Watch videos with subtitles in your language, upload your videos, create your own subtitles! Click here to learn more on "how to Dotsub"

So Your Dead Now What - Week 1

0 (0 Likes / 0 Dislikes)
Yeah, so you guys were expecting me to pop out of there, weren't you? It ain't gonna happen. I'm not climbing in there. Don't kid yourself. Not going down. I want to welcome all of you today at all of our campuses and our network churches. We are starting a brand new series called "So You're Dead, Now What?" and just talking about death or even being close to a casket can make a lot of people uncomfortable. In fact, there is a very real store in Dallas, Texas. Those of you at our Ft. Worth campus you might have seen it. As you are driving down the highway, right on the side of the road, there's a neon sign that says, big flashing lights, "The Casket Store". So, if you are in need of a casket, you can go there, but it always makes me wonder, "What would it be like to be one of the sales people at the casket store?" You, you think about it. As you come in, it would be like, "Hey, we're so glad you're here. Would you like to try one on?" And you know, you could climb in and see how it fits you, or they might say, you know, "What's it going to take to get you in one of these today?' Awkward, right? I mean, awkward, but here is the funniest thing, and this is very true. I am not making this up, but you can actually go next door. Chris Wiles talks about it, and he says right next to The Casket Store is a store called "Boxes To Go". It's really funny, if you ask me. If you can't afford the high-end model, you can go next door and get a cheaper box to go, have them tape you up, and just ship you wherever you need to go. Anyway, you might be wondering, "Why is it that we are talking about death?" In fact, in the next few weeks, today we are going to build a foundation. Next week, we are going to study what the Bible says, very specifically about hell. The following week, we are going to talk about Heaven, and in the fourth week, we are going to answer all sorts of questions about death and eternity. Today, we are going to build a foundation, and if you ask why do we talk about this, I'd love for you to write this down, because this is a very important truth. What you believe about death and eternity will determine how you live. What you believe about death and eternity should determine how you live your daily life, because tons of people believe different things. For example, atheists believe that it, death, it's over. There is no eternity, and so if you are an atheist, you just believe you're dead, you're worm, dirt, you are pushing daisies, and there's no reason to live with an eternal motivation. Some people believe in purgatory. They believe that once you die, people can pray you out of purgatory. Islam teaches that at the end, Allah will judge the works of those who have gone before. If your good works outweigh your bad, you'll go to paradise. If your bad works outweigh your good, you'll, you'll go to hell. Some people believe in, that you will become angels. So, some of you think when you die you will become an angel, and so you've got yourself pictures of fat, bald, naked baby angel playing a harp on a cloud. I don't know. I mean, that may be what you think. Some people believe in reincarnation. They think if you've been really good, you come back as a higher life form. If you've been really bad, you come back as a cockroach, or a mosquito, or something like that. In fact, when I was going to seminary, I commuted with a group of students, and one of the ladies believed in reincarnation, and we argued about everything. We, we rarely got along, and she said she really believed that she'd be reincarnated as a tree. She was going to come back as a tree. And she said, "Craig, what are you going to come back as?" I said, "I don't believe in reincarnation." She said, "But if you did, what would you come back as?" And I said, "Okay, you are going to be a tree?" and she said, "Yes". I said, "Then I'll come back as a dog, and I'll find your tree, and I'll show you what I think about your reincarnation," so anyway, the bottom line is, what you believe about death and eternity will determine how you live on earth. So, let's build a foundation and try to answer the question, "What do we know about death?" because we don't know a lot. The Bible is very clear on some things, and some things are not quite as clear, so let's wrestle with what we do know about death. The first thing, if you are taking notes, is this. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt, number one, that death is certain. Studies are conclusive. Approximately one out of one people die. They do. In fact, you're going to die. I'm going to die. Unless you are a believer and Jesus returns in your lifetime, you are going to die. Scripture says it very simply, Hebrews 9:27, the Bible says, "Just as man is destined to," what? All of our locations, let's say it aloud. "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to," what? "After that to face the judgment," verse 28 says, "So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people, and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." What do we know? Scripture says that you are destined to die. You'll face the judgment. And what will happen at judgment, it depends on what you did with Christ in your lifetime. Why is Jesus so important to your eternal destiny? Because our sin, and we are all sinners, we are born with a sin nature. Our sin separates us from a holy God, but here's the amazing good news, the Gospel good news that God so loved the world, so loved us, that He sent His only Son, Jesus, who was born of a virgin; therefore, not inheriting the sin nature, but lived the perfect and sinless life. And Jesus shed His innocent blood, died on a cross, but here's the awesome news. He didn't stay dead. On the third day, He rose again, and because of His perfect sacrifice, by faith, when we believe in Him, we are called righteous by God and we are adopted into the family of God by our faith in Christ. In fact, scripture says that anyone, and that includes you, no matter what you've done, no matter how dark your life has been, no matter how messed up it is right now, anyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. Today at all of our locations, there are many of you that God has brought here for this moment, and you are going to turn from your sins, and you are going to call on His name, and you will never be the same. Your sins, they will be forgiven and gone. Scripture says they will be cast into the sea of forgetfulness as if you've never ever sinned, and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit of God, and you will be able to pray to Him, and He will hear you, and you'll be able to hear His voice, and you can pick up His word and it will come alive inside of you, and you will live eternally forever. And as you pray to Jesus, your name will be written in the Book of Life. Your name can never be blotted out, and the angels in Heaven will rejoice today, when you call on God's Son, Jesus. And then, when, when you do die the physical death, you will not die eternally. You'll live with God in Heaven. Amazing. Amazing good news. What, what do we know about death? First of all, it's certain. The second thing we know is that the soul and the body, they separate. The soul and the body separate. You, you are not your body. This is skin. This is flesh. This is not the real me. Your, your body is called a tent. It's an outer covering. It is a house for the real you, but it's not the real you. Some of you are going, "Oh, that's such good news. I'm so happy about that." When you die, your body dies, but you continue to live. Jesus said this in Matthew 10:28. He said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the," what? Say it aloud, He said, "Don't be afraid of those who kill the, the body, but cannot kill the," what? "Cannot kill the, the soul." They are two different things. He said, "Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell." One day, when your physical body dies, you will be as alive as you ever have been. Someone will be making preparations at your funeral. Someone else will be making fruit salad for the reception, and you will still be very much alive. I remember about the first funeral I did. I was twenty-three years old. I was very nervous, and I, everything went fine. I got down to the end, and I just said that, I said, "Your loved one is not here. This is just a shell. This is an outer covering. The, the body is dead, but your loved one is alive. To be, for the believer to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and everyone was very much with me, and it was a very good funeral, until I blew it at the very end. I got down to the part where I knew you were supposed to say, "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust". I was twenty-three, never did a funeral before, and I said those lines. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," my mind went blank. What comes next? I couldn't remember. I was stuck. I was hanging there. Awkward moment, and I thought, "Quickly, think, think, think, think, this is a sad occasion. Lighten it up. Say something funny. You're a funny guy. Be funny." So, I tried to be funny. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," then I said it. "I hope this coffin doesn't rust." ... See, you thought it was funny. I mean, you're, you're giggling. Uh, you've got a good sense of humor. Those relatives of the dead guy didn't laugh at all. But, nevertheless, whatever you say about that, the reality is that the body may die, but the soul lives on. In fact, Jesus said this way, John 11:25-26. Here's the words of Jesus. He said, "He who believes in me will live even though he dies." Now, watch this. "And whoever lives and believes in me will," what? Say it aloud, "He will ..." Say it again like you mean it. What will happen? "He will never die." One more time, "And whoever lives and believes in me," Jesus says, "Will never die." What do we know about death? It's for certain. Second, we know that the soul and the body will separate. Number three, we know that eventually, you will face the judgment. You will face the judgment. Hebrews 9:27, again. "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face the," what? "To face, to face judgment." Now, if you are like me, the thought of being judged by God is very sobering. I mean, to be judged by people is nerve