ministry. That's 800-922-1888 online securely connectwithskip.com/offer first chapter for message with skip-the Bible does say that Satan is an angel of light may masquerade the such, you 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 that 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 read and wow, here's a person who's been there they were on the threshold they saw and how they wrote about but you're only 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 anything supernatural than believe in heaven didn't believe in hell until he watched hundreds of his own patients die and come back and he wrote a 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 happen.
The turning point in my own concepts occurred when a 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 Gary nightmarish terror so that he writes well why is it then that those books are written about and those stories are published all the other stories of bright light friends relative being of light. All of the wireless published. He says because people are too embarrassed to admit them. And doctors are too embarrassed to make inquiries into such matters, but nobody can afford. He says to ignore the reports of these patients. I'm convinced that there is a hell and that we must conduct ourselves in such a way as to avoid being sent there at all costs. Good words to heed good work Steve avoid going to hell at all costs. So Paul writes to dispel ignorance and ignorance for the Thessalonian believers was much of what the world around them, told them about life and death and the afterlife. So much of what people today buyers. What books are written, and what popular philosophers tell them, not what the Bible says.
Second thing I want you to notice. Also in verse 13 is that this ignorance is concerning their loved ones who had died. I do not want you to be ignorant brother concerning those who have fallen asleep and he's referring to Christians who have died and yet he uses the term fallen asleep. Use the three times I want you to notice that the first one verse 14. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who sleep in Jesus. Verse 15 for we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep another margin of my Bible every time it's asleep or asleep, says dead or are or have died. That's in the margin of the Bible, but the word sleep refers to somebody who died and we know that despite you keep reading. The understanding verse 16 store. The Lord himself. He continues will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, with the voice with the trumpet of God and the dead. There is the dead in Christ will rise first. So those who are asleep is simply a way of saying Christians could dive so that begs this question why does he use that term then why does he say sleep.
Does that not inferred that your unconscious does that mean you're sort of in a suspended state of stasis where you don't know what's going on until the resurrection is your soul dormant until then, answer no sleep is a biblical description and the reason it's here is because because of the appearance of the body at death, it looks like person sleep laid out the rise of closed and has the physical appearance of being still of somebody's being asleep.
The word sleep. By the way in all three of these verses is the word claim all coy Morrow sleep we use it in a modern term cemetery coy monetary on cemetery. A sleeping place refers to those who have died. Now that's what Jesus had in mind. We spoke about death and the coming resurrection. Listen to what he said in John chapter 11 about his friend Lazarus, Jesus said our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up housing away, resurrection right. He had physically died and Jesus was going to physically resurrected medical wake up with the description. His disciples replied, Lord, if he sleeps a bit better right over there. Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought that he meant natural sleep.
So then Jesus told them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
That's the same description given in acts chapter 7 when Stephen dies, and the New Testament author. Luke said he fell asleep. It's a New Testament and even an Old Testament description of a person who dies in the Old Testament. Sometimes kings it says they slept with their fathers or the Psalm is Psalm 13 says, you know, revived my life lest I sleep the sleep of death.
So Christians use the term sleep not only because the appearance of the body, but because asleep is temporary.
Take a nap.
You wake up in the waking up part is the resurrection. So in Daniel chapter 12 verse two. Those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. It's funny when you're a child you fight sleep. I want time to go to bed. No, it's like the worst thing in the world and is like the best thing for you. Please stay up for me to stay up till like four in the morning and ruin my life knowing time, go to bed or about an afternoon going to take a nap all do I have to.
It's like punishment when you're a kid. The older you get, though, that changes, it's a reward, not a punishment I get to take a nap. Another reason were never worried about taking a nap or going to sleep at night is because we know regular what wake up so attrition has no more to fear about death that anyone taking a nap. They're going to get up and they getting up will be resurrection of the body, which in turn with me to Luke chapter 16 for a moment. Luke chapter 16 is that a very interesting story that help us tonight and in the weeks ahead to get a handle on. I sense a story is not a parable because whenever you read a parable Jesus will say here a parable or will compare something it's very obvious, but this is the story that a parable Luke chapter 16 beginning in verse 19 Jesus asserts there was a certain rich man now. It's a story not a parable, there was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the Masters table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, everything is here that I was here that was new etc. Greg licked his sores. Gross, so was that the beggar died and he was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom.
