Whistling Through the Graveyard

Whistling Through the Graveyard

Date: 09/19/2008 
Whistling Through the Graveyard

Spirits of the Dead (PB) by Joe Crews

Spirits of the Dead (PB) by Joe Crews
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Good evening, friends, welcome again to another "Amazing Adventure." We are so glad that you joined us. This is night number eight of this ten-part series. Thanks for coming out tonight. Anybody here for the first time this evening? Sure enough, welcome. Well, at this time I'm gonna invite those here to stand as we sing our theme song.

Let's stand together. [Music] Life is an adventure following the King every day with Jesus makes us want to sing walking in the Spirit He will lead the way with His Words to guide us glowing deep inside us nothing can divide us following the King life is an adventure following the King every day with Jesus makes us want to sing conquering with kindness everywhere we go voices we are raising Jesus we are praising life is so amazing following the King life is so amazing following the King please remain standing for our Scripture reading and prayer. I'm gonna invite our volunteers to come forward. Tell us your name, how old you are and what the Scripture reading is tonight? My name is Katarina and I'm 9 years old, and we're gonna be reading from 1 Thessalonians 4:16. "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.

"Thank you, very much. Our prayer is being brought to us by--Michael, tell us how old you are. I'm 11. Would you pray for us? Yes. Let's bow our heads for prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this wonderful day. Please bless the message that is going to be delivered to us. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen. Thank you very much, you may all be seated.

I'm going to invite Pastor Doug to come for our Bible questions. Pastor Doug, we've got quite a few video questions that have come in, and so we'll start with a video question. Evening friends. Let's see. My name's steve and I'm 8 years old.

And my question is, "where is heaven now?" Where is heaven now? When you say the word "heaven" in the Bible, it's used three ways. The Jews had what they called "the first heaven," which is the atmosphere around the earth. It's the air you breathe where the birds fly and the clouds float--that's called the first heaven. The second heaven is the space where the sun and the moon and the stars are. So when we aim our telescope at the heavens, we're talking about the space.

The third heaven, the apostle Paul talks about that, is paradise, the dwelling place of God. We always pray and we think up in heaven, but you know, depending on how the world is turning, heaven may not be up. It might be that way. It might be that way. You never want to say, "I want to go down to heaven," because you always think about the other direction there.

But there is a place out in space called "heaven" where God dwells. The constellation orion is mentioned a couple of times in the Bible and many Christian astronomers think that it's off through the corridors of that nebula. And so we're not exactly sure, but it's out there and we're gonna talk about that during our last study tomorrow night. Pastor Doug, we've got a question that somebody sent in. "If the devil knows the Bible and that he will be destroyed, why doesn't he just change his mind and ask God to forgive him?" Well, the devil had a long time to change his mind.

He had a big opportunity and he was too proud and stubborn, and finally the door of his probation closed. You know, it's like in baseball you say three strikes, you're out. God gave him many chances and there are no more chances. And he knows, it says in Revelation 12, the devil knows his time is short. So instead of being kind or apologizing, he's trying to be as destructive as he can be.

He's too proud and he's too stubborn to apologize. Well, we have another video question, Pastor Doug. My name is rosie, I'm 12 years old and my question is, since God can do anything, why didn't he save us without the death of Christ? Since God can do anything, why can't he or how come he can't save us without Jesus needing to die? The fact that Jesus needed to die tells us how important God's law is and how deadly sin is. There was no other way, because God is a good God and he is a just God, there was no other opportunity that he had. It's like a story I heard one time about this crown prince.

He was a prince and he was a prince in Arabia, and his father had a lot of wives. He had, they called it a harim or harem. And nobody was ever supposed to look in to the chambers of the harem where all of the women lived. But the prince one day--if he did, his eyes were gonna be knocked out. If anybody went in and looked in the harem without the King's permission, their eyes were plucked out.

Well, the crown prince said, "I'm the crown prince, I can do whatever I want." And so one day his son went Marching off into the quarters of the wives and everyone said, "that's against the law of the King!" And pretty soon word came to the King, and the King says, "what shall I do? My law says nobody, but he's my son. I love him, but I'm the King." So you know what the King did? He said, "in order to be just, in order to be loving," he plucked out one of his son's eyes and one of his own, so they could still both see. See, God was faced with this problem that we broke his law. And the penalty for sin is death. He said, "I love you so much, I'm gonna give you a chance.

I'll become a man. I'll come to earth and I'll die for you, if you trust in me, you'll get another chance." And so there was no other way. Pastor Doug, it's getting close to the end of October and you can walk to the store and you see all of the halloween decorations. So this person is asking, "people say that halloween is the devil's birthday. Is it true and why can't we participate in halloween activities?" You know, tonight our lesson is dealing with the subject of death and some of the devil's tricks.

