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Life After Death, Pt. 3

Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible to deepen our understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi and welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects you today. I'm John Bradshaw.

Gary Gibbs: And I'm Gary Gibbs.

John: The last couple of times in Bible Talk, Gary, we've been talking about death, the soul whether it is immortal or not and we have found out or not. Talking about such subjects which have led us to the place where... Well man, there's more to talk about, let's flesh this out a bit.

Gary: We've seen that man does not possess a naturally immortal soul. We're all mortal and the only way we get immortality according to 1 Corinthians 15:54, is to put it on at the resurrection through the gift of Jesus Christ. The Spirit is not immortal, the Spirit is the breath of life God gives us, so the real question right now, John, that we have before us is where do you go when you die?

John: I tell you what in some places they ought to make sure you're really dead. I was reading about a girl in Vietnam, well it was really about her dad, the dad had some problem, they took him off to the hospital, and they pronounced him dead and put him in the morgue. The next morning about eight hours later, she turns up in the morgue to... I don't know what she was going to do, but to see the body or prepare the body or something, the guy opens his eyes and starts talking to her. Can you imagine... I'm sure it was a very joyful experience, but probably a little bit unnerving as well.

Gary: You don't want to be rushing to the burial in those types of societies. That happened in Romania too, a guy who went into a... what they believe was a coma and they didn't get any signs of life, and here they went and had the wake and everything, they viewed the body and a couple of weeks later, we see this guy walking in the street, he never died.

John: No way.

Gary: Yeah.

John: That would have given people something to talk about.

Gary: Well that's why we embalm them here in our country.

John: It's a good idea.

Gary: To make sure they're dead, even if we made a mistake. Really what happens, where do you go when you die? We read before that the Bible says that you go to sleep, Steven in Acts seven says "He fell asleep." Acts 7:59 Jesus said "Lazarus when he was dead, he was sleeping" but what does that really look like, where do you go when you die?

John: I'm thinking there are other places in the Bible too. Jesus goes to this little girl's house, the damsel sleepeth and they laughed until scorned. That's what you find all the way thru the Bible. OK, but the question, where do you go when you die, where are the dead, what does the Bible say? I think a verse we've looked at once before, Psalm 115:17 says "The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence."

So wherever the dead are is a silent place and they're not praising the Lord and I've been to many funerals where the celebrant of the funeral service says "You know we can be so happy because mama or great grandpa or daddy or whoever it is is in Heaven right now and are praising the Lord."

Gary: When you really think about it, it really wouldn't be that much of a great experience to be up in Heaven and looking down at your family, you're going thru the turmoil and the trials of this life.

John: Imagine your family going thru the Holocaust or a husband watching his wife going thru Alzheimer's or stroke or something you really yuck! That wouldn't be Heaven at all, it would be kind of like Hell watching your kids sell their bodies or getting them strung out on drugs and throwing their lives away. Watching that from Heaven?

Gary: But sleep on the other hand is a peaceful rest until the resurrection, that's why it says in Acts 2:29, Peter was speaking, he said "Men and brother, let me speak freely to you, the patriarch David, he is both dead and buried and his tomb is with us to this day." And in Verse 34, "For David did not ascend into the Heavens." So Peter says here's David, if anyone was saved it should be in Heaven praising God. I've had a point in time it should have been David. No, he's dead and buried.

John: You ask any Christian and if you would have asked him and say "Well when you get to Heaven, you expect to see King David there." Every last one of them would say "Sure, David would be there, he had some rotten moments, but he was repentant and a man after God's own heart and he will be there." But according to the Bible, and you know one of the things I like about Bible Talk, we're going to point you to the Bible every time. We're pointing you to the Bible and the Bible is saying that David is not Heaven, but he's dead and buried.

You're going to get more on this, our offer, Are the Dead really Dead? It's a Bible study that you want to get your hands on, beautifully put together, tons of information, listen to the end of the program for the phone number, the email address and you'd be sure to get your hands on a copy of Are the Dead really Dead?

Gary: You know this is a really controversial topic John. When I talk to believers of various things, if you start talking about death, what happens at death that you go to sleep and you are different than the tradition of the church, people get really quite vexed and upset over this.

John: Oh, yeah, people get really defensive sometimes and friend, we don't want you to get defensive or upset or whatever, he's always telling me my grandma is not in Heaven, telling your grandma is never going to go, just sleeping right now, an unconscious sleep, waiting for the resurrection and we would hope that anyone considering the subject would do so in a sort of a mature way, not a defensive way. Not just trying to dig in and defend your positions, well I believe this and my mother believes this and grandma believes this and she's buried at the back of our church. And your grandma would probably get out of there if she could you know.

Gary: Backyard, but either way it becomes a very personal issue because this is our loved one who's dead and we have these images in our mind that they're in Heaven and by the way, no one I know in any funeral where it's been preached, none of them go to Hell.

John: Now isn't that something? No wait a minute, friend of mine, he's a past... got to know this woman, her husband had died, he went to the funeral, the fellow preaching the funeral was so happy that another preacher was there, had him sit down on the front row and I tell you why, he was amazed this preacher said "This old boy who's dead down there in the casket, never came to church, never saw him around here, we can know that right now he's in Hell." And then turned to the grieving mother and the two little girls and said "And you sitting down there going to follow him all the way to Hell if you don't start coming to church and repent."

Gary: How terrible.

John: Pretty straight A, pretty mean too and not exactly what you want from a Christian service, so anyhow that's one out of millions who's been preaching.

