What Happens When We Die?
Is there life after death? Where does your soul go when you die? Some people believe that life in this world is all that there is. Others believe people go thru a circle of rebirths. Some think after they die, they immediately join God in heaven. But what does the Bible say about this?
Timecode per segment:[3:10] Who is the only one who could tell us what happens to man after death? [4:25] Can a person when what will happen when he/she dies? [6:47] What does the Bible say is the end of man? [9:23] What is the bilbical proof that when a man dies, his soul does not go on living? [10:30] What happens to the spirit of a man when he dies? [11:47] What are the components of man? [16:00] Can dead people help the conditions of the living? [20:27] Can the dead really come back and visit their relatives? [22:50] Can the dead do anything for the living? [27:33] Does the bible agree with the idea of reincarnation? [28:40] What is the reward that awaits those who die and when will it take place? What is the first and second resurrection? [32:10] What is the promise to those who is recognized by Christ on his second return? [33:24] What is the blessing of those who have will have part in the first resurrection? [34:05] What is the second death? [35:45] What will happen to those who are still alive in Christ when the Lord returns? [37:15] Who are those who belong in Christ? [38:46] What is the name of the Church that Christ recognizes as His and whose members belong to Him? [39:52] What is the difference between the first and second resurrection? [41:10] So in summary, what will happen on judgment day? Show/Hide Transcript
[Video clips of near-death experiences – source: Flatliners, Sony Pictures]]
Man: Today is a good day to die
Man: 30 seconds to go
Man: Can you recall any specific emotion or sensation
Man: No…there is something out there
Woman: We’re running out of time
Man: 300, clear, nothing
Brother Johnny Martin: Countless movies have been done about near death experiences or after death experiences and there’s so many questions surrounding it.
Brother JohnnyHi I am Johnny Martin and today we’re asking, “Is there life after death?”.
Some people believe that life in this world is all that there is. Others believe that people go through a cycle of rebirth, and some think after they die they immediately join God in heaven. However what does the Bible say about this? That’s what we will answer today on the Iglesia Ni Christi International Edition.
Brother Greg Worthen: Hi Brother Johnny
Brother Jojo Bayani: Hi Brother Johnny
Brother Glenn David: Hi Brother Johnny
Brother Johnny: Now brothers, today we’re talking about death and what comes after it. On an episode on the program called the Story of God with Morgan Freeman, a man was interviewed who claimed that he had what others call an after death experience. Let’s watch this clip from that interview:
Man: I do believe in an afterlife. I believe that our being, our soul, whatever you may want to call it, lives on, and that we have opportunities to come back. And I never thought of any of that before and I, you know, it just wasn’t on my radar.
Brother Johnny: Ok brothers, now that we watched that video clip, what are your reactions? Brother Greg if we can begin with you please.
Brother Greg: I think it’s still people’s way of trying to explain something they don’t understand or something that’s still foreign to them. It’s not everybody who will experience this same thing, so I think it’s just people’s way of trying to explain something that they really can’t fully understand.
Brother Johnny: Ok, thank you Brother Greg. Now Brother Jojo, how about you?
Brother Jojo: Just following up with what Brother Greg just mentioned, when someone just really doesn’t understand something exactly, then he goes by what he thinks, or as he said, “I believe, I believe”, so he’s not basing it on any facts. He’s just basing it on how he feels or what he thinks is right.
Brother Glenn: Along the same lines Brother Johnny, I think experiences just that, experiences, everyone has their own experience, individual emotions, beliefs, different feelings, and when you put that together, there’s no consistency. So if he wants to know the truth about what happens after death, we have to depend on the source which truly gives us the truth and of course, we believe that is the words of God that are written in the Holy Bible.
Brother Johnny: You know, dear viewers, the man being interviewed said that he does believe that there is an afterlife, that the soul lives on after death, and that we have opportunities to come back. Now, we are not questioning the sincerity of his beliefs, but the question is this, Brother Greg, are they biblically sound? You know, in the first place, who is really the one that could tell us what happens to man after death?
