Participants: Pr. John Bradshaw
Series Code: IIW
Program Code: IIW001222
00:07 It has stood the test of time, God's book, the Bible.
00:17 Still relevant in today's complex world.
00:22 It Is Written, sharing hope around the globe.
00:36 In 1981 the writer William Saroyan said something that I
00:40 believe most everybody can relate to.
00:44 Saroyan had cancer and knew that it wouldn't be long
00:47 before he died.
00:49 In an interview with an associated press he said this,
00:51 he said, 'Everybody's got to die, but I always believed that
00:56 an exception would be made in my case.' And then he said,
01:01 'now what?' Now, there's a question when it comes to death,
01:07 Now what?
01:09 You know the Bible says that people would live three score
01:12 and ten and that we know is about 70 years.
01:15 These days a lot of people do a little better than that.
01:18 In Japan, average life expectancy is about
01:23 82 and 1/2 years.
01:24 Now, statistics vary depending on whose statistics you read.
01:27 The list might be a little bit different but it's generally
01:30 accepted that your pan has the longest life expectancy than any
01:32 country in the world.
01:34 Eighty-two and a half years or there abouts.
01:37 In Spain or Sweden average life expectancy is 81.
01:40 In Singapore, you can expect to live about 80 years old.
01:45 Now in Wanuatu in the South Pacific that number changes.
01:49 Average life expectancy there 70.
01:52 In Ghana, West Africa, life expectancy is 60.
01:58 In Cameroon is 50.
02:00 And in Swaziland the average life expectancy is almost 40.
02:07 But no matter how long you are going to live or expect to live,
02:11 there is always that question that is going to have to be
02:15 answered one day.
02:16 After death, Now what?
02:20 You know, when God created Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden,
02:23 he didn't create them to die.
02:24 He created them to live forever.
02:28 And even after sin came into the world and brought death with it,
02:31 Adam still managed to live to be 930 years old.
02:36 Now his son Seth lived to be 912.
02:39 Seth's son Enos lived to be 905.
02:43 Methuselah died in the year of the flood in Noah's day, lived
02:48 to be 969 years old.
02:51 That's almost a thousand years.
02:53 A millennium.
02:54 But even Methuselah had to answer the question, 'Now
02:58 what?' I am sure you've heard that old saying that says
03:03 that in this world there are only two sure things,
03:05 'death' and 'Taxes'.
03:07 Now, a lot of people has managed to cheat on their taxes, but
03:11 unless your name is Elijah or Enoch, there is no way in this
03:16 world you are going to be able to cheat 'death'.
03:21 I'm here at Mount Hope Cemetery in College Place
03:25 It's a beautiful place.
03:27 I've been here many, many times.
03:29 When I lived in College Place Washington, I would often come
03:32 to Mount Hope Cemetery just to, to walk around.
03:36 As a church pastor in this area, I officiated many, many
03:41 A lot of which ended up here at Mount Hope Cemetery.
03:45 Usually in a poignant gathering around somebody's final, very
03:49 peaceful resting spot.
03:52 This is a serene place.
03:55 It's a calm place.
03:58 It's a place to remember, a place to think.
04:02 Like cemeteries everywhere, Mount Hope Cemetery tells a lot
04:07 of stories, a lot of very interesting stories.
04:11 Now really, in all reality, the stories told here are usually
04:15 very brief.
04:17 On the average grave marker you will find the decease's name
04:22 and someway there, a year of birth and then a year of death.
04:27 Sometimes a brief comment, and that's about it.
04:31 In fact, the stories usually contained in that hyphen,
04:34 that's between the year of birth and the year of death.
04:39 If you look around a cemetery like this one, you will see that
04:41 many people lived a good long time.
04:43 A lot of people here lived to be one hundred years old or longer.
04:49 And as you look around you'll find who died in their nineties
04:52 and in their eighties.
04:53 Good long lives.
04:55 And there are those who died in their seventies.
04:57 That is less than the average U.S.
05:00 life expectancy of Seventy eight point six.
05:04 There are those who died in their sixties and fifties.
05:06 We would agree that's just too early.
05:08 Some they died in their forties.
05:11 Some in their thirties, in their twenties, and then there are
05:15 those who died even younger.
05:18 In fact, there are graves scattered throughout this place
05:21 and, just over here is a cluster of graves where infants, small
05:26 children rest, just days or weeks old.