And I know that kids like dressing up and the idea of candy and door-to-door can seem very appealing, but if there's a holiday that Christians should avoid, I would think it's a holiday that has to do with the devil and witches, and scary things and death. And so I don't believe that Christians can support that. The history of halloween, it's not from the Bible. A lot of it has to do with the occult and things like that. But you need to be careful.

You know, Pastor Doug, I heard a story once about a little boy who had, for many years, dressed up and gone out and trick or treated, but his parents became Christian. And they didn't think that that was something that their son should do. And so mother explained to the little boy, "we're not gonna be doing this again." And she was walking down the hallway and her son came out from his bedroom dressed up like a ghost. She knew what was happening, he was gonna go do trick or treating. Mother said, "no, we don't do that anymore in the house.

" And the little boy thought for a moment and scratched his head, and finally said, "but mommy, I'm dressed up like the holy ghost!" Pastor Doug, I don't think there's anything holy about Halloween. That's good. We have our final question, a video question. Okay. Hi, my name's Diana, I'm 11 years old.

I would like to know if the Holy Spirit can talk to you? Can the Holy Spirit talk to you? You know, the Holy Spirit talks to you all of the time. Matter of fact, I've got something, we just happen to have something, a volunteer who maybe wants to go in the-- who has not been up yet to the mystery chest? Judith, you haven't been up to the mystery chest yet? All right, come on, look in there, look in the mystery chest. There will be a bowl, and in the bowl you might find something that a person can listen with. Okay, go ahead and reach in, there's a big bowl with two big rubber things, they look sort of like ears. Okay.

Now, what was the question? "Can the Holy Spirit?" Can the Holy Spirit speak to us? My ears are so big they barely fit in here all by themselves. Now, the reason I did this is, for one thing it keeps your attention. The other reason I did it is because you've got two kinds of ears. You've got the kinds of ears where you want to hear the things you want to hear, and then there's a spiritual ear. And you can pray that God will help enlarge your spiritual ears, so that you can hear his voice.

Do you know there's a Scripture that talks about this? In Revelation 3:6 it says, "he that has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says to the church." Does God's Spirit talk to us? Yeah, you know, problem is down here on earth the Lord sees that we've all--we go around like this, and we don't hear what he's saying to us. I'll let you have these, if you promise not to play with them until after the program, okay? Thank you, judith. Was that our last question? That was the last question and we're gonna invite our "Amazing Adventures" singers to come forward, and they will be singing for us, "he will be exalted." [Music] the King of heaven left his rightful place on heaven's throne he went to calvary where he suffered all alone the King was humbled when he bore the sin of every man but one day our risen lord is coming again he will be exalted to the highest place every eye shall see him and behold his grace to the mighty throne of Jesus, Jesus all our worship we will bring and proclaim him lord of lords and king of Kings the thunder crashes to pronounce Christ Lord of all the earth the lightning crashes to proclaim his matchless worth though man reject him Christ alone shall reign supreme at last all his enemies shall wither like the grass he will be exalted to the highest place every eye shall see him and behold his grace to the mighty throne of Jesus, Jesus all our worship we will bring and proclaim him lord of lords and king of Kings yes, proclaim him lord of lords and king of Kings king of Kings king of Kings yeah. Beautiful. Thank you so much.

I've just been very thrilled with the wonderful music that Graciela and her singers and Kelly have been providing for us. It's been a real blessing. Well, it's so good to see each of you here with us in Richardson, Texas, and our friends who are watching. Oh, it's exciting to hear all of the emails, and the notes and the pictures that are coming in from all over the country, all over the world, of people who are joining us on this Amazing Adventure. Well, tonight we have a special lesson that may seem a little bit spooky.

And it's dealing with the subject of whistling through the graveyard. Now, do you know there is a cemetery in paris, and there are catacombs. And these catacombs are filled with the bones of about 160,000 deceased parisians. What happened is during the 18th century the cemeteries in paris just got so overcrowded and unsanitary that they finally needed to start burying people underground. And they had all of these old mines underneath the city, 190 miles of mines.

And they disinterred, they dug up all of the people from the cemeteries, and they put them down and they lined the walls for mile after mile with bones and skulls. They couldn't just throw 'em out, 'cause they didn't want to be disrespectful, so they buried them under the city. And people come from around the world and they've got about, oh, a hundred thousand people visit a year looking at all of these bones in the catacombs. They only open about a mile of the catacombs, because years ago one fellow wandered off on his own and they didn't find him until 11 years later. And he wasn't alive.

That'd be terrible to get lost in that spooky place or to be down there when the lights got turned off. You ever have to walk through a cemetery at night? Does that make you feel spooky? One time before I was a Christian, I ran away from home when I was 13 years old and I was by myself, and I had to walk through a cemetery at night. It was the shortest way to go to get to the mountain where I was going, and it kind of scared me a little bit. I was looking around, I was just hoping no one was gonna reach out of their grave and grab me. Because, you know, people are sometimes scared of death and people are scared of cemeteries, and ghosts and things like that.

