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Biblical Answers to Spiritual Questions:


Who is God?

The Assurance of Salvation

I Want to Know More About the Bible

If I am Saved, Why Do I Keep On Sinning?

Will We Be Judged Immediately After We Die?

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Is It Wrong to Have Sexual Relations Outside of Marriage?

What Happened to Mary, Joseph, and Mary Magdelene After Jesus Died?

How Can I Overcome the Temptation of Sin?

Do Our Spirit and Soul Die After Death?

How Do I Know That God Is With Me?

Is Everyone Able to Speak in Tongues?

Why Does God Send People to Hell?

What Must I Do to Be Saved?

Is There Life After Death?

The Unpardonable Sin



Is There Life After Death?


 

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    On the topic of life after death or any Biblical topic, if we are to approach it from the
point of view of Jesus' teaching we would primarily use the gospels, where His words are recorded, and Revelation, which Jesus gave to John through His messenger, an angel (Revelation 1:1).  However, since Jesus is the exact representation of the Father (Hebrews 1:2-3), and always does what is the Father's will (Hebrews 10:5-8; John 5:30); and the Father is the Author of all Scripture, given to us for our instruction (2 Timothy 3:16), any consideration of this or any other topic has to be understood by looking at all Scripture.
  The Old Testament is the promise of Jesus and the New Testament is the fulfillment, the faith "once for all delivered to the saints."  (Jude 3) 
    On this topic, the Bible clearly teaches there is life after we die physically.  We do not cease to exist.
    It is important to realize that words in English or any language are often inadequate (especially) when translated from another language (in this case Hebrew or Greek). This seems to be especially true of words describing the hereafter in the Bible.  For instance, we tend to view death primarily as our life ceasing to exist as the body dies, is buried and decays or returns to dust (as the Bible teaches). 
    However,  according to I Thessalonians 5:23, we consist of body, soul, and spirit.  The body may cease to exist as we know it, but the spirit and soul live on.
    We tend to associate perish with rot or decay and we picture destruction as total annihilation or obliteration.  However, Jesus uses these words to describe a state of everlasting punishment.  So we should look at places which give Jesus' actual descriptions of life after death.
    Luke 16:19-39 is a good place to start. This actual story tells of two people who die.  One goes immediately to Abraham's side, a place of blessing, the other goes to Hades, a place of torment. These are destinations referred to also in Scripture as life (heaven) or death (Hell).  We don't cease to exist. 
    Words such as "death" are used in more than one way.  For example, in Genesis 3 Adam and Eve died when they sinned, though physically they remained alive.   They died spiritually.   Ephesians 2:1 refers to people who are dead in trespasses and sins.
    Jesus uses the words translated perish and destruction, as well as life and death, and reward and punishment to describe heaven and hell.  Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Greek Words says of the words translated perish or destroy, "the idea is not extinction but ruin, loss, not of being, but of well-being" (page 304).  It is also translated ruin as in Matthew 7:13.  We see this as someone's life being ruined by a bad life style (see I Timothy 6:9; Philippians 3:19).
    A modern analogy might be a person whose life is ruined by drugs or a life of crime and he lands in prison, possibly for life.  Their life is ruined but does not cease to exist.  These words are used by Jesus to describe lost souls (John 3:15-17), not to describe extinction.
    The Greek word translated perish or destroy is also translated "lost" in Luke 15:4-6 as in the "lost sheep," which is a word picture used by Jesus to describe those "lost in sin,"  especially as separated from God in a place of punishment forever, if we don't return to Him and are not forgiven.  Isaiah 59:2 says ,"Your sins have separated you and your God."
    Another place this same Greek word is used is to describe the prodigal, who was lost by his own bad choices, separated from his father.  It is also used of lost sinners who are separated from God and His Kingdom, unless they come to the Father through Christ.
    One thing Scripture teaches about life after death is that all people will be raised to physically be in one of two destinations.  Daniel 12:2&3 says ,"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but others to disgrace and everlasting contempt."  Death is sometimes referred to as sleep (I Thessalonians 4:13).  Matthew 25:46 says, "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."  There will be a final judgment and they will be cast out of God's presence forever (Luke 13:27&28; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
    Jesus called Hell "Gehenna," which was the name given to the garbage dump of Jerusalem which was perpetually burning.  "Gehenna" describes Hell because it never stops burning.  Revelation 20:14&15 calls hell the lake of fire that burns forever.
    Here are other verses which describe Hell:
1.    Torment forever: Revelation 20:10-15
    Eternal destruction: Revelation 14:11; I Thessalonians 1:7-9
2.    Shut out from the presence of God: I Thessalonians 1:7-9
3.    Unquenchable fire, burning sulfur, fire that never goes out:  Revelation 14:10; Mark 9:43-45; Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17
4.    God's wrath, tribulation, distress, perish:  Romans 2:5-12; Revelation 14:10
5.     Cast out (This word is also translated perish or destruction):  Mark 9:45
6.    No rest: Revelation 14:11
7.    Anguish, judgment, fire and brimstone:  Revelation 14:9-11
8.    Outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth:  Matthew 8:12; 22:13
9.    Furnace of fire:  Matthew 13:40-43, 50
10.    Second death: Revelation 2:11; 20:10-15
   
