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Between Death and Resurrection

• Greg Boyd

This is the second message in our series “Non-Perishable”, where we’re exploring death from a Kingdom perspective. This week, Greg explains the evidence for life after death, why Heaven may not be what we thought, and how to gain a more beautiful picture of life after death.

Greg played a song during his message, you can find that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekZ187l-Vn8

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In this message, we will explore two questions:

  1. What’s between death and resurrection?
  2. What should Kingdom people make of things like ghosts and apparitions?

The hope of the New Testament is NOT “going to heaven when you die” but rather the resurrection of the dead at the end of the age.

1 Corinthians 15:20: But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.

At the end of every harvest, Israelites would pick fruit that ripened early, and would consecrate it to God instead of eating it. Jesus is our first-fruits of the resurrection – our picture of what that will be like.

Acts 23:6: “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead…”

Resurrection is always the New Testament Hope. But what is between the death and “the end of the age” that Scripture? There isn’t necessarily a lot about this in the Bible, because it places emphasis on the resurrection at the end of the age.

Greg shared his former view of what happens after we die – something called soul sleep. Soul sleep is the idea that there is no consciousness between our death and the final resurrection – at death, our souls literally fall asleep, so that our next conscious-waking moment is at the resurrection of all things. This, however, seems like a hard thing to tell those who’ve lost loved ones (that the departed are not conscious at all, presently). Greg doesn’t believe in “soul sleep” anymore, though. So what changed his view?

3 Things:

1) Scripture

Philippians 1:23-24 (Paul from jail, facing execution, to those in Philippi): “I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better, but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.”

2 Corinthians 5:6-9:So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord – for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

Paul talked about being away from his body and thus believed he could exist outside of his body, and spoke of the time after death as a time of disembodied union with the Lord. This asserts that the idea of resurrection is physical.

2) Documented Near Death Experiences (“NDE’s”)

NDE’s happen when some people who have died for a short period of time are resuscitated and speak of distinct experiences that took place when they had no heartbeat or brain activity.

Skeptics explain these by asserting that they’re simply hallucinations that occur when the brain is shutting down – merely hallucinations that tap into memories and emotions stored inside the brain. But even if this does explain a large portion of NDE’s…it doesn’t explain them all. Greg has found dozens of cases of NDE’s where individuals come back to life with verifiable information that they could not have known otherwise. Science is now beginning to document such cases.

Here are 2 Examples (both from medical journals):

1) In 1984, a lady named Maria suffered a heart attack while visiting a friend in Seattle. Medics were able to revive her, and she was in hospital for 3 days when another, more massive heart attack occurred. She was, again, resuscitated and eventually recovered, but she later described that when her heart stopped (with no blood going to her brain) she could describe watching her own operation from out of her body. She also described those present in the room and what they were doing and saying in great detail – even though she had never been in this operating room before. This type of thing can be quite common among NDE accounts. The most interesting part, however, is she found herself floating out of the hospital, toward the North side, and up toward the third floor. There, on a ledge beneath a window, she saw a blue tennis shoe…which would be impossible to see unless you go to the third floor, open/hang out the window, and look down onto the ledge (which cannot be done by patients because the windows are always locked). She said the shoe was blue, worn out on the big toe, and had one of the laces was stuck to the heel (because of something sticky). A doctor who heard this story decided to go up to the third floor to check it out…and as he dangled out the window, he saw the blue shoe, with details exactly like the one Maria described.

When we hear stories like these, we generally have 2 options: 1) To believe Maria because this actually happened (proving consciousness after death) or 2) Write it off as a hoax, which would mean that the entire staff (and Maria) concocted this story. But why would self-respecting doctors do such a thing? This would discredit their reputation, because these types of “supernatural” occurrences are looked down on among medical professionals.

2) An account by a nursing professor named Norma Bowe. Prior to this experience, Norma did not believe in NDE’s, and wasn’t sure about life after death either – but this experience convinced her. A lady was in a terrible car accident and died en-route to the hospital. She was revived shortly after arrival but was in a coma for 10 months. Upon waking up, she said she saw and remembered the whole accident and explained it, as well as the subsequent surgery and recovery in staggering detail (including conversations, names, and an instance where someone knocked something over). More impressive, this lady has OCD, and one specific trait of this is the need to memorize numbers. While floating out of her body, she noticed a 12-digit number…7 feet above the floor, on the top of a ventilator. It would have been impossible for anyone to even see the number unless they climbed up onto the top of the ventilator. But this lady saw it, memorized it, and recounted it perfectly upon gaining consciousness.

