What Happens When Christians Die?

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Heaven: The Revelation – What Happens When Christians Die?

Pam Weddings’s brush with death came on a north Georgia river more than 40 years ago. She was a 19-year-old student at the University of Georgia. She says she and her boyfriend, Jim, were whitewater rafting on a high, fast-moving river.
"We lost our oars,” Pam recalled. “There was no way to navigate; we were just riding with the current then."
From a hilltop, they saw people waving.
"And when we got up closer, we could tell they weren't waving,” Pam explained. “They were saying, ‘Get out! Go away! Go back!’"
Suddenly, around a bend, Pam says they were sucked over a dam and into a vortex of water below. She says she was surrounded by darkness.
"And my eyes were opened, in pitch black, I felt churning all around me. But I didn't feel like I was churning," she explained.
Pam remembers thinking she must be dead. She says she saw images come up in front of her, some of them of loved ones like her father, who died when she was 7. Then she says she saw light, getting closer and closer.

"It was the most incredibly peaceful, I keep saying that word, because I've never felt anything like that,” Pam described. “It was really beautiful and nurturing, just complete peace."
Wedding says she remembered thinking she was okay.
“At that instant, that I said, ‘Its okay, I'll go,’” she said. “I felt a hand grab me strongly on the wrist and pull me up out."
Barbara Harris-Whitfield believes she too got a taste of dying. It happened 37 years ago when she was 32. She was in a hospital bed two days after undergoing spine surgery.
Barbara says she floated out of her body, and into a tunnel that was filling with light.
"And then, my grandmother was there,” Barbara explained. “Now my grandmother had been dead for 14 years, and I had never once thought of her existing beyond her death. I was an atheist up until this moment."
Harris says her grandmother wrapped her arms around her.
"We were talking without words and she was letting me know she would always be there waiting for me,” Barbara said. “And then the next thing I knew, I was back in my body, back in the circle bed, and it happened again a week later."
Dr. Raymond Moody has documented hundreds of stories like those of Pam and Barbara in a half-dozen books. His latest is called ‘Glimpses of Eternity’.
"I've talked with literally thousands of people from all over the world who've been to the brink of death and come back with these astonishing stories," Dr. Moody said.
He says what is so striking is that so many people describe the same experience.
"And I think that what these near-death experiences do is they give us hope that what we call death is not the end, but a transition into some other reality," Dr. Moody said.
VITAL THAT WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE.
Paul wanted the Thessalonians to know exactly what happens.
However, we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Knowing what happens to our loved ones when they die in Jesus Christ will give us a strength which will let the world know the power of Jesus Christ.
WHERE DO BELIEVERS GO?
TO UNDER STAND WHAT HAPPENS TO US, WE MUST BECOME AWARE OF WHERE WE ARE GOING.
 When You Die you will go to one of two places. There is no soul sleep. There is no purgatory. There is no second chance.
DYING THIEF ON CROSS
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-43
PAUL
I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. Philippians 1:23
Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
THERE ARE TWO HEAVENS:
We need to be aware that there is actually two heavens we need to learn about. There is the Present Heaven, where God dwells now, and there will be an eternal heaven that will be created once the Word of God has been totally fulfilled.
 The Present (Intermediate) Heaven
 The Eternal Heaven
THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD
When a believer dies, there will be a transitional period of a temporary nature. Our redemption will not be complete, and we will be in a transitional state.
 INTERMEDIATE HEAVEN IS NOT OUR FINAL DESTINATION
Will we live in Heaven forever? Absolutely, just not in the same place.
When we die, we will go to Present (or Intermediate) heaven.
Once the Scriptures have been fulfilled, there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth, and the two will be joined in a New creation. Hell will even be relocated. Heaven and even our state will change.
We need to answer two questions-
1. What is Heaven Like
2. What will Heaven be Like?
Briefly, it will help our understanding of God’s purpose to see that the present Heaven is in an angelic realm, distinct from earth. It is normally not visible from earth.