            WHO WILL GO THERE
1.          Hell , the lake of fire, was created for the devil and his angels as punishment for their rebellion against God. (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10)                                                                                                                                                            
2.    The Beast and the False Prophet of the Great Tribulation, who have deceived people, and those who take the mark of the beast, will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 14:9-11; 19:20 and 20:10).
3.    At the end of the age, everyone will be raised, (those who have died and are in  hades), together with those who remain alive, and do not believe, and will be judged for their sins, and “their place will be in the lake of fire (Revelation  20: 11-15 and Revelation 21:8). It also says anyone whose name is not found written in the “Book of Life”, and the unbelieving will go there. ( See John 3:15-17)
Read also: (Revelation chapter 20; Psalm 96:13, Psalm 9: 7-8, Hebrews 9:27, and Acts17: 31).

    "So what must we do to be saved?" you ask, as did the jailer in Acts 16:30.
    Let's look at the "good news."  There is a way to be with God in heaven, a way to avoid God's wrath and eternal punishment.  Early in His ministry, Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:17, "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might have everlasting life."
    Life here does not just mean eternal existence any more than death and perish mean annihilation.  Evans, in his book, "Great Doctrines of the Bible," says (page 259) "eternal life here does not merely mean life forever, but to live in a state of blessedness forever," and to live in heaven with Jesus and the Father.
    John 14:2&3 says, "Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In my Father's house are many mansions.  If it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am you also will be."  Contrast the eternal punishment of God's judgment with what He promises the righteous.
    John 5:24&25 says we will not come into condemnation.  Contrast that with facing judgment.  Instead of being separated from God we will eat at his table and live in His presence forever (I Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 21:3 and Luke 22:30).  Instead of darkness, light; and instead of weeping, God will wipe all tears from our eyes (Revelation 21:4; 7:17).  We will have an indestructible and eternal body in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1).  There will be no pain there (Revelation 21:4).  Instead of "outer darkness," heaven will be shining with the "light of the Lamb" (Revelation 21:23-25).  There will be no night there (Revelation 21:25).
    Compare Revelation 21:8 where the ungodly are cast into the lake of fire with 2 Peter 3:13 where (referring to heaven), righteousness dwells, in a new heaven and earth.
    From Luke 16 we learned that from the moment of physical death we are either in a place of blessing or a place of punishment.  2 Corinthians 5:8 says, "when we are absent from the body we are present with the Lord."  Paul said in Philippians 1:23 that he wished "to depart and be with the Lord."  I Thessalonians 4:16-18 says that we will "always be with the Lord."  Colossians 1:5 and I Peter 1:3-5 describe this life as a "living hope, a life imperishable, that will not fade away."
    God also says that at the end of the age, Jesus will return.  Then, He will raise believers' bodies from the grave and believers who are still alive will be gathered together with Him (I Thessalonians 4:16-18).  Later He will raise the bodies of unbelievers and they will be judged (Revelation 20:5-15).  Read Revelation chapters 20-22 to learn about both heaven and hell.  Jesus sent this message to us so that whosoever will may come to Him (Revelation 22:17).
    John 5:39 says, "You search the scriptures and think you have eternal life, but they are they who testify of Me" (Jesus is speaking.).  Since all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and Scripture says that only the righteous will enter into eternal life (Matthew 25:46), then who can be saved?  Romans 6:23 gives us the answer, "The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  How did Jesus do this?  How can we as sinners become righteous?  How can we avoid God's wrath?
    Read John chapter three.  It says, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him, should NOT perish, but have everlasting life."  John 17:2 says that God has given or granted for Jesus to give us eternal life.  Remember Romans 6:23 says it is "the gift of God," and John chapter 3 (not to mention other verses) states four times that Jesus gives eternal life to those who believe in Him.  It also says that those who do not believe are "condemned already because they do not believe in the only begotten Son of God."  Verse 36 says, "the wrath of God abides on him."  The choice is whether or not we believe on Him.  This is God's plan, God's way.  Jesus is the way to heaven (John 14:6).
    If we try to make it ourselves by our own good deeds, we will fail.  Romans 3:23 says "we all fall short of God's glory."  When the rich young ruler tried to be perfect and failed, Jesus' disciples asked, "who then can be saved?"  Jesus said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  John 6:29 says, "This is the work that God requires, that you believe on Him whom He has sent."
    He even told Nicodemus how He would make salvation possible.  In John 3:14 He said, "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up."  (He was talking about being lifted up on the cross.)  Scripture teaches that He ransomed and redeemed us.  I Corinthians 15:3&4 tells us that Jesus did this to take our sin away and pay the penalty of death for us. "Christ died for our sins…that He was buried and that He was raised."  I Peter 2:24 says, "He bore our sins in His own body on the tree."  I John 2:2 and 4:10 say He was the propitiation (satisfactory payment) for our sin.  (Read Romans 3:20-28; 4:8, 24-5:1.)  He gives us forgiveness and He declares us righteous if we believe He died for us.  (Read also Hebrews 9:12&14 and Isaiah 53:1-12.)
    The answer to the jailer's question is that we must, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 16:30).  John 3:16 says "whoever believes in Him will…have eternal life."  John 10:28 says, "I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish."  (See John 5:24; 6:37-41.)  John 1:12 says, "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."
    We need to come to Him and believe on Him; to receive Him and His gift of eternal life.  I believe that the reason Jesus spent so much time warning us about this subject was so that we would flee to Him and accept His free gift of eternal life through faith in His substitutionary death for us.  John 6:37-40 says, "him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out" and "the one who believes in Him may have eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day."  Have you believed?  Even the thief on the cross believed and Jesus said to him, "Today you shall be with Me in paradise."  Revelation 22:17 states, "And the Spirit and the bride say 'Come!'…And whosoever desires (will), let him take the water of life freely."  Romans 10:13 says, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."