Brother Greg: Well, it’s God himself, and this is what he decrees as we go to Isaiah 46:9 and 10 [New King James Version], this is God’s declaration:
“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’”
[Isaiah 46:9–10, New King James Version]
Brother Greg: So here, Brother Johnny, and to all of our dear viewers, the one who truly knows what is going to happen to man, is God himself, and this is what He decrees, saying “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning”. So the Lord God alone knows what will happen in the end, and he’s known this since the beginning. But the ones to whom he has revealed this truth are those who recognize Him as the Father who alone is the only true God.
Brother Johnny: Well, you know Brother Jojo, intelligent, knowledgeable, wise people have lived here in the world. Nevertheless, can man by himself know what will happen to him when he dies?
Brother Jojo: Well Brother Johnny, the answer to that question can be found here in the Bible. Here in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 6, verse 12 [Good News Translation], allow me to read that verse:
“How can anyone know what is best for us in this short, useless life of ours—a life that passes like a shadow? How can we know what will happen in the world after we die?”
[Ecclesiastes 6:12 Good News Translation]
We know that the speaker of this verse is none other than King Solomon. We know that King Solomon was one of the kings of Israel. We know that King Solomon was not only blessed with prosperity, material possessions, even with power, but when he was asked by God what it is that he wanted, he asked God for something special. He said, “Give me wisdom to be able to judge properly your people”. And since God was so pleased with King Solomon, our Almighty God granted him his prayer, and granted him what he asked for- wisdom. And so he became, he became known as a man who ruled with extreme wisdom, that there was none like him before, or even after him.
But as wise as King Solomon was during his time, what did he say with regard to the subject? He said, “How can anyone know what’s best for us? How can anyone know what will happen in the world after we die?”. So even one of the wisest men who ever lived in this world admitted that when it comes to this subject matter, no one really knows what will happen after one dies. In fact the only one who knows is our Almighty God.
Brother Glenn: Now we’re sure, Brother Johnny, if the Lord God will not reveal to man what will happen to him when he dies, then we would never know it. God has revealed to man what will happen to him after death through His words written in the Holy Bible.
Brother Johnny: Therefore, to know what the Lord God has declared, what’ll happen to a man when he dies, dear friends, man should turn to what is written in the Holy Scriptures. Now, Brother Jojo, if I can stay with you please? What then does the word of God written in the Holy Bible tell us will be the end of man?
Brother Jojo: Brother Johnny, we can read the answer from the Bible, here in the same book, here in Ecclesiastes chapter 3, the verses are 19 and 20 [Good News Translation]:
“After all, the same fate awaits human beings and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A human being is no better off than an animal because life has no meaning for either. They are both going to the same place- the dust. They both came from it; they will both go back to it.”
[Ecclesiastes 3:19–20, Good News Translation]
Brother Jojo: So the words of God written in the Holy Bible tell us what will actually happen to man when he dies. According to the Bible, man is no better off than any beast or any animal because both will end up in the same place and, where is that? Where they came from. That’s why the Bible says both are going to the same place, the dust, because they both came from it and they will both go back to it. So what the Bible tells us by means of his words written in the Bible is that we will die and we will go back to the dust when we die.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Glenn, if I can go back to you for a moment, why does it say that man will go back to the dust of the earth? What does the words of God in the Bible tell us what happens when man dies?
Brother Glenn: Well it says this here, Brother Johnny, in Job chapter 14 verse 10 [International Standard version] it says,
“But when a person dies and wastes away, when a person breathes his last, where will he be?”
[Job 14:10, International Standard version]
Brother Glenn: So the Bible continues to teach us the things that will happen when a man dies. When he breathes his last, he dies, and he goes back to the dust. His body will lay in the ground where his body will decay or waste or dwindle away, and his remains will be there and will remain in the grave and he will not come back to life here in this world. So there is no such thing as afterlife where, once a person dies, his soul goes on living where he supposedly has the chance to interact with people or live in this world once again. That is simply not true. Brother Johnny.