Eternal Heaven is in the human realm, on earth, part of earth, visible and touchable from earth.
Heaven will change, be enlarged, expanded and relocated. Yet our Jehovah God will stays the same. He never changes.
REV 21:1-3: New heaven descends from present heaven.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. Revelation 21:1-3
 God Will Actually Dwell With Us On Earth:
The Father will dwell with us on earth. The words of Jesus will come true in physical as well as spiritual sense.
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23
UNDERSTAND GOD’S ORIGINAL PURPOSE
GOD’S ORIGINAL PURPOSE WAS AND IS TO DWELL AMONG MEN
(“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8)
God’s goal is the triumph of the Spirit over the flesh. What better way to do that than to resurrect the flesh and unite it with glorified bodies, and to triumph over the earth by bringing Heaven to earth and dwelling on it!
 God’s original purpose will be accomplished.
THE NEW EARTH WILL BE HEAVEN INCARNATE.
One Day we will watch as the New Jerusalem descends from heaven: “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband”. Revelation 21:2
The New Heaven will be on earth. Heaven and Earth will be compatible and will be joined.
As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1:10
WHAT IS PRESENT HEAVEN LIKE?
SPIRITUAL ASPECT: PRESENT HEAVEN IS UNSEEN FROM EARTH
(These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city). Hebrews 11:13-16
OCCASIONAL GLIMPSES OF HEAVEN
1. Stephen
But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Acts 7:55
 Could be next to us, could be unseen, but they can see. This was not a vision that God created for Stephen, but the reality of Heaven revealed to Stephen to see.
2. Gehazi’s eyes were open.-
Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17
3. Paul & John both saw the Present Heaven
THE RESURRECTION BODY IS A “SPIRITUAL” BODY (1 COR 15:44)
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 1 Corinthians 15:35-38
So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
THE INTERMEDIATE HEAVEN IS A PHYSICAL PLACE
God is spirit, angels are spirit beings,
Both can (and in the New Earth) will live in a physical environment.
HEAVEN IS NOT A REVELATION OF THE NATURE OF GOD
 God is infinite.
 God exists apart from the restraints of time and space.
 The Laws of physics do not apply to God.
HEAVEN ACCOMMODATES THE NATURE OF BOTH Man AND God.
Can humans exist as God does-outside of time and space?
If we can, it would be a temporary aberration that will be permanently corrected by our bodily resurrection in preparation for life on Heaven and Earth.
Can Heaven be considered ‘spiritual’ if it is a physical place?
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
God indeed is spirit, but Heaven is not God. God chooses to dwell in Heaven, but He does not need a dwelling place. Humans, as finite beings, do need a place to dwell.
 Can people who are by nature both physical and spiritual, dwell in a realm without physical properties?
THE NEW EARTH IS DEFINITELY A PHYSICAL DWELLING PLACE.
 So would it surprise us that God provides a waiting place that is also physical?
 As humans, we occupy space.
 Will that space in heaven be physical? Or will it be spiritual?
 Since the present, intermediate heaven was created to provide dwelling for angels and God, certainly it makes sense that it could and would accommodate humans as well.
 Angels can exist both in the spiritual and physical world. They exist in this world, as stated in Hebrews 13:2
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2
WHY DO WE ASSUME HEAVEN IS SPIRITUAL?
 Teaching subtle or otherwise, that the spiritual world is good and the physical world is evil.
“The idea of having bodies and eating food and being in an earthly place sounds so unspiritual (worldly).
Intermediate Heaven will very well be a physical realm.
PRESENT HEAVEN HAS Physical PROPERTIES
Could Earth be but a shadow of Heaven?
