State of the Dead

Absent From The Body & Present With The Lord

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: SOD

Program Code: SOD000005

00:01 If a man dies, shall he live again?
00:07 What does it mean to be absent from the body
00:09 and present with the Lord?
00:11 Did Jesus go with the thief to Paradise on Good Friday?
00:19 Did the souls of dead people really cry out
00:22 from below the altar?
00:25 Pastor Bohr answers these questions and more
00:28 in the amazing series
00:35 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
00:36 Our Father and our God, what a joy it is, once again,
00:41 to be in Your presence.
00:42 We're thankful, Father, for Your Holy Word, which is a sure guide
00:48 in a world that is so confused about many things.
00:52 And, Father, as we study one more topic on the subject of
00:57 life and death, we ask for the guidance of Your Holy Spirit.
01:01 I ask, Lord, that You will remove all preconceived ideas
01:05 from our minds, and from our hearts, and that You will help
01:09 us to understand the truth as it is in Jesus.
01:13 And we thank You, Father, for hearing our prayer,
01:16 for we ask it in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
01:22 In our study today we are going to take a look at a very complex
01:27 passage of the Apostle Paul.
01:30 Now let me tell you something about the Apostle Paul.
01:33 You know, there were two great pillars of the earliest church.
01:38 One of them was Peter, and the other one was Paul.
01:41 Now Peter was a fisherman: down-to-earth.
01:45 Most of what he wrote is easy to understand, although not
01:49 everything, because in our next lecture we're going to talk
01:51 about preaching to the spirits in prison.
01:53 But most of what he wrote could be grasped by the common,
01:58 ordinary person in the pew.
01:59 But the Apostle Paul was a philosopher,
02:02 and he was a theologian, trained in the schools of the Rabbis,
02:06 and, therefore, he wrote some things that are very complex
02:10 and difficult to understand.
02:12 Now Peter, in his second epistle, had this to say about
02:19 the writings of the Apostle Paul.
02:21 If you'll turn with me to chapter 3, and verses 15 and 16,
02:26 of the second gospel of Peter, we're going to see what Peter
02:32 had to say about Paul. It says there:
02:53 That is about salvation.
03:01 So you would say, Paul, why didn't you make yourself clear?
03:05 But Peter doesn't blame Paul.
03:07 He continues, saying:
03:22 So Peter doesn't blame Paul for being too complicated.
03:27 He blames those who are untaught and unstable for twisting
03:32 what the Apostle Paul really meant.
03:35 Now we're going to study today a passage that has been greatly
03:41 misunderstood by the Christian world.
03:44 We're going to take a look at 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.
03:52 This is the famous passage where the Apostle Paul speaks about
03:56 his desire to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.
04:02 And some Christians say clear as day that the Apostle Paul wanted
04:07 to die, and he wanted his soul to fly off to Heaven,
04:10 so that his soul could be immediately, upon death,
04:13 with the Lord. That is the way in which this passage
04:17 is interpreted by most Christians.
04:20 The question is, did the Apostle Paul mean to teach this?
04:27 First of all we want to take a look at the context;
04:30 the immediately preceding context.
04:33 Let's go to 2 Corinthian 4:16-18, and I want you to
04:39 notice that the Apostle Paul is contrasting our present
04:43 existence in this world, with our future existence in Heaven
04:50 when Jesus comes. Here the Apostle Paul makes a series of
04:56 contrasts between the here and now, and the sweet by and by,
05:00 if you please. Beginning with verse 16:
05:11 By the way, that's our body as we know it now.
05:18 That is our spiritual nature.
05:37 Do you see the two things that he's comparing?
05:39 He's comparing our light affliction now with the
05:42 exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
05:45 when Jesus comes. Verse 18:
05:50 That's the here and now.
05:54 Those are the things of Heaven.
05:59 In other words, this world is going to pass.
06:06 Those are the heavenly things.
06:09 So the Apostle Paul, in the immediately preceding context,
06:13 is contrasting this life, which has affliction.
06:19 This life which is temporal, with the future life
06:23 where we will experience joy, and where we will live eternally
06:28 with the Lord. Now with this context, we want to take a look
06:33 at the passage that we're going to especially study today.
06:37 Let's go to 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:1.
06:45 Here the Apostle Paul says:
07:12 Now notice that the Apostle Paul is contrasting the tent that we
07:17 live in now, with a building that God has reserved for us
07:24 later. Now there's some important terminology in
07:28 this verse. The first term is the word tent.
07:33 The King James Version translates it tabernacle,
07:37 but the New King James calls it a tent.
07:41 The tent represents the transitory body, corruptible
07:48 mortal body that we live in now, which upon the moment of death,
07:54 is dissolved. But then you'll notice that the Apostle Paul
07:58 speaks about a building that God has reserved for us in Heaven.
