Monday, September 14, 2009

The Afterlife: A Biblical View

Continuation of the IF/THEN Series.

The concept of an "afterlife" is inherent and universal. There are various views of what it is like.
But: can we KNOW?? and can we PREPARE?? We can know a lot of things about afterlife; not everything, but a LOT of things.

The Christian view is that we CAN know (some) .... a. through Revelation
b. through Christ's resurrection (over death)
c. through the Apostles' record as they walked with Him both pre-resurrection and after the resurrection.

Therefore: IF Jesus did and said what's recorded, THEN we CAN know some things about afterlife AND we CAN PREPARE!!
Luke 16:19-31 - there are only two places - heaven and hell. There is no other place.

(there are hundreds of New Testament references)
A. the dwelling place of God.
B. Jesus came from there and has returned to there and is waiting there until His 2nd. coming
C. A place of unbelievable glory and splendor Rev. 4:1-2 Thus John's descriptions.
D. A place beyond our comprehension or imagination. This is the reason for the poetic imagery used to describe the indescribable. 1 Cor. 2:9
E. A place of "Rightness" Rev. 21:3-4 It will be what life ought to be.
F. A place prepared for us. Matt. 25:31-34

Question: Will all go there? Answer: Matt. 7:21-23

HELL (there are fewer references but most are directly from Christ) There are only two references in the New Testament to Hell not given by Jesus.
A. A terrible place Mk. 9:43-48 Rev. 14:9-11
B. Prepared for Satan and his minions Matt. 25:41 Was not prepared for us. Heaven was prepared for us. There is no where else to go.
C. the final abode of those who reject God and Christ. Rev. 20:10, 14-15
D. as eternal as heaven. Matt. 25:46 (the same word, "eternal" used as the adjective)

A typical response is: "I'm OK with the doctrine of heaven, but I don't like the doctrine of hell."
Answer: I'm glad to hear that! Wouldn't be a very good person if you were OK with the doctrine of hell.

1. our belief in heaven is based on the SAME source or authority as our belief in hell.

Point being: how can you accept Christ's and the Apostles' teachings on heaven and not on hell?
Do these men have less knowledge than us? do we know more that they do? do they have less love for God and man? did they misrepresent Christ? Rom. 9:2-3 or did they lack our capacity for mercy? The Apostles' love for God and other people far surpasses any of ours!!!

2. truth is not determined by preference. (or we'd eliminate cancer) It's a stupid idea that we get that if we don't like it, it can't be true.

So.... can we know? what afterlife looks like?

Answer: IF Jesus did, said, etc. ... THEN we can know some.

What about....."Can we prepare?" Answer: YES!! Note: Bridge Illustration below
John 14:1-6

This is not ALL the preparation, but it DOES equal the most important and vital step.

Just knowledge of the bridge won't get you there. YOU must cross the bridge by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Animations from

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