Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Steve Myers] There is a solution to the mystery of death. And it's important to recognize that's not something that should wait until the return of Christ. You can begin that solution right now.
The coronavirus pandemic affected more than just our bodies. It also impacted our minds. I know I couldn't get away from the statistics, the numbers of people who were sick and dying. Certainly the mystery of death came to the forefront of our thinking. Death brings questions and it can lead us to speculate. Maybe you would just avoid thinking about it altogether. I mean how do you face death? If you had to answer the question, “what happens after death?” What would you say?
> Well a lot of people have different opinions about where do you go, you know?
[Steve Myers] What do you think happens after death?
> Well, hopefully, I go to heaven.
>> Well, I should hope that's true, but I don't know for sure
> What happens here is all that's here.
[Steve Myers] What happens when you die?
> That is the mystery. That is a very big mystery.
[Steve Myers] Well, what about the mystery of death? Well today I'd like to discuss with you a deeper look, a rational look, in fact a Biblical look at death. Because we need a better understanding of what death truly is. And it is important to understand this critical truth. I mean no doubt death will eventually catch up with all of us. Now we may be able to put it off for a while, postpone it, but eventually our physical existence will come to an end, even every day. Every day, 170,000 people die around this world. That's two people per second. Now I wonder how many of those people felt prepared for what was ahead? Do you?
What do you think happens after you die?
> Well, it's supposed to be better than this. That's what I hope
>> I think we go back into all in one.
>> I am... Let's say I'm a fairly religious guy so I definitely am a believer in the afterlife.
> It's a paradise. I hope.
[Steve Myers] What do you think happens after you die?
> There's a funeral, typically. What I think is, that's really the end. I don't think you go to heaven or you go to hell. I think you die.
[Steve Myers] Now that's a shocking thought. Could he be right? I mean that goes against almost every religion's teachings. I was taught something totally different, that after you die you go to heaven. Or if you're bad you go to hell. And so I grew up being afraid of death. My mom taught me a prayer, I think it was supposed to comfort me when I was getting ready for bed but it reinforced that fear of death for me personally. Remember that prayer? You probably heard it. It goes like this. "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray to God, my soul to take."
Now that was to bring me comfort and encouragement but I thought about, "I might die while I'm asleep tonight." And I was scared about that very thought. Now what about you? While there's so much confusion out there and really so much fear about death, what I've learned is that you don't have to be afraid. You can know what's ahead if you look to God and you rely on the authority of His Word, the Bible. That's why we prepared a free study aid, "What Happens After Death?" There's so much confusion out there. And so you need to know the truth. So call us at the number on the screen or go to our website at beyondtoday.tv. This is a really easy read that will help you study your Bible. It'll give you information that you can understand the truth. And you'll find there's great comfort and encouragement when you really understand the God-given facts about death and what really lies beyond.
So call us at the number on your screen or go to our website where you can download your free copy or read it right there online. Now of course, when you consider death, that fear of death, it seems to haunt so many people. They in fact, call it thanatophobia. Thanatophobia, which is called death anxiety. Now according to statistica.com, they did a recent survey. Do you know what they found? They found that 42% of Americans were somewhat afraid or very afraid of death. Certainly facing the unknown is a scary concept.
So why is it that so many people are afraid of death?
> The unknown. Who knows if that's right? Nobody knows until it happens.
[Steve Myers] Well, that is the question. Can you know before it happens? In fact the answer is yes. I found that as a pastor, most people don't think much about death until they're forced to. When we have to face death then we can't ignore it. We can't pretend that it hasn't happened. But the challenge is to view death like God does. Now most of us don't because we don't understand it. But there is one who really knows. And of course that's God. And when it comes to the subject of death we've got to realize that the only authentic source is found in the Word of God, the Bible. In fact you'll find that it is possible to understand if you count on the authority of Scripture.
When I die, I'm going to?
> I think there is something after death. But...
>> I believe that you come back. You might come back into nature, some type of energy. You become energy.
> That's an interesting thought, too, because you can be... You know, you're born a person, you can end up a dog. You can end up a bug.
>> There is a mixture of me feeling like there's I guess a body that's here and there's more of a spiritual being that's going up into the heavens.
