1575 What Happens When We Die? Part 2

What happens when we die? Finish the 2-part series.

ROBERT >> Thank you for joining us today on The Truth In Love as we continue to discover how the Bible answers an often asked and a very interesting question: What happens when we die?

This question presupposes that we will die, as the Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment. Unless we live until the Lord comes again, we will all die. This is an obvious and undeniable fact of life; and thus, this is a question that ought to be of concern to us all. So let’s see what the Bible says about what happens when we die. Stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

Singing>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Before we continue in our lesson today, I want to review some of the things that we’ve already learned about what happens when we die.

First of all, we have noticed that our body is separated from our spirit. At death, there is a separation. In fact, the word death means separation. Physical death is separation of the body from the spirit.

James 2:26, the Bible says, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. So the body without the spirit is dead. That’s physical death.

Spiritual death is separation of man from God, as we read of in Isaiah 59:1-2. But in this lesson, we’re concerned about physical death. What happens when we die? Our body is separated from our spirit.

But secondly, we also learned that our body returns to the earth, and our spirit to God. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it, Ecclesiastes 12:7.

You remember how man was made from the dust of the earth, Genesis 2:7? When he dies, his body will return to that dust of the earth. But the spirit of man, made in the image of God, will return to God.

And then thirdly, we also noticed that we have no more involvement with life on the earth. You see, being dead, our spirit leaving our body and returning to God, we’ll know nothing more about what’s going on here on the earth. We’ll never more share in anything under the sun, as we read in Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 and in verse 10. Now, this doesn’t mean that we’re unconscious in death, but that we have no involvement with life on the earth.

Fourthly, we also learned that upon death, we are in Hades. Hades literally means unseen. It’s used of the dwelling place of the spirits of the dead. For some, Hades is a place of torment; and for some, it is a place of comfort. When the rich man died in Jesus’ parable in Luke chapter 16, we see that he was in torment in Hades, verse 23.

When Jesus died, he was in Hades; but he was not left there. He was raised from the dead according to Acts 2:27 and verse 31. Jesus was not in torment, but he was in Paradise. You remember the thief who died on the cross next to him in Luke 23:43. To him Jesus promised that they would both be in Paradise that day upon their death.

Paradise is an oriental word that speaks of a beautiful garden like the Garden of Eden we read about in Genesis the 2nd chapter. The faithful are promised the tree of life in Paradise according to Revelation 2:7. It is the third heaven according to what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.

You see, the Bible speaks of three heavens. We learned last week that there is the earth’s atmosphere, the sky where the birds fly you read about in Genesis 1:20 as well as verses 6 through 8 of that chapter; there’s also the second heaven, or outer space, where the sun and the moon and the stars reside, Genesis 1:16-17; but then there is the third heaven, God’s dwelling place that we read about in passages like 1 Kings 8:30.

You might remember how the apostle Paul said that, We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord, 2 Corinthians 5:8.

The apostle Paul desired to depart, to depart from this life, from this earth, from this world, and to be with Christ, Philippians 1:23.

Now today we want to learn some more about what happens when we die. And I want to draw your attention back to the parable of Jesus in Luke chapter 16, where we read about the death of Lazarus the beggar and also the rich man before whose gate he begged. And we notice in Luke chapter 16 that when Lazarus died, he was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom.

Here in Luke 16:22 we read, So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. Abraham’s bosom was a place of comfort. Here, Lazarus was comforted. Look in Luke 16:25. But Abraham said, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

Lazarus found himself in Abraham’s bosom, in a place of comfort. Remember, Abraham was the father of the faithful. And so you see Lazarus’s association now with the faithful. Remember that God promised blessing through Abraham and rest to all who die in the Lord, Revelation 14:13.

Those who were slain for the word of God, we read in Revelation 6:11, would find rest on the other side of death. But let’s go a little bit further with our lesson today. Let’s notice that in death, our destiny is sealed. There was a great gulf fixed between the rich man, who found himself in torment, and Lazarus, who found himself in comfort. There was a great gulf that could not be passed.