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Dear soul,

Do you have the assurance that if you were to die today,

you'll be in the presence of the Lord in Heaven?

Death for a believer is but a doorway that opens into eternal life.

 

Those who fall asleep in Jesus

shall be reunited with their loved ones in heaven.

Those you've laid in the grave in tears,

you shall meet them again with joy!

Oh, to see their smile and feel their touch...

never to part again!

 

Yet, if you don't believe in the Lord, you're going to hell.

There is no pleasant way to say it.

 

The Scripture says,

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

                  ~ Romans 3:23

 

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,

and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,

thou shalt be saved."

                  ~ Romans 10:9

 

Don't fall asleep without Jesus

until you are assured of a place in heaven.

 

Tonight, if you would like to receive the gift of eternal life

first you must believe in the Lord.

You have to ask for your sins to be forgiven

and put your trust in the Lord.

To be a believer in the Lord, ask for eternal life.

There's only one way to heaven and that's through the Lord Jesus.

That's God's wonderful plan of salvation.

 

You can begin a personal relationship with Him

by praying from your heart a prayer such as the following:

 

"Oh God, I'm a sinner.

I've been a sinner all of my life.

Forgive me, Lord.

I receive Jesus as my Savior.

I trust Him as my Lord.

Thank you for saving me.

In Jesus' name, Amen."


If you have never received the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior,

but have received Him today after reading this invitation, please let us know.

We would love to hear from you. Your first name is sufficient.

 

"Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved"

              ~ Acts 2:21b

Name:

Age (If Desired)


Come, everyone who thirst, come to the waters...

            ~  Isaiah 55:1a


Jesus said unto her,

"Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,

but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.

The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

           ~ John 4:13,14


Need to Talk? Have Questions?

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God's Simple Plan of Salvation in Various Languages:

How Do I Become a Christian - Receive Jesus as My Savior


Now That I'm Saved, What's Next?


Now that you have believed the Gospel:

that Christ died for your sins

according to the Scripture,

was buried and raised on the third day

according to the Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

and have asked Jesus Christ

to forgive you of your sins,

what should you do next?


The first thing you need to do is to get a Bible

if you do not already have one.

There are a number of accurate,

easy to understand modern translations.

Then develop a systematic plan for Bible reading.

You wouldn't start any other book in the middle

and then hop from place to place,

so don't do it with the Bible.

The Bible is a collection of 66 books.

For of them, called Gospels,

tell about the life of Jesus.

I would encourage you to read all four of them

in this order, Mark, Luke, Matthew and John

and then read through the

rest of the New Testament.


The second thing you need to do

is to begin praying on a regular basis.

Praying is just talking to God,

and while you do need to be respectful,

you do not need to use special language.

The Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13

    is a great pattern for praying.

Thank God for what He has done for you.

Admit it to Him when you sin

and ask Him to forgive you.

(He promises that He will.)

And ask God for the things you need.


The third thing that you need to do

is to find a good church.

Good churches teach that the entire Bible

is God's Word, talk about why Jesus

died on the cross, and are full of good people

whose lives are being changed

by their relationship with God.

The most obvious evidence that a person is in

a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ

is how they treat people.


Jesus said,

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples,

if you love one another." - John 13:35

If the church has Bible studies or Sunday School

classes for new Christians, try to attend.


There are many exciting things to learn

as you get to know God better.

God has plans for you.

Jesus said

"I have come that they may have life,

and have it to the full."

God "has given us everything we need for life

and godliness through our knowledge of Him.

who called us by His own glory and goodness."

2 Peter 1:3


As you read your Bible,

pray and get involved in a good church,

God will begin to change your life in ways

that you never dreamed were possible and

fill you with love and joy

and peace and real purpose.


May God bless you as you follow Him.


***


Resources for Your Spiritual Growth and Discipleship

 

If you would like to contact us for spiritual guidance, or for follow up care,

feel free to write to us at feedback@photosforsouls.com

We appreciate your prayers and look forward to meeting you in eternity!

 

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