3) Accounts of those dying interacting with those already dead

The third bit of evidence that convinced Greg is the amount of common, documented, instances of professionals (working with those in process of dying) recounting incidents of conversations between those dying and people who are not there (who the dying claim are people that have already died). Again, skeptics explain this as basic hallucinations. But some are way too specific to be that.

Greg described an account of a 6-year old, dying of brain cancer. He’d been unconscious for 2 days, and his family were holding vigil there, waiting for him to pass on. Suddenly he woke up and had a countenance full of wonder, and was talking toward the ceiling. His parents and Grandmother asked who he was talking to and he told them it was his Grandfather, who he never knew, and was never talked about. He described him in great detail – voice, eyes, tattoos (and when he got it and why it wasn’t in the wedding photos), and other characteristics. His Grandmother began crying because the boy had described her late husband in full detail. There was only one photo of the Grandfather in her house, but it was before many of the characteristics described were acquired (such as the tattoo), so there was no possible way that the boy would have known any of these things.

Then the boy then began to giggle profusely, to the point that his parents and Grandmother were taken out of their tears and into laughter as well. When asked what he was giggling at, the boy turned to the Grandmother and said, “Carolyn’s here too. She’s really funny. She wants you to know that she loves you very much and she’s having lots of fun here.” The family, once again burst into tears… because Carolyn was the Grandmother’s first-born (fun-loving, vivacious) daughter who tragically died at the age of 7… in 1951. The boy had no idea of her existence.

All of these instances prove that there is life after death.

Most people think that their loved ones appear and welcome them to heaven. But in reality, this is a pre-heaven, disembodied state…where those passed on are waiting for the real heaven…the Resurrection.

So what about Ghosts?

Evangelicals like to assert that much of what people describe about ghosts is simply demonic activity. This isn’t always the case, but many times that seems to be right.

Greg told a story of a lady in the same city as Woodland Hills, who came to him asking for an exorcism in her townhouse. Her townhouse was next to an older man who had proved to be a sick, perverted man and was surrounded with darkness. The man’s son had previously been murdered in a drug transaction and thrown in a dumpster, while his other son had committed suicide. As it turns out, this man had a heart attack and died in bed (on the other side of this lady’s bedroom wall) and was found three weeks later. When she found this out, she was astonished, because during the previous three weeks, she had been experiencing eerie things in her townhouse and began documenting them (cupboard doors opening and shutting by themselves, phones jumping off tables, the stove turning on by itself, a heavy rug thrown across the room and folded up). A friend of hers had taken one of Greg’s classes in college on Spiritual Warfare and referred her to him.

Greg and his friend taught this Lutheran lady about her identity and authority in Christ, and led her to cleanse her own house. She proceeded to boldly go through her house, room by room, commanding the evil to leave. The activity subsided but hasn’t stopped completely – but she isn’t afraid anymore. She knows she has the authority in Christ to cast it out.

Doesn’t matter what exactly the source of activity like this is… you have the authority to cast it out. There is a trend today of attempting to contact the dead – whether they be family or friends or tv shows or mediums or whatever. I understand missing your loved ones terribly and wanting to have one more conversation with them… but don’t do it. The Bible says much about the dangers of divination and conjuring spirits and things. It is dangerous territory…especially if you are venturing outside Kingdom boundaries without God’s blessing. It’s one thing if your loved ones come to you moments before death, but it’s quite another if you seek to divine them into our realm. Those who attempt such things may find that sometimes, Satan, the master deceiver, appears as an angel of light to deceive those who follow Christ. So don’t go chasing after dead loved ones or ghosts or angels… keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.

There is only one mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ – and we are only authorized to communicate with the Father through His Son and Spirit.

Imagining the Kingdom

The main hope of the New Testament is the Resurrection – when the Kingdom comes in fullness, God’s love defines every square inch of the universe, everything will be made new, and all creation will be as it’s supposed to be. Romans 8:18 says that “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” We don’t know what happens in between death and this beautiful vision, but we can imagine what this vision might look like.