05:32 And that's always a tragedy.
05:36 No matter how long a person lives, there is that question
05:40 that waits to be answered.
05:42 After death, 'Now what?' So how can we find a satisfactory
05:48 answer to that question?
05:51 How can we face with confidence the inevitability, which is
05:59 I'll talk with you about that, just a moment.
06:04 Perhaps something in today's program has sparked your
06:07 interest in greater Bible study.
06:08 We invite you to visit our website, It Is Written.com.
06:12 where you will find a host of inspirational resources
06:15 including free bible study guides.
06:17 There is also a complete archive of past television programs and
06:20 some special video seminars that you can view on line or
06:24 Discover more at It Is Written dot com.
06:29 Death is an invader.
06:31 The Bible calls it an enemy.
06:34 And nobody is immune to it.
06:36 No matter what your standing or your accomplishments in this
06:40 Elvis Presley died at the age of forty two.
06:43 President John F.
06:44 Kennedy was forty-six when he died.
06:47 Fame and fortune couldn't prevent death when coming to
06:49 John Lennon died at the age of forty.
06:52 Princess Diana was only thirty-six years old when she
06:56 Death is no respecter of persons.
06:59 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was thirty-nine years old when he
07:01 was gunned down in a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
07:06 Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, all were only 27 when
07:10 they died.
07:12 You can be a president or a pauper, famous or infamous.
07:17 A saint or a sinner, and death is going to come.
07:23 And then the question is asked, 'Now what?' Some Australian
07:28 aboriginals believe that when a person dies, the spirit goes off
07:31 to a spirit world, that person goes to the spirit world and the
07:35 spirit comes back to guide the living through life in this
07:39 New Zealand Maori mythology teaches that when a person dies,
07:43 the spirit goes to the northern most part of that country
07:46 therefore departing from there and returning to their ancestral
07:51 I had a conversation with a lady from India who told me that in
07:54 her culture, death is viewed as merely an extension of life.
07:59 The next stage as it were.
08:02 Look at the tombs of ancient Egypt.
08:04 And you will see that they testify the ancient Egyptians
08:08 put a lot of care, put a lot of thought into what happened after
08:12 a person died.
08:15 Greek mythology taught that the souls of the dead, some of them
08:19 at least would ferried across the River Styx in or two Hades.
08:25 In the ancient Norse believed a variety of things might happen
08:28 when a person died.
08:29 Among them that those who were killed in combat might go on and
08:33 inhabit Valhalla, the hole of the slain.
08:38 But one thing we know is certain.
08:41 They can't all be right.
08:43 But what all these cultures have in common is that they all
08:47 believe 'death' is not the end.
08:51 They all believe something happens beyond one's final
08:56 William Saroyan's 'Now What?' question gets answered.
09:01 The late actress Marlene Dietrich said once, 'when
09:05 you're dead, you're dead.
09:07 That's it.' But that's not what most cultures and peoples
09:11 have taught down through the ages.
09:13 It seems as though as if most people an innate sense, that
09:16 there is something beyond one's final breath.
09:21 Does the Bible teach us what happens after a person dies?
09:23 Yes it does.
09:25 And to clearly understand where the Bible is coming from on
09:27 this, let's look at a well know case study.
09:30 Lazarus was a dear friend of Jesus.
09:33 He was the brother of Mary and Martha.
09:37 They, who were also friends of Jesus.
09:40 They lived in Bethany, about 2 miles outside Jerusalem, and
09:42 Lazarus died.
09:44 Four days after Lazarus died, Jesus came to Bethany.
09:49 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming to town, got up and ran
09:52 to meet Jesus.
09:55 And when she saw Jesus she said, 'Lord, if you had been here,
09:59 my brother would have not died.' You see, she had great
10:02 faith of Jesus ability to bless and to heal.
10:06 And she had an idea that death need not be the end for her
10:12 She said to Jesus, 'Even now, I believe whatever you ask of
10:15 God, God will give it to you.' It was, it was a prayer if you
10:22 And Jesus said this to Martha; he agreed with her that death
10:28 was not the end.
10:31 He said, 'Martha, your brother shall rise again.' You see,
10:36 Jesus told very clearly that after death, there would be a
10:41 As a matter of fact, Jesus told in the bible that there would be
10:45 two resurrections.
10:46 I want you to know something, only one of them you want to be
10:52 part of.
10:53 I'll tell you more about that in a moment.