08:04 By the way, the word building is in contrast to tent.
08:09 The word tent is skenoo in Greek.
08:12 The word building, the building that God has for us in Heaven,
08:17 is the word oikotedion.
08:18 It's not a tent. It is a permanent solid building
08:23 with foundations. So what the Apostle Paul is contrasting here
08:28 is our present earthly house that we live in,
08:33 which we're going to notice is our body, which is a tent,
08:37 corruptible, which can be dissolved with the building
08:42 that God has prepared for us in Heaven,
08:44 our immortal and incorruptible body that will last throughout
08:50 eternity. Now it's important to realize, in this verse,
08:54 that the Apostle Paul says that we already have that building
09:00 in Heaven. He doesn't say we will have that building,
09:05 he says we have a building now.
09:08 In other words, if you believe that the soul of man
09:13 is immortal, and that the soul of man is a building,
09:18 then there are two entities to man: there's the soul,
09:22 which is a building, and then God also has a building prepared
09:25 in Heaven. You would have two buildings.
09:27 The fact is that the Apostle Paul is telling us here,
09:31 he's contrasting our earthly body with the incorruptible,
09:39 immortal body that we will have when Jesus comes.
09:43 Now let's take a look at the word tent that is used here.
09:48 You know that a tent is very transitory, right?
09:52 It's not permanent. It can dissolve and corrupt
09:57 very easily. Let's turn in our Bibles to Job 4:19 to see what
10:04 our present house is.
10:07 It says there in Job 4:19:
10:25 What do we live in now?
10:27 We live in houses of what? houses of clay composed of dust.
10:34 What happens in the course of time with clay?
10:38 It breaks, it's brittle; like a tent it dissolves.
10:42 Notice also Job 10:9, Job 10:9. Here Job says:
11:05 So what is the house that we live in now?
11:11 You'll notice that the Apostle Paul uses the terminology,
11:14 earthly house, this tent.
11:16 Job speaks about our earthly house made of what? of clay.
11:21 It is fragile, it is breakable, and it can be dissolved.
11:27 But the Apostle Paul is saying that the building that God has
11:31 for us in Heaven is eternal, permanent,
11:34 and it cannot be dissolved.
11:36 Now let's read a passage from the writings
11:40 of the Apostle Peter where he speaks about the tent,
11:44 and the building. Notice 2 Peter 1:13-15,
11:50 2 Peter 1:13-15. Here the Apostle Peter says this:
12:04 What does he mean by, as long as I am in this tent?
12:08 He's saying, as long as I am in this present corruptible,
12:12 mortal body, so he says:
12:26 What does he mean by putting off his tent?
12:29 It means that the tent is going to dissolve.
12:33 The house of clay is going to disintegrate, in other words.
12:38 He continues saying:
12:54 By the way, that word decease is the same one that's used
12:57 in Luke 9:31 where Jesus spoke about Him with Moses and Elijah;
13:02 about Himself going to Jerusalem to experience His decease,
13:07 which is speaking about what?
13:09 It's speaking about death.
13:11 So the question is, when is Peter going to lay off this
13:16 present corruptible, dissolvable tent?
13:19 It's going to be at the moment of his what? of his decease.
13:23 That's when he lays off his tent.
13:27 Now you notice that the Apostle Paul says here that we have
13:33 a building in Heaven which is made without hands.
13:40 What does that mean? a building made without hands?
13:45 Well, let's turn in our Bibles to Mark 14:58, Mark 14:58.
13:53 Here the enemies of Jesus are accusing Him of saying
14:00 something, and they're using it against Him
14:03 to condemn Him to death.
14:04 It says, Mark 14:58, actually, Jesus has said that He's going
14:10 to resurrect the third day and so they say, secure the tomb,
14:15 so that the third day they can't come and steal His body,
14:19 and then say that He actually resurrected. Notice:
14:31 So His temple was made with what? hands.
14:42 They say that's what Jesus said.
14:45 And so we'd better guard the tomb to make sure that they
14:50 don't steal the body, and then they say that Jesus resurrected.
14:53 By the way, what did Jesus mean when He said,
14:56 destroy this temple?
14:58 What was He talking about?
14:59 If you read John 2:19-21, it says that He was speaking about
15:05 the temple of His body.
15:08 He was speaking about the temple of His body.
15:11 In other words, the temple made with hands was the body of Jesus
15:20 that went into the grave.
15:22 Are you with me or not?
15:23 What was the temple that was made without hands?
15:30 It was actually the glorified immortal, incorruptible body
15:35 that Jesus received at the moment of His what?
15:38 At the moment of His resurrection.
15:41 So you'll notice Jesus says, destroy this temple and in three
15:45 days I will raise it up.
15:47 Destroy this temple made with hands and in three days I will
15:50 raise it up a temple not made with hands.
