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One Second After Death…


One Second After Death…

Text. Hebrews 12:18-24

In this study I want to look at what happens to us – specifically to a Christian believer, the very second that they die. 


First we need to ask a very basic question:-


1. What is Man?

READ: Psalm 8:3-5 What is it about human beings that God has endowed us with such dignity? For example…

  • Are we just a collection of chemicals?  If we were to take all the chemicals that are contained in a human body, we are worthless.  Chemical value just 75p!   Yet to the secular humanist, that’s all we are – we die, and we are consigned to ‘the universe’ whatever that is. Thankfully there’s more to a human being than just a worthless collection of chemicals.  OR:-
  • Are we more than just physical beings?  The bible teaches us that we are body and soul/spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:23. Now there is a debate among theologians as to whether man consists of two parts, body and soul/spirit or three parts, body, soul and spirit.  It’s irrelevant as far as this wee study is concerned.  We are more than just a body, just a collection of cells or a clump of DNA.  We have a SOUL, and that soul will live on after the earthly body is destroyed.  2 Corinthians 5:1Jesus taught this to his disciples.  He warned them not to fear those who could destroy the body, but rather be afraid of the death of the soul.  Matthew 10:28,  The soul of man can live without the body.  The body can’t live without the soul.  
  • Are we immortal?  The answer is a strange one.  It depends what you mean by ‘immortal!’  
    • Only God is intrinsically IMMORTAL!  It’s good to stop in our busy lives and reflect on the immortality of God, and contrast it with the brevity of our lives here.  One of the best ways to do that is to read Psalm 90, and then pray your way through it.   Psalm 90:10-12 Our lifespan is so tiny…  God, on the other hand – is ETERNAL!  He never changes, and he never dies.  There was never a time when he was not, and there never will be a time when he will not be!  Psalm 90:1-2  
    • Our Immortality is derived from God and dependent upon Him.  Unlike God there was a time when we did not exist.  We are not reincarnated beings, before we were conceived in our mother’s womb, we did not exist.  God created us, and gave us life, just as he did in the case of the first man Adam.  Genesis 2:7  The Nicene Creed speaks of the Holy Spirit as ‘The Lord and the Giver of Life.’  

So, to sum up, simply, only God has the right to be immortal – we have no right at all to live for ever, that eternal life is granted to us in and by Him.  Only in that sense are we – our eternal souls – ‘immortal.’ So, what happens after our earthly life ends?


2. What Others Think.

Three strange views of what happens to us after we die…

  • The Jehovah Witnesses.  The JWs are a cult – they have no right to consider themselves in sense ‘Christian.’  They believe that after death the body and spirit die, – that the soul does NOT survive death, but that it is later recreated in paradise.  The key to understanding the book is the phrase UNDER THE SUN. Ecclesiastes 2:18  Everything that is done under the sun will perish! Matthew 6:19-21  
  • The ‘Abraham’s Bosum’ theory.  Jesus addressed the repentant thief on the cross. ‘Today you will be with me in paradise.’ Where was the ‘paradise’ he was speaking about? A preacher proposed that Paradise was a kind of intermediate state, he referred his hearers to Luke 16:22 and argued that Abraham’s bosom, as referred to in this passage was that same intermediate state. But where exactly is Abraham at present?  READ Hebrews 11:9-11,  Abraham is IN HEAVEN.
  • Soul Sleep.  Of course the bible often speaks of dead saints being ‘asleep’.  1st Thessalonians 4:14  But it is the BODY that sleeps until resurrection day, not the SOUL.  You can see why sleep is used as an analogy though, for sleep implies rest, the cessation of work, the anticipation of awakening…  But, again, to the thief on the cross, Jesus said, in Luke 23:41, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.  That’s TODAY, not in 10 years, or 1000 years – today.   

So we’ve seen some aberrant views and opinions – now, what does the Bible really teach on this?


3. So, What REALLY Happens?

You’ve reached the end of your allotted lifespan, and you draw your final breath, and your heart beats its final beat.  Outwardly, physically, your earthly life gone. But where will YOU be, and what state will you be in?   

  • You will be experiencing the fullness of joy!  Psalm 16:11,  
  • You will behold the face of God! Psalm 17:15,  
  • You will sit with the Old Testament saints! Matthew 8:11,  
  • You will be comforted! Luke 16:22-23 
  • All the glories of heaven will be revealed to you!  Romans 8:18  
  • You will see the Lord, face to face and shall be known! 1 Corinthians 13:12.  
  • You will be in the immediate presence of Christ!  2 Corinthians 5:6,  

So, we can confirm, biblically, the lesson that we learned in our last study, that for the Christian, our departure from this world is nothing to fear,  In Christ we have the great assurance that as he rose from the dead, so one day, at his return, we too shall bodily rise, – until that day our souls are in his presence, in heaven’s splendour, with all the great joy that brings.  As Paul wrote to the Thessalonians saints, “And so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

BobMcEvoy February 2020

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