Read with me in Luke 16:26. Jesus says, And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot; nor can those from there pass to us.

We see here from this passage that once we die, there is nothing that can be done to alter our destiny. If you’re in comfort, you will continue in comfort. If you’re in torment, it will do no good for anyone to be baptized for you or to try to pray you out of torment. No one will be able to beg or to borrow their way out of torment. We’ll be judged by what we’ve done in the body.

Let me read this passage to you from 2 Corinthians 5:10. The apostle Paul reminds us that a judgment day is coming. And I want you to notice the basis of judgment here. 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul writes, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

You see, one day we’ll be judged by Christ. We won’t be judged by what happens to us after we die; we’ll be judged by the life that we lived while in this body upon this earth.

Still there’s another point that we need to notice today, and that’s simply this: That in death, we maintain our personal identity. That is, we’re able to recognize one another, even those that we’ve never met. Robert is always going to be Robert. When Robert dies, he’ll still be Robert. And that’s true with each and every one of you. You’ll never lose that personal identity that you now have. Let’s notice this again in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus here in Luke chapter 16. Lazarus, you remember, was carried to Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man, you remember, was in Hades in torment. But look at verse 22 and verse 23 of Luke 16.

So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

You see here even after death, now he was in the torments of Hades. Still he could see Abraham. He recognized Abraham. He knew who Abraham was. And the same thing was true about that beggar that he’d known for a long time upon the earth. On the other side of death, Lazarus was still Lazarus, Abraham was still Abraham, and the rich man was still the rich man.

The Bible tells us in another place, in Genesis 25:8, that when Abraham died, he was gathered to his people. Now, think about that for just a moment. What meaning would that have if they didn’t know each other? That would be meaningless if they could not know each other on the other side of death. But the fact that Abraham could go on and be with his people, he would recognize them, he would know them, they would know him, makes all the sense in the world.

Another passage, in 2 Samuel 12:23. You might remember King David and his adultery with Bathsheba and how that out of that union came a son; but that son became very ill until he died. And upon his death, David made this statement: I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. Again, this would be meaningless if David could not know him. David looked forward to that day when he would be able to go on the other side of death and he could join there this child who he never got to know on this earth. He would know that child, the child would know him on the other side of death.

Still there’s another point that we need to consider concerning what happens when we die. Not only will we be able to recognize and to know one another, will we keep our personal identity, but we can communicate with one another on the other side of death.

Let’s go again to Luke the 16th chapter, and let’s read verses 24 through 31. Then he cried and said, Father Abraham, how have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Here you see the rich man calling out to Abraham. And they were carrying on a conversation with each other. Abraham responded. Look in verse 25. But Abraham said, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us. And then he said, I beg you, therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment. Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent. But he said to him, If they did not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.

You see how this conversation continued on between the rich man and Abraham, the rich man being in torment, Abraham on the other side of that great gulf that had been fixed between them? And still they were able to communicate with one another.

Now, here we see them using words, we see them talking to one another. I don’t know how spirits communicate on the other side of death, but this is how God relayed that to us, to help us to know that we will be able to in fact communicate with one another. That’s what happens when we die.

Something else we need to notice here, and that is that we’re going to have feeling, or sensibility, when we die. Just because you die doesn’t mean that you have no more feeling. You remember the rich man was where? In torment. In fact, he was hurting so much, he desired his tongue to be cooled because he was tormented by the flame, verse 24. On the other hand, here’s Lazarus on the other side of the great gulf that’s fixed, and he was in comfort in Abraham’s bosom. And so we speak here about the feeling of pain and the feeling of comfort, that sensitivity is there on the other side of death. Again, he speaks to us in physical terms that we understand, that we relate to. How a spirit feels torment and feels comfort, we don’t understand all about that; but it’s clear that some are going to feel pain, that they will hurt, that it will be a tormenting type of existence. On the other hand, there will be those that will be comforted, they’ll be at peace, at rest like Lazarus.

There is a final thing that I want to bring to your attention today. You probably already noticed it in our reading here in Luke 16. And that is when we die, we possess memory of our past life on earth.