racking. I remember the first time that I was judged for something. I was in the fifth grade, and there was a fifth-grade choir. Fifty kids would make it, and there were fifty-two kids in our class, and so I thought I could sing good. In my mind, I sounded good, and I stood up before the class and teacher played, "My Country 'Tis Of Thee" on the piano and I was supposed to sing. Midway through, she looked at me like Simon does when someone's singing "You Are My Best Friend Forever," or whatever, like I was horrible. I panicked. If forgot the words, and I started to cry. Someone give me an "awww, ohhhhhhh." Thank you. Okay, and I, it was horrible. I could do it, and I didn't make the choir. I was judged not good enough. I hate choirs. You wonder why we don't have a choir here? I'll never have a choir. There will never be a choir at any church I'm a part of, ever. I hate, I was not ... two kids didn't make it, me and a kid who was sick that day. Everybody else made the choir. I hate the choir. I was not good enough for the choir. I did not make the cut. After you die, you will face the judgment, and it is infinitely more important than any choir or anything like it. What does the Bible say about judgment? Well, some people differ on their opinions, so I am going to show you what most conservative Bible scholars believe, and I will tell you that I agree with these beliefs. Now, some people have different views, and, and we will all figure it out one day, but this is what I believe. I believe there will be two different judgments, and the first one is known as the Great White Throne Judgment. I believe the first one is the Great White Throne Judgment. Now, the question is, "Who will be there?" And again, there's, there is some debate, but most people believe that only non-believers will be at the Great White Throne Judgment. Believers, most people think, won't be there. So, let's read a little bit about the Great White Throne Judgment. Revelation 20:11-12, 15, John had a vision under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and he said that, "I saw a," what? Help me out. He said that, "I saw a great white throne and Him who is seated on it. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life." Now, "The dead were judged according to," what? Scripture says, "The dead were judged according to what they had done." They were judged according to their works, "as recorded in the books." Verse 15, "If anyone's name was not found written in the," what? If your name's not in the, "Book of Life," scripture said, "He was thrown," where? "He was thrown into the lake of fire." So, what do we know? Great White Throne Judgment, dead people are there. There's books. There's the Book of Life, and then, there are other books, which evidently contain our deeds, our good works, and maybe even our, our sins. If your name is not found written in the Book of Life, apparently, you are judged by your works. Were you good enough by your works to qualify for Heaven? And scripturally, we know that no one is. The Bible says very clearly that we are only saved by grace through faith in Jesus, and that alone. Ephesians 2 goes on to say that we are not saved by our works. No one is, so that no one can boast. So, if your name is not written in the Lambs Book of Life, you are judged by your works, and everyone who is judged by their works, whose name is not in the Book of Life, will be thrown into what is called limne pur. It's the Greek terminology for the lake of fire, everlasting destruction, hell, eternal damnation, and separation from God in a very real place, which we will talk about in great detail next week. The Great White Throne Judgment is a place you do not want to be. You would rather be in the Book of Life, so you are not judged by your works, because you will not qualify for Heaven, no matter how good you are, The Great White Throne. The second judgment mentioned in scripture is known as the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Judgment Seat of Christ. Now, if you are at the Judgment Seat of Christ, will you judged whether you qualify for Heaven or not? Apparently, the Judgment Seat of Christ is only for believers. Your eternal destination is not judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Your eternal destination was already determined when you were on earth, when you responded to the grace and the work and the love of Jesus on earth. So, most people believe, and I agree wholeheartedly, that your eternal destiny is not determined at the Judgment Seat of Christ; but instead, it's at that place that your works are judged to see whether or not you are worthy of rewards in Heaven. Let's let scripture speak to us a bit. Romans 14:10, speaking to believers, the Bible says, "For we will all stand before God's," what? "We will all stand before God's Judgment Seat." 2 Corinthians 5:10, "For we must all appear before the," what? "We must all appear before the, the Judgment Seat of Christ," so we can see if we are saved or not? No. No, the Bible says, "That each one may receive what is due him for the things done in the body, whether good or bad." I believe, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, you will not be judged for salvation, that that would already have been