A great spiritual practice is to allow the Holy Spirit to inspire our imaginations with pictures of this…yet knowing that our minds won’t be able to do it justice. Our brains only identify as real things that are concrete. If something identifies with our experiences, then we perceive it as real…if not, it won’t. Those who don’t take time to imagine Heaven may have an idea of what could happen after death, but are also those who fear death. Those who do, tend to find their place within the big Kingdom story, and have confidence and excitement in what comes after this life.

Greg concluded with a story about an 11-year old boy named Matt, a friend of his son, who passed away in a tragic car accident. Until this time, Greg’s picture of death was more grim than glorious. One day as Greg was listening to a piece of classical music, he pictured Matt very much alive, savoring every minute. After listening to the piece as a congregation, Greg spoke of his niece, who recently took her own life at 34, after two decades of drug addiction. He recounted how much it has helped his soul to remember the long-term, Kingdom story, instead of the short painful one. He mentioned that those who have experienced near death experiences talk about how much the experience changed them forever. This is our Hope in Christ – one day, God will make all things new. Resurrection is coming. And all our tears will be wiped away.

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Topics: Fear, Heaven, Hope, Imagination, Pain & Suffering, Resurrection

Sermon Series: Non-Perishable

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20 thoughts on “Between Death and Resurrection

  1. Kevin says:

    Nde’s, ghosts, imagining heaven; bah humbug. Faith is the evidence of things not seen(or known), i thought. My faith says that, upon any given strange happening, God is there with me and will make things clear to me at that moment, if i have faith. Why the need to speculate at all about these things? Greg only gave one verse from the bible, so that’s all this is – unverified speculation.

    1. kathy says:

      I agree with you Kevin; if NDE’s were happening, one would think they would happen every single time! I have no doubt that some of these things are intriguing to a degree, yet I think we have to be careful, who knows where this stuff comes from in the mind. Maybe we do hoover for a moment when we die, but then, these people are not really dead who experience these things.

  2. Tracy says:

    What an amazing sermon. Love the way Greg is so real. shows us his soul. And gives us sermons no one else would!

  3. Steve says:

    So, Greg has changed his mind on the subject of life, or consciousness, after death. He hasn’t convinced me, and here’s why.
    1. There are far more texts in the Bible that support the belief that death is a state of unconsciousness or sleep than the one or two texts Greg uses to support his new belief. Here are a couple that stand out for me.
    Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 – …the dead know nothing; they have no further reward…never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.
    v.10 – …for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working or planning nor KNOWLEDGE NOR WISDOM.
    There are others, found mainly in Psalms, that support this line of thinking.
    2. Jesus himself refers to death as sleep. Matthew, Mark and Luke all relay the story of the ruler’s daughter who has died and when Jesus arrives at the house, he informs the mourners gathered that she is “asleep”. And in John 11 where we find the story of Lazarus, Jesus says that Lazarus is “sleeping”. When the disciples appear confused, he gets right to the point and says, “Lazarus is dead…”. Nowhere does Jesus state or imply that there is anything else going on while these people are “sleeping”.
    3. As for the text Greg cites in 2 Corinthians 5:6-9, I find it somewhat confusing. Paul states that when we are “in the body” we are away from the Lord. And yet in Matthew 28:20, Jesus states, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Ok, so maybe Paul is referring to our physical bodies. But following the line of thought that after death we are asleep, laying in the ground awaiting the resurrection, our physical bodies won’t return to the Lord until that time. So to use this text as support for the belief that there is some place in between death and the resurrection doesn’t make sense to me if Paul is referring to his physical body, not some state of consciousness.
    4. On a more practical note, we are told throughout scripture that heaven will be a happy and joyful place to be. If, after my death, my “conscious spirit” is floating around in the ether somewhere, or I am taken to heaven, how joyful will my experience be if I am, perhaps, watching the people I love suffer the indignities and pain of living on this sinful planet? I prefer a good sleep!
    And finally, you’d think that if God was involved in the NDE, someone who has “died” and returned to the land of the living would have something a little more substantial relate than to point out some random tennis shoe! Btw – I’ve heard the “tennis shoe” story three times now, and it changes every time. First it was a red shoe on the hospital roof. Then, it was a red shoe on the hospital roof partially obscured by a vent. Now, it’s a blue tennis shoe on a window sill with the shoelace tucked under it. Who know tennis shoes play such an important role in the afterlife! 🙂

    1. kevin says:

      Good word!