Now, we already mentioned that we have no more involvement with the life here on the earth; that is, we don’t know what’s going on, we don’t see what’s going on, we don’t communicate back and forth with those upon the earth. We have no more involvement according to Ecclesiastes; but we do have a memory of our past life here on the earth. And that’s made abundantly clear in the reading here in Luke chapter 16.

Let me look again with you in verse 25. In Luke 16:25, But Abraham said, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

Abraham told the rich man, look, remember, remember what it was like. Remember the good things that you had in the past life? Remember Lazarus, the evil things that he had in his lifetime on earth? Do you remember those things? And of course he did. In fact, he not only remembered that, but he also remembered his father’s house and his five brothers.

Read again with me verses 27 and 28. Then he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment. Recognize that when we die, we will remember our past life upon the earth. We see this not only here in the parable, but we also see it in the Revelation in the vision of John in Revelation chapter 6. And I want to go there with you this morning and read, because I want you to see a number of things from this passage.

In Revelation the 6th chapter, John has a vision of souls that had been slain for the word of God. These are those who have been persecuted and tortured and had died for the cause of Jesus Christ. And they’re waiting for the Lord to avenge their blood on those who dwell on the earth. And so they cry out to him here in this vision.

Revelation chapter 6, and let’s pick it up here in verse 9. 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 testimony which they held.

You see, John was able to see into the heavenly realm, see into Hades, see into that place of Paradise, Abraham’s bosom, that place of comfort. And what did he see there? He saw the souls of those who had been put to death for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Now let’s read a little bit further and notice some more things about that. In verse 10, And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? You see, not only was John able to see these souls, they had their personal identity, he knew who they were, but they were also able to communicate. And here you see them talking out to the Lord for vengeance upon their enemies.

And then further, in verse 11, Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. Here we see that those who had died for the cause of Christ would now find themselves in rest on the other side of death. They were waiting there until God would render vengeance upon their enemies.

We see in this vision of John how they recognized each other, how they knew each other, how they kept their personal identity, how they communicated with one another on the other side of death, and how they remembered their past and what had happened to them here upon this earth.

So now having looked at all of these things about what happens when we die, surely we can see that we can better able put things in proper perspective, to realize that this life is not all there is; that when we die, we’re not dead all over like Rover, as we sometimes say, but our spirits will live on and on. We may live in torment, or we may live in comfort; but there is nothing we can do about it after we die. No, now is the time to prepare for life after death.

What about you? If you were to die today, would you go to heaven?

Well, there’s only one way that we can know that, and that’s through Jesus Christ our Lord and our savior. Jesus himself said in John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes unto the Father but by Me.

Peter said in Acts 4:12 that, There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Salvation from our sins and the hope of eternal life with God is totally dependent upon that one, that perfect one, our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ; because you see, it was at the cross, in his death, in the shedding of his blood that he paid for the price of our sins.

As Peter said in 1 Peter 1:18, You’re redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. And the hope, the assurance of eternal life is only found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who not only died for us, but on the third day was raised ultimately to ascend to heaven to sit at God’s right hand. If you believe that, if you trust him for your salvation today, then you’ll turn from your sins in repentance, you’ll make that decision to live for God; and upon your confession of faith that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, you’ll give yourself to him in the waters of baptism, being immersed for the remission of your sins, so that you might truly be saved from your sins to live a new life.

As Peter said in Acts 2:38, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; for this promise is for you and for your children, and all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Him.

Have you been obedient to the gospel of Christ, believing, repenting, confessing your faith, being baptized into Christ?

And do you continue to walk in the light of Jesus Christ, to strive to serve him, to follow him, to live for him?

Being honest about your sins and trusting him, you can today have the assurance, the certainty about your life. As John said in 1 John 5:13, These things are written that you may know that you have eternal life. That is, those who believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Singing>> Will your anchor hold in the storms of life when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain, will your anchor drift or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
fastened to the rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

It is safely moored, twill the storm withstand,
for tis well secured by the savior’s hand.
And the cables passed from his heart to mine can defy the blast through strength divine.