Brother Johnny: Well you know, brothers and friends, that’s what the man in the interview said. He claimed that the soul of a man lives on after death and that there are opportunities for man to come back to this life on earth. However, friends, why are we sure that’s not true? What is the biblical proof, Brother Greg, that when a man dies, his soul does not go on living?
Brother Greg: Well God himself again gives the declaration for this as we go to Ezekiel 18:4 [New King James Version], we read,
“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.”
[Ezekiel 18:4, New King James Version]
Brother Greg: So God, again, through these words through the Bible is very clear in this statement that the souls of men will die. So when man dies, his soul dies as God decreed. “All souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.” So we know, in comparison to what was mentioned in the interview, that we viewed in the beginning of our program where he’s claimed that the soul goes on, the Bible teaches differently. Why? Because we know that all men have sinned. And by virtue of sin, when man dies, his soul also dies.
Brother Johnny: Thank you Brother Greg. Now Brother Jojo, what about the spirit of a man? What does the Bible say happens to the man’s spirit when he dies?
Brother Jojo: Brother Johnny and our dear viewers, let us read from the book of Ecclesiates once more. Here in chapter 12 and the verse is 7 [New King James Version] for the answer:
“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
[Ecclesiastes 12:7, New King James Version]
Brother Jojo: So what happens to the spirit of man? The Bible says it returns to the one who gave it and that is no one other than our Almighty God. Therefore what can we notice about the spirit of man? Once a person dies, his spirit doesn’t stay here. It doesn’t linger here on earth. It’s not transferred to a different life form or creation. It simply returns to the one who gave it, and that is our Almighty God.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Glenn, our viewers may have noticed how we have been sharing with the Bible verses, not opinion, not human speculation, Bible verses that talk about what happens to man when he dies. What happens to his body , soul, and spirit? Now why is that? Brother Glenn, what should we all understand are the components of man?
Brother Glenn: Well the Bible teaches us here in first Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 23 [New King James Version]
“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.”
[1 Thessalonians 5:23, New King James Version]
Brother Glenn: So there are three parts to man, Brother Johnny. There’s a spirit, soul, and body. And God reveals to us through his words what will happen to man and the parts of the body when he has died or has expired in this life. Well firstly the body will die and be buried in the ground where it will decay and it will return to the dust. The soul itself, the soul of man will die, and the spirit will return to the Lord God gave it in the first place.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Greg, after reading all of these verses of the Bible, what is a very strong or solid conclusion that we can make from these verses of the Bible?
Brother Greg: Yea, it’s very important for all of us to understand Brother Johnny and dear viewers, that there is no afterlife, where, once the body has died, the soul goes on living and has opportunities to return to life here in this world, borrowing a miracle of God. What should we hold on to is the word of God, not notions or opinions, or human speculations that others may use to comfort themselves as a way to try explain something that, really, they have no full understanding of what’s going to happen after this life in this world or after life in this world.
Brother Johnny: Ok, thank you, Brother Greg. Now dear friends, what else is the belief that others have with regards to death and the so-called afterlife? It is the notion that the dead can affect the living. That’s what we’ll talk about next on the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition, stay with us.
[Graphics for break]
[Return from break]
Brother Johnny: Welcome back everyone to the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition.
Today we’re talking about the subject of death and what is beyond it. What else is the belief that others have with regards to death and the so-called afterlife? Check out what was mentioned by another person who was interviewed by Morgan Freeman on the program, the Story of God:
Morgan: A human sacrifice of the Aztecs and the elaborate tombs of ancient Egypt are both driven by a common belief of the afterlife. The dead have the power to reach back and sustain the living. But today, billions of people believe this power can do more than sustain us in this world. It can grant us all eternal life.
Brother Johnny: Ok now, dear friends, brothers, we just watched a video clip. What were the things you noticed in the comments being made there by Mr. Morgan Freeman?
Brother Greg: I mean for me, it’s, again it’s a reach by people of somethings they may not truly understand, thinking that the dead can still help them. When in fact, as mentioned also with regard to human sacrifice and these belief systems of ancient civilizations.
Brother Johnny: Ok, Brother Glenn, how about you?