    2. Tracy says:

      Steve – you are not taking into consideration historical arc and that the bible is not static. The beliefs that the ancients held, and their culture was limited in their understand of Yahweh and the afterlife. To them, the after life was Sheol. So to say now, with the revelation we have from the new testament and Jesus Himself, that outweighs what the ANE peoples and ancients thought about life after death. We have the FULL revelation given to us by Jesus. I think that carries more weight.

    3. Queensalnd Centre For Apologetics (QCFA) says:

      Hi Steve
      You really don’t have to justify the core belief of faith i.e. resurrection of the body. But it is nice to see someone defending. To add some more certainty to your argument. The idea of souls floating up here and there north and south is not merely an error. It’s apostate. Why so? If there is no resurrection it’s over. Go to the pub. The scripture in the Greek applies the nominative case feminine singular anastasis . Being the nominative imperfect it is the thing itself i.e. the resurrection. Not Christ’s but yours. The argument is from the greater to the lesser. If we are not rising then Christ has not risen either. Your in your sins eat drink and so forth.

      Next if this is the case, no resurrection, then we are pack of liars. We say there is when there is not. Verse 18 of 1 Cor 15 is most telling… “consequently those that have fallen asleep (Hebraic idiom for those who are dead) in Christ are perished”
      Literally apOlonto they are destroyed. So if they are destroyed what of their supposed immortal souls? If such a hypothesis existed then these too a snuffed.

      Unfortunately those who insist upon an immortal soul taking the float up have no faith or expectation for the resurrection of their own bodies. Consequently they perish. You might want to study the resurrections protocols introduced by Paul in 1 Cor 15:22-26. Noting specifically “yet each one their own class (order)” The Greek dative tagmati is applied here. The order is then given, first fruit anointed (See Matt 27:50-53) for these. Those in His presence (note NOT coming but the noun tE paroisia) i.e. anointed (by resurrection) in His presence. There after the telos or the consummation. See Rev 20:12- 15 for this one.

      So where is the Body of Christ of the current dispensation of grace? Not here. They are partakers of the ex-reurrection See Phill 3:11. Who else was ex-resurrection viz: they were not a part of the resurrection protocols of the Hebraic Scripture or those spoken about by Paul? Enoch and Elijah. The Eschatology of the Body is found in Phill 3:20-21.

      Those who hold to one big resurrection at the end of days deny what is written. Mostly these quote Dan 12:1-2 however the beloved Apostle spoke and said, “brethren I show you a mystery (musterion no equal English translation) we will Not all die but will be changed” Paul reveals as the Prophet of YAH Elohim the resurrection protocols in full, plus something not known in the Hebraic scripture. Where it was expected that all would die then be resurrected. Did Paul get this right concerning a musterion (close kept ) or is he just telling fibs?

      The Hebraic idiom sleep. The scripture uses this idiom for a good reason. Those born of the Spirit of YAH (god) are never considered dead. The term dead or nekron is never applied to them. Why so? I AM the Elohim of Abraham Issac and Jacob I AM not the Elohim of the dead but the living. Living folk sleep, however; dead folk are dead. “These all like sheep have fallen in to the grave and death feeds on them and the righteous shall have dominion over them” Psalm 49:14 Where the scripture states “the dead great and small” literally referring to the dead outside of Christ. Why so? They are dead .

  4. Steve says:

    As I mentioned above, Jesus himself referred to death as “sleep”. If there is any new revelation where he sheds additional light on the afterlife, please point me in that direction. Also, after being risen from the dead, Jesus told Mary not to touch him because he had not yet ascended to the Father. So, what was he doing Friday evening through Sunday morning? If you believe his earlier references to death as sleep, I’m guessing he was laying in the tomb, dead or “sleeping”, waiting for his Father to bring him back to life, as opposed to some state of suspended animation while waiting for that to happen. Another point. There are many instances of people of people dying and being brought back to life – i.e. flatlining during surgery, often for periods of five minutes or more – and yet there are seems to be scant evidence that everyone has an NDE. So that begs the question, is the NDE an experience reserved for just a chosen few?

