Death Judgement Heaven and Hell

SERMON TOPIC: Death Judgement Heaven and Hell

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 16 October 2022

Topic Groups: DEATH, HEAVEN, HELL

Sermon synopsis: In Christian eschatology, the Four Last Things or four last things of man (Latin: quattuor novissima) are Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell, the four last stages of the soul in life and the afterlife.
Traditionally, the sermons preached on the four Sundays of Advent were on the Four Last Things.

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The purpose of the Church.

“The Four Last Things”.

In Christian eschatology, the Four Last Things or four last things of man (Latin: quattuor novissima) are Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell, the four last stages of the soul in life and the afterlife.

They are often commended as a collective topic for pious meditation; Saint Philip Neri wrote, “Beginners in religion ought to exercise themselves principally in meditation on the Four Last Things.”

Traditionally, the sermons preached on the four Sundays of Advent were on the Four Last Things.

Martin of Cochem explains that "there are three principal reasons why all sensible people fear death so much:

First, because the love of life, the dread of death is inherent in human nature.

Secondly, because every rational being is well aware that death is bitter, and the separation of soul and body cannot take place without inexpressible suffering.

Thirdly, because no one knows whither he will go after death, or how he will stand in the Day of Judgment."

Martin of Cochem explains that there are three principal reasons why all sensible people fear death so much:

First, because the love of life, the dread of death is inherent in human nature.

John 12:25.

Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Secondly, because every rational being is well aware that death is bitter, and the separation of soul and body cannot take place without inexpressible suffering.

There are numerous occasions where Born-Again Believers transition into Eternity in a peaceful manner.

In addition to this, Stephen, the first New Testament Martyr, died while preaching to and forgiving his persecutors.

John Huss, the Bohemian reformer, was burned at the stake in 1415. Before his accusers lit the fire, they placed on his head a crown of paper with painted devils on it.

He answered this mockery by saying, My Lord, Jesus Christ, for my sake, wore a crown of thorns; why should not I then, for His sake, wear this light crown, be it ever so ignominious? Truly I will do it willingly.

After the wood was stacked up to Huss’ neck, the Duke of Bavaria asked him to renounce his preaching.

Trusting completely in God’s Word, Huss replied, In the truth of the gospel which I preached, I die willingly and joyfully today.

The wood was ignited, and Huss died while singing, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, have mercy on me.

Thirdly, because no one knows whither he will go after death, or how he will stand in the Day of Judgment. (Martin of Cochem)

BUT PAUL & JOHN DISAGREE

2 Corinthians 5:8.

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

1 John 4:18.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].

Philippians 1:20-26.

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.

Paul did not fear death.

Paul’s perspective on death.

2 Corinthians 5:1-4.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.

For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

2 Timothy 4:6-8.

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Hebrews 4:14-15.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Colossians 2:12.

Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Paul’s perspective on Life.

As Born-Again Believers, our lives are not our own. We need to allow Christ to live His life through us.

Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Isaiah 57:1-2.

The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.

Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.

Psalm 116:15.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.

Death is not a popular topic of conversation and people in general avoid having to deal with it and either embrace the lie that everyone goes to heaven because God is too loving to send anyone to hell or they come up with another myth called re-incarnation.

However Jesus himself spoke much about hell and

Hebrews 9:27 states clearly

It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-21.

So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.

And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-21.

So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labour under the sun.

For a person may labour with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it.

This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.

One of man’s greatest quests through medical science is to prolong life. Before the flood man lived in excess of 900 years (Adam 930 years, Seth 912, Enos 905, Cainan 910, Mahalaleel 895, Jared 962, Methuselah 969, Lamech 777, Noah 950 - Genesis chapters 5 & 9)

After the flood, God reduced man’s lifespan to 120 years.

Genesis 6:3.

Then the Lord said, My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.

Subsequent average: 70-80 years

Psalms 90:10.

Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

In the Millennium man’s lifespan will once again be increased.

Isaiah 65:20.

Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

Luke 12:4-9.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?

Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Jeremiah 1:4-5.

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations

Isaiah 44:1-2.

But now listen, Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. 

This is what the Lord says he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you.

Psalm 139:13-18.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

God knows our life span before we are even born.

Psalm 139:13-18.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.

God knows our life span before we are even born.

None of us can say that we will be alive tomorrow.

James 4:13-16.

Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. 

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life?

You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 

Instead, you ought to say, If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that. 

As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

 

Death is the consequence of man’s rebellion against God.

Genesis 3:15-17.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

And the Lord God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.

Romans 5:12.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all people, because all sinned.

Genesis 3:22-24.

And the Lord God said, The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. 

So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 

After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Romans 7:23-25.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 8:23.

We ourselves, who have the Firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

As we have seen, Man lived much longer prior to the flood, but God reduced man’s lifespan because of his wickedness.

Genesis 6:11-13.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 

So God said to Noah, I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

Genesis 6:1-3. Then the Lord said, My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.

Ecclesiastes 12:1.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them

You may think it gives a person more time to repent, but

76% of Christians decided to follow Jesus Christ before the age 16.

85% of Christians decided to follow Jesus Christ before the age 21.

1 Thessalonians 5:23.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.

May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Man consists of three parts, just as the Tabernacle /Temple consisted of three parts.

The Outer court.

The Inner court.

The Holy of Holies.

1 Corinthians 6:23.

1 Corinthians 6:19. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.

Tabernacle literally means 'place of dwelling' and was so called in the belief that God literally lived within its sacred confines.

When Israel camped, the tabernacle was set up in the precise center of the camp (symbolizing the idea that God was to be the center of his people's lives).

The three parts of the Tabernacle and Temple symbolize the three main parts of man.

The Outer Court symbolizes the body, the Holy Place represents the soul, and the Holy of Holies symbolizes the spirit.

The Body:

Makes us conscious of the world through our 5 senses. (Outer court)

The soul:

Makes us conscious of ourselves (Inner court)

The spirit:

Makes us conscious of God and at the time we are Born Again it is quickened by the Spirit of God. (Holy of Holies)

Genesis 2:7.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.

Genesis 3:22-24. And the Lord God said, The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever. So, the Lord God banished him from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

Genesis 3:22-24.

After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

John 20: 19-22.

On the evening of the first day of the week…

Jesus came and stood among them…

and with that He breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 2:17.

But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.

Ephesians 2:1-5.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…..God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.

Colossians 2:13.

When you were dead in your sins and uncircumcision of you flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins…

Man is spiritually dead as a result of disobedience.

We are not automatically children of God, it is up to us to make the decision and to turn from our sin to God.

John 3:1-5.

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do except God is with him.

John 3:1-5. Jesus answered and said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.

Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?

Jesus answered, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

1 John 3:1-2 & 10. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is…

This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

John 8:44.

Jesus said of the Pharisees…“You are of your Father the Devil

2 Corinthians 6:17,18.

Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you and I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters says the Lord Almighty.

If you are born once, you will die twice. If you are born twice, you will only die once.

But bear in mind that death speaks of separation. Physical death is separation of the spirit from the body. Spiritual death is separation from God.

Man was given life by the breath of God. Man died as a result of disobeying God (Sin).

Man was once again born again by the breath of God.



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