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
fastened to the rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

>> Years I spent in vanity and pride,
caring not my Lord was crucified,
knowing not it was for me he died on Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
pardon there was multiplied to me;
there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan;
oh, the grace that brought it down to man;
oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
pardon there was multiplied to me;
there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.

ROBERT >> I want to thank you for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you. So let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. Remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.

Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.

Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1574 What Happens When We Die, Part 1

What happens when we die? That’s a great question, and there’s a lot of answers that are being given to it; but what does the Bible have to say?

ROBERT >> What happens when we die? That’s a great question, and there’s a lot of answers that are being given to it; but what does the Bible have to say?

Are we dead all over, like Rover?

Do we cease to exist?

Do we go to some kind of purgatory where we burn off our sins, later to be united with God?

Do we die and go to heaven or go to hell?

What’s it like on the other side of death?

Is there in fact life after death?

Stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

Singing >> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> This question, what happens when we die, presupposes that we will die. I want to read this passage to you from Hebrews 9:27. The Hebrew writer says, And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.

Unless we live until the Lord comes again, we will all die. This is an obvious and undeniable fact of life. And thus, this question, what happens after we die, it’s certainly a question that ought to be of concern to us all, because we’re all going to die someday.

Much of what we learn about life after death in the Bible comes from what is known as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. It’s told by Jesus in Luke chapter 16. Let me encourage you to turn over there. There are some who do not believe that we can view this story as factual because it is viewed as a parable. But I want you to notice, even if this is not a true story that actually happened, if it’s a parable, that even parables are true to life.

They’re not myths, they’re not fables, but they’re always consistent with the facts of life. For example, everyone can see that Jesus’ parable of the sower in Matthew chapter 13 is just as things really are. If you’re familiar with that particular parable, you remember in the parable that Jesus tells the sower sows the seed, and that seed falls on different soils that produce different results. The birds will come, and they’ll take away the seed that’s sown on the path; the seed that grows up on the rocky ground is quickly withered by the sun; and that sown among the thorns is choked out; and what is sown in the good soil bears much fruit.

Those who heard Jesus tell that parable, they may have been able to see someone out there sowing the seed. But you see, if we don’t know anything about sowing seed, we could learn from his parable many facts about it, because parables are always consistent with the facts of life. Now, in the very same way, the story of the rich man and Lazarus is true to the facts of life, and we may learn much about life after death from this parable, from this reading.

It may even have been about two real persons who lived and died. But however you view it, the parable can give as many insights into what happens when we die. It can show us a whole lot about it. And so let’s see what the Bible says, and let’s see what happens when we die.

First of all, let’s notice that when we die, our body is separated from our spirit. The word death itself means separation. The idea of physical death, and that’s what we’re talking about this morning, is separation of the body from the spirit.

Let me read this passage to you from James 2:26, where James describes for us what physical death really is. James 2:26, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

So physical death is this separation of body from the spirit. The spirit leaves the body. That’s physical death. Spiritual death, and sometimes the word death is used that way in the Bible, is a separation of man from God.

Let me read you this passage from Isaiah chapter 59, where Isaiah was talking to the people of God, the people of Israel, and warning them to turn from their sins because their sins were separating them from God. It was destroying their relationship with their God. Isaiah 59:1, Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

That kind of separation of man from God because of our sins is what the Bible speaks of as death. A spiritual death.

We see the word used this way in Romans 6:23. So let me read there what the apostle Paul wrote. Romans 6:23. Here he says, For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In that passage the apostle Paul was talking not about physical death. We all die physically. But he was talking about spiritual death. That’s what happens to us because of our sins. The wages of sin is death.

You see, our sins have earned for us spiritual death, separation from God. That’s what we have earned. That’s what we deserve because of our sins. But the gift of God, he says, is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Through Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to God, we are made right with God, as Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 5:19 and 21.

So the first thing I want you to notice about what happens when we die is the spirit leaves the body. There’s a separation of the body from the spirit.

Now, the second thing that we can note about what happens when we die is that our body returns to the earth, and our spirit to God. This is spelled out very clearly in Ecclesiastes 12:7. So look back here with me in your Old Testament.

