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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE DIE: PART-III-BY THOMAS KALAPPURAYIL

Look at what he writes again in 1Thes13:17 “But I do not want you to be ignorant brethren concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope, for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will decent 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. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord’. This means when Jesus comes back the dead in Christ will be resurrected and the living will be changed in the glimpse of an eye.

This is what Martha (she had her teachings directly from Jesus) told Jesus in John 11:24 when Jesus told her that her brother will rise again, “ I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day”. She knew that the dead will be resurrected only on the last day. Let us look at what Jesus said in John 5:28-29 “Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth-those who have done good, to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation” Let’s look what the author of the book of Hebrews tells us about our forefathers who died in faith. Heb 11:13 says “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth”. Also look what Jesus tells us in Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to everyone according to his work”. Our reward is the eternal life. If our reward is given at His coming, how can we go to heaven or hell before that happens?
So far we have learned that we are sleeping until Christ’s coming and we go to heaven at that time. Now let us study some passages in the Bible which can lead us to wrong conclusions, if not studied closely. First of all, let us look the parable Jesus told us about Lazarus and the rich man found in Luke 16:19-31. The rich man, who is in hell, is asking Abraham, to send Lazarus who is in heaven to the rich man with some water. When Abraham says no to this request, he asks again to send Lazarus to his brothers on earth. Then Abraham says if they do not believe Moses and Prophets (The Bible), they will not believe anyone who is resurrected from the dead. First of all we have to understand that it is a parable, and all the parables told by Jesus are to teach us one or two principles or truths and hence we should not take the whole parable literally. Through this parable, Jesus is teaching two things. First, He teaches that we go to heaven or hell on the decisions we make when we are alive. Second, He teaches us that any one who does not believe in the Bible (Moses and Prophets), will not believe any one who has been resurrected from the dead. In Matthew 13:10-17. Jesus tells us why he teaches in parables. If we take this parable literally, we may think that Jesus teaches us important decisions in heaven are taken by Abraham. But we know that Jesus is the King of Kings and He is our Lord, all of us who will be in heaven will be ruled by Him. In Mathew 13:44 the scriptures say “Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field”. If we take this literally, Jesus is teaching us that it is okay to hide the treasure that one finds and to buy the land

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