Brother Glenn: I think it’s a bit sad because it gives people the false hope of eternal life for them when we know, based on the truth written in the Bible, the fate of man after death, so in a way it’s sad for them, but for us, we look forward to the promises of God.
Brother Jojo: And not only is that sad, as Brother Glenn has just mentioned, it’s also very dangerous because when someone says, “this is what I feel, this is what I believe”, you can’t go by that because we already just found out what the Bible tells us what happens to a person or man when he dies. You know, his body goes to the grave, his soul dies, his spirit goes back to God, and so it’s really dangerous to have a false belief like that, and to share it with other people.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Glenn, if I can go back to you please, you know there are people who really do believe that the dead can help or even hurt the ones who are still alive here on earth, but is that true? Does the Bible agree, that the dead can do things that affect the living? What does the Bible say is the condition of the dead?
Brother Glenn: So if we go to the truth, the words of God written in the Bible, it’s very different from what we saw in that video, Brother Johnny, as written here in Psalms 146:4 [King James Version]
“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”
[Psalms 146:4, King James Version]
Brother Glenn: So it’s not true, Brother Johnny, that the dead can do things that affect the living because to accept that idea would suggest that dead people are capable of having thoughts or devising plans. Because the Bible teaches us differently. It clearly speaks that man’s plans and thoughts perish when they die. So when a man has died or is truly dead, in death he cannot have any thoughts, he cannot devise any plans at all.
Brother Jojo: And just to add to what Brother Glenn just mentioned, as we learned earlier, we know that the dead are in the graves. If we read Job 14:10 [New International Revised Version] in another version of the Bible, this is what it states:
“When [man] dies, he is buried in a grave. He takes his last breath. Then he is gone.”
[Job 14:10, New International Revised Version]
Brother Jojo: If you look at the word “gone” and if you allow the dictionary to define the word “gone”, gone means to no longer live or to no longer exist. That’s what happens when man dies, according to the Bible.
Brother Johnny: Now, Brother Greg, until when will the dead remain in the graves?
Brother Greg: Well again, I want to also mention something with regard to what Brother Jojo cited because we’re going to read that passage as well. Fourteen, ten to twelve [Job 14:10-12 New King James Version] gives us this understanding again from the biblical truth, this is stated:
[On screen graphics of verse]
“But man dies and is laid away; Indeed he breathes his last. And where is he?
As water disappears from the sea, And a river becomes parched and dries up,
So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more,
They will not awake Nor be roused from their sleep.”
[End of on screen graphics]
Brother Greg: So the Bible is very clear here, Brother Johnny, and to all of our dear viewers, that when a person dies, they remain in the graves. So biblically, when a person passes away, as read earlier, their thoughts perish. There’s no seeing of a bright light or feeling good, because biblically once one dies and his breath taken away by God, then he knows nothing. His thoughts perish. And so where would he go? He is going down into the grave.
Brother Johnny: So the thing we want to point out, Brother Greg, is the Bible is telling us right here that dead people are in the graves.
Brother Greg: Yea, those that passed away are in the graves and they will remain there until the heavens are no more.
Brother Johnny: Now, Brother Jojo, if I can ask you this question, please—when will the heavens be no more? When will the heavens pass away?
Brother Jojo: The Bible tells us the answer here in II Peter, chapter 3, verses 7 and 10 [New King James Version]
“But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word,
reserved for fire until the Day of Judgement and perdition of ungodly men But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
[II Peter 3:7, 10, New King James Version]
Brother Jojo: So the heavens, one day, according to the Bible, will pass away. It will disappear. And when will that day be? The Bible calls it the day of the Lord, the Bible also calls it the Day of Judgment. But the heavens are still here, and so what does that tell us? It tells us that those who died are still there in their graves.
Brother Johnny: You know, dear friends, probably right now in the middle of this discussion, you are wondering, what about those hauntings? You know? You know, Brother Greg, there are people that believe that the dead come back and they visit their living relatives. The dead can come back and then they can communicate with those who are still alive and make their presence felt. You know, there have been television shows, movies, that talk about this kind of thing.
