My birthday was last week. A lady said, “David! I’ll never forget your birthday. It’s the day that Brangelina came to an end.” Everybody’s a comedian…
Which leads me to this: Angelina Jolie was asked what she hoped to hear from heaven when she dies. She said she hopes to hear, “You are allowed in.”
I like that. I agree with that. That’s what I want to hear.
And maybe she will hear that. She and Louis Zamperini became close friends when she directed the movie Unbroken. And he was a sold out, true blue follower of Jesus. So I’m sure he told her the whole scoop on Jesus at some point.
What do you think you’ll hear when you die? Any idea? Maybe some guesses? If you want to hear, “You are allowed in,” here are some essential “death facts” for you:
1. Everybody Dies! The death rate has been hovering right around 100% for years. Like thousands of years.
2. Death is not the end. It’s just separation from this plane of existence.
3. The believer goes to be with Jesus. Immediately. Jesus told the thief on the cross, “today you will be with Me in paradise.” He was talking about heaven.
4. Jihad doesn’t take you to paradise. Only faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin does.
5. You don’t get 72 virgins in paradise (or one guy if you’re a Muslim woman).
6. There is no “after death” place called purgatory where the believer works off their sin (see #3). There’s nothing to “work off” in purgatory because Jesus died once for all sin.
7. Purgatory IS a ski resort in Colorado. You can ski all day and all night. I’ll bet you can do that in heaven too. I have no Biblical proof – I’m just spitballing.
8. The nonbeliever goes to an intermediary place of punishment called (in the Bible), “death” and, “the grave” and, “the place of the dead.” It’s where the rich man goes after he dies (Luke 16). It’s not riches but sin that send a person there. Abraham was rich, and he’s in heaven.
9. According to Jesus, “the grave” is a place of suffering and separation (Luke 16).
10. Everyone dies once and is judged once (Hebrews 9:27). No reincarnation.
11. Nobody is judged for killing fire ants. Because they’re fire ants. And evil (DISCLAIMER: this is not in the Bible, just one man’s logically reasoned opinion).
12. Believers experience the Judgment Seat of Christ. It doesn’t include punishment (sins washed away, far as the east is from the west, remembered no more, see #6). It does include a reward for things done in Jesus name (1 Cor. 3:13-15).
13. Believers can enter heaven empty-handed, or loaded down with rewards, based on whether or not they served Christ with their time, treasure and talent. Don’t go empty handed.
14. Nonbelievers experience the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20). This is where every sin of the nonbeliever is revealed and judged. Because their name is not in the Book of Life (which lists everyone who puts their faith in Christ), they receive no forgiveness of sin.
15. At the end of the Great White Throne Judgment, everyone who is judged is thrown into the lake of fire. This is called the Second Death. Separation from God for all of eternity.
That’s 15 death facts. And you could summarize it all this way:
The believer experiences: One death. One resurrection.
The nonbeliever experiences: One resurrection. Two deaths.
That seems so harsh! But it’s not.
God is a God of love. You want mercy? You can have mercy. You want grace? Tt’s yours for the taking. You want heaven forever? He says it’s yours. And if you want to be judged on every word and deed of your life, you can have that too.
But His desire is for you, to be with Him. Forever.
Amen and amen.
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