15:53 He's contrasting His present corruptible, mortal body with
15:58 the body which is immortal and incorruptible,
16:01 that He would receive after his resurrection.
16:05 Now lets notice another text that speaks about not made
16:11 with hands, and what it means.
16:13 Go with me to Hebrews 9:11.
16:16 It's speaking here about the sanctuary.
16:20 And the earthly sanctuary was a copy of the heavenly one.
16:23 The earthly one was made with hands, but the heavenly one
16:26 was made without hands.
16:28 That is because God made it.
16:30 Notice Hebrews 9:11:
16:42 By the way, this is the Heavenly temple.
16:52 Are you understanding what this is saying?
16:55 In Heaven there is a temple that's not made with human
17:00 hands, because it was made by God's hands.
17:03 On earth there was an earthly sanctuary that was built
17:06 by human hands. What is being contrasted is the present body
17:11 of Jesus, mortal and corruptible, which comes as a
17:16 result of being born from a human mother, and the body which
17:21 His Father prepared for Him in Heaven that He gave Jesus
17:24 when Jesus resurrected from the dead.
17:28 By the way, did Jesus have a real body before He died?
17:32 Oh that's, that's a ridiculous question.
17:36 Of course. He got tired, He ate, He walked, He had flesh and
17:41 blood. You can read it in the gospels.
17:44 He had a body before His death.
17:48 Like what kind of body was that?
17:49 Was it a body of clay, so to speak?
17:52 Was it a tent that could be dissolved?
17:56 Of course, He died! What kind of body did Jesus receive after
18:00 His resurrection? Was it still a physical body?
18:03 Yes, but it was a spiritual, physical body, if you might say.
18:07 In other words, it was a body that was incorruptible,
18:11 and immortal. It was not subject to being dissolved.
18:15 Are you with me or not?
18:16 Now let's read about that in Luke 24:39.
18:21 This is speaking about the post resurrection body of Jesus.
18:24 It says there:
18:40 So did Jesus have flesh and bones after His resurrection?
18:44 Sure. What kind of building did Jesus have
18:47 after His resurrection?
18:48 It was not a tent, it was a building.
18:53 It was not a oskane, it was an oikoterian.
18:57 In other words, a permanent, solid building,
19:00 kind of like in the wilderness.
19:02 Israel had a tent with them which was the tabernacle.
19:07 Later on, when they settled in the promised land,
19:09 what did they build?
19:11 They built a solid, permanent, what? temple.
19:14 And so that's the contrast between a tent and a solid
19:18 building, which cannot be dissolved.
19:20 It continues saying, in verse 41:
19:40 So did Jesus eat food like a normal person would with a body?
19:46 Absolutely, yes. By the way, are God's people going to eat
19:49 in Heaven? Are they going to eat in the New Earth?
19:52 The Bible says we're going to eat from the Tree of Life,
19:54 so we must have some type of digestive system,
19:58 but it's going to be an incorruptible, and immortal
20:03 body. Now do you understand what the Apostle Paul is
20:06 trying to say in verse 1?
20:07 He's contrasting our present earthly tent: provisional,
20:13 temporary, corruptible, can be easily dissolved,
20:16 with the building that God has prepared in Heaven.
20:20 Notice that the building exists as Paul is writing.
20:24 The building, the permanent body, incorruptible, immortal,
20:28 not temporal, not subject to being dissolved.
20:31 That is the resurrection body, in other words.
20:35 Now let's go to verse 2, 2 Corinthians 5:2.
20:43 The Apostle Paul continues saying:
20:49 In other words, in this tent we what?
20:52 We groan in this tent. Why do we groan?
21:07 So why is the Apostle Paul groaning? because he wants to be
21:12 clothed upon by his habitation, which God has
21:16 at that very moment where?
21:19 In Heaven for Him. Now the question is, is the Apostle Paul
21:23 groaning here because he wants his immortal soul to leave his
21:26 body, and to go to Heaven to be with the Lord?
21:28 Absolutely not! Let's notice another parallel verse about
21:34 what the Apostle Paul groaned about.
21:35 Romans 8:23, Romans 8:23.
21:42 The Apostle Paul is speaking here about the resurrection
21:49 when Jesus comes. And he says this:
22:04 There's the same word.
22:09 By the way, did he say earnestly desiring in 2 Corinthians 5?
22:12 Yes, he says here:
22:16 ...for our soul to fly off to Heaven to be with the Lord.
22:19 No, that's not what it says.
22:27 What was the Apostle Paul groaning for?
22:30 Did he want his soul to leave the body so he could be present
22:32 with the Lord? No, he wanted to leave his tent here;
22:36 corruptible, dissolvable, mortal, and he wanted God to
22:41 give him his resurrected body; the body that is not subject
22:45 to corruption; the building, the solid building that does not
22:49 corrupt or dissolve.