Gary: So there's one in Hell.

John: But generally all going to Heaven.

Gary: Absolutely he's wrong, here's the question, where do you go when you die? We've asked that.

John: OK.

Gary: The Bible asked it in Job 14, this is all you need right here, Job 14:10, "But man dies and wasteth away." As the old King James says "Yea man, gives up the ghost, where is he" or I like the way it says in the New King James, "Man dies and is laid away, indeed he breathes his last and where is he?" Isn't that the question?

John: Sure. What's the answer?

Gary: The answer is this, so man lies down and does not rise until the Heavens are no more. They will not awake nor be roused from their sleep, hide me in a grave, appoint me a set time and remember me if a man dies, shall we live again, I will wait until my change comes, you shall call and I will answer you.

John: That's a great verse, I love that.

Gary: So it says he's hidden in a grave, he's asleep, he sleeping in the grave until an appointed set time when Jesus will call, then he'll answer and his change will come.

John: Now tell me why I want to believe that, what's in that for me if I've believed that mum is in Heaven or my children are in Heaven watching over me. You know these little children's funerals we love to say "Oh, another angel in Heaven", sometimes that seems to be so comforting, what's in it for me to believe like this that the dead are in the grave sleeping until their resurrection?

Gary: Well what's in it for us is its Bible truth. We don't need to comfort ourselves with unbiblical comfort.

John: Amen.

Gary: The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4, "Comfort one another with these words." And the words he's referring to is he says that "When Jesus comes, he'll resurrect the dead in Christ" and he says "That's where you get your comfort is the thought that they sleep until the resurrection when Jesus brings them forth so the comfort that we have, what's in it for us is knowing Bible truth will save us from deception because the devil will impersonate the dead. We see that in the Bible, we see that with the Witch of Endor, with Saul, we ought to study that, we've done that already in Bible Talk, we should do it again, but the devil, the spirits of the dead work miracles in the last days Revelations says.

John: Yeah, that's something that we ought to repeat here. I don't want someone to have missed that point made very quickly. The Bible says there are going to be a great, a miraculous deceptions in the last days concerning evil spirits and the spirits of the dead. That would be a powerful, powerful deception too. By the way, we don't want to be party to that. And I would say this, there's more to it for me than just knowing the truth and gaining a little comfort, I think it's better.

I think it just works better even from a reasonable point of view and we eluded to this before, it would be better to know that your dad who suffered from cancer is sleeping in the grave rather than your dad who suffered from cancer sitting in Heaven, watching all the junk that's going on on the earth and then opening yourself also up to the idea that maybe dad can communicate with me.

I met a lady once, an elderly lady, very elderly lady whose husband had recently predeceased her. Well had... I shouldn't have said predeceased because she wasn't dead, but anyhow, he had died and you know she said she found her desperate, walking around her house and walking around the yard and she's like "If only you would speak to me, I know you are there, but if only you would communicate with me." If only she knew that he was asleep and that possibility would be eliminated from her mind, she could have peace that is not just outside of her grasp.

Gary: And I met a lady who did talk to her dead husband. When I was a little boy, my father died and I wondered, why doesn't he talk to us? And then I learned the Bible truth that the dead are sleeping and they will always stay asleep and that's the good news.

John: That is good news.

Gary: And this is what gives sense to the resurrection if the dead are already in Heaven or in Hell, why does Jesus need to come back to this earth and resurrect everyone?

John: They would be no need for a resurrection.

Gary: Now John, coming back to this Job text, Job 14:15, Job says "I'll wait until my change comes." You know what the Bible tells us when that change will come in one Corinthians 15?

John: It's worth reading those verses there, powerful verses.

Gary: Behold, I tell you a mystery, we shall not all sleep in other words we'll not all die.

John: Like a death is asleep underscored there.

Gary: But we shall all be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet where the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed, this corruptible has put on in corruption, this mortal has put on immortality then shall be brought the past that's saying that it's written "Death is swallowed up in victory." Know this, then will be brought to past the saying. At the last trumpet when Jesus comes, it's at that point that death has swallowed up the victory, not immediately upon death we go straight to Heaven or Hell.

John: It's pretty easy I think to just ask the question and answer it as the last trumpet sounded yet and we know that it hasn't. You talked about another passage that goes right along with this so I'm going to read it, 1 Thessalonians 4:13, "I will not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep that you saw not even as others which have no home." The Thessalonians believe that even if you die before Jesus came back, you weren't going anywhere. You were stuck in that condition of death.

I jumped down to verse 15, "This we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep, because the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout with a voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, see the last trumpet, happens with the second coming, the dead in Christ shall rise first and we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air so shall we ever be with the Lord comfort one another with these words."

Gary: And we can be comforted because Jesus died on the cross, paid the penalty for our sins and He broke the feathers that chains on death, He says "I am the resurrection, the life." And if we accept Him as our savior, we can know that if we die before Jesus comes, we will come up in the resurrection.

John: I am the resurrection and the life and remember, if some dead person has already gone to heaven, then they don't even need for Jesus to be the resurrection and the life, but we need Jesus, He is to be our all-in-all. Thanks for being with us, join us again next time for more here on Bible Talk.

Man: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject including information you want to know. To receive this free, informative, Bible study guide, simply call, write or email and ask for Are the Dead really Dead? The toll free number is 866-Biblesays. That's 866-2425372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, PO Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678 or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org. Bible Talk has been produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of LifeTalk Radio.

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