Between Death And Resurrection
18/19 JULY 2020 | Traditional and Prayer & Praise Services
Rev Stanley Chua
Scripture Passage: Luke 16:19-31 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Death is inescapable. What lies beyond death? How do we prepare to face death squarely when our time is up?
What happens one minute after death? The physical process of dying begins with the shutting down of our bodily functions leading to decay and finally disintegration of the body. The Bible teaches that man is much more than body. The body is the tent in which a person lives (2 Cor 5:1). Death is the moment when body and spirit separate (Ecc 12:7). This separation is only temporary. There will come a day when body and spirit come back together in the resurrection. The doctrine of resurrection is unique to the Christian faith. It is based on the resurrection of Jesus who was resurrected three days after His death. Jn 14:2 alludes to heaven as a place where bodies come together – not a place for souls. The Apostles’ Creed refers to Jesus descending to the dead or Hades and then rising again to heaven. Hades is not hell which is Gehenna in Greek. Hades (Greek) or the Hebrew equivalent Sheol means the realm of departed spirits. Today’s scripture passage sheds some light on what goes on in Hades.
Five things about life after death:
1. The dead will be fully conscious. Sleep is a physical function. The phrase “The dead are asleep” in New Testament refers to the appearance of the body in death. Paul cannot be desiring to depart and be with Christ if he will be unconscious and therefore unable to enjoy his relationship with Christ (Phil 1:23). Hence, at death, the spirit is very conscious though the body is asleep.
2. There will be suffering for the wicked and unbelievers in Hades; e.g. the rich man was in agony.
3. The eternal destiny of the dead will be irrevocably fixed. There is no way of altering our eternal destiny in Hades as a great chasm is in place (Lk 16:26).
4. The rich man was not in hell yet but in Hades. At this point no one is in hell. Rev 20:14 – Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire (second death) at God’s judgment. Lazarus, on the other hand, was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom which some call paradise. Scriptures do not tell us whether paradise is heaven. What is important is that when a believer dies, he will be with Christ.
5. The dead will meet angels upon death. Even if the believer dies alone, God will send angels to care for him and bring him to Christ.
The born again can face death fearlessly but death is frightening for those who do not know Jesus. May we number our days, live life worthy of our calling that we may find grace, peace and strength as we go through the valley of the shadow of death.
(Sermon Notes by Woo Choi Yin)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. According to 2 Corinthians 5:1, what happens when a person dies?
2. Why is the doctrine of resurrection an important belief in our Christian faith?
3. What is the meaning of Hades, Sheol and Gehenna?
4. According to the speaker, what are the five things that happens to a person after death in the story of the rich man and Lazarus?
5. Was there anything new that you have learned about the afterlife? Share with your group members.
6. How has this two-part sermon series on Life and Death enlightened you to view death as a friend without fearing it, and while on earth, to number your days wisely and live your life worthy of His calling for you?