Heaven: What's Real and What's Not?
Our view of how our story is going to end shapes how we look at our lives right now. Unfortunately, our view of “Heaven” and “the world to come” has been formed more by Plato’s philosophy, Dante’s inferno, and new age spirituality than the Scriptures. The good news is what the Holy Spirit tells us in the Scriptures is better than all the counterfeit versions of “Heaven”.
In this class, Pastor Ben will guide you in exploring the false, non-biblical ideas that we might have concerning death and the afterlife. We will look at what the Bible actually says about the overarching story of salvation that starts with creation and leads to new creation. We will see how Jesus’ resurrection dramatically changes our hope in the “world to come”. Finally, we will see how God’s promise of resurrection and new creation becomes the grand narrative that guides our lives and gives us purpose.
Click the link below to access replays of the course. New videos will be added throughout the course.
WEEK 1: Ruling with Christ for "1,000 Years" (April 20, 2021)
What is God up to right now? What are the goals of his kingdom? And how do we participate in this kingdom? Is the goal of life just to get our souls (and the souls of others) to float up to heaven some day? Are we waiting for God to rapture a few people out of this world so that God can start a millennial kingdom? In this session, we will answer these questions as we debunk the false views of what God is up to right now and where this story is all headed. We will explain the work of God’s kingdom as it advances through the preaching of God’s Word and as we live out its values.
Scriptures: Revelation 20, Matthew 24
WEEK 2: The Resurrection of the Body (April 27, 2021)
What happens to our “souls” when we die? Is that the end of our story? In this class we will see that there is “life after life after death”. The goal of life is NOT to just die and be with Jesus. The goal is to be resurrected, so that our “lowly bodies might be transformed to be Christ’s glorious body”. Because we are looking forward to a bodily/physical existence in the life to come, we also want to treat our current bodies with reverence and respect. We will enjoy our current bodily existence and look forward to the day when all our bodily scars and defects will be changed, transformed, and renewed in a blink of an eye, at the last trumpet.
Scriptures: Revelation 20, 1 Corinthians 15
WEEK 3: Rewards and Punishments on Judgment Day (May 4, 2021)
Does what we do in this life matter in the next? Is “faith” the only significant part of our life or do our actions affect our eternity? In this session, we will see what the Scriptures say about Judgment Day and how God will reward and punish people. We will look at the different “books” that will be opened on Judgment Day - the Book of Life and the Books of Deeds - and see how these two books apply to Christians and unbelievers.
Scriptures: Revelation 21, Matthew 5-7
WEEK 4: The Renewal of All Things (May 11, 2021)
What is going to happen to God’s Creation? Will this world be totally annihilated or renewed? What kind of future are we looking forward to in the “world to come”? Will we be participating in an eternal church service or something else? In this session, we will see what the Scriptures say about the future of the cosmos. We will see how we fit into its future and what we will be up to when God renews all things.
Scriptures: Revelation 21-22, Isaiah 65-66, Romans 8