Tagged: Afterlife

Afterlife: Now on Audible

The Missouri Baptist Convention’s publishing imprint, High Street Press, has just released an audio version of its popular printed resource, What Everyone Should Know About the Afterlife

Published in 2017 in print and ebook editions, Afterlife is now available through Audible, the premiere audio-book platform, which may be accessed at Audible.com

The book explores key words and phrases used in Scripture to describe life beyond the grave, with an emphasis on how to know one’s eternal destiny.

In 13 short lessons, the book addresses what the Bible says about death, judgment, heaven, hell, and more. Each chapter concludes with probing questions, making this an ideal resource for personal or group study.

What Everyone Should Know About the Afterlife features lessons on:

  • Ten biblical truths about the afterlife
  • Hades and the afterlife
  • Gehenna and the afterlife
  • Your future resurrection
  • Everyone’s day of reckoning
  • Is heaven our final home?
  • Should you believe in ghosts?
  • Where are you spending eternity?
  • And other topics related to the afterlife

The book continues to be available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.com and other retailers.

 

 

 

Should you believe in ghosts?

This is the 10th in a series of articles on the afterlife and the unseen realm.

Ghosts are everywhere. They star in major motion pictures from “The Shining” to “Scary Movie 2.” Some ghosts are friendly (Casper) and some are frightening (Bloody Mary).

Popular television shows like “Ghost Adventures” use the latest technologies to “prove” that spirits of the dead are all around us – and want to make their presence known.

But is this true? The short answer is no. As Christians, we must gauge all truth claims by the Bible, the ultimate and unchanging measure of reality.

Ghost stories in the Gospels

Some people argue that the apostles believed in ghosts and even thought Jesus was one when He walked toward their boat on the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 14:22-33).

Later, after Christ’s resurrection, the apostles once again mistook Jesus for a ghost. He assured them that “a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have” (Luke 24:39).

Don’t the beliefs of the apostles and the words of Jesus prove that ghosts are all around us?

Let’s be clear on two points. First, scripture teaches that all humans possess both physical and non-physical properties – the body and the soul/spirit, the second of which survives physical death.

Second, nowhere does the Bible support the notion that spirits of the dead (“phantasma” or “pneuma” in the Greek) are free to return to the physical realm prior to their future resurrection.

In other words, the departed are just that – departed.

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Twelve truths about heaven

This is the ninth in a series of articles on biblical terms that describe the afterlife and the unseen realm.

In the previous column we saw how Scripture describes heaven as the intermediate state between death and resurrection for followers of Jesus as they await future resurrection and glorification. Now, we look in more detail at heaven as well as the new heavens and new earth.

What about heaven?

The New Testament reveals many truths about this intermediate state for followers of Jesus. Here are 12:

(1) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit reside in heaven, yet they have immediate access to earth (Matt. 3:16-17).

(2) God’s will is done completely in heaven – and one day will be done on earth (Matt. 6:9-10).

(3) Angels surround the throne in heaven (Matt. 18:10), as do majestic heavenly creatures and redeemed people (Revelation 4-5).

(4) The heavenly throne is the heart of God’s authority and majesty (Mark 16:19).

(5) Heaven is the place from which Satan fell and has no future part (Luke 10:18; Rev. 20:10).

(6) Heaven is where believers’ names are written down, providing assurance of everlasting life (Luke 10:20; Heb. 12:23).

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Is heaven our final home?

This is the eighth in a series of articles on biblical terms that describe the afterlife and the unseen world.

Is heaven the final destination of all who rest in Jesus? Or do we spend eternity someplace else?

In 2 Corinthians 5, the apostle Paul describes two different and mutually exclusive states of existence for the Christian. While we are on earth, “at home in the body,” we are “away from the Lord.” And when we are “out of the body” we are “at home with the Lord” (5:6, 8).

The New Testament teaches that upon death, believers’ souls/spirits separate from our lifeless bodies and enter the presence of God in heaven (see also Phil. 1:21-24). There, we enjoy intimate fellowship with our Lord while awaiting the future resurrection and glorification of our bodies (John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

Glimpses of heaven’s throne room

We see magnificent glimpses into the throne room of heaven through the visionary eyes of the apostle John in the Book of Revelation: the triune Godhead; an emerald-colored rainbow surrounding a glorious throne; living creatures; elders; angels; and redeemed people from every tribe, language, people, and nation.

The combined voices of all creatures in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and in the sea proclaim, “Blessing and honor and glory and dominion to the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13).

We may be tempted to stop here, as if heaven is the final destination in life’s long journey. It is breathtaking. But it gets better.

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Heaven can’t wait; more on purgatory

Save us from the fire

This is the seventh in a series of articles on biblical terms that describe the afterlife and the unseen world.

In the last column we defined the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory and argued that this long-held teaching finds no support in Scripture.

Perhaps the strongest argument against the doctrine of purgatory is that it undermines the sufficiency of Christ. Just before His death on the cross, Jesus declares triumphantly, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Among other things, this means the work of redemption is complete and that no more sacrifice for sins is required.

The wrath of God has been satisfied as the One who knew no sin became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).

The writer of Hebrews echoes this truth: “After making purification for sins, He [Jesus] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (1:3b). Further, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified” (10:14).

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