What Happens After You Die? Pt. 2

Scripture: Genesis 2:7, 2 Corinthians 5:4-8, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
When a person dies do they go to heaven, hell, purgatory, or do they just sleep until Jesus returns? The devil himself began the lie that you never really die when he spoke to Eve in the Garden of Eden. What else does the Bible say?
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry, as they now open the Bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hello friend and welcome to Bible Talk where we explore Bible subjects that really matter and get to the truth of what the Bible says. I'm John Bradshaw, with me is Gary Gibbs.

Gary, last time we were here we talked about the subject of death and you shared something with us that a lot of people are going to find revolutionary. Tell me what that was.

Gary Gibbs: I did because what I shared was when a person dies they go to sleep. They don't go immediately to Heaven or to Hell. They rest in the grave until the resurrection morning.

John: I know that you've been around long enough to know that's out of step and I hope you don't mind me characterizing it that way. It's out of step with what a lot of us were taught in church or elsewhere when we were children.

Commonly, we're taught that when you die you go to Heaven. If you're real bad, you might go to Hell. If you're somewhere in between you may have been taught that you go to Purgatory. People don't tend to see it the way you're portraying it.

Gary: No, in fact when I grew up my father died when I was a little boy. I was told that he was in Heaven and he was rejoicing there with God and the angels. As a little child that always perplexed me why would God take my father away from his family when we needed him so much right then?

John: Now, I imagine that you were probably told that you're father's soul went to Heaven. According to what the Bible says, at least according to what you say the Bible says your father's soul didn't go anywhere. Let's review that.

Gary: John, it is what the Bible says. You see a lot of times we superimpose on the Bible our own definitions. If you let the Bible define itself it's very clear.

You go back to Genesis two verse 7. We have a definition right there of the soul. It says that when the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, man became a living soul.

It doesn't say that God formed man of the dust of the ground and then God put a soul in him. It says man became a living soul when the life energizing breath of God united with the lifeless body.

John: Now that seems pretty clear. A soul not what you have, a soul is what you are.

Gary: It's what you are.

John: I'm going to go back and just look around society a little bit here. You look in the church today. The church is telling you when you die your soul goes here or there. You look at Hollywood, all of these movies that deal with life after death.

Some years ago there was a movie called "Ghost" where the guy came back from the other side and carried on a love affair with his wife or vice versa. Something like that. So, even Hollywood is talking about people having an immortal soul that goes on living when you die.

Popular literature today, the media in general wherever you go is portrayed that when you die you don't really die. But, in some other form or at least your soul goes on living. This idea permeates society. Where did it come from in the first place?

Gary: It should not surprise us that it permeates society.

John: And why is that?

Gary: Because the devil is the master deceiver and he's out to deceive people. You go right back to the very first deception pawned-off on mankind, Genesis 3. You'll discover that the devil's first lie to mankind was, "Ye shall not surely die."

John: Backup a little bit. Give me some background here. What had taken place before this?

Gary: God created Adam and Eve. He put one restriction on them. They were not to eat of the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." That was to test their obedience and whether they would trust Him and they would be safe to populate the earth.

John: Now, what was going to happen to them according to God should they have eaten from that tree?

Gary: If they were to eat of that tree, they would die He said. The devil when he tempts Eve and tempts Adam to eat of this tree, he says, God's not telling you the truth, you will not die. Instead, you will become as gods. Your eyes will be opened and you'll enter this more enlightened sphere.

John: Now, there's a lot in there.

Gary: Oh, definitely.

John: He said God's not telling you the truth and then he said you will not surely die. Now, that's a direct contradiction of what God had said.

Gary: Who was right?

John: Well, of course God had to be right.

Gary: Definitely.

John: You bring that all the way down to today; the devil said back there in the Garden of Eden, you won't surely die. Really isn't that what we hear from pulpits all across the land today? No, when you die you won't surely die but instead, the soul that you're suppose to have goes on living somewhere else.

Gary: And you'll enter into a higher sphere. You're eyes will be opened and you'll be as gods. You'll see more, you'll understand more. You'll know more.

John: Well, this puts an interesting slant on the whole idea that this really came from the devil himself. Is that what we're saying?

Gary: In fact, you can trace this down through the different pagan cultures. The Egyptians taught the immorality of the soul. When you die you don't really die, you enter a higher sphere. You can take it through the pagan Greeks and you can trace it down and you can see where it first enters Judaism and when it enters Christianity.

The early Christians didn't believe that when you die you go straight to Heaven or Hell. They believed that death was a peaceful sleep until the resurrection. It wasn't until later that we find it entering when paganism started influencing the church.

John: Now let me challenge you. Somebody's listening to Bible Talk right now, they're having a cow. You're saying the early Christians didn't teach that, but I can tell you what people have told me. That is that Paul wrote to his friends in the city of Corinth and said to them that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

I can see their heads nodding right now as I say that. So, if you die in your sleep, what is Paul saying when my friends tell me he says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord?

Gary: If there wasn't a text to back-up these false views, no one would ever believe them. There's always going to be one or two texts surrounding it. But, the problem is that people don't look at all of the text in the Bible on this topic. That's what you have to do.

So, they pick out one or two texts, superimpose their pre-conceived ideas on it and they get this doctrine that as soon as you die you go to Heaven or to Hell.

