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Sermon Notes

What happens to you when you die?

Introduction:

– Two thousand years ago an event happened that not only launched the Christian faith but also produced the most radical change of view about the afterlife.

When we face death, we need something more than to feel comforted. We need truth.
If you aim at trying to feel hope you may end up with wishful thinking, But if you aim at truth, you get hope thrown in.

The Black Screen: Old Testament view

– In the early days of Israel’s faith in God images of death were vague and not well defined.

– Sheol is the word used for “the realm of the dead”, often translated “the grave” with almost no description of what it is like.

– The book of Ecclesiastes is upfront about the harsh reality of death (ch 9:3,10)

– But it also offers this thought: God has put in the human heart a homing device in your spirit that says: Death is not the end.
“[God] has also set eternity in the human heart...(ch 3:11)

– Pictures of Resurrection: Isaiah 26:18 “But your dead will live…their bodies will rise
Ezekiel 37:4-6

– This belief in resurrection was unique to Israel in the ancient world.

Resurrection

Alternative views

– Reincarnation

– Being absorbed into nature

Biblical view

– Resurrection means God is going to bring you back to life as you in a body that has been transformed so it will never die again.

– Resurrection means that God is going to bring you back to live in a world that has been transformed to defeat suffering and sin and death.

– Resurrection offers new hope: Death is going to die! (I Cor. 15:54)

Q&A

Q: “What happens to me between when I die and when I get a resurrected body at the
final resurrection?”

A: Nobody know for sure. However consider Jesus’ words from the Cross: “TODAY you will be with me in Paradise.” Consider Paul’s words: “To be absent from the body is to be PRESENT with the Lord.

Q: “What will death be like?

A: John 8:51 “Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” – Jesus

Translation: You won’t experience it.

Q: “What will resurrected living be like?”

A: I Cor 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

“Your destiny is to be absorbed in a tremendously creative team effort under unimaginably splendid leadership on an inconceivably vast scale with ever-increasing cycles of productivity and enjoyment, and that is what eye has not seen and ear has not heard that lies before us in the prophetic vision.” – Dallas Willard

Q: What will my resurrected body be like?

A: We will be like Jesus. (I John 3:2)

In Jesus’ resurrected body his wounds are still visible, but were not signs of defeat or ugliness. Rather they were signs of his healing love. They become beautiful.

So What?

If God has placed eternity in your heart, it’s because he wants to place you in the heart of eternity.

– Nothing you do is in vain because resurrection is coming; therefore stand firm!
(I Cor 15:58)

– Don’t just be a consumer of hope, but be a beacon of hope.

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