settled on earth; but instead, you would see if you qualify for rewards from God in Heaven. Let's break it down a little bit. The Greek word for judgment seat is the word bema, "b-e-m-a", bema, and it's a very rich word that has a lot of historical meaning. Bema literally means a step up. It was used, judicially speaking, if a person would take a step up into the bema seat, and the judge would say guilty or not guilty. It was also used very commonly in the Greek Olympic games. If you, if any of you are Olympic fanatics, at the end of the competition, a man or a woman who wins would take a step up on the bema step, and the judge would come over, and the competitor would bow down, and the judge would then place the olive crown upon the winner's head. "Congratulations, you were the winner. You were first place." You step up on the bema, and you get your crown. Imagine this. Imagine you, your body dies, and you go before God in Heaven, or maybe His Son, Jesus, and He rewards you. Let me explain it just in terms you might understand. Uh, we have six kids in our family, and I am crazy about them, and they've had such a good year. We are working on developing character traits and certain qualities, and they've done such a good job that I declared the "First Annual Groeschel Family Awards" night. And what I did is, I got online and found a site, where you can print out for free, because I'd never pay, for free these little, these certificates. And I could type each of my kids' name on there and put little, little graphics that they would like, and then type out a little paragraph of what they'd done, and, and I personalized them all. And all of our family came in together and we kind of stood in the hallway, and I had, you know, the kid that was receiving stand up on the first step, and we did this big presentation. "And now presenting ..." And I'd say so and so, so and so, and for the Most Improved Attitude, and so and so, so for the Best Servant, and so and so and so and so for the most loving sibling of all the Groeschel, and each time I would give it, they would just cry, and their other five brothers and sisters would cheer, and they'd go cra ... and then they'd give an acceptance speech. And they'd stand up there through the tears, "I just want to thank our hamster and our bird," you know. And it was just the most touching, and then through all the tears and cheers, they took their little certificate and all of them have them hanging above their bed to show the reward that they got from their daddy. So, imagine you. You are in Heaven, and let's say Jesus looks at you. And you see Him, and, and when you do, you see in His eyes, and for the first time ever, you get it. You see the love of God like you were unable to comprehend in this life. And all of a sudden, all you want to do is bow down and worship Him. We're talking not for twenty minutes. You want to worship Him for the next one million years, because that's what you are going to want to do. That is what you are going to want to do. When you see Him for who He really is, and you, all you will want to be able to do is just, you'll recognize what it cost Him and who He is and what it means, and you will crave desire to worship Him. And then, He'll say, "No, no. Just stand up for just a second. I need to talk to you," and He might embrace you and then say something like, "I just want you to know, I'm proud of you." And you are not going to want any of that. "No, no. I want to wor ... "No, no," and He said, "Listen to Me. You did great!" And then, imagine Him saying to you, "Well done, my good and faithful servant," and it will be hard for you to heart that, because you will feel so unworthy. And, He might say something like, "I got to tell you what you did. This is why I'm giving you this reward, because you did such and such to me," and you're like, "No, no, no. I didn't do that to You. When, when, when, Jesus, did I do that to You?" And He will say, "Don't you remember what My word says? My, my word says what you did to the least of these, you did to Me." And, you might even be stunned and confused. "When, when did I do that to You, Jesus?" And He's like, "Hey, do you remember that time that, it was a Saturday, and you were so busy and overwhelmed because so much was going on, but you committed to be a part of a micro mission trip, and, and you were kind of, 'Well, should I go?' and you went and there were some people who were in need. All of a sudden, God just took over your heart and you were working, and you were serving, and, and you made a difference in someone's life, and they were never ever ..." and, Jesus would say, "You know what? That was Me. You were doing that to Me." And He might say, "Do you remember the time when you saw someone who, who was in need, and you didn't have much, but you just, you just couldn't contain yourself, and you just, you gave to that person who was in need, and you didn't even know if it made a difference or not. But you know what?" Jesus will say, "That was, that was Me. Do you remember the time when you were at work and you were, there was so much going on, and there was a person who was hurting and, and you just, you just stopped, and you were drawn to the person. And you just said, 'Can you tell me