Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 8, 2021

Death and Resurrection, Part 1, Death, Your Great Leap into Eternity!

There Seems to be Some Confusion on What Happens and When it Happens!

I cannot recall having ever heard a sermon in church on the subject of this essay. I would like to examine, in some detail, the Bible’s message to all born-again believers in Jesus Christ as to what happens when we die, where do we go and how do we look. Death is a distinctly different experience from resurrection and will happen at a different time.

This is written as a three-part essay which covers, Death, the First Resurrection, and the Second Resurrection.

Death

Death is the common description given to the time we depart our mortal bodies; while death is a common subject, rarely, if ever, is our emergence into the eternal state a topic of discussion.

When, for some reason, age, illness or accident, our bodies can no longer support our eternal essence and must be left behind; exactly what happens to us then, we leave but where are we going? We know we are eternal so where do we go and what do we look like?

Eternity can be a really wonderful place or a truly horrible place; all depending on your position concerning the Lord Jesus Christ at the time you take that great leap into eternity!

The Problem of Death

Death was part of the Adamic curse pronounced by God on Adam and his descendants in Genesis 2:16-17 where it is written:

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Adam deliberately disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and died spiritually at that instant, killing himself, Eve, and all of his physical descendants including you and me! In Genesis 3:6-7 we are told:

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

It was only when Adam ate that God’s command was disobeyed, it is in Adam that all die! Romans 5:12

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

While spiritual death came instantly, physical death was delayed, we do not know Adam’s age when he disobeyed God, but we know Adam lived to be 930 years old.

(Since the death of Adam, physical death has been the destiny of every human body with the exception of Enoch and Elijah which is why some believe the two prophets of Revelation 11 will be Enoch and Elijah. In Hebrews 9:27 it is written: “27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” Enoch and Elijah are the only Old Testament saints who have not yet died once.)

Where do Adam’s Descendants Go When They Die?

The Bible omits a great deal of detailed information that would be of great interest to many of us; those who have heard me teach know of my interest in trying to connect the dots of “information bits” provided in the Bible. The following parable was used by Jesus to refute the notion, popular at the time, that wealth was a sign of God’s approval of an individual while poverty was a sign of God’s disapproval.

While telling this parable, Jesus made some references to the hereafter that may give some guidance to us regarding life after death. While it is clear that death is the destiny of all descendants of Adam because of Adam’s sin, the question before us now is where do they go? The Bible gives us some clues about that in Luke 16:19-23 where it is written:

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

We learn certain facts from these verses; there is one place for the redeemed; referred to here as Abraham’s bosom, it is a place of peace and blessings for the redeemed, and another place for the lost. The lost go to a place of torments in Hades where there is suffering and torment.

After the First Advent and the Lord’s ascension to heaven, we are told the redeemed join him in heaven and are with the Lord Jesus Christ. I noted last time the reference in 2 Corinthians 5:8 where it is written:

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Since there is no reference, of which I’m aware, to any change; it would appear the lost still go to a place of torments in Hades.

How will we Look?

To the best of my knowledge, we will not have a body immediately after our departure from our mortal bodies; we are spiritual beings and will exist in spiritual form until the time of our resurrection.

I think it possible that time, in heaven, does not exist as does time on earth. We are told in Scripture,

For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8

I would not be surprised if the Old Testament saints, who had died in faith, would be totally unaware of the passage of thousands of years on earth. It may seem to them that only a few days had passed since their deaths; someday we’ll know for sure.

The Near Future?

There are several verses that tell us our resurrection will take place near the end of the age; at that time the spiritual essences of those who have died will be rejoined with their transformed, heavenly bodies and those of us of the terminal generation will join them in our transformed heavenly bodies without ever experiencing death!

13 “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.” Daniel 12-13

40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Our resurrected bodies will be our mortal bodies that have been transformed into eternal, heavenly bodies. The best example of this is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostles knew and recognized the resurrected Jesus as the one with whom they had ministered to Israel.

Next time we will consider the first resurrection to God and Heaven.


Responses

  1. Thanks, David! Cant wait for the remaining 2 posts. Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll definitely visit this blog again, thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the visit; please let me know if I can be of any help regarding the Christian life. May our gracious and loving Lord watch over you and protect you!

      Like

  3. Outstanding blog, David! I’m looking forward to the next one!

    Liked by 1 person


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