Your Future Life

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What to Expect When We Die
the conscious existence of the dead (Phil 1:21-23; Luke 16:19-31), the resurrection of the body (John 5:28-29), the judgment and reward of believers (Rom. 14:10-12; II Cor. 5:10), the judgment and condemnation of unbelievers (Rev 20:11-15), the eternal life of the saved (John 3:16), and the eternal punishment of the lost (Matt. 25:46; Rev 20:15). [We understand eternal punishment to be a conscious state (Rev. 14:11).]
What WillHappen to you When you die.


1. Death is a state of Separation.

A. The separation of the sinner from God.

A. The separation of the sinner from God is spiritual death.
i. This {first} occurred in the Garden of Eden when Adam sinned. Gen. 3:6-10 {v8, they hid from the Lord’s presence; v9 Where are you?; v10 I hid}
ii. This is the state in which all human beings are {born} .
(1) This necessitates the {new} birth, or being “born again.” John 3:3–7 (NASB95) 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
{that which is born of... Spirit is spirit}
(2) This occurs the moment saving {faith} is exercised in Jesus Christ. John 3:14–16 (NASB95) 14 “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. {the one who believes is given eternal life; cf Acts 16:31 (NASB95) 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” }
iii. This is the state in which all {unsaved} people will exist forever. {Hell is eternal separation from God. This is the state of eternal spiritual death.}

B. Separation of the Spirit from the body is physical death.

B. The separation of the human soul/spirit from the body is physical death.
i. James 2:26 (NASB95) 26 For just as the body without thespirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. {the body without the spirit is dead}
ii.Examples of the soul’s {departure} from the body resulting in physical death:
(1) Gen. 35:18 {Rachel’s soul was departing, and she died}
(2) Luke 23:46 {Christ committed His spirit into the Father’s hands}
(3) Acts 7:59-60 {Stephen called out, ‘receive my spirit’}

C. Conscious Existence.

C. When physical death occurs, the soul/spirit continues in a conscious existence.
Philippians 1:21–22 NASB95
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
2 Corinthians 5:8–9 NASB95
8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
i. Philippians 1:21–23 (NASB95) 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will meanfruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions,having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; {the verb ‘depart’ (v23) is avnalu,w meaning: to unloose for departure – Paul knew that when he died he would be existing consciously in Christ’s presence; cf 2 Cor. 5:8-9, ‘absent from the body...present with the Lord’}
ii. Luke 16:19–31 (NASB95) 19 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 “And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbswhich were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”
{both the saved man, Lazarus, and the unsaved rich man were existing consciously in Sheol after they had died. This is called the “intermediate state”– the time of existence between a man’s life on earth and ‘life’ in his resurrection body.}

2. Resurrection

2. Both believers and non-believers will be {raised} from the dead. John 5:28–29 (NASB95) 28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

A. Reuniting of the spirit with the body.

a. Resurrection is the {reuniting} of the soul/spirit to the physical body.
i.Since the OT teaches that the {body} is a vital part of man (Gen. 2:7), then it follows that the OT also revealed a coming bodily resurrection. {God created man as a unified material & spiritual being to live forever. Death (separation) is an intruder.}
(1) Job 19:25-27 {At the end of the world, Job will see Christ from his body; cf Job 14:14, “If a man dies, will he live again? ...I will wait until my change comes”}
(2) Isa. 26:19 {‘your dead will live;’ ‘their corpses will rise’}
(3) Dan. 12:2 {‘those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake’; God’s power is infinite – since He created man from dust, He can bring Him back from dust!}
ii.The Greek word for ‘resurrection,’ avna,stasij (anastasis), means “a {standing} up,” i.e. ‘a resurrection, a raising up, rising.’ {It appears 2x’s in Jn5:29. It’s a special NT term always depicting bodily resurrection. Only possible exception is Lk 2:34.}
(1) The {nature} of resurrection is defined by Christ’s own resurrection.
(a) John 2:19–20 (NASB95) 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” {‘the temple of his body’ – the body standing before them!}
(b) 1 Cor. 15:20 {Christ is the first-fruits of the resurrection – i.e. Christ is the first real resurrection in history where His body was changed – glorified.}
(2) The very body that died is the {same} body that is raised again. {So we’ll retain our human identity forever. My face, personality are mine forever, sinless!}
b. Physical death is a temporary separation of the soul/spirit from the body for {all} men, saved or unsaved (John 5:28–29 (NASB95) 28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.).
(1) All men will be raised by Christ in {bodily} form. {all the dead shall hear His voice (v28), and shall come forth (v29)}
(2) Just as there are two abodes after death, so there are {two} resurrections.
(a) John 5:29