Brother Greg: Yeah sure, the seances and being able to talk with their passed on relatives to find out certain issues or to have closure in a particular case or situation. But again, we have to go back to the truth, not to Hollywood, not to human speculation or opinions. Let’s go back to the biblical truth and what is revealed here in Job 7:9 to 10 [New International version], we read:
“As a cloud vanishes and is gone, so one who goes down to the grave does not return.
He will never come to his house again; his place will know him no more.”
[Job 7:9–10, New International Version]
Brother Greg: So again, Brother Johnny and to all of our dear viewers who are joining us, the Bible is so very clear about what would or would not happen once one dies and goes down to the grave. The Bible is specific. They go down to the grave and they will not return. They never come to his house again and his place will know him no more. And in fact, in another version of the Holy Scriptures, the Bible says those who go to the grave never come back. They don’t return to visit their families, never again will friends drop in for coffee, from the message translation of the Holy Scriptures. So, it’s not true that the dead come back and have the ability to haunt the living or to communicate with the living. The dead will remain dead and lying in their graves until the Day of Judgment wherein the heavens are no more.
Brother Johnny: So may at this time, Brother Greg, it would be really important to point out to our friends that, you know, before being quick to believe in something they see on television or watch in a movie, or see on the internet, or online…”
Brother Greg: Or participate in holidays.
Brother Johnny: …Yeah but what they should do is be quick to believe in the Bible or what the word of God is telling us.
Brother Greg: Right, because that’s the ultimate truth.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Glenn, if I could go to you please, you know, what about the dead being able to help the living? Let’s stay with this a little bit more. Does the Bible teach that the dead can help the living? Can do anything for the living?
Brother Glenn: Well, just like following on what Brother Greg was saying there, we could read the answer in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 9 verse 10 [Easy To Read Version], it says:
“Every time you find work to do, do it the best you can. In the grave there is no work. There is no thinking, no knowledge, and there is no wisdom. And we are all going to the place of death.”
[Ecclesiastes 9:10 Easy To Read Version]
Brother Glenn: So the Bible teaches us that the dead cannot do anything to help those who are still alive or who are living. Now others might say that those who have died, even kings or rulers or powerful people in this world, they have the ability to affect people’s lives here on earth, but that runs contrary to what the Bible teaches us here. The Bible points out that in the grave, there is no work, no knowledge, no wisdom, furthermore it says that in death, there is no working, no planning, knowing, or understanding.
Brother Johnny: Now dear friends, what else do other people think about death? They view death with a belief and what is called reincarnation. That’s what we’ll take a look at next as the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition continues, don’t go away.
[Graphics for break]
[Return from break]
Brother Johnny: Welcome back everyone to the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition. Today we are talking about death and what is beyond it. Now, what else do other people think about death? They view death and with a belief in what is called reincarnation. Let’s take another clip from the show, the Story of God, hosted by Morgan Freeman:
[On screen video clip]
Morgan: Hindus believe in reincarnation and karma. You have a good life and death gets you a new body and a chance for an even better life. Live badly and you’ll suffer the consequences in your next life, which may not be as a human. And the cycle repeats- living, dying, and being born again.
I mean in western cultures, you die and you either go to hell or you’re going to go to heaven.
Man: Right, true.
Morgan: But we’re not necessarily anxious to do that. Am I concerned about dying then?
Man: Yes, I am concerned. But at the same time, I accept death as an inevitable part of life. Reincarnation makes us more responsible for our lives because of our own destiny. It continuously gives us hope that I can always do better.
Morgan: So the point of reincarnation is to get it right.
Morgan: Right? Alright, what happens once I got it right and I don’t have to come back, is there another existence?
Man: (25:55) I get one with the only existence, with the eternal existence. In a common balance, we call him god. The only existence which is eternal, is god.
Morgan: Ultimately, you don’t want to be reincarnated.
Man: Yea, yea, ultimately you don’t want to be reincarnated.
Morgan: The perfect situation is to transition from corporal sense to a pure energy.