 Garden of Eden (Tree of Life) is in Heaven (Rev 2:7)
 Temple in Heaven is filled with smoke. (Rev 15:8)
and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. Revelation 15:8
 There is lightning and thunder heaven
From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, Revelation 4:5
 Scrolls in Heaven
 Elders with faces (Rev 11:16)
 Martyrs with clothes (Rev 6:11)
 People with ‘palm branches’ in their hands. (Rev 7:9)
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, Revelation 7:9
 Musical instruments (Rev 8:6)
Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them. Revelation 8:6
 Horses to and fro (2 Kings 2:11; Rev 19:14)
And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 2 Kings 2:11
And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. Revelation 19:14
 Eagles flying (Rev 8:13)
Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!” Revelation 8:13
ARE THESE ALL MERELY SYMBOLIC?
Theologians argue that Revelation is apocalyptic literature and should be seen as figurative, not literal.
THE MESSAGE OF HEBREWS IS THAT EARTH IS THE image OF HEAVEN…
Earthly priests serve at a sanctuary that is a COPY and SHADOW of what is in heaven” (Hebrews 8:5)
They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” Hebrews 8:5
 The earthly Tabernacle was made according to the pattern revealed on the mountain
 Pattern was made from something very physical.
 Earth is to be seen as the derivative realm and Heaven is the source realm.
(Strong likelihood that those things, which are in heaven, exist in type here on earth.)
Heaven and Earth are not polar opposites but overlapping circles that share things in common.
 Heb 9:11-12 – Christ went through the heavenly tabernacle.
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent ( not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11-12
 Heb 9:24 – Christ entered the heavenly sanctuary.
Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:23-24
 The New Jerusalem to be brought to the new earth is present in the intermediate heaven. (Heb 12:22)
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, Hebrews 12:22
This means that the New Jerusalem is physical now, so intermediate heaven must have physical attributes...
HEBREWS SUGGESTS THAT GOD CREATED EARTH IN THE IMAGE OF HEAVEN
CS Lewis: “The Hills and Valleys of heaven will be as a flower to the root of those you now experience”.
Instead of thinking that God patterns Heaven’s holy city after an earthly city, should we not consider that earthly cities and communities are derived from the community and culture of heaven’s cities?
We should start with Heaven and reason down to earth.
 Father-child relationship (God’s relationship with us)
 Husband-wife relationship (Christ’s relationship with us)
DOES PARADISE SUGGEST A PHYSICAL PLACE?
Luke 23:43 – Today you will be with me in paradise. – Intermediate heaven.
parádeisos; gen. paradeísou, masc. noun. Paradise. This is an oriental word which the Greeks borrowed from the Persians, among whom it meant a garden, park, or enclosure full of all the vegetable products of the earth. Paradise (the Greek word in the Septuagint) describes the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:8, Eze 28:13).
Paradise refers to nature under mankind’s dominion. Man brings his creativity and nature to bear on managing, cultivating and presenting the garden.
The picture of a walled garden enclosing a carefully cultivated area of exquisite plants and animals was the most powerful picture of paradise available to the human imagination, mingling the images of the beauty of nature with the orderliness of human construction.
Paradise is a physical, actual place where God and His people dwell together, surrounded by physical beauty, enjoying great pleasures and happiness.
 Rev 2:7 – Him that overcomes I’ll give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. The same physical tree of life that was in the Garden of Eden will one day be in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth.
NOW, the Tree of Life is in the Intermediate Heaven.
The same physical properties the Tree had in the earthly garden are extent in the intermediate heaven.
Gen 3:24-The Paradise of Eden with the Tree of Life retained its physical attributes but was no longer accessible to man. There is no indication it was converted into a ‘spiritual’ version.
 The physical has been removed to a realm we have no access to.
 Eden was not destroyed. What was destroyed was mankind’s ability to live in Eden.
God is not done with Eden. He has preserved it to show mankind what it was, and to allow us to occupy it once again.
 The original Eden may be a huge park at the center of the New Jerusalem. This would fit with Rev 2:7
Though earth was corrupted by sin, the Garden of Eden was treated differntly. Perhaps it had come from heaven and was transplanted onto earth.