22:50 Are you with me? Now let's notice 2 Corinthians 5:2,
22:57 and let's go on to verse 3.
22:58 The Apostle Paul is now going to introduce a third option.
23:02 You see, the first option is the tent.
23:05 No good! The second option is the building that God has for
23:13 Paul at that very moment.
23:15 But now the Apostle Paul presents a third option,
23:18 a third possibility.
23:20 He says here in verse 2: For in this we groan,
23:24 earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation,
23:30 which is from heaven:
23:32 What is he groaning for?
23:34 He wants to be clothed with the habitation,
23:37 or with the building that God has from Heaven. Notice this:
23:49 Now wait a minute, so there's a tent that we are clothed with,
23:54 that's our present body, corruptible, dissolvable;
23:57 there's the building that God has prepared at the time of the
24:00 resurrection, but if for some reason we don't receive the
24:04 building, and we lay aside our tent, what condition are we in?
24:10 Naked, according to the Apostle Paul.
24:12 By the way, in 1 Thessalonians 4 he calls it sleeping.
24:16 And in other places he calls it dead.
24:20 They're all the same concept with different terminology.
24:26 Now, the Apostle Paul then presents three options.
24:29 The first is to be clothed with our present tabernacle,
24:32 that's our present corruptible, mortal body.
24:34 The other is to be clothed upon with our heavenly building
24:38 at the moment of the resurrection.
24:40 The other option is not to be clothed at all with the present
24:44 body, or with the future body, and he says that that means
24:47 to be what? to be naked.
24:50 In other places he says asleep, and other places he says dead.
24:55 Are you with me? Now let's go to 2 Corinthians 5:4,
25:00 and I want you to notice four terms in this verse.
25:08 Which tent? our present corruptible, mortal body.
25:17 Remember that word.
25:21 Is this body a burden?
25:24 It most certainly is.
25:25 Now notice this:
25:29 Does the Apostle Paul want to be unclothed?
25:32 Does he want to be naked?
25:33 Does he want to go and be present with the Lord
25:36 without a body? Of course not! He says:
25:44 That's the first word I want us to notice.
25:54 Remember that, further clothed.
25:56 That's number two.
26:00 That's number three.
26:06 That's number four.
26:08 Remember those terms: groan, 2. further clothed 3. mortality,
26:15 4. swallowed up. Now let's go to 1 Corinthians 15:50-55,
26:23 1 Corinthians 15:50-55.
26:27 Here the Apostle Paul is speaking, not about the soul
26:31 leaving the body at the moment of death to go and be with
26:33 the Lord, the Apostle Paul is here talking about the
26:36 resurrection from the dead.
26:38 And notice the terminology that he uses.
26:46 We've already discussed this.
26:53 Is that the same thing as saying the tent and the building?
26:56 The tent is the corruption.
26:58 The building is what? incorruption. Verse 51:
27:18 Now notice this:
27:24 By the way, that means to be clothed in the Greek.
27:34 ...what? Remember that mortality was going to be
27:38 swallowed up by life?
27:39 Does that happen at the moment of death, or at the moment of
27:41 the resurrection? It says:
28:03 ...what? Remember this expression?...
28:14 Question, what was the Apostle Paul groaning about?
28:16 He wanted the redemption of his what? of his body.
28:21 When is it that the mortal is clothed with immortality?
28:25 At the resurrection.
28:27 When is it that death is swallowed up in victory?
28:31 At the resurrection.
28:32 The Apostle Paul must explain the Apostle Paul.
28:37 In other words, we cannot just take our presuppositions
28:41 from the twenty-first century and impose them upon scripture.
28:45 Now the question is, when is it that this takes place?
28:49 that corruption is taken away, and incorruption is given
28:54 in its place? that mortality is removed,
28:57 and immortality is given?
28:59 Notice Philippians 3:20, 21 where the Apostle Paul speaks
29:03 about the building that God is going to give us,
29:05 and what that building is going to be like.
29:08 By the way, it's the same type of building that Jesus got
29:11 when He resurrected.
29:13 Notice Philippians 3:20, 21.
29:17 Here the Apostle Paul says:
29:28 See the terminology again?
29:34 Do we eagerly wait for Him to come and take us to Heaven
29:37 when we die? No, notice: who will transform our lowly body...
29:47 Is that the tent? Is that the tent, the corruptible,
29:51 immortal tent? Yes.
29:58 Is that the building that God has in Heaven? Absolutely!
30:08 By the way, that building is already assured in Heaven,
30:13 and do you know why? because God has given us already
30:15 the down payment through the Holy Spirit.
30:17 Notice 2 Corinthians 5:5.
30:21 This is not wishful thinking.