10:56 In Matthew 4:4 the world of God says, It Is Written, 'Man
11:03 shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds
11:05 from the mouth of God.' Every Word is a one minute bible base
11:08 daily devotional presented by Pastor John Bradshaw and
11:13 designed specially for busy people like you.
11:15 Look for Every Word on selected networks or watch it on line
11:19 every day on our website, It Is Written dot com.
11:24 Receive a daily spiritual boost, watch Every Word, you'll be
11:28 glad you did.
11:29 Here is a sample.
11:38 I heard about some professional football players who went out to
11:40 dinner at a restaurant in Texas and ran up a bill of would you
11:45 believe it, fifty five thousand dollars.
11:48 Even if the entire 53 men had eaten and they didn't, that
11:53 would had been more than a thousand dollars a person.
11:55 In anyone's language, that's a waste of money.
11:57 God knows we waste our money, he says in Isaiah 55:2 why do you
12:01 spend money for what is not bread and your wages for what
12:05 does not satisfy?
12:07 So often we pursue things that a little or no value.
12:10 What are you spending your money on?
12:12 Or your time on?
12:14 If an audit was done in your life right now, would you be
12:16 satisfied with what you are investing your life in?
12:19 This verse talks to us about priorities.
12:22 What's most important to you?
12:23 I'm John Bradshaw for It Is Written; let's live today by
12:27 Every Word.
12:33 Cemeteries like this are usually peaceful places.
12:35 For some people cemeteries are painful places, because they
12:38 represent love ones lost, life gone.
12:43 Something precious that has been taken away.
12:48 Not long ago I officiated in a funeral service for a 12 year
12:50 old boy who was laid to rest here in this cemetery.
12:54 He died after a rather tragic turn of events.
12:58 And you can imagine, it was a very, very said affair.
13:00 However, I can tell you this.
13:01 That funeral services was colored by hope.
13:05 Very real hope.
13:10 Because it was known that one day is going to be a
13:13 Now, Jesus comment on this directly.
13:14 Speaking to a crowd of people one day he said this words which
13:17 are recorded in John chapter 5, verses 28 and 29.
13:22 Jesus said, 'Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in
13:26 the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and
13:29 shall come forth.
13:32 They that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and
13:36 they that have done evil unto the resurrection of
13:40 damnation.' Two resurrections, one you want to be in.
13:47 that's the resurrection to life, the other, the
13:52 resurrection of damnation.
13:54 Now, without going into all of the details about the
13:56 resurrection of damnation just now, it's pretty obvious that
14:00 that's not a resurrection that you or I would want to be in.
14:04 two resurrections.
14:06 And there we have the answer to the 'Now what?' question.
14:11 There is going to be a resurrection one day.
14:17 Now, let's go back to the story of Lazarus.
14:19 Jesus had told Martha, Your brother, Lazarus, shall rise
14:26 Now, Jesus and Martha are joined by Mary outside Bethany.
14:30 And Jesus says to them, 'I am the resurrection and the life.
14:38 He who believes in me, even though that person was dead,
14:40 that person shall live again.
14:43 Jesus gave them very real hope.
14:44 That there'll no only be a resurrection one day, but a
14:48 resurrection that anybody who chooses to accept God's great
14:57 gift can participate in.
15:00 Jesus then says, take me and show me where Lazarus is laid,
15:03 where he is buried.
15:05 So they went to Lazarus's graveside.
15:07 Now, Lazarus wasn't buried in a cemetery like this.
15:10 He was buried in the equivalent of that age.
15:15 In fact, when they go to Lazarus grave they discovered Lazarus
15:19 was buried unsurprisingly in a cave, in a tomb.
15:22 And in front of that cave, a large stone had been rolled for
15:24 what I think pretty obvious reasons.
15:26 Jesus then made a radical request.
15:30 He said, take away the stone from in front of the grave.
15:33 The people protested, oh, you don't really want us to do
15:38 Now, I can understand why they protested for experience.
15:42 I attended a funeral service for a man who had been dead like
15:44 Lazarus for four days.
15:46 This was in a place where embalming was not practiced.
15:49 Let's just say it wasn't pretty.
15:54 I can understand why they did not want to stone rolled away.
15:56 But Jesus was insistent, take away the stone.
15:59 And they did.
16:03 And then Jesus to the amazement of everybody around addressed
16:11 Lazarus, he cried out and he said, Lazarus, Come forth!