We do know that God visited with man in the Garden (Gen 3:8) But He would not do so after the fall.
CONCLUSION:
Intermediate Heaven has physical properties and contains physical objects.
BELIEVERS WILL HAVE Intermediate BODIES IN THE Intermediate HEAVEN
 Humans are both spiritual and physical – Gen 2:7
God did not create Adam as a spirit and place him inside a body. He created the body first and then breathed the spirit into the body.
Humans are connected in body and soul. Neurophysiological studies reveal an intimate connection between our bodies and our soul – mind will and emotion.
We are not essentially spirits inhabiting a body, but we are essentially as much physical as we are spiritual. We cannot be fully human without both body and soul.
 We Will have “between bodies” in intermediate heaven?
For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 2 Corinthians 5:2-4
 At death we are clothed with a heavenly dwelling
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. Revelation 6:9-11
 Disembodied spirits do not wear clothes.
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives (psyche) even unto death. Revelation 12:11
 Put on Wedding Garments
“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:11-14
 John had a body when he visited heaven (Rev 10:9-10)
o He touched, grasped, tasted and eat.
PSUCHE
PSUCHE MEANS WHOLE SELF
The context shows that a complete person, a total life, is meant.
MT.2.20: "...Arise and take the child and his mother and go into the land of Israel; for those seeking the life (psuche) of the child have died." Herod was not seeking to destroy the soul of the baby Jesus, but his life.
MT.20.28: "...the Son of Humanity did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life (psuche) a ransom for many." Jesus didn't give away his "soul," but his life, when he died on the cross." John had a body when he visited heaven – Rev 10:9-10. He is said to have touched, grasped, eaten, tasted.
 Paul was caught up to the third heaven in 2 Cor 12:3
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
Paul could not say he had a body, but the fact that he could not tell is significant. The thought of having a body was not impossible. It could be that he had a body but it was different from what he was used to.
The possibility that we have temporary forms does not minimize the absolute necessity and importance of our future bodily resurrection.
In the Old Testament, the saints were granted entrance to paradise on the promise of their redemption by Jesus Christ.
In the intermediate heaven, we may have temporary bodies because of the promise of our earthly bodies resurrection.
 We will not receive our resurrection bodies until that final resurrection.
Christ’s physical body was resurrected and is now in the intermediate heaven. There is at least one physical body in heaven.
If there is one physical body in heaven, then it makes sense there are others in heaven having physical properties as well.
Otherwise Christ has been floating for two thousand years in a realm without material substance.
Since Christ has a physical body, can we also assume that other references to physical objects in heaven, including physical forms and clothing, are literal rather than figurative?
RICH MAN & LAZARUS
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ” Luke 16:19-31
 Had a tongue
 Had eyes to see
 Had feelings of pain
 Had memories of good things, family, missed opportunities
 Could recognize Lazarus
 Had feelings of regret
(When we die, we are present with the Lord in some form. Not just part of us, but our whole LIFE)
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and He indeed lives within you. You have been born again, and that means when you die, you die as a child of God. You will awake in the presence of God.
WE WILL FACE TWO JUDGMENTS
A.We will face the judgment of our faith.
Outcome determines whether we go to intermediate Heaven or Hell.
It is not based upon our works but our faith.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7
B.The judgment of our works.
• Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:10-12
• For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 2 Corinthians 5:10
• each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
WE WILL WITNESS THE JUDGMENT OF NON BELIEVERS
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Revelation 20:11-13
THE JUDGMENT OF BELIEVERS WILL HAPPEN:
After the judgment of faith (one at a time happening at your death and before entrance to heaven)
• In the intermediate heaven, between our death and the return of Christ.
• Between the rapture and the 2nd return of Christ to set up His kingdom
• At the same time as the GWTJ
PHILIPPIANS 3:20-21
20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”
Категория
Rise of angels обзор
Теги
Death, Heaven, Near Death Experience, Intermediate Heaven, Spiritual Body

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