30:23 We have the building because we have the Holy Spirit,
30:28 who is the down payment, or the security deposit, if you please.
30:32 It says there:
30:46 A better translation would be an earnest, or a security deposit,
30:50 or a down payment. Notice 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22,
30:56 speaking about this down payment again being the Holy Spirit.
31:01 It says there in 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22:
31:04 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed
31:10 us, is God; who also has what? sealed us, and given us the
31:19 Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
31:23 So is this idea after receiving the Heavenly building
31:26 wishful thinking? No, we have the assurance in Heaven,
31:31 because He has given us the Holy Spirit as the guarantee.
31:35 Notice also Ephesians 1:13, 14, Ephesians 1:13,14. It says here:
32:10 What guarantee do we have now that we're going to get the
32:13 promised possession, that we're going to get the building
32:15 in the future, and our body is going to be redeemed?
32:18 God has given us, in the present, His what? His Spirit.
32:22 By the way, Jesus resurrected the first fruits to show that
32:27 there will be last fruits.
32:29 The Holy Spirit is the guarantee, and the resurrection
32:32 of Jesus is the guarantee, not some immortal soul.
32:35 Notice 1 Corinthians 15:17-23, the emphasis of the Apostle Paul
32:41 on Jesus as the first fruits, and the fact that there will be
32:44 last fruits, if you please.
32:45 Because Jesus lives, His people will live in the future.
32:50 Notice 1 Corinthians 15 beginning with verse 17:
33:05 Let me ask you, are those the ones who are unclothed?
33:08 Are those the ones who are naked, so to speak?
33:11 Yes, because they don't have their present mortal body,
33:15 and they don't have their what?
33:17 They don't have their immortal body.
33:19 Did the Apostle Paul want to be naked?
33:23 Because some people say, oh it would be nice to die,
33:25 and then tonight I can be with the Lord.
33:27 The fact is the Apostle Paul says, I don't want to be
33:31 unclothed, because he knew that death was sleep.
33:35 He wanted to go and be present with the Lord at the moment
33:39 of the resurrection.
33:40 He wanted to be alive.
33:41 That's why he says in 1 Thessalonians 4, he says:
33:43 we who are alive and remain will be caught up together
33:47 with those who died in Christ. Notice verse 18:
33:55 If Jesus has not risen, then those who have died have what?
33:59 In Christ? are perished.
34:03 Now wait a minute. I guess then they would have to get a return
34:07 ticket for their soul from Heaven.
34:09 See, it doesn't make much sense.
34:14 The Apostle Paul says:
34:47 When is it that we're going to be with the Lord? at His coming.
34:50 When is it that we're going to receive the building?
34:53 At His coming. If we should die we lay out the tent.
34:56 The tent dissolves, but we don't have to worry.
34:59 We have the guarantee of the Holy Spirit.
35:01 And when Jesus comes He's going to give us that building
35:04 that He's prepared for us; that immortal, incorruptible body.
35:08 Are you all with me?
35:09 Now, let's go also to Romans 8:11;
35:14 speaking once again about the Spirit.
35:17 If the Spirit that resurrected Jesus is in us, God is going to
35:22 resurrect us as well, because the Holy Spirit
35:24 is the down payment. Notice:
35:43 So those who have the Spirit, do we have to fear death?
35:46 Do we have to fear that our present earthly, corruptible,
35:50 tent is going to dissolve?
35:52 Absolutely not. Do we have to even fear and be naked,
35:56 so to speak? Absolutely not, because God has given us the
36:00 Holy Spirit, we know that when Jesus comes He's going to bring
36:04 that building, and He's going to give us the building.
36:07 He's going to give us the immortal, incorruptible body.
36:11 And now we come to the verse which has been greatly
36:16 misunderstood. We've set the stage for the verse
36:19 that has been misunderstood, 2 Corinthians 5:6, 7.
36:29 The Apostle Paul says.
36:37 Which body? You tell me which body.
36:40 While we are at home in the tent.
36:43 While we are at home in this corruptible, weak, mortal
36:50 temporal body, we are what?
36:54 He says, we are absent from the Lord.
37:01 Are you understanding what he is saying?
37:03 While we are present in the tent, we are what? we are absent
37:09 from the Lord the Apostle Paul says.
37:12 Now, is the Apostle Paul saying that he wants to be absent
37:19 from the body so he can be present with the Lord
37:22 immediately upon death?
37:23 See, this is the way that Christians read in.
37:26 They say, so we are always confident knowing that while
37:29 we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
37:34 But, you see, when we lay down our body immediately after death
37:40 our soul goes to Heaven and is present with the Lord.
37:43 Is that what the text says?
37:45 No, the text simply says that while we live in our corruptible
37:49 tent at this moment, we are what?
37:52 We are absent from the Lord.
37:56 And then the Apostle Paul says, in verse 7, For we walk by
38:03 faith, not by what? not by sight.