But then I read the Bible and I found out the truth about what happens when you die, and I realized we don't have to be scared. Now, you think about it, and when you're young, you don't like to think about it, but you're born and you grow up, and then you pick your career and you grow old. And if you grow old enough, what happens? Oh, it's, we don't even like to think about it, but it's a fact--if you live long enough, you die. You know, you're living in a generation that might not die. There are some who will be alive when Jesus comes, and they won't die--they'll be changed and given a glorified body, and go right to heaven.

There's a few people who haven't died--did you know that? That lived, that we're gonna talk about that tonight. Let's get to our lesson. We've got a lot of stuff to cover and I think you're gonna find this an "Amazing Adventure" tonight. Question number 1: what really happens when you die, and where do you go? What does the Bible say? Well, to first understand this, we sort of need to back up a little bit and explain how does God create people? It says in Genesis 2:7, "and the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." The what? "Breath of life. And man became a living soul.

" So God took the dust, the elements of the earth, it's kind of like clay, and he breathed this special power of life that God has into his creatures. All creatures breathe, did you know that? Did you know fish breathe? They use their gills. Plants breathe. Worms breathe through their skin. Everything breathes.

And God breathed this breath of life into adam and he came alive. When something dies, it's like creation in reverse-- you separate the breath of life from the elements of the earth, the dust, the clay-- and they die, they turn back to dust. That's why is says in Ecclesiastes 12 when someone dies, the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the Spirit returns to God who gave it. That spirit there is what confuses people, so let's go to the next question. Number 2: what is the Spirit that returns to God when someone dies? Some people think that if you're saved and you die, this little ghostly butterfly jumps out of you, and it flies off back to God.

But the Bible doesn't teach that--the Bible teaches that the spirit of all creatures when they die, return to God. Let me give you proof that word "spirit" means "breath of life." Job 27:3, "the Spirit of God is in my nostrils." Have you ever thought that you've got a spirit in your nose? The word "spirit" there in the old testament, it's from the hebrew word ruach and it means "wind," or "breath." In greek it's the word pneuma. Pneuma. Men use pneumatic tools--that means it's got air that drives it. Have you ever heard of someone getting sick and they get pneumonia? That's 'cause it affects their breathing.

And so it says in the Bible that the Pneuma, the Ruach, the breath of life returns to God who gave it. It's not a little ghost. The Bible says the body without the spirit is dead. And so when a person dies, the Spirit returns to God. Now, let me see if we can illustrate this--let's go to question number 3 first.

If the spirit is the breath of life, then what is a soul? Remember, the Bible says that when God first made man, we just read this in Genesis 2:7, he formed him from the dust of the ground, and God breathed into him the breath of life into his nostrils, and he became a living soul or a living being. A soul is what you have when you put together the dust of the clay with the Spirit of God, equals a soul. If you separate the clay from the breath of life that God gives, where does the soul go? The soul doesn't--it's nothing anymore. All right, now I do need a volunteer at this point-- I just need one. Let me see here--young man, have you had a chance yet? All right, come on up.

All right, go ahead and reach there in the mystery chest. You're gonna find--you'll find some bread and some cheese. See if you can find that. And it might be in a bowl in there. And you can take that out.

Ooh, did that spook you a little bit? Go ahead, you can grab the bread and the cheese. Oh! Now, I know that's a Halloween trick, but I'm using it as part of my illustration tonight. All right, now, what's that? Bread. That's bread. You want to hold the bread? I could use one more person here.

Young lady, come here. Can you unwrap that for me? We're gonna put this back out of the way here for a second. All right. Now, what is that? What are you holding? Bread. Whole wheat, I want you to know.

And what has she got? It's actually veggie cheese-- I just want to go on record. We eat that in our family, so we might use it. I had to buy a whole pack. All right, you got that? So what have you got there? You can call it "cheese," it's okay. What is it? "Cheese.

" Cheese. All right. What do you say when they take a picture? Cheese! Okay. Now, open up your bread. You place the cheese there in the bread.

Close the bread. Now what is it? Sandwich. How many agree? That isn't--it's not much of a sandwich. When you heat that up, what do you call it? Well, he's holding it, it'd be a boy cheese. Right? Okay, now, open that bread back up, let lizzie take the cheese out of there.

Okay, now, what have you got? You've got bread. You've got--where did the sandwich go? It stops being a sandwich when you separate the two--you see what I'm saying? It's no longer a sandwich, or it's not much of a sandwich. I mean if your mother said, "I made you a sandwich," and you go open up your lunch and go, "where's the sandwich, mom?" Right? You'd be pretty disappointed. But if she said, "I made you a sandwich," and you opened up your lunch and said, "this is my sandwich?" You've got to put the two of them together to have a sandwich, right? All right. When you combine the spirit with the body, you get a soul.