Ecclesiastes 12:7. Here’s what Solomon, the inspired writer, tells us: Then the dust will return to the earth as it was; and the spirit will return to God, who gave it.

You remember, don’t you, at the beginning when God created man that he created him from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, Genesis 2:7? That’s right. Man was made from the dust of the earth. And when he dies, his body will return to the dust of the earth. But the spirit of man, made in the image of God, will return to God.

Look at Genesis 1:26-27 when it speaks of God creating man for the very first time. Here it says, Genesis 1:26, Then God said, let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. And so God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. So you have man made from the dust of the ground, as we noticed in Genesis 2:7; but we also see that there is the spirit of man that’s made in the very image of God.

God is a spirit according to John 4:24-25. And so we understand that there is a spiritual side of man made in the image of God. In Hebrews 12:9 we learn that God is the father of our spirits. And so the body will return to the dust of the earth, but the spirit, it will return to God who gave it.

Now here’s a third thing that we need to learn about what happens when we die. When we die, we have no more involvement with life on the earth. We’re not going to know anything else about this earth. We’ll know nothing more about it, and we’ll never more share in anything under the sun, as the writer of Ecclesiastes puts.

Let me turn over there with you once again. Look at Ecclesiastes chapter 9. Notice what he says about our consciousness when we die. Chapter 9, verse 5 and verse 6, For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.

You see, when you die, yes, your body returns to the dust, your spirit back to God who gave it; but you see, the spirit of man is no longer involved in this earth. All of that’s gone. The body of the earth is perishing now. It’s in the grave. We don’t know any more about this.

Look what he says in verse 10 of Ecclesiastes 9. Here it says, Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

This doesn’t mean, don’t misunderstand what the writer is saying here, this doesn’t mean that we’re unconscious in death; but that we have no involvement with life here on the earth. The body is perishing, but the spirit continues on. And the spirit has a consciousness. And we’re going to talk about that a little bit later on. But understand that when you die and your spirit goes to be with God, that it has no more involvement in the things of this earth.

But now I want you to notice this point: What happens when we die? We are in Hades.

Now, that is a Greek word, Hades, and it literally means unseen. This particular word as is used in the New Testament is used of the dwelling place of the spirits of the dead.

Our spirits are invisible, and they’re in that invisible realm called Hades. For some, it’s a place of torment; and for some, it is a place of comfort. When we look here at the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke chapter 16, we see this very thing.

Let me begin at the beginning of this parable. Luke chapter 16, beginning in verse 19, There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And so it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Now, let me stop right here for just a moment, and I want you to see here that when they died, their bodies went back to the dust, they were buried; but the spirit of Lazarus and the spirit of the rich man went to a different place. They went to Hades, into the unseen realm. And as we just read, we notice that one was in torment, the other in comfort. When the rich man died, he was in torment in Hades.

Read on with me here, and notice what it says again in verse 23. Being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

I want you to notice something about Hades. When Jesus died, he was in Hades. But he was not left there. He was raised from the dead.

Look with me in Acts 2:27. In this passage the apostle Peter is talking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, how he was not left in the tomb. And he quotes from an Old Testament passage, Psalm 16. Psalm 16 was actually a prophecy concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let’s see what it says.

Acts 2:27, For You will not leave My soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You see, the soul or the spirit of Jesus was in Hades when he died; but he says you’re not going to leave me there. And his body was in the tomb; but he said you’re not going to let me see corruption. You’re not going to leave me there in that tomb. His body and his spirit would once again be reunited. He would be raised from the dead.

Read on what it says here in the book of Acts in verse 31. He, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.

So the rich man, when he died, he was buried, but his spirit was in Hades. He was in torment. Jesus went to Hades, but Jesus was not in torment. Jesus was in Paradise.

That’s right. When Jesus Christ died, Jesus Christ was not in torment, but in Paradise. He was in Paradise along with the thief who died on the cross next to him.