The rich man also died and was buried, and being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom and he cried out. He said father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things.
But now he is comforted you are tormented beside all of this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from their pasts to us and then he said I beg you therefore, father that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment. Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.
Said no father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent. But he said to them, they do not hear Moses and the prophets of the word of God, neither will they be persuaded, though one rise from the dead. I.e. we could spend a couple weeks on just that paragraph does this what I want you to notice it's pretty obvious that after a person dies there fully conscious the fully aware they're not in some kind of soul sleep.
They conceal they can emote their very very conscience is pain as well as comfort and notice.
This guy is so alarmed by his situation, being in Hades you want to get word back to his brothers. Notice what he says in verse 28. You just can't pass this by up at five brothers. I want to testify to them, lest they come to this place of torment. It's not what some people say yeah man, I want to go to hell like you can't wait to people come and join because rogue apartheid. This guy woke up in hell is very conscious and he's alarmed. He doesn't want people to follow in their so what are we know that happens when a person dies. Let's narrow that what happens when a Christian dies you to be very conscious will be comforted you feel really good. If you're in pain now and suffering that bad back with a chronic disease or that horrible situation that will cause your eventual death. You will be conscious but you'll be comforted. That's number one number two will be immediately in God's presence. Immediately, do not pass go, do not collect $200 just right there in God's presence. We know that Chris Paul wrote to the Corinthian second Corinthians chapter 5 verse eight to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Son Ali said he was writing a letter to the Philippians he was in prison and he said for me to live is Christ in the diet is gained and then he said you know I'm in a quandary here. I'm sort of in this in the straight between two feelings and opinions on one hand I want to stay here because it's more profitable for you. I can minister to you or I can be with Christ, which is far better. He said far better you would use those terms.
If you, Diane.
Death ends at all in my mind I go to soul sleep for X amount of years of the resurrection for me to live is Christ and the die is gain.
It's game. It's far better because for me to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
That's why Jesus said in this what Jesus meant when he said whoever believes in me will never die, not physical death will go on and experience consciousness and bliss and comfort in the presence of the Lord.
So you be conscious will immediately be in God's presence. Here's 1/3 thing we know that happens to a Christian when they die immediately upon death. Your soul is perfected in holiness your old sin nature is eradicated by I hope you think that's good news with. That means us is the fight is over completely over.
There is no struggle anymore with flesh and blood with temptation says in Hebrews 12 verse 23 speaks of the spirits of the redeemed in heaven now made perfect you're in a glorified state.
At that point the fight is over.
So what will we be doing specifically them in this happen in this other side and what some theologians and I'll discuss it more next week called the intermediate state because none of you know this or not but you talk about dying and going to heaven as a whole lot more to it than just that happened. There's phases of heaven you'll be experiencing in the future, but I want to save something for next time. The third thing I want you to notice back in first Thessalonians chapter 4 is that the ignorance whether it's by the Thessalonians, or by the Americans. This ignorance will produce hopelessness again. Look at verse 13. I do not want you to know I don't do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep last you sorrow as others who have no hope. She didn't say lest you sorrow. He believes are going to sorrow. Everybody does. But lest you sorrow like those who have no hope. Ignorance about death and the afterlife, like the Thessalonians had about their loved ones would end up in a hopeless kind of a grief you've heard of good grief, this would be bad grief, bad grief back in the 1960s. LSD grew by the name of Dr. Timothy Leary, everybody who lived back then heard of them. He was very he thought it was very cool. All the kids thought he was cool, and that's all you know you know get high into now dropout in a tune in, get all that stuff take LSD and he laughed about death. He laughed about the afterlife and he said that when I die, I plan to have my body and brain frantically frozen and so he would always laugh about death. One of his closest friends who knew him best said these words even though he joked about death.
