The Other Side of Death
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:8–5:9, Philippians 1:21–1:23, Revelation 1:17–1:18
The History of Death
The Bible teaches that when it comes to death, there are four eras: (1) Death Absent (time before Adam & Eve as well as their initial existence); (2) Death Appeared (the entrance of sin through Adam & eve's disobedience); (3) Death Defeated (Jesus' death & resurrection at His first coming); (4) Death Destroyed (Jesus' final victory when He comes again).
The Other Side of Death
Because we live between the two comings of Jesus Christ, there are two different existences for Christians following their passing from this life: "life after death" in the era of Death Defeated, and then "life after life after death" in the final, eternal era of Death Destroyed when Jesus comes again.
Life After Death
Scripture teaches that when Christians die, our souls immediately and consciously meet God in heaven and will be reunited with our resurrected bodies when Jesus returns again.
2 Corinthians 5:8-9 NIV
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
Philippians 1:21-23 NIV
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
Two wrongly held beliefs: (1) “Soul sleep” is the belief that the souls of Christians remain unconscious after death until the resurrection. This misunderstands the Bible's use of sleep as a euphemism for death and confuses the soul with the body. (2) “Purgatory” is a Roman Catholic doctrine teaching that there’s a place where the souls of Christians must go to be further purified from sin through additional suffering until they are ready to be admitted into heaven. However, not only does this belief lack adequate Scriptural support, but it also discredits the sufficiency the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
Revelation 1:17-18 NIV
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.