38:07 Now why would he include that parenthetical statement there,
38:11 we walk by faith not by sight?
38:13 Let me ask you, do we have to believe by faith that someday
38:20 Jesus is going to give us that incorruptible, immortal body?
38:24 We're not up there; we're here.
38:28 Right? And so we have to accept it how? by faith.
38:34 How about when we get there?
38:36 Will we have to accept it by faith anymore?
38:39 No, because we will walk by what?
38:42 We'll walk by sight.
38:44 So the Apostle Paul is saying, Now, while we're in the tent,
38:47 we have the promise of the building.
38:49 It hasn't come yet, he says, so now we have to walk by faith.
38:53 We have the down payment of the Holy Spirit, and we know that
38:56 some day soon we're going to get the building,
38:58 because we have faith that God has promised,
39:01 and that He will fulfill His promise.
39:03 He says, but when we get there, we're not going to walk by faith
39:06 anymore, because we'll be there.
39:08 We'll have the building.
39:09 So he says, then we will walk how?
39:13 We will walk by sight.
39:15 By the way, Hebrews 11:1 amplifies this thought.
39:19 Hebrews 11:1 says, faith is the substance of things hoped for,
39:27 the evidence of things not seen.
39:33 What was the Apostle Paul hoping for?
39:35 Well, he was hoping that he could die and fly off to heaven
39:39 in his soul to be with the Lord, right?
39:40 Of course not. What was he hoping for?
39:44 He was hoping for the moment when Jesus would come to give
39:49 him his immortal, and incorruptible building.
39:52 But did he have to accept that by faith?
39:55 Faith is the substance of things that we what? we hope for,
40:00 the evidence of things that we cannot yet what? see.
40:06 So we walk by faith, not by sight.
40:10 Are you following me?
40:11 Now let's go to Romans 8:24.
40:14 The Apostle Paul speaks about this hope, this hope that he
40:20 eagerly waits for, which is the redemption of his body.
40:23 Notice Romans 8:24.
40:40 Let me ask; you say, Oh I hope someday to get to Heaven.
40:44 If I'm already there, why do I need hope?
40:48 Are you with me? The Apostle Paul is saying, for we were
40:53 saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope,
40:56 for why does one still hope for what he sees?
41:00 In other words, if you already have your immortal,
41:03 incorruptible building, you're not going to say, Oh, I hope
41:06 someday the Lord will give me my incorruptible,
41:09 immortal building. We walk by faith, not by sight.
41:14 But let me ask you, is our faith wishful thinking?
41:17 Is faith like saying, Oh, I hope so?
41:21 I hope someday God is going to give me, you know,
41:24 the building. Absolutely not!
41:26 We can be certain because God has given us the Spirit.
41:29 We can be certain because Jesus is the first fruits.
41:33 Jesus is alive! Our hope is not in flying off to Heaven
41:37 at the moment of death.
41:38 The Apostle Paul is not saying that he wants to immediately
41:41 when he dies, he wants to be absent from the body,
41:44 and present with the Lord.
41:45 Notice 2 Corinthians 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:8.
41:50 Let's read verse 7 again for the context.
41:53 He says, so we are always confident, knowing that while
41:57 we are at home in the body, that is in this tent,
42:00 we are absent from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
42:06 By the way, that's in parentheses in most Bibles.
42:09 And then he continues his argument in verse 8.
42:17 that our immortal soul be absent from the body
42:23 immediately after death, and be present with the Lord,
42:26 immediately after death.
42:28 That's the way it's read.
42:31 Christians inject into the text the idea that immediately after
42:37 death, and that it's the soul that is absent from the body.
42:41 The word soul is not used, and the word immediately is not used
42:45 either. So when the Apostle Paul says, we are confident, yes,
42:50 well pleased rather to be absent from the body.
42:53 What does he mean by absent from the body?
42:55 He says, I want to get away from this corruptible, mortal,
42:59 destructible, dissolvable tent, and I want to be present with
43:05 the Lord how? as an immortal soul, or I want to be present
43:08 with the Lord with the building that He has prepared for me;
43:11 eternal, everlasting, incorruptible, immortal.
43:16 Are you understanding what Paul is saying here?
43:18 He's saying we are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be
43:24 absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
43:27 Now the question is, when did the Apostle Paul expect the dead
43:30 to be present with the Lord?
43:31 We have to let Paul explain Paul.
43:35 Notice 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
44:22 When is it that we're always going to be with the Lord?
44:24 at the moment of death, or is it at the moment of the
44:27 resurrection of the dead?
44:28 The Apostle Paul makes it clear.
44:31 It's at the moment of the resurrection of the dead.
44:33 Notice once again, what the Apostle Paul had to say in
44:37 1 Corinthians 15:50-55.