When you separate 'em, it stops being a soul. If you want, you can eat that afterward, now that everybody's touched it. I won't do that to you. Thank you very much. Let's give 'em a hand.

There's a point to that, I'll explain it later. See, the devil wants to scare kids about death, and you don't have to be scared when you understand what the Bible teaches. All right, question number 4: do saved people go to heaven right when they die? No! You know, a lot of people believe if you're good and you die, you immediately go to heaven. And if you're bad and you die, where do you go? Hell, lake of fire--you burn. That's terrible to think about, but you know the Bible doesn't actually teach that.

Let me prove it to you. In acts 2 in the new testament, after Jesus died and ascended to heaven, he's preaching about the apostle--the apostle Peter is preaching about king David. Now, good king David, who killed Goliath, you remember him? Is he gonna be in heaven? Sure he will. The Bible says he was a man after God's own heart. It says, "men and brethren," Peter is speaking, "let me freely speak unto you about the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his grave, his tomb, is with us to this day.

" And you read on, and David--or Peter says in that sermon, "for David did not ascend into the heavens." Now, notice this--Peter says David is dead, buried, and he's not ascended to heaven. Well, where is he then? Says he's in his tomb. But doesn't the Bible say to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord? Yes. That's because as soon as a person dies, they don't know anything until the resurrection. The next thing they're conscious of is waking up for the resurrection and the judgment all takes place in the future.

People don't go right to heaven and hell before the judgment day or before the resurrection. Question number 5: what do dead people know after they die? Let's find out what the Bible says. In Ecclesiastes, written by Solomon--that's king David's son--he says, "for the living know that they will die," you can read those last words with me, "but the dead know nothing." Let's say that one more time, "but the dead know nothing." How much do they know? Nothing. Are they spying on you? No. Do they come back to haunt you? No.

Can they reach out of their grave and grab your ankle when you're walking by? No. They don't know anything. Do you believe the Bible or do you believe these scary tv programs? Bible! Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, "whatever your hand finds to do," whatever you do with your hand, "do it with all your might, do everything with enthusiasm. For there is no work or device, or knowledge or wisdom, in the grave where you're going." People don't know anything, they have no wisdom, they've got no device. That means they're not doing anything.

So if you're gonna do something with your life, you better do it while you're alive. Because if you plan on getting busy after you die, while you're in the grave you don't do anything. Number 6--is that clear to everybody? And yet, so many people are afraid of being haunted or spooked. Question number 6: can a dead person's soul or spirit come back and talk to the living? What does the Bible say? Can they see what's happening on this earth? Are they watching you, the dead people up there? No. The Bible says, "so man lies down and he rises not 'til the heavens be no more.

" When a person dies, he's resting until the heavens are no more. That's talking about when the heavens depart as a scroll and Jesus comes. And again in job 7:10, "he shall never return to his house." You know, you ever go into a house and someone died in the house? Mrs. Batchelor and i, we bought the house we've been living in for the last 15 years, and someone died in that house, they died in their bed. Nice house.

Do you think that scared me? Do you think that spooked me? Have we ever gotten haunted? Nope. No, it doesn't matter one bit. And if you knew the truth, people die all kinds of places. And if you were worried about being haunted, don't think like that. The devil wants to scare young people with these spooky stories.

The Bible says we should have nothing to do with the idea of talking to the dead or communicating with the dead. When I was a young person, I didn't grow up a Christian. Sometimes in our family we'd have a séance. You know what that is? Family members would get around and we'd light a candle, and we'd hold hands and we'd say, "oh, we're gonna try to talk to Abraham Lincoln," or somebody dead. Yeah, but that's very dangerous, because sometimes the devil will pretend to be somebody that has died to deceive the living.

The Bible tells us that the devil is very tricky, and that's why I want you to know that. Furthermore, in the Bible it says Christians should have nothing to do with witchcraft or sorcery. Leviticus 20:27, it says, "a man also," or a woman, "that has a familiar spirit," that means they're talking to the spirits of the dead, or trying to, "or that is a wizard," like harry potter, "shall surely be put to?" Uh-huh. God doesn't want Christians to be dabbling with witchcraft or wizardry, or spirits or enchantments, or drugs--a lot of things that the world and the occult dabble with. The Bible says that the dead are dead.

Matter of fact, number 7 explains it a little better to us. What is death like? How many of you will believe what Jesus says? When people die, do they go flying around haunting folks? No. No. The Bible says that they're sleeping. Let's listen to Jesus.