16:14 Have you ever wonder what the people in that group that day
16:16 were thinking?
16:17 He's asking to get up and walk out of a cave?
16:20 What's he thinking?
16:21 Jesus said, Lazarus, come forth.
16:23 And then to the amazement of everybody who looked on, clad in
16:30 gave cloths, Lazarus walked out of that tomb.
16:33 They took the grave cloth off him and Lazarus who had been
16:37 dead was very much alive.
16:38 Now, we don't know how long Lazarus lived after that
16:45 resurrection whether short of long, the bible doesn't say.
16:48 But we know he lived.
16:49 And we can be certain he was glad to have his life given back
16:53 to him.
16:54 We can be certain that his family was glad to receive him
17:02 And we can be 100 percent certain that the people looking
17:04 on were absolutely amazed.
17:06 Lazarus had been raised from the dead.
17:09 This was a foreshadowing of what will happen one day.
17:14 Jesus said in John 5 there'd be two resurrections.
17:18 The one we want to be in is the resurrection to life.
17:23 How can we be certain that we can have a place in the
17:26 resurrection to life.
17:28 I'll tell you how in just a moment.
17:31 It is written is dedicated to sharing the gospel around the
17:36 To discover more about It Is Written, I invite you to visit
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17:40 And browse a dozen of pages that describe what we do and how we
17:44 do it.
17:45 Let's get to know each other better.
17:51 Visit out website It Is Written dot com, today.
17:53 One of the most difficult things a person can be called upon to
17:56 experience is the death of a love one.
17:58 Extremely difficult.
18:00 But even in the midst of that, God does not leave us without
18:05 God offers us very real hope that one day there will be a
18:11 In the Bible we have the story of Lazarus, the dear friend of
18:15 The brother of Mary and Martha, who after he'd been dead for
18:18 four days, was raised from the dead when Jesus called out to
18:21 him and said, 'Lazarus, come forth!' There are many other
18:25 stories in the bible dealing with resurrections as well.
18:28 In the world of God we have the widow of Nain who had her son
18:33 given back to her from the dead through the power of Jesus.
18:40 Then there is the twelve-year-old daughter of a
18:43 man named Jairus.
18:45 Again, Jesus intervened, turned death back into life.
18:50 And the man was able to receive his beloved daughter again.
18:54 Also in the bible in the book of Acts, there is the story of a
18:57 man named Eutychus who fell asleep and fell out of a third
19:00 floor window down to the ground and he died.
19:06 Now, he didn't fall asleep because the preacher Paul was a
19:10 boring preacher.
19:12 He fell asleep because it'd been a long day and he was
19:14 simply tired.
19:15 But the preacher Paul went down to the ground where Eutychus
19:19 laid and God worked through Paul.
19:21 The power of God worked through the great apostle and Eutychus
19:25 came back from the dead.
19:27 And then there is a remarkable story.
19:29 You read about this in the book of 2 kings and chapter 13.
19:33 A man was on his way of being buried.
19:36 And that, because there was an invasion taking place a roaring
19:40 army approaching town, his family just very hurriedly just
19:44 put his body in the nearest available tomb.
19:47 It happened to be the tomb of Elisha.
19:49 And this man's body went into that tomb, and then touch the
19:54 bones, it was put so close to the bones of Elisha, I guess
19:58 touching the bones of Elisha, and because he touched the bones
20:03 of the dead prophet, this man came back to life.
20:06 Can you imagine the surprise of the family; in fact can you
20:08 imagine the surprise of the dead man coming back to life,
20:12 discovering he was in a tomb.
20:14 Just one of many.
20:16 There are other stories besides in the world of God.
20:19 I am not suggesting for a moment I don't want you to
20:22 misunderstand me.
20:24 I am not suggesting for a moment that these people are raised to
20:27 They weren't.
20:28 They were raised to life, and they lived again, presumably, we
20:31 expect, they died again.
20:33 So they are called upon to experience being resurrected
20:40 God says there is going to be a resurrection.
20:44 Ttwo resurrections, one the resurrection of damnation.
20:48 But the one that we are most interested today, the one we
20:50 want to be a part of, should not we be alive when Jesus returns
20:53 to this earth is the first resurrection, the resurrection
20:57 to life.
20:58 Okay, so how can you be certain that you can participate in the
21:03 resurrection to life?
21:06 It's this simple.