what's going on?' and they just opened up, and they started crying, and the next thing you know, you just said, 'Do you mind if I pray for you?' and you did." And Jesus might say, "Me, again. Me." And then, He would ask you to kneel slightly as He puts a crown upon your head. Why, why a crown? Because it's His Kingdom, and He puts a crown on your head and says, "Well done". What, what kind of crowns will be in Heaven? I'm not sure. The Bible shows five of them. I'm guessing that there might be dozens, maybe hundreds, maybe thousands. Total guess. I don't know, but we do know there's five, and I want to show these five to you. One is called the incorruptible crown, and that is for those of you who are seeking maturity in Christ. You, you know who you are. You are the people that when you wake up in the morning, reading God's word is an important part of your life, because you want to know Him through it. You, you're the ones who pray. You're the ones in a LifeGroups, because you know how important that Biblical community is and it's helping you become more like Christ. You're the ones who fast, because you desire more of God. There is a crown for you, who are pressing in to know Christ more intimately. It's called the Incorruptible Crown. There is also what is known as the Crown of Righteousness, and it's for those of you who know that this world is not your home. And, you're not like most people, who think that true joy is going to come from possessions of things, but you are longing for the return of Christ. And man, my wife, Amy, she can be all over this crown. I mean, she does, she just, she can leave all this today. She just wants to know Him face-to-face. She will receive this crown. There's another one. It's called the Crown of Rejoicing. Some of you today, you brought someone to church and they will meet Christ today, and they will be forever changed. And you will receive this crown. They call it the Soul Winner's Crown. It's for those of you who care for those who don't know Christ. You're not in your own stupid Christian circle, just listening to Christian music, just reading Christian books, and you don't even talk to your next door neighbor. No, no, no, that's not you. You're the one who, you're engaged in other people's lives, and you care for them, and you are praying for them, and you are looking for opportunities, not just to talk about spiritual things, but to show them spiritual things. And you are leading people to Christ. There's a crown for you, and it's called the Crown of Rejoicing. There's a Crown of Glory, and that's for those who care for others: the pastors, the shepherd's crown. You LifeGroup leaders, those of you who serve in, in Switch, or in Kid's ministry. You're, you're shepherding your flock. There's a crown for you, and there's the Crown of Life. This is the crown for those of you who endure trials, hard times; and yet, you hang on to Jesus. And today, around the world, there are people who will die the death of a martyr. Hear me when I tell you this. Today, around the world, there will be people who embrace Christ, even unto death, and they will receive this crown. Have you lived a life worthy of the rewards of God? Some of you have; some of you have not. Some of you have not. Look at scripture. I Corinthians 3:15, "A person's work will be shown for what it is, because the Day," capital "D", the Judgment Day, "the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives," what will happen? "He will," what? "He will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one," what? "Only as one escaping through the flames." Here is the bottom line. One day, you who are believers, your motives will be judged; your work or your lack thereof will be judged. And many of you, and I just want to say this very plainly, many of you, you are going to be rewarded so handsomely, you are going to be, you are going to be blown away. It's going to take you a million years just to soak in what Jesus says to you. Some of you, you are the most amazing servants I have ever seen. You are generous. You are Godly. You are self-less. You are Christ-like. You are unbelievable, and you will be rewarded. You don't do it for the rewards, but you will receive them. Believe me, you will. Others of you, you are believers, but you have done hardly anything but receive from Christ. You benefit from His salvation, but there is very little evidence of His love in your life. It, it's almost an embarrassment to the Kingdom. Yeah, you prayed a prayer. You've received Christ, but you've done almost nothing with it, and on that day, you will be filled with regret because you will get into Heaven, but only as one escaping to the flames. And you would give anything to do it over when you see just how real and just how good He is. What you believe about eternity will determine how you live. One day when you are here, your body is here, and you are still alive, at that moment, you will either receive the most warm and welcome and glorious embrace from Jesus that you could ever imagine, or if you are without Christ, you will face gloom and despair and hopelessness like you've never even dreamed before. But either way, at that moment, your eternal destination is irrevocably fixed and eternally