John: Well, let's look at the verse. It's in II Corinthians 5:8. I'm told that it says, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. If it says that, you're in trouble so, look at it with me.

Gary: But, that's not what it says John. Here's what it says. "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

John: Now, wait a minute, are you reading the same Bible as many of my friends?

Gary: The King James Bible, right here.

John: I'm told it says, and this is how multitudes of us were educated, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Your Bible didn't say that.

Gary: Paul simply says He is willing to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. He's not covering when this happens right there.

John: But, couldn't it be the same thing?

Gary: No, he's just saying I would rather be out of this body and to be with Jesus. You have to go back a few verses to discover the time element of when this would happen.

John: Well, surely he's got to mean when I die I go to Heaven. It doesn't have to mean that?

Gary: Now, listen to verse 4. We were just reading in II Corinthians 5:8. Go back to verse four and read the context. Why don't you read that for us John?

John: II Corinthians 5:4 says, "For we that are in this tabernacle." If you read the passage he's talking about his body.

Gary: His body.

John: "Do groan, being burdened."

Gary: He's talking about as we live in these human bodies we have aches and pains and we'd like to be free from these bodies.

John: Amen, alright. Then he says, "Not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."

Gary: So, that's the time element. That's when he says we will be absent from this body and then we'll put on immortality. This mortal will put on immortality.

John: Now, I was told as a child and I hate to hark back to that older time but that's what happened that you put on immortality when you die. That means your soul goes to Heaven.

Prove from the Bible, and I don't want an opinion. I want some text. Show me from the Bible that it says you receive immortality at some other time rather than death.

Gary: Did you notice where we're reading? II Corinthians 5.

John: II Corinthians.

Gary: Paul wrote a letter to the Christians who lived in Corinth. That was his second letter. I Corinthians 15 verse 51 is when this mortal puts on immortality. Look at it there, verse 51 of I Corinthians 15, John. "Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all..." What?

John: Sleep.

Gary: We'll not all sleep. "But we'll all be changed." Remember in our last program we talked about death is a sleep. We'll not all die, "but we all will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." Watch this, "at the last trump."

John: OK, don't go too fast here because you're making a very big point. We will not all sleep but will be changed when you said at the last trump.

Gary: In a moment, quickly at the last trump. Now, the last trump comes as the last event. I Thessalonians 4:16 and 17 tells us that when Jesus descends, the trumpet shall sound. So, that's the last trump at the second coming of Jesus.

"For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised." Notice, they're being raised, incorruptible, and we shall be what? Changed. "For this corruptible must put on incorruption."

John: OK, here it comes.

Gary: "And this mortal must put on immortality." It's the same thing he was telling them in his second letter there. It says mortality might be swallowed up of life and it happens when?

John: At the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Gary: At the last trumpet, the second coming. Exactly.

John: So, Paul says I would sooner be out of this body, aches and pains. He'd been shipwrecked, he'd been stoned. He'd been beaten; he'd been chased hither and yon. He says I'd like to get out of this body.

Some people believe he had real bad eye sight. I'd like to get my new body, I'm going to get that when mortality is swallowed up on the life and that takes place not when I die but at the...

Gary: Last trumpet, at the second coming of Jesus Christ.

John: Between this time and that time, what's he doing? Well, he says it doesn't he, in I Corinthians 15, we shall not all sleep.

Gary: We'll not all sleep. As we saw in the Bible, the sleep is a peaceful, restful sleep. No thoughts, no emotions.

John: Not dreaming.

Gary: Not dreaming. So, when a person dies and they go into that sleep, all their thoughts, their feelings all cease to exist right then. It's just like when you go to sleep at night.

I just got back from a long trip overseas. When I went to bed the first night, I didn't know anything from the time when I laid my head on the pillow until when I got up in the morning. In fact, I had to check the clock to see how long I'd been asleep.

John: Maybe it's a little bit like a computer that is running. You boot the thing up and it comes to life. You power it down and if you will allow me to use this analogy, it effectively sleeps doesn't it? It doesn't do anything; it just sits there until you plug the power source in and call it back to life again.

Gary: That's how it's going to be with all those who have been sleeping in Jesus Christ. When the trumpet sounds they'll come alive. They'll not know how long they have been sleeping during that interlude.

They'll look around and they'll see different types of dress that represent the different periods of earth's history. They might notice cars and airplanes and this type of thing that they've never seen before. When they come forth, that's when their thinking processes resume again.

John: So, there's hope for the Christian. The enemy the Bible describes death as. The enemy of death doesn't have power over us forever.

Somebody is lowered into the grave and certainly we understand they don't immediately depart for Heaven or Hell. But, they wait until Christ returns and calls them from the grave. There's hope beyond the grave isn't there Gary?

Gary: Jesus is our hope. In Jesus we have hope for resurrection and life. That's why it's so important to understand this teaching of the Bible.

John: Well, I'm grateful that we've had this opportunity to cover that ground today on Bible Talk. Next time we meet, let's take this a step further.

Because there are people everywhere who claim to be able to communicate with the dead. If the dead aren't living but they are sleeping, we've got some talking to do. Friends, don't miss it. Join me and Gary next time here on Bible Talk.

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'll want to know.

To receive this free informative Bible Study Guide, simply call, write or email and ask for BT110. Are the dead really dead? The toll free number is 866-BIBLESAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P O Box 1058, Roseville, California, 95678, or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org.

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