B. Order of Resurrection

(i) a resurrection of {life}

(i) a resurrection of {life} {to eternal life, cf. Dan 12:2; the glorified body is described in 1 Corinthians 15:36–50 (NASB95) 36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (no blood)}

(ii)a resurrection of {judgment}

(ii)a resurrection of {judgment} {to everlasting contempt, Dan 12:2; almost nothing is said of the resurrection body of the wicked}
(b) Acts 24:15 (NASB95) 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. {both righteous & wicked; notice righteous mentioned first (judgment begins with the household of God) cf Rev. 22:12} Conclusion: We believe in the resurrection of the body.
1. Death is a state of {separation} .
2. Both believers and non-believers will be {raised} from the dead.

3. Believers Rewarded

A. Immediate Reward

a. This judgment will occur in heaven immediately {after} the rapture of the Church.
1 Corinthians 4:4–5 (NASB95) 4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’shearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
{judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes (NIV); NOTE: our conscience is not a sufficient guide to judge ourselves!}
2 Timothy 4:7–8 (NASB95) 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
{Rev. 4:4,10; 24 Elders, the Church, w/crowns – already have been judged}

B. Thorough Reward

b. All believers must give {account} for their works during their earthly life.
i. Romans 14:10–12 (NASB95) 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. {v10, bh/ma, judicial bench, place of judgment, court; cf Acts 18:12; Only Christians come before the Bema Seat (only unsaved appear before the Great White Throne); context Rom 14, the strong w/selfish motives gives account to God}
Ii 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NASB95) 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. {All Christians must give account to Christ; The Father has delegated all judgment of humans to Jesus (Jn 5:22). The Bema Judgment will be retributive but not vindictive. God will give us what we deserve according to our works as believers}

C. Fair Reward

c. All believers will either be rewarded for their good works, or suffer {loss} of reward for their misdeeds: 1 Corinthians 3:10–15 (NASB95) 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. {there is no condemnation to fear (v15b; Rom 8:1), but we can suffer loss = be punished (v15). ILLUS: feeling loss due to a house fire.}
i. What actions would be considered wood, hay, straw (v12)? {all “works of the flesh”; imparting to another a sinful attitude, or a shameful practice, or a false doctrine (the imagery here is building upon a foundation picturing discipleship)}
ii. What actions would be considered gold, silver, precious stones (v12)? {all “works of the Spirit”; imparting to another a godly attitude, a holy practice, a true doctrine}
iii. What is the role of the fire (v13-15)? {it tests, purges and purifies. The purpose of this judgment is to prepare the Church fully for her presentation as Christ’s Bride; cf Rev. 19-7-8; clothed in white = righteous acts; all unrighteous acts have been burned up!} Conclusion: We believe in the judgment and reward of believers.

4. Non-Believers Judged

1. Death is a state of {separation} .
2. Both believers and non-believers will be {raised} from the dead.
3. Believers will be judged and {rewarded} by Christ.
4. Nonbelievers will be judged and {condemned} by Christ.
Revelation 20:11–15 (NASB95) 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

A. Time of Judgment

a. The time of this judgment is {after} the Millennial Kingdom (v5, v11).

