Your Place in Eternity – part 1

What happens when you breathe your last breath, and your body fails?

We must be prepared for what happens to us in eternity because we are not immortal.

This parable is about a man that thought he was prepared for what is coming.

Luke 12:16-21 NKJV Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. (17) And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ (18) So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. (19) And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ‘ (20) But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ (21) “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

There are 13 pronouns referred to in these scriptures. 13 is the number of rebellion in the scriptures.

  • This man worked very hard to take care of himself in this life, but he did nothing to prepare from eternity.

We must begin to think in eternal, big picture ways and the only way to do this is to have a better understanding of what God’s Word says about eternal things.

  • It begins with understanding that it is God’s will for us to have a knowing of our eternal destiny.

1 John 5:12-13 TPT Whoever has the Son has eternal life; whoever does not have the Son does not possess eternal life. (13) I’ve written this letter to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you will be assured and know without a doubt that you have eternal life.

What happens when a person dies?

1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • While you are living in the body, you have the choice to go anywhere you want to go.

Ecclesiastes 8:8a ERV No one has the power to keep their spirit from leaving or to stop their death…

  • When your spirit leaves your body, you no longer have a choice in where you go.

Your loved ones that have passed on are either with the Lord or they are not, but they are NOT here in the earth.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 NKJV Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

When you die, you lose control over where your spirit goes and then it is up to God.

Luke 23:46 NKJV And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

  • In the Old Testament, when a righteous person died, they did not go to heaven.

Genesis 49:33 NKJV And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

Genesis 25:8 NKJV Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.

In the New Testament, we see something different.

Paul offers us a behind the scenes look at all that Jesus has done in His death, burial, and resurrection and what He is doing now.

Ephesians 4:8-10 ESV Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (9) (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? (10) He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

A captive is someone being held against their will.

Jesus first descended into the lower parts of the earth where the Old Testament righteous were being held. He preached to them after His resurrection and the multitudes were Born Again.

Matthew 27:52-53 NKJV (52) and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; (53) and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Many people in the city saw those who had been raised up at Jesus Resurrection and that contributed to the numbers of people who got saved immediately on the Day of Pentecost.

  • Prior to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, Heaven was closed to mankind because of man’s sin.

John 14:1-4 NKJV “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. (2) In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (4) And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

  • Jesus opened the way to Heaven and into God’s presence. He made it possible for us to go.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5 NLT For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. (2) We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. (3) For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. (4) While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. (5) God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

  • The body is the tent that Paul is referring to, but we will get an eternal house to live in for eternity.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 NLT So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. (7) For we live by believing and not by seeing. (8) Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.

  • A Christian should never fear death.

What enabled the martyrs of the first three centuries of the Church be able to go through giving their lives in such horrible ways?

  • The early church Christians not only believed in their eternal home, they also KNEW where they were going.
  • Eternity is too long, and hell is too risky to not KNOW what your eternal destiny is.

1 John 5:12-13 TPT Whoever has the Son has eternal life; whoever does not have the Son does not possess eternal life. (13) I’ve written this letter to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you will be assured and know without a doubt that you have eternal life.