Isaiah 66:18-24 John 14:1-4 Revelation 21:1-4
August 25, 2013
In the Ancient World, the Greeks thought the good soul had to be separated from the bad flesh. It was this good soul that lived an immortal life. We Christians do not agree with this idea.
During the development of the church, the Gnostics were a sect of Christians. The Gnostics are the people who believed you had to have special knowledge in order to get into heaven. Gnostics believed that the pure soul had to be free of a bad body. This soul is what lived for the rest of time. We Christians do not agree with idea.
What do we Christians believe about what happens after death? We believe that when Jesus is back on earth, there will be a resurrection of the dead. We believe the dead will live again and have bodies. Once alive, there will be life everlasting. This is our hope and our belief. Let us explore these beliefs.
- We believe in the resurrection of the body
- Jesus was raised from the dead
- Jesus is going to take us where he is (John 14:1-4)
- If Jesus is resurrected (and he is!),then we will be also (1 Cor. 15)
- These bodies die, but God changes them so they won’t die again
- Job had this hope (19:25-27)
- Daniel saw this happen (12;2-3)
- Jesus spoke about it (John 5:25-29)
- The ancient church has believed it: “We believe that cleansed in his death and in his blood we are to be raised up by him on the last day in this body with which we now live.” – Creed of the Council of Trent
- The Protestant Church believes this – read quote from Martin Luther’s “Small Catechism” found on page 167 of John Brokhoff’s This You Can Believe
- If we lack this belief, then what hope do we have? The author of Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright calls this resurrected life the life after life after death. In other words, we are not certain of the location of the person after death, but we do hope that when the resurrection occurs, then we will be in our body to see, hear, hug, and enjoy God and his kingdom as it is firmly established on earth. As the Holy Spirit has brought us to the point of confession, guided us through to redemption, and helping us to be sanctified, we realize how much we have to hope for. That is, the Holy Spirit forms the Body of Christ from all nations; helps us realize that we commune/fellowship with other Christians; and helps us live a new life. As our interior life, the life of our souls, is renewed, then we have hope that our exterior life, the life of our bodies, will be renewed. For what will we be renewed?
- We believe in the life everlasting.
- Again, we get to be with Jesus (John 14:1-4)
- Our place – bloom where you are planted – here and in God’s kingdom
- People from all nations & tongues gathered by God (Isaiah 66:18-21)
- There will be a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 66:22-23)
- God will live among us! (Revelation 21:1-4)
- Though, those who do not want God in this life, they won’t have God in the next life either (Isaiah 66:24)
- When we say that we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and publicly express this through baptism, then we begin to live life everlasting. As we live our beliefs here and now, then when we have our resurrected bodies, we will know more about life everlasting. What do we say about this hope?
- We say, “Amen.”
- “So be it”
- “I agree”
- We agree with what is in the Apostles’ Creed when we say, “Amen.” We are then saying that we agree with the Old and New Testaments. How is this possible? The Apostles’ Creed says what we believe, that which is contained in the Old and New Testaments.
I hope your faith in Jesus Christ is stronger after our examination of the Apostles’ Creed. I hope you are able to live your faith in the Father Almighty, Jesus – his Son, our Lord, and in the Holy Spirit. God wants you to believe in him. God wants you to be with him for the eternity. By your believing in Jesus Christ, as this Apostles’ Creed says, then you will have life everlasting. Let us start living that life now. Amen!
 Thomas C. Oden, Life in the Spirit, (HarperSanFransisco; 1992), p. 398
 Baptismal Covenant I, United Methodist Hymnal, p. 35