21:08 1 John 5: 12 says, 'he, or she that have the Son, have life.'
21:15 It goes on to say that he or she who have not the Son of God,
21:19 hath not life.
21:21 If you posses Jesus Christ by faith, if you believe in Him as
21:25 your personal Savior, as your Lord, if you would yield your
21:30 life to Him and invite Jesus to live his life in you, then you
21:37 have the Son.
21:37 And the world of God says that if you have the Son, you have
21:42 That's life in this world and should you die, life in the
21:46 world to come.
21:50 Because you would have faith in the One the bible calls the
21:53 resurrection and the life.
21:54 You can live in hope today.
21:55 You don't have to fear death.
21:57 I don't know too many people that embrace death gladly, I am
22:00 not say we are to do that.
22:01 But you don't have to fear death, because there is hope
22:02 beyond death.
22:03 I've spoke to people who've looked death straight in the
22:05 eye, knowing that they were going to die with peace in their
22:14 Why were they able to do that?
22:15 Is not that they were glad to be leaving, of course they were
22:18 going to miss their family and their love ones.
22:20 But here is what they knew.
22:23 They knew that one day there would be a resurrection.
22:25 The resurrection to life.
22:28 And they knew that because they had faith in Jesus Christ, they
22:33 would participate in that very resurrection.
22:37 They were able to die in faith; they were able to die in peace.
22:42 I read a story just the other day about a man in South Africa
22:45 who apparently died.
22:47 He had I think a terrible asthma attack.
22:50 His family presume that he was dead and they took him to the
22:53 local mortuary.
22:54 He was put in the refrigerator drawer in the mortuary.
22:58 About 21 hours later, mortuary staff was horrified and in fact
23:02 they were terrified.
23:04 They were panic stricken.
23:06 From a drawer in a mortuary they heard yelling, and shouting and
23:12 It was loud.
23:13 And they panicked.
23:14 They fled, they bolted out of the mortuary and out into the
23:19 They went and found the local police and said you need to come
23:22 down to the mortuary where there is something strange going on
23:25 I feel sorry for the police how sometimes they get the rough
23:28 They were brought to the mortuary to investigate this
23:29 terrible happening.
23:31 Screaming and yelling coming from a drawer where there should
23:36 have been absolute silence.
23:38 They went to the mortuary, opened up the drawer and found
23:42 the dead man very much alive.
23:46 Now, he was dehydrated, he was suffering from hypothermia, but
23:49 he was very much alive.
23:50 He was brought out of there, he was treated, and he was given
23:53 back to his family and he recuperated and he did well.
24:00 Of course the man wasn't really dead.
24:03 We could say back from the dead because he was presumed dead.
24:06 The truth is a mistake had been made, and he'd been alive all
24:11 Well, one day, Jesus is going to come back to this earth, and
24:16 those who were really dead and died in faith in Christ, died
24:20 with Jesus as their Savior, are going to participate in the
24:24 resurrection of life.
24:26 Cemeteries like this one all over the world are going to be
24:30 scenes of intense activity.
24:33 As grapes open up and as the bible says, the dead in Christ
24:38 Should you pass away before Jesus returns to this earth, you
24:41 can have very real hope today.
24:43 Because one day there is going to be a resurrection.
24:48 A resurrection of the just, a resurrection to life.
24:50 You can be part of that resurrection by knowing now that
24:53 Jesus truly is yours and that you truly are His.
24:57 Let's pray.
25:01 And tell Christ today that we want to be His.
25:05 Our Father in heaven, we thank you today that you don't leave
25:08 us without hope in this world, that there is hope in Jesus, and
25:13 we thank you today that death doesn't remove our hope.
25:16 We are grateful that we can know that one day there is going to
25:20 be a resurrection and that those who have chosen to accept your
25:23 gift of life and have chosen to accept your Son Jesus as Lord
25:27 and Savior, are going to participate in the resurrection
25:30 of life.
25:32 Lord if is not your plan that Jesus comes back while we are
25:35 still alive on this earth, then we want to tell you right now
25:38 that we want to be in the resurrection to life.
25:41 We want to be with you throughout all eternity.
25:43 And so today we choose Jesus and we choose life, and we thank you
25:46 for future assurance that we can experience here now.
25:53 We thank you in Jesus name, amen.
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27:47 And until then, please remember, It Is Written, man shall not
27:53 live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the
27:56 mouth of God.