John 11:11, this is easy for you to remember--John 11:11. You can remember that. Jesus said, "after that he said to them, our friend lazarus sleeps, but I go that I might wake him up." Now, Jesus had a friend named lazarus, who was very sick. And his friend said, "you better go check on him." And he said, "lazarus is sleeping, but I'm gonna go wake him up." And they said, "oh, if he's sleeping and he's sick, he'll feel better." And Jesus said no. It says in John 11:14, "he told them plainly, lazarus is dead.

" What word did Jesus use to symbolically describe death? Sleep. He said death is like sleep. And then of course later Jesus rose lazarus from the dead. John 11:43, "now when he had said these things, he cried with a loud voice, lazarus come forth!" Jesus went to the tomb of lazarus, they rolled away the stone. He said, "lazarus, come forth," and lazarus came back to life.

But he had been dead for 4 days, and Jesus called it a sleep. All through the Bible when people died, it says they slept. David died and he slept with his fathers. Now, king David, for instance, he died about 3,000 years ago. But David went to sleep, does it seem like 3,000 years to him? When David was old and he got cold, the Bible says, and he couldn't stay warm and pretty soon he died.

He closed his eyes, he breathed out the last time and he stopped breathing. The breath of life left him. He was a great king, they had a wonderful funeral. They put him in a grave, but his body, what's happened to his body? Bodies just dry out. Once the spirit is gone, the house is empty--there's nothing happening there.

And so he doesn't know that. Three thousand years have gone by. If you're king David and all of the sudden you die, and you're saved, the next thing you know is you hear a trumpet, and you wake up and you got a new body. And David's gonna come out of the grave and he's gonna see Jesus. The next thing David knows, absent from the body, present with the Lord.

Three thousand years have gone by, but he's not gonna know it. Any of you get sleepy during my meetings, a little bit? I need a volunteer. Okay, let's see here. Young man right here. Yeah, why don't you come up here.

You said you get sleepy during my meeting a little bit maybe? See if you can find something for telling time there in the box, and pull that out. Okay, this is my personal watch here. What's your name? Jason. Jason, what time does that say? Seven thirty-five. Seven thirty-five, okay.

Why don't you lay down right here just for a second, if you don't mind. And you can just take a nap, okay? Just relax. Okay, you can get up now. Look how long he's been sleeping. What time does that say? Oh, I went the wrong way! Wait a second here.

Okay, what does that say? Eight. You didn't know you'd been sleeping a whole hour. How long did it feel to you? We've been sitting here for an hour waiting for you to wake up. Do you feel better now? Stay awake for the rest of the program? You can go sit down. Thank you very much.

All right, how many of you, have you ever had a hard day, you've been playing-- especially if you go swimming-- a hard day at school, did a lot of homework? You go to sleep and all of the sudden next thing you know the alarm's ringing and you're up, and you've been laying there 7 hours, but how long does it seem? Seven minutes, five minutes? That's what it will be like-- it's like a dreamless sleep when a person dies. So even if they died thousands of years ago, if you're saved, the next thing you know it's the resurrection. If you're lost, the next thing you know it's the resurrection, but it's the wrong resurrection. You want to make sure you're in the right resurrection. So how many people are in heaven now? Oh, there's a few.

The Bible tells us there's some special exceptions that God has made. Any of you remember when Jesus went up to this, they called it "the glorious mount, the mount of transfiguration." Two people from the old testament appeared to Jesus--who knows what their names were? Go ahead and say it. Moses and? Elijah. Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus on the mountain. How did Moses get to heaven? The book of Jude says that Jesus resurrected him.

How did elijah get to heaven? He didn't die. Elijah never died. Moses died and God resurrected him. Elijah, he went riding off to heaven in a chariot with angels and horses of fire. And then there's at least one other person we know of in heaven by name.

I heard someone say it. Enoch walked with God, and he and God walked together all of the time. And one day God said, "we're closer to my house than your house, let's just go home." And Enoch is in heaven. And he was The Father of the oldest man who ever died. Enoch is the oldest man who ever lived, because he never did die.

Methuselah was his son. And then when Jesus died on the cross, there was another resurrection. The Bible says here in Matthew 27:52 there was an earthquake and many of the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And after the resurrection of Christ they later ascended to heaven with him. So there was a special resurrection of some of the prophets and the faithful, maybe Kings who had been faithful to God, they came out of their graves sort of as a trophy that Jesus took back to heaven with him.

So there's a few people in heaven, but for the vast majority when people die, what do they do? A dreamless sleep until the resurrection of the Lord. So if most people aren't in heaven now, how many people are burning in hell right now? None, because would God put somebody in hell and burn them before their judgment? Can you imagine God, someone dies and they go to hell and they're suffering down there, and then he pulls them out and says, "okay, now it's time to judge you--yep, you're guilty, put 'em back in hell." God doesn't operate like that. See, the judgment, the Bible says, is still in the future. You can read here in the book of job 21:30, talking about the wicked, "for the wicked are reserved for the day of doom. They shall be brought out at the day of wrath.