Man: Yea, that is what is called the (26:25) moksha. Moksha from the cycle of birds (26:31) and rebirth.
[On screen video clips end]
Brother Johnny: Ok now dear friends and brothers, we were able to see a very interesting clip where Morgan Freeman and the gentleman he was interviewing talked a little bit about reincarnation. What are your comments after listening to that interview?
Brother Greg: I think the first thing that strikes me, first and foremost, is that vastness of varying beliefs about what happens when someone dies. Either they’re going to have another opportunity to have a better life, or the ultimate goal is to have eternal life, or there are those who will be punished right away or there are those who will go to this place right away or, there are so many varying beliefs, which again, goes back to the premise that we’re just trying to explain things we really don’t understand, unless we really have the truth that is revealed in the words of God.
Brother Johnny: Well why don’t we go to this question then- well does the Bible agree with the idea or the teaching on reincarnation?
Brother Greg: No the Bible would not, because if we go back dear friends, we go back and we review all of the verses we read about what happens to someone when they die or pass away, it’s going to encounter—there’s no second opportunity that you’re going to have. If you live a bad life, and you die, then there is a Day of Judgement for that, you will be judged accordingly. If you live a good life or live a life in accordance to God’s will, there is also an according judgement for that. You don’t get another opportunity once you die. “Ok I lived a good life, but not quite where I needed to be, ok I’ll get another chance, by being reincarnated”- it goes counter to what the Bible teaches.
Brother Glenn: Also, Brother Greg, in regards to reincarnation, the Bible doesn’t speak of reincarnation where man gets many lifetimes to eventually get it right and then become one with the eternal god, as what was stated in that video, because the Bible teaches us that man has only one lifetime in the world, and at the end of it, they die. At the end of it, he dies to await to be given that reward that they are all craving for after death.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Jojo, Brother Glenn made mention of the reward to be given. Where will those who will receive the reward come from, and what is the reward to be given to them?
Brother Jojo: Brother Johnny, there is no better person, no better one to ask to answer that question than our Lord Jesus Christ himself. Here from the book of John, chapter 5, verses 28 to 29 [New King James Version], this is what we can read:
“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.”
[John 5:28–29 New King James Version]
Brother Jojo: If we ask the Bible, where will the dead come from once the giving of the reward or recompense takes place? They will all come from the graves, from their graves. And when will this take place? We know that to be the second coming or the second advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, known and explained by the Bible as the Day of Judgement.
How many types of rewards or recompenses will there be on the Day of Judgement? There will be two. The Bible tells us, for those who have done good, they will be given the reward- the resurrection of life. This is what the Bible describes as the first resurrection- when the people who have done good will be brought back to life on that day. But there’s another kind of recompense, and what is that? The Bible says according to our Lord Jesus Christ, for those who have done evil, they will also be resurrected, but what kind of resurrection will they be given? According to our Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of condemnation. Therefore, what we can see being taught by the Bible is resurrection, definitely not reincarnation.
Brother Johnny: Now dear friends in the program, the Story of God, one of the persons interviewed by Morgan Freeman spoke about Jesus Christ, his death, and the promise of salvation. Let’s watch this clip from the show:
[On screen video clip]
Woman: So Jesus is the son of God, is sacrificed to atone for the sins of humans. That eventually becomes the doctrine in christianity, that if you accept that Jesus died for your sins, and you accept him as your savior and messiah, that you, too, will be saved. Right? This is sort of the ultimate promise that christianity makes to its believers.
Morgan: That you will rise again.
[On screen video clips end]
Brother Johnny: Now as you can see dear friends and brothers, you know, Morgan Freeman was conducting interviews with different people discussing the topic of death and what is beyond death. Now after hearing what this particular person said who was interviewed by Morgan Freeman, what comments would you like to say in connection with what she said?