unchangeable. That's why this moment is so important. All of our campuses in prayer. "Father, make us eternal-minded believers that we would serve You with our very best." All of our locations, as you pray today, some of you just look at, look at the last seven days of your life and ask yourself, did you live in such a way that Jesus would say, "Well done?" Were your motives pure? Were your actions Godly? Were you serving others? Or, do you look at your life like I do and say, "Man, there is so much room for improvement?" If you recognize that you've been caught up in the things of this world rather than the things of the world to come, then say, "Yes, I'm a believer, but God, I, I'm, I'm not serving and giving and being as Christ-like as I should be. Forgive me and make me more like Your Son. Help me to improve to live a life that is worthy of the life that You gave for me." Would you lift up your hands all over our campus? Right ... lift, lift, lift them up high. Just a bunch of hands going up. Praise God for your honesty. "Father, work in us all. For those who are believers today, God, I pray You'd stir us in such a way we could not continue to live our self-centered life, that we would be filled with Christ and His love for others. God, I pray that many would not be able to get out of the building that they're in without reaching out to someone. God, I pray that they would see needs supernaturally around them, and that You would use them to meet needs. God, I pray that the sun would not go down that You would not use us in such a way that we would make a difference for Your Kingdom. And God, I pray that daily You would give us eyes to see those divine opportunities and we would serve You faithfully, not for a reward, but out of love and obedience and response to Your goodness, and God, our lives would be lived in such a way that one day, You would look at us and say, "You, you did good. Well done. Welcome to the Heaven that I have prepared for you." Still praying today, a lot of you, if something happened to you and, uh, things happen. You've got to be certain. You don't know where you would spend eternity, you don't know where. If you go to the Great White Throne, and your name is not found written in the Book of Life, you will be judged for your works, and your works will not be good enough. If you are judged for your works, your works will not be good enough. The good news. God sent His Son, Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God. There is no way to the Father, except through Him. If there had been another way, then Jesus would not have had to be born and die and be raised again. There, there are some of you, you can sense it now and it's time. The Holy Spirit is drawing you, and you are ready to turn from your sin and turn to Jesus, and say, "Jesus, I want it Your way. Would You write my name in Your Book of Life? Would I be, could I be one of Yours? Could I be adopted into Your family? A son? A daughter? Forever? I recognize my sin, and I need a Savior. Jesus, save me. Be first in my life in every way. Be my Lord." When you pray that, you will never be the same, and, and, and hear God. When I tell you this, there are those of you that God brought here for this moment. You know it. It's now. Today is a turning point. Today is the day of your salvation. At all of our locations, you say, "That's me. I'm all over it. Now, I turn from my sin. Jesus, save me. Be the Lord of my life," lift your hands right now. Lift them high. All over the place, lift them up and leave them up. Say that's my prayer. Right here in this middle section, God bless you. Right back here toward the back, thank you. Right over here on this side, let me just meet you eye-to-eye. Right back here. God bless you, as well. Others of you, you say, "That's my prayer". Sir, right up here close. Ma'am, right over there. Welcome into God's family. Sweetheart, others of you saying, "That's my prayer". Right back over here around this corner. Lift up your hand, sir. Right there. Praise God for you. Welcome into God's family. Way back over here on this side. God bless you, sir. Others of you, call on His name. "Jesus, save me." Both of you, right over here. Praise God for you both. "Jesus, be the Lord of my life. Transform me. Save me from my sins." Right back over here on this side. Call on His name. Welcome. Welcome into eternal life. Right over here in this section saying, "Yes, Jesus, save me." Would you all pray? Pray with those all around you. Just pray together, and pray aloud. "Heavenly Father," everybody praying, "Heavenly Father, save me from my sins. Make me brand new. I believe Jesus died for me so I could live for You. Fill me with Your Spirit so I could serve you faithfully. Write my name in Your eternal book. From this moment forward, my life is Yours. Thank You for new life, and now You have mine. In Jesus' name I pray. "Would you worship the God of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ? Would you praise Him and welcome those today born into His family

Video Details

Duration: 35 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Genre: None
Views: 101
Posted by: lifechurchopen on Jun 28, 2010

SYDNW Week 1

Caption and Translate

    Sign In/Register for Dotsub to translate this video.