She is as afraid of dying as anyone said his friend may be more so because he really doesn't believe there's anything that comes after this that's the situation were talking about here that's grieving like people who have no hope for Timothy Leary for materialists for a host of others. Death is a hopeless end for a Christian death is an endless hope it's not the end it's the beginning of a whole new phase of existence.
The beginning of something much more wonderful in eternity. Now again I just want to cover this point Paul is not saying Christians don't grief just simply our grief is different from hopeless people, hopeless people grieve and people with hope grief, but we grieve differently than people who are hopeless receipts when when a believer dies what's right for the believer percent great for us and I walk up at funerals a quick try and there in heaven. We worried about be so cruel and heartless yet again for the person who is in heaven. But it's a loss for the people are still slugging it out on earth without the friendship without the love of that person so we can be cavalier about the Bible is filled with people who grieved Jacob when he thought that his son Joseph is torn by wild beasts mourned for many days. David when he heard that his son Absalom was killed in a golf. Too bad he said although my son Absalom. If only I would've died instead of you and what about Jesus that the funeral of Lazarus. He knew what was coming and yet he said it says in there. Jesus wept. Jesus wept our grief however is different is filled with hope and you could if you wanted to write in the margin of your Bible. This, what hope means here confident expectation confident don't is not a guy hope you know crossing his fingers but hope this really works. I hope the say stuff like pays off. No, the idea of hope here LP.LP DOS means a confident assurance or expectation.
In other words, it ain't over yet just the beginning. We are assured of resurrection were assured of restoration were assured of a reunion. All of the things that Paul will talk about in the next several verses and that's why he closes out in verse 18. Therefore comfort one another with these words and those comforting words of the words we want to look at next time we look at the assurance part of that text. Martin Luther was not only a great theologian. He was one who mourned him, grieved over the death of his 14-year-old daughter to an interesting story when she lay sick and about to die and he did know she was in a live or die. Martin Luther prayed like any dad would God oh God please I love her so much, not my will but your will be done he would always in his prayers that many would go over to his daughter's death bed and say, dear sweet Magdalena, would you rather stay here on earth with daddy or would you rather go to be with your father in heaven and she would always answer as the Lord wills, Papa, as the Lord wills.
While she did die, they later caressed and at that service. Martin Luther said oh my dear Magdalena, you will rise and shine like the stars in the sun.
How strange to be so sorrowful and yet to know that all is at peace and that all is well. Very similar to the hymn writer who wrote that him and see where his children died, it is well it is well with my soul that's sorrowing differently from people who are hopeless, so if I would answer the question that those three guys had answer and when you're in a casket of people gathered around you. What's the one thing you want to hear people saying it's not. He's moving. I don't want to hear that I be. I don't want to come back.
I want to hear he's moving. I want to hear some like he's not moving, but he's really living right now that will be the truth baby Ruth fescue-the conclusion of a message from the series eternity tell you about what you can learn about God and his word in a flexible academic environment. Are you looking to take your life's purpose to a whole new level. Calvary colleges offering on-site classes in biblical studies at Calvary church of Albuquerque and the next term starts August 17. You can combine on-site and online classes to fit your life and your schedule plus Calvary college courses with Veritas international University Calvary Chapel University give you options and flexibility. Whether you're working toward an accredited degree or simply want to increase your knowledge of God's word. On-site classes include theology in church history and worldview apologetics undergraduate and graduate level all starting August 17.
Apply today Calvary ABQ.College that Calvary BBQ.college. A lot of people have questions when it comes to the future and the Bible gives you the answers and assurances you need to find peace in Christ. No matter what you're facing.
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Come back tomorrow and Skip Heitzig six years when you don't have to wonder about life after death. Because God is giving you all the answers you want is so Skip Heitzig presentation of connection communications changing truth