Brother Greg: Again, a variation of beliefs. Although her, her comments are now more centered toward what the Bible is teaching. However, we have to understand another biblical truth concerning those who recognize our Lord Jesus Christ, these are the ones who belong to him and are recognized by him. It’s not just about recognizing Jesus, we have to be recognized by him. For that, and those who are recognized by our Lord Jesus Christ, here’s the promise concerning them when he returns. As we go to [first] I Thessalonians 4:16 [New King James Version]:
“For 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.”
[I Thessalonians 4:16, New King James Version]
Brother Greg: So the apostle described here what will happen to the people who belong to our Lord Jesus Christ. When the Lord Jesus Christ descends or returns from heaven, which will take place on Judgement Day, the dead people who are in Christ will rise first, or will be resurrected first, or have their share in their first resurrection. The people who die and are in Christ then have something to hope for because they will be resurrected on the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The cessation of breath is not absolute, or not the absolute end of everything.
Which is the true resurrection? The first resurrection, and this is for those who have died in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Glenn, if I can go to you please, what is the blessing that waits for those who will have part in the first resurrection?
Brother Glenn: The great blessing is written here, in Revelation chapter 20, verse 6 [New King James Version], it says:
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
[Revelation 20:6 New King James Version]
Brother Glenn: So the great blessing awaiting those who are part of the first resurrection is that the second death has no power over them.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Greg, let me ask this question. What is the second death being referred to in the verses of the Bible that has no power over those included in the first resurrection?
Brother Greg: Well again, let’s go back to the truth. Let’s allow the Bible to teach us what it is and we’ll read it here in Revelation 20:14 and 10 [New King James Version]:
“Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
[Revelation 20:14, 10, New King James Version]
Brother Greg: So the second death, Brother Johnny and dear friends, is the lake of fire. And what those who end up in the lake of fire will experience is most definitely not pleasant. It’s a tremendous and an everlasting suffering. The ones who will be the most unfortunate to end up there will be tormented day and night forever and ever. In another part of the Bible, it says, the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night. It is this eternal torment that has no power over the ones who have part in the first resurrection or the people who are in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Johnny: Ok thank you, Brother Greg. Brother Jojo, if I could go to you now. You know, we’ve heard from what the Bible has been telling us, what will happen to the dead, who are in Christ upon the Lord’s return- they’ll be resurrected or brought back to life. Now the question is this, what about the living people who are in Christ? What will be done to those in Christ who will still be alive when the Lord returns?
Brother Jojo: Well Brother Johnny, they will be equally as fortunate as those who have died in Christ and will be part of the first resurrection. We can read that here in [first] I Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 17 [New King James Version]:
“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.
[I Thessalonians 4:17, New King James Version]
Brother Jojo: So the people who will be alive when our Lord Jesus Christ returns, or on the Day of Judgment, will have such a wonderful end. Why is that? The Bible says that when the Lord returns, they will no longer die. They will no longer experience death. Instead of dying, what is it that will take place? They will be caught up together with them, them meaning those who have just been resurrected, those who belong to our Lord Jesus Christ, and those two groups together will be caught up together in order to meet the Lord and the Bible says, when that takes place, they shall always be with the Lord. Such is the blessing and the fortune, the great blessing that awaits those who belong to our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Greg, we’ve been hearing this being repeated over and over at this part of our discussion, those in Christ, those who belong to our Lord Jesus Christ- does the Bible tell us, or identify for us, who the people are who are in the Lord Jesus Christ? That belong to the Lord Jesus Christ?
Brother Greg: Most definitely, and actually the one who explains this for us is Jesus Christ himself, and he explains this in Matthew 16:18 [Revised Standard Version]:
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
[Matthew 16:18 Revised Standard Version]
Brother Greg: So very clearly, the people who are in Christ are the people who belong to him. The people who belong to Christ are the people in the Church that he built and that belongs to Him, or that he recognizes as His. The ones who are in the church that belongs to Christ can hope then for the promise that Christ made to His church. What is that promise? Well He promised that the powers of death shall not prevail against His church. And Christ calls the church that He built and that belongs to Him as ‘My church’.
Brother Johnny: So there’s something here Brother Greg, we got to point out for those watching right now, so when the Bible speaks of those ‘in Christ’, they’re not just people who say they know Christ, recognize Christ, acknowledge them as their Lord and personal savior, they know Christ, but Christ also knows them.
