What Happens When I Die? (Lk.16:19-31)

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE?

Luke 16:19-31

Introduction:

Joke:  SS Teacher asks class of children,

            "How many of you want to go to heaven?"

            All but one child raises hand.

            "Johnny, don't you want to go to heaven when you die?"

            "Sure, teacher, when I die.  I thought you were getting up

            a load to go right now."

 

A.  No Matter how much we Preach on Heaven,

            There is still a great deal of Dread about Death.

 

     Dr. Felix Ibanez, one time editor of the AMA Journal, said the fear of death is rooted in three things:  fear of pain, fear of separation, and fear of the unknown.

            Faith in Jesus can take away the fear of death:

 

     1.  Jesus destroys the Fear of Pain.

            a.  Before Jesus came, death had a Fearful, Painful Aspect.

            b.  After Jesus came, death had a Peaceful Aspect.

                        Referred to as "sleep"  13X in N.T.

 

     2.  Jesus destroys our Fear of Separation.

            a.  Before Jesus came, death was looked at as Total Separa.

            b.  After Jesus came, death is seen as a Temporary Sep.

                        (Jn.14:1-3)

 

     3.  Jesus destroys our Fear of the Unknown.

            a.  Before Jesus came, death was a mystery.

            b.  After Jesus came, death was simply a Moving Day.

 

B.  I want to further explain about that Moving Day and help you

     to understand what happens when you die.

 

 

 

 

 

I.  There is a Separation of the Soul from the Body.

 

A.  Man is a trinity.

 

     1.  We are made in the image of God.

     2.  We have a body, soul, and spirit.

 

"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."  (Heb.4:12)

 

"…and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

  (I Thess.5:23)

 

     3.  The body is the material part of us.

            EX:  blue eyes, blond hair, height

 

     4.  The soul and spirit are the immaterial part of us.

            EX:  personality, temperament, mind, will, emotions

 

B.  The Material and Immaterial are Separated at Death.

 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."  (James 2:26)

 (read from Vines Dictionary of NT Words—Death, p.276)

 

     1.  The material body decomposes.

     2.  The immaterial soul continues.

 

ILL:  Young preacher preaches first funeral.

            Wants to show how the deceased is still alive in heaven.

            Compared the deceased to a pecan.

            "The shell is still here, but the nut is in heaven."

 

ILL:  Little boy begged mother not to pray at night.

            "Don't pray 'Now I lay me down to sleep.'  I don't want the Lord to take my soul."

EX:  Both the rich man and Lazarus continued a conscious existence after death.

 

     3.  This separation takes place immediately after death.

 

"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."  (II Cor.5:8)

 

"For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better"  (Phil.1:23)

 

EX.  Note how the rich man and Lazarus immediately lifted up their eyes in their eternal abodes.

 

II.  There is a Separation of the Mortal from the Immortal.

 

A.  Though they were alive, they were not alive in the same place

they had died.  They were in a new place.  They no longer

lived in the world of mortal men.   They lived in the place

of the departed spirits.

 

In fact, the rich man was refused the opportunity for he or

Lazarus to go back and warn his family.

 

B.  Any teaching that says we can communicate with the dead is

not scriptural.

 

     1.  There is no way we can communicate with them.

            EX:  Through séances, channeling, ouiji boards

 

            ILL:  Henry Houdini proved this.

                        Exposed fakes.  Leaves a code for wife.

 

     2.  There is no way they can communicate with us.

            EX:  No such thing as ghosts.

            EX:  Ghost of Gettysburg tours.

 

                                                                       

 

   3.  What about Samuel's spirit talking to Saul?

            What about Moses and Elijah with Christ on the Mount of

Transfiguration?

 

These are exception, not the rule.

God miraculously allowed Moses to walk through the Red

Sea on dry ground, but I shouldn't expect that.

 

III.  There is a Separation of the Believer and Unbeliever.

 

A.  The rich man and Lazarus were separated by a great gulf.

 

B.  Today there is a greater gulf in between heaven and hell.

 

            1.  The saved are conducted to heaven at death.

            2.  The lost are conducted to hell at death.

 

C.  Questions:

 

            1.  What about babies?

                        I think children under an age of accountability are

safe and will go to heaven at death.

 

            2.  What about the mentally retarded?

                        I think that those with minds like children will be

treated like children, and are safe in Christ at death.

 

            3.  What about those who have never heard the gospel?

                        All are held accountable for the witness they have.

                        (Romans 1:18-20)

 

D.  The Separation of the Believer and Unbeliever is

Permanent and Eternal. 

 

            1.  The lost cannot cross over to Heaven.

            2.  The saved cannot cross over to Hell (to relieve torment).

 

 

 

Conclusion:

This understanding of death helps us to see what the Bible means when it says we are "dead" in trespasses in sins.

 

1.  We are spiritually separated from God.

 

            a.  Not annihilation, but separation.

 

"…your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear."  (Isa.59:2)

 

(see Vines again, p.276, b)

 

ILL:  Adam was thrown out of the Garden of Eden

            Israelites separated from Mercy seat

            Christ separated in darkness at the cross.

 

2.  We can be spiritually reconciled to God through faith in Christ.

            (Romans 5:8-11)

 

3.  If we are not spiritually reconciled to God at the time of death,

            we face the second death—eternal separation from God.

            (Rev.20:11-15)

            If you are born once, you will die twice.

            If you are born twice, you will die once.

 

 

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