    1. Tracy says:

      I am just about to go into surgery today, so i am hoping not to flatline, but If i see Jesus, you will be the first to know!! 🙂 I will give what you said some thought . Thanks for responding.

  5. Mike says:

    According to 1 Peter 3:18-20, Jesus was pretty busy while his body was in the grave. He definitely wasn’t sleeping. “He was put to death in the body, but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisioned spirits – to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.”
    Then, of course, there was the tranfiguration, where Moses and Elijah were definitely not sleeping, although they had been dead for years.
    And, then, the rich man and Lazarus, where the rich man was having a conversation after he died……..maybe he was talking in his sleep, who knows?
    Jesus told the thief on the cross, “TODAY you will be with me in Paradise”. He didn’t say anything about taking a nap.
    In Philippians, Paul talked about choosing between staying in the flesh, or departing and BEING WITH CHRIST.
    And of course, Paul also said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. No talk of taking a snooze.
    Ecclesiastes is written from the perspective of how things would be without God (under the sun).
    As far as NEAR death experiences, I would suppose the reason those spirits hadn’t gone to heaven or hell is because they weren’t dead, they were NEAR death. Or, perhaps, they were unbelievers whose final destination was not heaven.

    1. kevin says:

      Brother Mike; you said “Paul also said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” The bible does not say this. People are always quoting it your way in order to say that when we leave our bodies, we are instantly with the Lord. While that may be true, it can’t be proved using your verse. Read it carefully, it is not stated the way you say.
      Just had to point that out cause i hear it a lot.

  6. Steve says:

    Tracy – I hope your surgery goes well. Yes, please, no flatlining! But if you do have an NDE, I definitely want to hear about it! 🙂

    Mike – If I have learned anything from the ministry of Greg, it is that on the surface, things are not always as they seem. I am short on time right now, but will respond more fully when able. In the meantime, there’s this. There is a reference in the book of Jude (v.9) about the archangel, Michael (Jesus) having a dispute with Satan over the body of Moses. And it is generally agreed within Jewish scholarship that after laying in the grave for three days, Moses was resurrected by God and taken to heaven. I will try to find some references to that to share with you. As for Elijah, he never died, but was taken to heaven without seeing death. You can read that story in 2 Kings 2: 1-17.

  7. Steve says:

    Mike – In picking up my earlier response to your post, let’s take a closer look at the text you are citing, 1 Peter 3:18-20, especially the phrase “…put to death in the body, but made alive in the spirit…”. Your implication here is that as soon as Jesus died his spirit was alive and well and took a road trip. This phrase, “in body (or flesh), in spirit” is found throughout the New Testament, in reference to both Jesus and human beings. When referencing Jesus, the use of “in flesh” is referring to his earthly existence as a human being, while “in spirit” refers to his existence as a divine being both before his incarnation and following his resurrection. Jesus himself referred to God as “spirit” in John 4:24, and as Jesus is a part of the Godhead, I think it is safe to apply to him as well. In Romans 1:4, Paul refers to Jesus, who as a human being, was a descendent of David, and who through the “Spirit” of holiness, was the Son of God. In a more earthly/human application, the word spirit is drawn from the Greek, “pneuma” – “wind”, “breath” “spirit”. New testament scholars such as Paul use the word spirit to be synonymous with human beings or particular individuals. See 1 Corinthians 16:18, Galatians 6:18, 2 Timothy 4:22. With this in mind, I believe that references pertaining to a man’s “spirit” returning to God simply mean that his breath, the physical thing that keeps us alive, has returned to God. And I see no evidence that a man’s, or Jesus’, “spirit” is/was a separate intelligent being apart from the the body.
    But there is another more troubling implication in the belief that Jesus travelled to the underworld to reprimand the antediluvians lost in the flood, and that is there is some kind of purgatory where these people were being held. I reject the doctrine of purgatory, as do a majority of Protestant christians, and I believe that in this instance Peter was referring back to the pre-incarnation spirit of Christ who, through the ministry of Noah, gave the antediluvians every chance he could to be saved.
    And that brings us to your reference of the story of Abraham and Lazarus. This story is found in Luke 16 and is included among the parables of the Shrewd Manager, The Persistent Widow, and The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (NIV). As I’m sure you are aware, parables were simply made up stories to simplify the more complex truths that Jesus was trying to teach. I believe the lesson found in this particular story is that a man’s destiny or future is determined by the use he makes of the opportunities in this present life. The belief that men receive their rewards immediately upon death contradicts Jesus’ own words where, in Matthew 16:27 he says, “ For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and THEN (emphasis mine) will he reward each person according to what he has done.” Can’t get any clearer than that.
    So, I hold true to the belief that death is a state of sleep or unconsciousness simply because that is the way it is consistently presented throughout the Bible. But I guess we won’t REALLY know until we die, huh? 🙂
    But let me leave you with this: “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among nations, was believe on in the world, was taken up in glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16.