Brother Greg: That’s right. There is dual recognition.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Glenn, if I could go to you, what is the name of that church that our Lord Jesus Christ built, He founded it, He owns it, the members of the church He recognizes as belonging to Him, what is the name of that church according to the Bible?
Brother Glenn: It is clearly written here in Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation, it says:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.
[ Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation]
Brother Glenn: So the church that our Lord Jesus Christ built, and that belongs to him, was called by the apostles as the Church Of Christ—it belongs to Him, Christ is the owner, He is the head of the church. And so those who are members inside the Church Of Christ, they are those who are in Christ or are in our Lord Jesus Christ. These people are united with Christ, they belong to Him. And so the blessed ones who will have a part in the first resurrection are those who are in Christ, or the members of the Church Of Christ.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Greg, if I can go back to you please, the first resurrection of the dead, you know, second resurrection, what’s the difference between the two?
Brother Greg: Well the difference between the two is their ends. Those resurrected first as we’ve already learned the powers of death, or death will have no power over them, but those, remember will be another resurrection. Jesus said if you did good, you’ll be resurrected to life; if you’ve done evil, you’ll be resurrected to condemnation. So how the Bible describes that is written here in Revelation 20:5 and then 7 through 10:
“But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished This is the first resurrection. Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints
and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
[Revelation 20:5, 7–10 New King James Version]
Brother Greg: So when Judgement Day comes, Brother Johnny and dear viewers, which is also the day of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, the people who are in Christ, or the members of the Church Of Christ, will receive the reward of salvation and eternal life. But remember, the rest of the dead will remain dead for a thousand years, after the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. After the thousands of years have expired or passed, then the rest of the dead who did not have their share in the first resurrection will then be brought back to life. However, they will not be granted salvation or everlasting life. Instead, they will be thrown into, and tormented in the lake of fire forever and ever.
Brother Jojo: So dear friends, we make an appeal to you, to your hearts, and to your souls. Now that we know that death is inevitable, we understand based on this program, and the teaching of God that we have received today, that there will only be two rewards, or recompenses on the Day of Judgement, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. One can enjoy the benefits of salvation and everlasting life. Imagine, to dwell there in the Holy City forevermore.
But on the other hand, one can also suffer destruction and eternal punishment there, in what the Bible calls, as the lake of fire, or the second death. But we also found out today, that one can actually overcome both the physical death, when one ceases to live, when one ceases to breathe or exist, and the second death, which is the everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. And one can overcome both of these deaths by belonging to Christ. By becoming a part of his body, or his church.
So we would like to make that appeal to you, find out more about this church- the Church Of Christ. The one that’s producing this program, the program that you’re listening to right now, find out more about the Iglesia Ni Cristo or the Church Of Christ, the church that will be saved by God and by his son on the Day of Judgement.
Brother Johnny: So dear viewers, we’d like to thank Brother Jojo Bayani in San Francisco, California, Brother Glenn David in Sydney, Australia, and Brother Greg Worthen who is with us here in studio in Manila, thank you brothers. Thank you very much, brothers, for giving us Bible based answers so that as the Apostle Peter said to the members of the church, you will be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, which you can read in [first] I Peter 3:15.
Well that does it for us here on the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition. Thank you very much for joining us and we hope to see you next time. But before we go, please join us for a short prayer.
Brother Greg: Our kind and merciful Father in heaven,
We thank You so much for the knowledge and wisdom you have given us today, through your words and by means of this program.
We ask and pray that you will bless each and everyone who continues to join us in our programs. Continue to grant us Your wisdom and knowledge that would serve as our guide, not only how to live our life in this world, but most importantly to receive of Your many promises, especially on the day when you would send once again Your only begotten Son.
May You please continue to bless each and everyone of us.
Continue to guide and protect us until the next opportune time that we can gather together once again and receive more of your divine teachings.
We return all glory and praise to you, Father, for your care, love, and guidance to us.
Through the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Chirst,