44:40 I mean it's so clear!
44:41 How can you get away from this?
44:43 Don't inject into the Bible your preconceived notions
44:47 and ideas. Don't say, oh no, the Apostle Paul wanted to be
44:50 absent from the body so that his soul could be present
44:52 with the Lord. The word soul isn't there.
44:54 Oh, he wanted to be absent from the body,
44:56 the moment he died, immediately he wanted to be present
44:59 with the Lord. The word soul and the word immediately is not
45:02 there, so we need to know when Paul expected to be present
45:06 with the Lord. Raise your hand if you're understanding
45:08 what I'm saying. Praise the Lord!
45:10 Now, 1 Corinthians 15:50.
45:14 Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit
45:17 the kingdom of God. That means the tent can't inherit
45:20 the kingdom of God, right? because it's corruptible.
45:22 Nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
45:26 Is he comparing the same two modes of existence that he does
45:30 in 2 Corinthians 5? Absolutely!
45:32 Behold I tell you a mystery; We shall not all sleep,
45:35 in other words, we're not all going to be naked,
45:40 but we shall all be what? changed.
45:43 When will we receive our building from Heaven?
45:46 When is it that we're going to be changed? this tent is going
45:49 to be changed to a building?
45:51 It says, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
45:54 at the last trumpet: for the trumpet will sound, and the dead
45:58 will be raised incorruptible...
45:59 In other words, we're going to receive our building.
46:01 ...and we shall be changed.
46:03 For this corruptible must put on
46:07 incorruption, and this mortal
46:11 must put on immortality
46:14 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption,
46:16 and this mortal has put on immortality,
46:18 then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written,
46:22 Death is swallowed up in victory.
46:24 O death, where is your sting?
46:26 O Hades where is your victory?
46:29 So the Apostle Paul has presented three options.
46:33 Option 1. to live presently in the tent, in our corruptible,
46:41 mortal, temporal body that can dissolve.
46:47 The second option is that when Jesus comes we'll receive our
46:53 building from Heaven, and therefore, we will be present
46:57 with the Lord. The third option is in-between for those who die
47:04 in Christ. They will not be clothed with their tent,
47:08 and they will not be clothed with the building.
47:10 They will be what? naked, asleep, or dead.
47:18 Now some people say, Pastor I don't like that.
47:21 You know, we're going to be separated from the Lord,
47:24 and then until Jesus comes.
47:25 Well, the dead people don't know it.
47:26 For dead people there's no separation,
47:30 because they're unconscious.
47:32 For unconscious people there's no passing of time.
47:35 So let's take Adam who died when he was 930 years old;
47:43 over 5,000 years ago.
47:46 When Jesus calls Adam from the grave, and Adam resurrects,
47:52 he says, how long has gone by?
47:56 Oh, 5,000 and some years.
47:58 No, I just died an instant ago!
48:02 You see, there's no passing of time for the dead person.
48:06 A dead person can't be separated from the Lord,
48:08 because he doesn't know it.
48:09 So for the dead person the next thinking moment
48:14 he will be with the Lord.
48:15 In a certain sense it's true that as soon as a person dies
48:19 they go to Heaven.
48:21 Now let me explain that and qualify it
48:24 so that you don't misunderstand what I am saying.
48:26 From the perspective of the dead person, when that person
48:31 died right now, the next thinking moment he sees Jesus
48:34 coming on the clouds.
48:35 For him no time passed.
48:37 He goes to Heaven immediately after his what? after his death
48:42 even though 5,000 years plus have passed for Adam.
48:46 Are you with me? no separation.
48:50 Now, what is the critical issue for the Apostle Paul?
48:53 Now he's going to become practical in his theology.
48:56 2 Corinthians 5:9.
49:14 He says, what's the key? whether we're in the tent,
49:18 or later when we're in the building?
49:19 What's the important thing?
49:20 The important thing is to be what? to be pleasing to Him.
49:26 Folks this idea that man has an immortal soul that flies off to
49:35 Heaven at the moment of death, is a legacy that the Christian
49:40 church has received from Greek philosophy.
49:42 The Christian church has not received this from the Bible.
49:49 What they've done is they've received this from Greek
49:52 philosophy, and then they look for these texts and they inject
49:55 this idea into scripture, because they're thinking like
49:59 Greeks. They're not thinking like Hebrews, which deals with
50:06 the unity of the person.
50:08 There can be no separation between the soul and the body.
50:14 Incidentally, the Bible makes it very clear that our only hope
50:21 of life is not found in us in an immortal soul,
50:26 it's found in Jesus Christ.
50:28 So when you say that you have an immortal soul that even God
50:32 can't destroy... See they say that even the wicked
50:35 are going to burn forever in the fires of hell,
50:38 because they have a soul that's immortal, and even God can't
50:42 annilhate that soul, because He gave that soul immortality.
