Sunday, January 8, 2012

Between Death & Resurrection

The message below is the second in the series Min. David Pawson's "Life After Death" sermons and focuses on what happens to man between death & resurrection:
  • If man is only a physical creature, then death is the end of him or annihilation.  
  • The Bible shows that man is more than a body; with the body being likened to a tent or suit of clothes.
  • From the Christian perspective, the outside may continually decay, but the inside should be continually renewed.
  • When a man dies, it is the moment of temporary separation between body & spirit.
  • At that time, the body goes back to the dust.  The body without the spirit is dead.  
  • This is why Jesus said, "Into thine hand I commit my spirit" when He died.  He remained as a spirit for 3 days & nights.
  • The body and soul will be reunited again - even after corruption has set in - and that is called the resurrection.
  • After His resurrection, Jesus specifically stated to His disciples that He was not a spirit because spirits do not have flesh and bone.
  • Heaven is a place and not simply a state of soul.
  • The term "fallen asleep" for death is in reference to the appearance of the body, not the condition of the spirit.  Souls/Spirits cannot sleep. 
  • There is an interval between death and resurrection, during which we will be disembodied spirits - as Jesus was for 3 days and 3 nights.
  • Hades is not Hell, but refers to the realm of departed spirits.  It is the equivalent of the Hebrew word Shoel.
  • The word for "paradise" in Luke 23:43 (when Jesus told the thief that he would be with Christ there in that day) refers to a King's Garden. 
  • A King's Garden is not the King's palace; it is not a place of rooms as the palace is.  When Jesus referenced taking us with Him to abide in the palace, such was a post-resurrection reference for Jesus says He will come again (the Second Coming) to take us there with Him (John 14:2-3).
  • The Scriptures indicate that there is not only a King's Garden in the interval period between death & resurrection, but a dungeon.  
  • When Jesus was a spirit (during the 3 days & nights before resurrection), we are told that He went to preach to the spirits in prison (those who perished in the flood of Noah).
  • Even though Heaven or Hell are post-resurrection realities, the interval period also distinguishes between two conditions of man as seen in these pictures of the King's Garden & the King's Prison.
  • Through these pictures, we can get more understanding about these realities.
  • About this prison in the interval period, it is said:
    • It is a place of segregation from God & God's people
    • Judas will be there
    • Some of the angels who fell will be there
    • There is suffering there
    • You cannot go back from that prison to life
    • You cannot go forward from the prison to the garden
    • You must go forward to something else after that; it is not a permanent condition.
  • About the garden, we should know:
    • It is not the palace, but the part surrounding the palace
    • It is a conscious reality of fellowship with Christ, His people, and angels. 
  • The thing that determines our ultimate destiny also determines our destiny in the interval: whether we have lived this life in the light of Christ or not.
  • The only evidence in Scripture for anything close to a "second chance" after death is for those who were judged prematurely in the flood of Noah.  There is a great gulf fixed between the garden and the prison of which no man may cross.  Death is the end of choosing.
  • Some teach of a place between death & resurrection (i.e purgatory) which is a place of punishment for unforgiven sins and purging from the effects of sin.  This unScriptural belief has led to a number of corrupt practices such as indulgences (paying money to the church to pray for the release of souls in purgatory), masses for the dead, and penance, etc.  There are some significant issues with this belief in purgatory:
    • No where in the Bible is there any support of the idea of purgatory
    • Jesus was punished for all of our sins.  Why then would we need to be?
    • When we die physically, we are set free from this body of sin and death. We are finished with sin, temptation, etc. (Romans 6:7)
    • If my physical death sets me free from all sin, when Christ comes again I will be like Him so there is no need for further cleansing.
  • While we can talk about those who have died, but there is no Scriptural support for praying for the dead.  Such is a useless practice.
  • Hebrews 12 does speak of a great cloud of witnesses around us, which is mentioned more for our inspiration not intercession.  Our communion with the saints - even those who departed - is through Jesus.
  • The Bible absolutely forbids God's people to attempt to communicate with the dead.

No comments:

Post a Comment

In an effort to reduce the amount of spam received, Anonymous posts will no longer be accepted. Comments are still moderated and will appear once approved.

If you have a personal message to relay, please use the "Contact Us" form at the top of the blog. Thank you!