" The day of the Lord, the day of judgment, the day of doom that be the resurrection of the wicked. Then they're brought forth from the graves, they're judged and everyone's punished according to what he deserves. You know, some people think that the wicked burn forever and ever, and ever in hell. Do you know the Bible doesn't teach that? Have any of you got a dog? Has that dog ever misbehaved? Did you ever have to punish your dog? Would you ever burn your dog forever and ever? You wouldn't do that to your dog? Are you more loving than God? This idea that God tortures the lost forever and ever--that doesn't come from the Bible. The Bible says there are two choices: believe in God, everlasting life.

You do not believe, you perish. You've got life or death--Jesus is offering you everlasting life. The Bible says what's gonna happen to the lost is the same thing that happened to people in sodom and gomorrah. Do you know the story about sodom and gomorrah? They're real wicked there. And the Bible says the Lord rained down out of heaven fire and brimstone on the people of sodom and gomorrah for their sins, and they were burned with eternal fire, everlasting fire.

Are sodom and gomorrah still burning today? Were those cities ever rebuilt? No, they were burnt up. Matter of fact, I got something pretty interesting to show you here. The camera might want to get a close-up of this, because I know you can barely see it. Anyone know what that is? It's not a rock. Let me tell you what it is.

You can only find this--listen, listen--you can only find this one place in the world. If you go down to the lowest spot in the world, which is by the dead sea, and there by the south part of the dead sea there's an area where they believe sodom and gomorrah used to be, these wicked cities. And the Bible says God rained down out of heaven fire and sulfur and brimstone upon them. And there's a place where you kick around in the ground and there's all of this packed down ash on the ground. The very placed where they were burned up--it's still there today.

And you can find these sulfur balls in the ground that are left over from when God destroyed sodom and gomorrah. Someone who was down there brought this to me, I've saved it for years. And they've told me you just put a match to it and it'll still burn now, after all these years. You think we ought to try that? I need someone--wait, I need someone big and strong to help me with this. Oh, wait--no, no, let's see here.

All right, shh. Peace, be still. Okay, hang on a second here. All right, you can come over here. I just--you gotta hold this.

I don't want anyone to get burned. Hold that right there by the knob--i think you'll be all right. And let me just--you know, we've had problems along the way. We've had problems along the way with this thing. Let's see if we can get it to work.

Hey, look at that. Let's see if this thing still... Now, they told me it makes a terrible stink. What's your name? Josh. Is that burning, josh? Mm-hmm.

Can you see--maybe the camera needs a close-up of that. Kids, that is already on fire. It's blue fire--woo, it burns. Woo. Oops, sorry.

Whoa, it stinks. Whoa, it smells like rotten eggs. This is leftovers, you are looking at actual leftovers of sodom and gomorrah when those cities were destroyed. But that thing, it burned, didn't it? But is it still burning? Sodom and gomorrah are not burning right now either, are they? Thank you very much, josh. Ooh, it smells! Smells a little bit up here right now.

So the Bible tells us that we have one life. You know, some people believe that when you die that you are resurrected again as somebody else. And if you're good, you come back and you have a better life. And if you're bad, you come back and you might be an animal. They call it "reincarnation.

" Have you heard this before? And I'm not trying to be unkind to other people's beliefs, I'm just telling you the Bible says that that just isn't true. You've got one life. And when you die, the only resurrection is gonna be when you come back and you're saved, and you get your glorified body, or you're judged and you're lost. The idea that you just keep on coming back is not what the Bible teaches. It says here in Revelation 20 that when Jesus comes again, the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of his coming.

But the rest of the dead--this is verse 5, "the wicked, they live not again until the thousand years are finished." See, the wicked, they're destroyed by the brightness of his coming. The wicked who are dead, they stay dead. But then at the end of the 1,000 years, Revelation 21 tells us, "i, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven." And when the new Jerusalem comes down to the earth, all of the righteous are in the city, we've been living and reigning with Christ, the righteous, for 1,000 years, "then he will bring forth the wicked, there raised for judgment." And it says, "I saw," Revelation 20:11, "I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God and the books were open." What books do you think those are? The books of records of everything everybody has done. Now, God, his books may not be the old fashioned books that we're used to today.

I mean today we've got dvd and we've got video and all kinds of ways to record information. God is using words that we understand. Somehow God has recorded everything that everybody has done--not only that--does the Lord know what you think? Does the devil know what you think? No. God knows your heart. The devil can guess what you're thinking sometimes by the expression on your face, but you know what? Your mom and dad can also sometimes guess what you're thinking by the expression on your face, right? But only God knows that.

The Bible says, "God and God only knows the thoughts of men's hearts." And everybody's going to be judged. And the Bible says, "another book was opened--" which was the book of? Life. "And the dead were judged according to their works." That's why we need the Lord to change our hearts. And anyone who is not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. And some people will die instantly, others will be punished according to what they deserve, may suffer a little longer.