    Peace, my friend.

    1. Mike says:

      His Spirit bears witness with our spirit (breath?), that we are the children of God.
      The Word of God goes so deep it even divides soul and spirit (breath?).
      May your whole spirit (breath?), soul and body be kept blameless.
      My spirit (breath?) rejoices in God my savior.
      He who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit (breath?) with Him.
      We must worship Him in spirit (breath?) and in truth.
      God gave us a spirit (breath?) of power, love and self-control.
      My spirit (breath?) within me was anxious.
      Into your hands I commit my spirit (breath?).
      Who knows a person’s thoughts, except the spirit (breath?) of that person within him?
      Lord Jesus, receive my spirit (breath?)
      For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit (breath?) the way God does.
      A gentle and quiet spirit (breath?)

  8. Steve says:

    A lot of quotes my friend. Please give me some references so that I can put them in context. Otherwise you’re just cherry picking.

  9. kathy says:

    So if we believe we are conscious and with the Lord and if we don’t, then where do we go? One would think that this sort of thing would be like gravity; it would happen to all of us, and the judgment hasn’t happened yet, it won ‘t happen until the end of the age, so how can one be in Christ and one not when dead, the book has not been opened yet! And this is the realm in which all of us are bound to until the resurrection; so those not compatible in Christ go “somewhere else” just doesn’t make sense.

  10. kathy says:

    I think NDE’s are very close to divinations – ouija boards and all that other stuff! Who knows but what a spirit plants that stuff! Just my two cents; I’ll leave all that stuff alone, I think that it is not for us to know, truly, and there is too many things here that are known that need our attention.

  11. Mike says:

    Kathy – He who is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with Him
    If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation.
    There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. Those who don’t believe are condemned already. (judgment already made)
    All have sinned and fallen short (judgment already made)
    If anyone’s name was not found written in the Lamb’s book of life (judgment already made), he was cast into the lake of fire.
    God has already made His judgment……….we are all guilty of sin and under condemnation. However, at the point in our life when we turn to Christ for forgiveness, we come out from under that judgment, and are “in Christ”. there is no longer any condemnation. When we die, we remain either “in Christ”, or still under that judgment. Those in Christ will be with Him. Those not in Christ will not be with Him. At the final judgments, each person will hear from Jesus Himself what the judgment is. Nonbelievers will hear the judgment for their nonbelief, while believers will hear the judgment of the works they did, while they were believers, whether good or bad, but all those in Christ will remain in Christ, no matter if all their works were worthless.

  12. Lilly says:

    I’m not sure you would get many calls to do funerals if the comfort you gave folks was that they are gone, but not to beauty, no tears, and happiness, but to a place to suffer till perfect sanctification is attained. I might revert back to the Weslyan second work of grace and have it done before I leave this earth! Are we not diminishing the supernatural in this–that God could complete the work and we could willingly accept in a moment? Could it not be that there are two streams within us, the carnal that struggles with the flesh and the spiritual redeemed stream of ourselves that is seated in heavenly places? When we die in Christ, we leave the carnal threads behind. At least, that is my hope.

  13. Mike says:

    Lilly – Amen and amen!!! You’ve hit the nail on the head. “He that has begun a good work in us will perform it UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST!!!” At that point His work in us is complete. “We don’t know what we shall be, but we know we shall be like Him BECAUSE we shall see Him as he is”

    We don’t have to become like Him before we can see Him as he is. That verse was used in reverse order in Greg’s sermon on post-death sanctification. The verse says that BECAUSE WE SHALL SEE HIM LIKE HE IS, we will be like him. Let’s keep the horse before the cart, and not switch them around just to preach yet another sermon rebelling against what God’s word says, just to show we don’t have to accept the norm.

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