[Steve Myers] Now that's quite a mix of thoughts. But what's the truth? What does the Bible really say about death? Well I can assure you of the fact you won't come back as a bug, a roach, or a rock. The Bible doesn't say that you'll go down to hell or that you'll go up to the heavens. You see the Bible gives the right answers. In fact have you read them from scripture? After all the Bible is the Word of God. And it's overwhelmingly clear that death really does mean death. Now when I grew up I didn't know the truth of the Bible. I thought I understood the truth of the Bible. After all I was brought up in a religious household. But the challenge I had to face is that I had to get rid of those kiddy concepts. I grew up with these things as a child and thought I understood, thought I knew the Bible. I hadn't really read it for myself because I thought well, knowing what I knew was good enough. But I was really a child. I had to come to understand, don't rely on just what I had learned as a child because that wasn't good enough. When I really read the Bible I recognized the fact the Bible teaches when you die, you go back to the same state of consciousness you had before you were born. Well you didn't have any, no consciousness. Now don't jump to conclusions though, because that's not the end of the story. You see all too often we have this tendency to start at the wrong place with the wrong premise, the wrong assumption. The difficulty is where many are mistaken, and they get ideas about the mystery of death confused with the idea of an immortal soul, that idea that you have a soul and it goes on living either in hell or in heaven after you die.
> Yeah I guess the soul is kind of what I'm thinking of when I'm thinking of the spiritual aspect that is continuing on my religious side, thinking that the soul was going into the heavens.
>> Yeah, I do believe people have souls.
[Steve Myers] Do you think that you have a soul?
> I think a neuron is the same as a soul because they still don't know where a neuron came from.
>> It's a good question. Like, it's your spiritual self maybe, I think.
[Steve Myers] Do you think there's anything to this idea of a soul or anything like that?
> Yeah, I think so, to some extent. I have not really settled on the whole thing. You can convince me one way or the other.
[Steve Myers] Okay I don't want to convince you one way or the other. Let's let the Bible, let's let God's word convince us and convict us of the truth. We can start at the very beginning. In the book of Genesis, the very first book of the Bible, it gives us insight into the truth about death. And in fact it starts with life itself as God created man. Here's what it says in Genesis 2:7. It says, "The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being." In other words man became alive. That's not very complicated. Is it? In other words, he came to life. He started breathing. He became a living person. In fact if you look in that very same passage in the King James translation, it says, "Man became a living soul." And that's where some confusion can come in. That word soul has been misused. Many misinterpret it. They forget it's talking about a living being. And yet some think it describes a part of a person that's separate from the body and it goes on living after death, a soul. But did you notice what the Bible really says? You see we've got to let God define what a soul is. And what does He say? Well God says it's the person Himself. According to the inspired Word of God, "A person doesn't have a soul. A person is a soul." God breathed the breath of life into the body, and Adam, that man lived. God didn't give him an immortal soul that goes on living in heaven or hell. That's not Biblical. Instead, God tells us the formula for life.
You see we find the body without breath isn't alive, and neither is the breath alive without a body. We can discover a little more about this over in the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel 18:4, I'll read this in the new English translation. It says, "Indeed, all lives are mine." Of course, this is God speaking. "The life of the father, as well as the life of the Son, is mine. The one who sins will die." It's unmistakable. God is straightforward. He made people living beings who will die at some point. He says they don't have a soul that goes on somewhere else to keep on living. He says we are souls. We are living people. We're living beings, that at death, we cease to live. I was reminded of this as I ran across a tweet a while back from Elon Musk. Of course Elon Musk, the famous founder of PayPal, and Tesla, and Space X. He tweeted, "You don't have a soul. You are a soul." And I couldn't agree more. And the Bible does as well. Now I don't know his intentions but it certainly matches with what the Bible teaches. There is this connection to being a soul in your life. And in fact going back in time, go back to the early 20th century and you go to at sea when there were ships lost at sea, they would send out SOS's. And they would send the Morse code of the day. And that was commonly referred to as SOS, Save Our Souls. Save our lives, in other words. They understood that connection. And of course in saving our souls, saving our life and death, it doesn't mean that we're hopeless because we don't have an immortal soul. There's so much more to the story. In fact in Psalms 115:17 it reminds us of the truth of God.