50:47 That's almost like saying that a person becomes God.
50:51 See, immortality is an attribute that belongs only to God.
50:55 It does not belong to man.
50:56 By the way, later on we're going to talk about those passages,
50:59 you know, where it speaks about man being destroyed with
51:02 eternal fire, and with everlasting destruction,
51:05 and so on. We're going to have a whole lecture where we'll deal
51:07 with those passages, and we're going to see that those passages
51:10 are not teaching what people think they're teaching.
51:13 Just like this one, people inject their personal views
51:16 into the text. Our only hope of life, folks,
51:21 is found in Jesus Christ.
51:23 I want to read a couple of texts before we draw this to a close.
51:28 Go with me to 1 John 5:11, 12, 1 John 5:11, 12.
51:37 Here the beloved disciple is categorical in what he says.
51:44 And this is the testimony, that God has given us eternal life,
51:52 and this life belongs to us.
51:58 Is that what it says? No.
52:03 God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
52:10 Eternal life is contingent.
52:14 It is derived. It is not inherent in man.
52:20 And then, in case you didn't understand that this life is
52:25 in His Son, John says, He who has the Son has life.
52:33 He who does not have the Son of God does not have life
52:40 in any way, shape, or form; no life in ourselves
52:48 outside of Jesus Christ.
52:49 It was the devil who said, You will not surely die,
52:54 but you shall be as God.
52:58 Go with me to John 11:25, 26.
53:04 This is a story of the resurrection of Lazarus.
53:09 He'd been dead for four days.
53:11 This is the greatest miracle of Jesus.
53:14 Jesus comes to the tomb.
53:16 Of course, Mary and Martha are crying.
53:20 They say, we know that he'll resurrect in the final day,
53:24 but we would like to have him alive now.
53:26 Notice what Jesus says in verses 25 and 26 of John 11.
53:54 What does Jesus mean when He says though he may die?
53:58 It would mean that we would lay aside our what?
54:04 The tent would dissolve.
54:06 What did He mean when He said, though he die,
54:09 yet shall he live. He means that immediately the person
54:12 dies, then he has a new life coming out of the soul out of
54:16 the body to Heaven.
54:17 Of course not! He's saying, I am the resurrection and the life.
54:22 He's not talking about going to Heaven after you die.
54:25 He's saying, He's speaking about the resurrection.
54:27 He says, I am the resurrection, and the life: he who believes
54:32 in me, though he may die, he shall live.
54:38 And now notice, verse 26:
54:47 Wait a minute, He just said that though he die,
54:50 yet shall he live. So he says, whoever receives Me
54:54 will never die. What kind of death is He talking about
54:57 when He says that he will never die?
54:59 He's talking about the second death.
55:01 He's talking about the death that really counts.
55:04 You see, the first death doesn't count.
55:07 For those who are in Christ, to the dead in Christ,
55:11 death is but a moment of silence.
55:14 We don't have to fear death.
55:17 We can go home and we can sleep well, not having to be
55:23 concerned if we wake up the next morning or not,
55:26 if we're in Christ, because our life is hid in Him,
55:30 according to scripture.
55:32 See folks, we need to get it in our minds that our hope of life
55:36 is not found in an immortal soul that leaves the body
55:39 at the moment of death.
55:40 The hope of life is found outside of ourselves
55:43 in Jesus Christ. And Jesus has given us His Spirit
55:48 as the guarantee. You can take it to the bank, is what Jesus
55:51 is saying, because if the Spirit that raised up Jesus
55:55 dwells in you, that Spirit that resurrected Him, that gave life
56:01 to His mortal body, will give life to your mortal body
56:05 as well. What a glorious Hope Christians have!
56:09 And yet it's ruined by the idea that when you die
56:12 the soul goes to Heaven, and then when Jesus comes again,
56:16 he brings the soul from Heaven, we already dealt with that text.
56:19 He brings the soul from Heaven, and then He kind of joins it
56:22 to the body. What an anti-climax!
56:25 It's much more glorious to believe that the people
56:28 who are in the grave, who are dead, who don't live;
56:31 Jesus comes, He blows a trumpet, He calls them forth from the
56:36 tomb. He says, I am the resurrection and the life,
56:39 and those people come forth by a miracle of God,
56:42 with their building incorruptible, immortal,
56:45 to live forevermore with Jesus Christ.
56:49 That glorifies Jesus.
56:52 The first view is actually a glorification of man.
56:58 The question is, have we received Jesus Christ as our
57:05 Savior and Lord? That's the key question.
57:08 If we have, we have no reason to fear.
57:12 Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
57:15 death, I will fear no evil.
57:18 But we must be absolutely certain this evening
57:22 that Jesus is our Savior and our Lord.


Revised 2014-12-17