Look with me in Luke 23:43. Jesus was on the cross. And you remember one of those thieves on one side of Jesus repented when he saw that Jesus was dying for his sins, and he called upon Christ for his blessing. And this is what it says, Luke 23:43: And Jesus said to him, Assuredly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise. That day Jesus died, that day the thief next to him died, but they were both found together in Paradise.

Now, that word Paradise is an oriental word, and it’s a word that speaks of a beautiful garden, like the Garden of Eden. You remember how it’s described in Genesis the 2nd chapter, the rivers there in the garden and the trees in the garden and the fruit of that garden, the tree of life in the midst of that garden? Man had everything that he needed. It was a beautiful place where God had placed the first man and the first woman in the Garden of Eden. It was Paradise.

And similarly, when Jesus died, he and the thief found themselves in Paradise.

You know the faithful are promised the tree of life in Paradise? Look with me in Revelation 2:7, where John in this particular book was encouraging the faithful Christians who were suffering such great persecution by the hands of the Roman empire. And he wanted them to know that if they’ll be faithful, they would be rewarded with Paradise. Revelation 2:7, he said, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches: To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.

Yes, that’s what happens when we die when we’re faithful to Jesus Christ. We go to Hades, just like Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom, a place of comfort; in Paradise, just like Jesus in this beautiful garden, this spiritual garden that will house our spirit.

This Paradise is referred to as the third heaven. Look with me in 2 Corinthians 12:24. 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul speaks of a man who went to Paradise. And it’s very interesting what he has to say about it.

2 Corinthians chapter 12, beginning with verse 2. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago –whether in the body, I do not know, or whether out of the body, I do not know, God knows — such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man –whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know, God knows –how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which is not lawful for a man to utter.

So we see here that when we die, we go to Paradise if we’re faithful to the Lord, and that’s called the third heaven. The Bible actually speaks of three heavens. The Bible speaks of earth’s atmosphere. That’s the sky. That’s where the birds fly. And we read about that in the book of Genesis. Look with me in Genesis chapter 1, where we see described for us how God created this world. And in verse 20 it says, Then God said, Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.

So when you look in the sky and you see the birds fly there, that’s the first heaven.

But then I want you to notice a second heaven. Look in Genesis 1:16-17. Then God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.

You see here how God set these two great lights and the stars in the second heaven. This is the sun, this is the moon, this is the stars. We call it outer space.

The first heaven, our atmosphere; the second heaven, outer space; but then there’s the third heaven. This is where God dwells. Look at 1 Kings 8:30. When Solomon went to dedicate the temple to God, he spoke of the God of heaven. 1 kings Chapter 8, notice with me verse 30. Let’s read that together, 1 Kings 8:30.

Here the Bible says, And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel when they pray toward this place here in heaven, your dwelling place. And when You hear, forgive. Yes, there are three heavens: Our atmosphere, the outer space, and that heaven where God dwells.

And so the Bible says, and we can be confident and well-pleased, yes, to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord, 2 Corinthians 5:8.

Paul himself desired to depart. He wanted to die so he could go on and be with Christ, he says in Philippians 1:23. When Lazarus died, we just read in Luke 16:22 that he was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom. Remember here that Lazarus was comforted, and remember here that God promised blessing through Abraham to all the families of the earth in Genesis 12:3; that Jesus promised blessing and rest to all who die in the Lord, Revelation 14:13. Those who were slain for the word of God should rest according to Revelation 6:11.

Yes, what happens when we die? We go to Hades. We either go to Hades where there’s torment or to Hades where there’s comfort in Abraham’s bosom in Paradise, in the third heaven to be with the Lord.

Singing >> On Zion’s glorious summit stood a numerous host redeemed by blood.
They hymned their king in strains divine.
I joined the throng and strove to join.

While everlasting ages roll,
eternal love shall feast their soul, and scenes of bliss forever new rise in succession to their view. Holy, holy, holy Lord.

God of hosts on high adored.
Who like me thy praise should sing, oh almighty king?

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of hosts on high adored. Holy, holy, holy.

ROBERT >> Thanks for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you. Let me encourage you to contact us with your questions and comments or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. Also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven.

So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

Singing >> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.

Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song. Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.

Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.