It says this. "The dead do not praise the Lord, nor any who go down into silence." You see, the dead don't go on living somewhere else. It says, they don't praise God. They're silent. In other words, death brings silence. Now if you had a soul and you kept on living, why would you be still? Wouldn't you praise God? Wouldn't you honor Him? Wouldn't you be there giving Him the glory with His presence in heaven? Well of course you would. But the Bible doesn't refer to that. And repeatedly throughout the Word of God we're consistently told that death is in the grave and there's no consciousness there. We see that in a powerful passage. Ecclesiastes 9:5, is a great reminder of that very fact. It says, "The living know they will die, but the dead know nothing." The dead know nothing. You see Scripture is very clear. And in fact when we recognize this fact we have to step back and recognize, whoa, this is probably different than what most churches teach, maybe different from what you learned as a child. Maybe you've never read it for yourself. And in this way, God is challenging you to take an honest look at what the truth is, what His Word says about this subject of death. I mean is Scripture really your guide? Does the word of God direct you to what you should believe? I really hope it does. In fact I want to help in your studies about this subject with our study aid, "What Happens After Death?" You see this idea of an immortal soul is detailed in our study aid.
It will help you recognize those passages in the Bible that discuss the soul and that you are a soul, rather than you have a soul. So be informed. Learn about it. It will encourage you. So call us at the number on your screen. Go to our website beyond today.tv, there you can download a free copy. You can read it for yourself online or call us, and we'll send you your own personal copy absolutely free. Certainly there's no doubt we all want comfort, especially when we have to face death. We need encouragement. Death is a dreadful thing and the grief that comes with it as we face it, the pain in our families and our friends when we have to bear those things. It's a terrible thing to lose a loved one. It's heartbreaking. But this is where the truth becomes so important. Some of us turn to unbiblical ideas that, well perhaps my loved one is up in paradise looking down on me. And that seems to bring some sense of relief and some sense of comfort. But the problem is that's not the truth. We can really take comfort that God tells us the truth about death. And you know what He says? He says, He, like us, He hates death. And the Bible teaches that at the moment of death you cease to be aware of anything, even your own death. So in reality, there isn't anything to fear. The Bible tells us death is truly the loss of consciousness.
> That seems to be an overriding kind of thing that people fear death.
>> Because it's the end. I mean, when you're dead, that's it. You don't get to come out and enjoy life anymore.
[Steve Myers] What do you think happens after death?
> I don't know. I look at it... That question is still, is still a great question. That's a great question.
>> Because when you're dead, you're just in a deep sleep. You're going to a grave.
[Steve Myers] In a deep sleep. That's it. I mean of all the ideas that are out there, that one connects with the truth of the Bible. The Bible does compare death to a sleep of unconsciousness. Many people don't realize that Jesus Christ Himself compared death to sleep. You may remember the story about Jesus' friend Lazarus. Lazarus died and Jesus said he was asleep, and the disciples didn't get it. Let's notice the story in John 11. Here in the Book of John, we find Jesus said, "Lazarus is asleep." And His disciples in verse 12 said, "Well, Lord, if he sleeps, he'll get well." But verse 13, Jesus spoke of his death but they thought He was speaking about taking a rest in sleep. Then verse 14, Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead." You see there's no doubt Jesus clearly connected death to sleep. And He points out something else that's so important as well. There's hope. Because when you sleep, that's a temporary thing. You're going to wake up and resting in your grave is that connection. There's hope. It's not a morbid thing. Jesus was pointing out that connection to show us there's nothing to fear. To Jesus death is nothing. Jesus talked about going and waking up Lazarus. And so when we consider that fact, we rest in peace. You've seen those old gravestones with RIP marked on them, rest in peace. Well we can truly rest in peace with hope and with expectation because there is hope beyond the grave. And so for the time being the dead are figuratively sleeping, not literally sleeping but figuratively, awaiting the resurrection. They're unconscious. They're waiting in the grave, but waiting in hope because they will awake in the resurrection.