There is punishment for sin. See, Jesus not only died for your sins, he suffered and died. Isn't that right? He didn't just say, "okay, I'm gonna die now," flip a switch and die. The devil tortured him. There's a penalty for sin, and Jesus took all of your suffering.

He doesn't want you to suffer. That's why it's important that we trust him and believe in him. The Bible says in Psalms 37:20, "the wicked shall perish." Do they burn forever and ever? No, they perish. "Into smoke they will vanish away." You saw I was just burning something with smoke--it'll vanish away. The day comes, Malachi 4:1 & 3, "the day is coming that will burn like an oven, and all the proud and all that do wickedly will be stubble.

And the day that comes will burn them up." That's a picture there of the ancient city of pompeii--I've been there before and a bunch of people were destroyed very quickly by a volcano and their ashes are still there. And you will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes unto the souls of your feet. God's gonna create a new heavens and a new earth. But what happens to the wicked? It's called the second-- what's that word up there on the screen? Now, a lot of people get old and die the first death-- you don't have to be afraid of that. But if you've got Jesus, you don't have to worry about the second death, do you? That's what the lost die.

If you're only born once, you die twice. But if you're born twice--how many of you were born once, let me just check? I've asked you this before. You've all been born once, that's why you're here, right? But how many of you have also been born twice? You've been born again, because you've accepted Jesus? If you're born twice, you may only have to worry about one death. But you don't have to worry about the second death, right? Number 8: what was satan's first lie on earth and how do we know it was a lie? You remember, the devil wants you to think that the wicked burn forever and ever in hell, that we're immortal souls. That's not true.

The only way to have life is through Jesus. Remember the devil said to eve, the serpent said to the woman, "you will not surely die. You won't really die. You'll either live forever in heaven or life forever in hell." That's a doctrine that came from the devil. The sad thing is there are some dear people out there that still believe that.

The Bible says in Ezekiel 18:4, "the soul that sins shall--" they'll die. Souls--i thought souls live forever and ever. The Bible says the soul that sins dies. the King of Kings and the Lord of lords, Jesus, is the only one who has immortality. But you get the gift of immortality when Jesus comes.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15, "then this mortal," a mortal means someone who gets old and dies, "will put on immortality." Now, number 9--this is very important--can the devil perform miracles? Yes, he can. How many of you remember--well, first of all, let me read you a Scripture. Revelation 16:14, it says, "they are spirits of devils working miracles." Can the devil create illusions? How many remember when Moses went before the pharaoh and he threw down his rod, and it turned into a serpent, but the magicians of the pharaoh threw down their rods-- what did they do? They became snakes also. The devil can impersonate the miracles of God, so that's why you've got to understand that the dead are dead. So if someone comes back and says, "I've come from the past.

I'm the apostle Peter, I've come to give you some information, and it doesn't go along with the Bible, but I've got fresh information." Is that from God or from the devil? So you've got to know that. Matter of fact, Pastor Ross, you got that here? A few kids have been watching every night, as we start our "Amazing Adventure" we wanted that sense of drama. We've had a fog machine. You got any water? We do. Oh, you got the-- okay, you've been wondering how that works, huh? Let me see here.

You can just drop that, put the water in the--put the water, pour the water in there. Ah. That's what happens to the dry ice. That's good. You put it in here-- look at that.

Well, that would really scare somebody, huh? It's a trick. Of course, he's gonna knock that over. Whoa! This almost--you better get that out of there. It's just a motion detector and batteries, and a little trick and plastic made in china, and people get scared. Now, if we can create illusions like that, what can the devil do? He can create illusions and scare people.

And so many--that's good, just don't drink that. And so a lot of people have been fooled by the devil's tricks into thinking that he's got some kind of special power, or they're fooled into believing that there's spirits. Sometimes the devil's fallen angels will pretend to be the dead, and they'll deceive people. Do you know one time there was a king in the Bible, his name was Saul. He turned away from God, and then when he got scared and he had to go into a dangerous battle, he went and got a witch.

And he asked the witch to bring someone back from the dead to tell him what to do. And this demon impersonated the prophet Samuel and totally discouraged king Saul. Saul's army lost and Saul finally killed himself. Obviously it's not a good thing to believe in witches and listen to spirits of the dead. And so don't be fooled by that, especially now here we are in the borders of the halloween time of year, people get all wrapped up in the occult and those kind of things.