B. Place of Judgment

b. The place of this judgment is {before} the Great White Throne (v11). {This is not the Bema; only believers appear before the Bema, only the wicked before GWT.}

C. Basis for Judgment

c. The basis of this judgment is the {record} of deeds recorded in the books (v12). {All these are unsaved & already condemned; this is their final accounting & judgment.}

D. Result of Judgment

d. The verdict of this judgment is the {Second} {Death} , which is the Lake of Fire (v14). {This is the final dwelling place of the wicked dead and all fallen angels (cf. v10); it is the place of eternal guilt, torment, and separation from God.}
e. Those condemned by this judgment are those who are {not} {found} in the Book of Life (v15). {The Book of Life contains the names of the Elect of all the ages}
Conclusion: We believe in the judgment and condemnation of unbelievers.

5. Eternal Existence

1. Death is a state of {separation} .
2. Both believers and non-believers will be {raised} from the dead.
3. Believers will be judged and {rewarded} by Christ.
4. Nonbelievers will be judged and {condemned} by Christ.
5. Both believers and nonbelievers will exist {eternally} . Matthew 25:46 (NASB95) 46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

A. Nature of Existence

a. S. Lewis Johnson: “It is doubtful that there is a doctrine in the Bible easier to prove than that of eternal punishment. In Matt. 25:46, the twofold use of the adjective aivw,nion (aionion, “eternal”) with ko,lasin (kolasin, “punishment”) and zwh.n (zoen, “life”) indicates that the punishment for sin is just as long as the life that God gives the faithful. Both are eternal.”

1. Believers

i. Believers will spend eternity with God enjoying {life} . John 3:16 (NASB95) 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
(1) John 10:10 (NASB95) 10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have itabundantly.
(2) Revelation 21:1–4 (NASB95) 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be anymourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Revelation 22:3–5 (NASB95) 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be anynight; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

2. Non-Believers

ii. Nonbelievers will experience eternal {punishment} . 2 Thessalonians 1:9 (NASB95) 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
(1) Sin against an infinite God requires an infinite payment. Christ, being God, paid an infinite price for sin on the cross. Therefore, all who are in Christ shall live forever. But all who are not in Christ must pay for their own sin, which will take infinity. Eternal punishment is the just penalty (Psa. 24:3-5).
(2) God will not force the unsaved to spend eternity with Him or the Saints when they wanted nothing to do with God or His people during their earthly life. The unconverted and unrepentant will not be allowed to take part in the eternal kingdom of God (Rev. 21:7-8, 27; 22:14-15). {1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5}
(3) The {nature} of eternal punishment is described in three ways:
(a) “outer {darkness} ” (Matt. 25:30; 2 Pet. 2:17) {total exclusion from the immediate presence of God, who is light.}
(b) “undying {worm} ” (Mk. 9:47-48) {Gnawing of remorse in the conscience; an eternal dying; cf Isa. 66:24}
(c) “unquenchable {fire} ” (Mk. 9:46-48) {never ending pain and suffering}
(4) The will be {degrees} of punishment:
(a) Rom. 2:5-6 {‘you are storing up wrath for yourself...’; the amount stored up varies with each individual, for God is absolutely just.}
(b) Matt. 11:20-24 {‘more tolerable for... than for...’}
(c) Luke 12:47-48 {‘many lashes’ vs ‘few lashes’ – all are being lashed, but some more than others}

B. Continuance of Existence

b. Therefore, the Bible does {not} {teach} annihilation. Revelation 14:11 (NASB95) 11 “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
i. There will be a {conscience} existence of evil men and angels: Rev. 19:3; 20:10 {both Antichrist and the false prophet are human beings who will dwell eternally in the lake of fire that was created for Satan & his angels (Mt. 25:41).}
ii. There will be no complaint of {injustice} : Romans 3:19 (NASB95) 19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;
Conclusion: We believe in the eternal life of the saved, and the eternal punishment of the lost. And we understand eternal punishment to be a conscious state.
6. What joys are you looking forward to in heaven? Who do you know who needs to be saved?
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