Continued from Part 4
have in four expositions clarify it, that when what we call death occurs, it is the tent in which the spirit had lived that is pulled down but the spirit instantly comes to judgement and continues to live in another life.
And where the spirit now lives depends on whether he has been made righteous or considered a sinner.
The Bible in Romans chapter 3 vs 10 says: There is none righteous, no, not one
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Because man sinned, God had condemned man to death. It is not just the physical death alone but spiritual death as well.
The Bible in Romans 6: 23 says:
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"
What does this statement mean?
It simply means that though death is the wages or consequences of sin, or put it this way, though all men are condemned to death as a result of sin, but there is pardon for those who have come to Jesus for the cleansing of their sins with His blood. Those who do this, have God made 'righteous' and that is why the Bible describes salvation as 'grace' i.e something obtained, not by merit but by act of kindness, call it 'unmerited favour'
I have in four expositions made it known that after our earthly tent is pulled down, those who have received the unmerited favour of salvation enter into a temporary place of abode of the righteous, called 'Paradise' (Lk:23:43) while the temporary place of abode of those who refuse to accept the grace of God is called 'Hades' (Lk. 16:23; Rev. 20:13,14) NKJV.
It is the resurrection of the later group of people; the 'Unrighteous' i.e. those who refuse to wear the cloth of the righteousness of God, I plan to talk about today.
Let us pray The Resurrection of the Unrighteous.
Two criminals were crucified with Jesus. They were receiving the punishment of their criminal acts. That was the earthly judgment. That was the judgement of the court of this earth. A greater judgement and punishment was just a matter of minutes away, after they closed their eyes in death. This would be the judgement of God.
By the work of their hands on the earth as criminals, they had chosen destruction in hell for themselves.
But just before they stopped breathing, the one on the right side of Jesus pleaded for mercy from Jesus Christ and he instantly received pardon.
42 Only few sentences at the point of death, at the last minute, changed the destiny of this criminal. He accepted his guilt and said unto Jesus, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom" 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23: 42-43)
Paradise is a place of joy, peace and rest.
This is 'grace' Unmerited favour.
I hope no one listening to me will wait till the last minute before he does what is necessary, comes to plead for the forgiveness of his sins with the blood of Christ in order to enter into Paradise, a place of rest. The type of opportunity, which the thief on the right hand of Jesus had, is rare.
Jesus told a story of an incident in heaven. It was recorded in St. Luke 16. There was a fellow, who was rich on earth and another, Lazarus who was a poor beggar. 22 ----- the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 "Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' 25 But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you, there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.'
With these two stories we know the place of abode of both the righteous and the unrighteous after death.
Simply put, those that God declared righteous enter into rest while those who are not made righteous immediately enter into the torment of fire.
I want you to note the very careful way, I carve my words "Made righteous" and "Not made righteous" This implies that no one by his good work is righteous or can be righteous BUT anyone can be made righteous ONLY through faith by the accomplished work of salvation, the forgiveness of sins through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross.
But let no one deceive himself and frustrate the grace of God by saying "O yes I believe in Jesus. I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour" yet living in disobedience and inconsistent with the life of Christ. Such a person will be disappointed at death when he sees himself in hell.
Jesus had warned as recorded in Matthew 7 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity"
While Paradise is a place of joy, peace and rest, Hades is a place of torment in flames.
We are already sure that the spirits of the victorious, those spirits that are made righteous before the physical death, will be given a new body, the type which Jesus had after resurrection; a body that can no longer die. Not only this, Jesus said as recorded by Matthew in 22:30 that those spirits shall be like the angels of God (Matt.22:30).
Therefore all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, who had their sins forgiven and living consistent with the life of Christ before they were lowered into the grave have become like Angels and now operating like Angels. They are therefore not limited by space and time. They can go from one country to the other like lightening. They can go from one end of the earth to the other like a flash. They can disguise in any form, they can appear and disappear. They can appear as casual human beings and they can appear in heavenly glory with all the awe it carries.
These confirm the Bible in the book of Hebrews chapter 12 that we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, (Heb.12:1-2).
But this cannot be so with the souls who refuse to avail themselves of the grace of God, who refuse to plead for their sins with the blood of Christ before they are lowered into the grave.
The moment they stop breathing, their spirits go straight in to torments of flames in Hades like it happened to the rich man who Jesus told about as recorded in Luke 16. They will be there until the reign of Christ starts when death and Hades will be cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (Revelation 20: 14)
"But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars-their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Rev. 21:8)
How I wish that people who are evil, who live ungodly lives, who cheat, who are selfish and greedy, people who have no consideration for others, who are taking more than their share of the commonwealth, thereby throwing other citizens in abject poverty; those who collapse other people's business are aware of what they are about to miss in the next life, after they die. I wish they realize not only what they will miss but the suffering they will enter into except they repent of their evil doings right away.
My question to every one listening, will you ignore all these revelations or take every step to be able to be among those who will be given a new body after you die, a body that can no longer die or you can't bother yourself but continue to live in your wickedness and sins and go to hell where there is torment and suffering. Forsake your sins today and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Call me and I will help you.
Let us pray.
Continued from Part 4