In fact here's a particular passage that gives us a hint of that hope. It's back in the book of Job. Job 14:10, the prophet Job says this, "But man dies and is laid away. Indeed, he breathes his last. And where is he?" Well Job answers the question, "As water disappeared from the sea, and a river becomes parched and dries up, so a man lies down and doesn't rise." But he goes on, "A man lies down and doesn't rise until the heavens are no more. They will not awake nor be roused from their sleep." So Job is telling us, even though we cease to exist at death, like an unconscious sleep, we're not going to heaven, we're not going to hell. There's a time coming when we'll see that God has a solution to death. God loves us all too much to allow us to die with no hope. And so God will awaken us. We'll rise again. And here Job says, "When the heavens, as we know them, will be no more." So God does have a solution. Not just wishful thinking. Not just a dream or a fantasy or a comforting thought or some imagination. You see when you're confronted with death, you want something more than just a warm feeling. You see you want something that provides true comfort, something you can rely on, something you can trust. And while sympathy and expressions of concern are helpful, we need more. And that's where the authoritative word of God, the absolute truth of Scripture, reliable revelation, that's what you want, the certainty of God's Word. You see God gives us that because we have His tremendous promise. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is a reminder of that very fact. Here's what it says, "The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."
You see, here we have a prophecy that Jesus will return to Earth. You can count on that very fact. He foretold of a time that's coming, a time of great trouble, a world in turmoil. That's going to signify that His return is coming near. In fact it seems that it is just ahead of us. In fact He tells us very clearly, just a few pages back in John 5:28, Christ Himself said, "Do not marvel at this for the hour is coming, in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice." You see that's not talking about reuniting a physical body with a spirit. That's not Biblical. You see, when Christ returns to earth He will raise the dead, those who have been faithful first. You see resurrection is a Biblical thing. That's what Jesus taught for the dead and those true followers who are alive when He returns. You see that's something we can hold on to. That's something tangible. That's something Biblical. It's something that we can certainly count on. You see because you're a faithful follower of Christ, you can rely on the truth of Scripture. You want to rely on the truth. So that means you've got to know the truth and learn the truth. And so we've created this study aid to help you know and understand your Bible, "What Happens After Death?" Call us at the number on your screen. Go to beyondtoday.tv, you can get your own personal copy or read it right there online. It will help you on your spiritual journey to really understand the details of what Christ really taught about death. In fact it has so much information to help you gain an in-depth understanding of your Bible, of what death is all about. In fact something more, what is God's solution to death?
That's something critical. So, get your copy of "What Happens After Death?" Call us at the number on your screen or go to beyondtoday.tv. You see the important fact is there is a solution to the mystery of death. And it's important to recognize that's not something that should wait until the return of Christ. You can begin that solution right now. In fact if you hope to overcome death through a resurrection, you have to know the truth. Not only know the truth but believe the truth. And that means you have to start to live that truth. Proverbs 12:28 reminds us of that very fact. Here's what it says, "In the way of righteousness is life. And in its pathway, there is no death." In other words there's no lasting death. You can overcome death, but don't put off doing what's right. You see what is that way of righteousness? We have to ask ourselves, "Well, who is my Lord and Master? Do I follow the teachings of the Bible? Does my behavior show who's in charge of my life?" You see the question that lies before you is, will you be obedient to following the true teachings of Jesus Christ? Now we don't want to assume that we know them. I ran into that trouble when I was a child. You see today you've learned more about the truth of death. Now dedicate yourself to learn even more. Make that commitment today. Because no doubt death has always been an enemy. Death brings loneliness. It's certainly a sad affair. But it doesn't have to be a mystery. Death is inevitable. But know this for a fact, death is not the end. You see the good news is death doesn't stop God's plan for eternal life. So make that choice today. Follow Him more closely. Learn about the true hope that you have in God and in His plan.
[Narrator] Please call for the booklet offered on today's program, "What Happens After Death?" This free study aid will help you have peace about what God has in store for all mankind. Death isn't the final answer. Eternal life is being offered to you by the Creator. The promise of life after death is for everyone. God doesn't want you to fear. What happens after death also covers steps in dealing with grief, as well as our hope for everlasting life. Order now, call 1888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen. The hopeful truth about God's plan to save all mankind is available to you now. Don't delay in gaining the knowledge of the Bible through our study aid, "What Happens After Death?" When you order this free study aid, we'll also send you a complimentary one-year subscription to our "Beyond Today" magazine. "Beyond Today" magazine brings you understanding of today's world and hope for the future. Six times a year you'll read about current world events in light of Bible prophecy, as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage and family, and Godly principles to guide you toward a life that leads to peace. Call today to receive your free booklet, "What Happens After Death?" and your free one-year subscription to "Beyond Today" magazine, 1888-886-8632 or go online to beyondtoday.tv.