Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Intermediate State (Part 1)

[Some friends at work asked me about what the Bible says concerning what a person experiences when he dies, before the Final Judgment. While we discussed these things to some extent, I wrote a 3 page response to (hopefully) help further clarify the matter. I hope to give this response to my friends on Monday. Below is the 1st page of the response.]


Introduction

The Final Judgment

At the end of this present age (before God establishes the new heavens and new earth) all who have died will be raised from the grave. God will miraculously restore the body of each person, and all people will be judged before His throne. (See Revelation 20.)

The Intermediate State

But before the Final Judgment mentioned above, what will a person experience after death? (To re-state the question in theological terms: what will a person experience in the Intermediate State the mode of existence that occurs immediately after a person dies up until the time of the Final Judgment?)

The Importance of Scripture in Answering This Question

Our source for knowledge concerning what happens after we die must come from God. This knowledge lies outside of any normal human experience, and so we must seek answers from the LORD, who is the Giver of life, and who is Sovereign over life and death. Thankfully, God has given us certain knowledge about the Intermediate State in His written Word, the Bible.

The Christian’s Great Hope in Death: Experiencing the Presence of the Lord

In writing to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul teaches that when a Christian is absent from the body, he is present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Paul teaches the church at Philippi the same thing, writing that if he were to die he would be “depart and be with Christ” (see Philippians 1:21-23). [Also, note that when He was dying on the Cross, and a thief dying next to Him asked for His mercy, Jesus was able to say to that thief, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43, ESV)]

The Christian can have absolute confidence that if he dies– though his body will be placed in the ground awaiting the Resurrection– his soul will immediately be ushered into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, who saves His people from their sins (see Matthew 1:21), as well as from death, which is the consequence of sin (see Romans 6:23).

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