The Bible says in Revelation 21, speaking of sorcery, "those who consult the dead, they will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone." We can still smell a little bit of sulfur brimstone right now, can't we? That fire and brimstone, which is the second death. So I want to encourage you that there are two choices--we've got life and death. You want to keep your eyes on Jesus, right friends? Question number 10: when will the dead live again? 1 Thessalonians 4, this was our memory verse that we started with, "for the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise." What does it mean to be in Christ? If you give your life to God, Jesus embraces you and you are in Christ. You trust your life to him, you walk with him, you talk to him. Remember, you have those spiritual ears, you can listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and you belong to Jesus, you are then in Christ.

If you should die, do you need to be afraid? If you're a Christian and you die, why would you be afraid of death? Matter of fact, if you're a Christian and you die, the next thing you know, you wake up with a glorified body that will never feel pain, that will never get sick, that will never die again, and you'll live forever and ever in paradise, and you get to take that journey through the stars. So for a Christian why would you be afraid of death? You read in the Bible of some of God's patriarchs. Stephen, when they told him he was gonna die, he was praying for others, he wasn't afraid. Peter, they were gonna execute him the next day--he went to sleep and slept like a baby. He wasn't at all scared.

That's acts 12. When God's prophets and believers have faced death, they've been totally unafraid, because for them it's like s-l-e-e-p--what? Sleep. Any of you guys afraid to go to sleep at night? You shouldn't be. Some of you don't want to go to sleep, because you're afraid you're gonna miss something. But if you trust the Lord, you don't have to be afraid.

When Jesus comes, it says, 1 Corinthians 15, "we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible." That means with bodies that will never grow old, never get sick again. "The trumpet will sound and we will be changed, for then this mortal will put on immortality." So what's the key, boys and girls, friends who are watching? What's the key to unlock death? The secret is he who has The Son. Who's The Son? Jesus. He has life. And whoever does not have The Son, does not have life.

You need to have Jesus, The Son of God. Do you have Jesus? Have you decided to follow him? Have you asked for a new heart? If you've not done it before, you can do it again tonight. You don't have to be afraid of death. You don't have to be afraid of the future, because if you've got Jesus, you've got life. Let's all make sure again tonight that we have Christ.

Shall we pray together and invite him to take our lives so we can be in Christ. Father in Heaven, we're so thankful for your goodness, for the promises in your word that help us to know the truth and to know that we don't need to be afraid, lord. I pray that each of these young people who are here and those who are watching will know that you're with them wherever they go. They don't need to be scared of ghosts or death, because when they have you in their lives, they have the gift of everlasting life and they can be joyful. Help us, lord, to keep our eyes on you.

Help us to keep our ears open to the voice of the Spirit, and to surrender our lives completely to yours, to you as your property. Bless the remainder of these meetings and pour out Your Spirit. We thank you and pray in Jesus' name, amen. Well, God bless you, friends. And friends, I want to tell you who are watching, remember we still have a very special program coming.

We're going to be live tomorrow morning. We hope you'll continue to gather together at your groups. We'll be studying the lesson, "a journey through the sea." So please don't forget about that. Join us then and be praying for these meetings. God bless you.

Hello friends, I'm Doug Batchelor. For more than 40 years "Amazing Facts" has been a ministry of evangelism, reaching people where they are, changing lives with the powerful message of hope and purpose found in the Bible. As disciples of Christ, we here at "Amazing Facts" have accepted the great commission challenge to spread the good news throughout the world. What began as a 15-minute radio program has been blessed by God to grow into a multifaceted international media ministry. These are truly exciting times, yet we cannot do any of this without your continued partnership.

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We are a part of God's greater, greater plan. Investment in "Amazing Facts" is actually an investment in the Kingdom of God. I'm a product of the gifts that someone has given. I'm one changed life. I'll never be the same.

Thousands of lost souls are coming to know Jesus and are being transformed into His likeness. Thousands more are experiencing new depth in their relationship with Christ. We believe that through continued prayer, trusting God and our sacrificial giving, that we can take this message of hope around the world to one and to all. How much more exciting can it be than that? If you've been encouraged by today's message and would like to know more of what God's word says to you today, "Amazing Facts" invites you to visit our educational website at www.Bibleuniverse.com. At Bible universe you'll discover exciting truths that will fill you with peace and purpose.

The mysteries of the Bible will unfold for you at your own pace. Visit www.Bibleuniverse.com today. Expand your universe. In a world surrounded by darkness, there is a voice that whispers to every young heart, urging them to find the treasure of truth. Those who follow the path will discover eternal riches beyond their wildest dreams.

Pastor Doug Batchelor leads your kids on a powerful soul-winning Bible study experience just for them. The ten-part series is filled with incredible Bible stories, exciting spiritual discoveries and heartwarming music, all designed to help your kids stand with Christ for eternity. The most valuable thing that God ever gave to this world was His Word. Join us for an "Amazing Adventure: a journey for life with Jesus." Order yours now, take the journey. If you've missed any of our "Amazing Facts" programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including "Amazing Facts presents." One location, so many possibilities, amazingfacts.org.

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