TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Intermediate Edition

II. The Afterlife

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Chapter 15  Part II

The Afterlife

The believer’s hope is largely based on God’s wonderful promises for his people in the afterlife, the life begun by their resurrection. At the center of these promises is the final, everlasting phase of God’s relationship with his people. In contrast to these promises are the teachings about the horrific eternity that the ungodly face.

The New Creation

The present heavens and earth will pass away

[Jesus:] Heaven and earth will pass away …   Matthew 24:35a  NET

God will create new heavens and a new earth

[Peter, to believers:] But, according to his [God’s] promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides.   2 Peter 3:13  NET

God’s people will live in the new Jerusalem

[John, describing a vision:] Then I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, dressed like a bride ready for her husband.27Nothing unclean, no one who does anything detestable, and no liars will ever enter it. Only those whose names are written in the lamb’s Book of Life will enter it.   Revelation 21:2, 27  GW

Eternal Life

As God raised Christ from the dead, God will raise his people

[Paul, to believers:] Now God indeed raised the Lord and he will raise us by his power.   1 Corinthians 6:14  NET

On Christ’s return, their bodies will be made imperishable, glorious and spiritual – like Christ

[Paul, to believers:] It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown [one’s natural body] is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. … 49And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust [Adam], let us also bear the image of the man of heaven [Christ].   1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 49  NET

God’s people will be given eternal life

[Jude, to believers:] Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the Lord Jesus Christ with his mercy to give you life forever.   Jude 1:21  NCV™

The Heavenly State of God’s People

God’s people will enter the kingdom of God

[Paul, to believers:] All of this shows that God judges fairly and that he is making you fit to share in his kingdom for which you are suffering.   2 Thessalonians 1:5  CEV

God’s people will be made perfect

[Paul:] Not that I have already attained this – that is, I have not already been perfected – but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me.   Philippians 3:12  NET

Paul implies that believers will be made perfect.

God’s people will have glory

[Peter, to believers:] I make this appeal as a spiritual leader who also witnessed Christ’s sufferings and will share in the glory that will be revealed.   1 Peter 5:1b  GW

There will be no more sorrow and no more death

He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.   Rev 21:4  NET

Being with God

God’s people will be with God and Jesus Christ forever

[John, describing a vision:] Now God’s presence is with people, and he will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them and will be their God.   Revelation 21:3b  NCV™

And so we [believers] will always be with the Lord.   1 Thessalonians 4:17b  NET

God’s people will see God

They will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.   Revelation 22:4  NCV™

God’s people will praise God

[John, describing a vision of believers in heaven:] Then I heard what seemed to be a large crowd that sounded like a roaring flood and loud thunder all mixed together. They were saying, “Praise the Lord! Our Lord God All-Powerful now rules as king.   Revelation 19:6  CEV

Presumably such praise of God will continue throughout eternity.

God’s people will serve God

[John, speaking of believers in heaven:] For this reason they are before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night in his temple, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them.   Revelation 7:15  NET

The Punishment for the Ungodly

The ungodly will be separated from God and Jesus Christ

[Jesus:] Then I will declare to them [who do not do God’s will], ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’   Matthew 7:23  NET

The ungodly will be thrown into fire

[John, describing a vision:] This is the second death – the lake of fire. 15If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire.   Revelation 20:14b-15  NET

Pray for persecuted Christians