Beyond Death's Door: What Happens at Death?
                                Matthew 17:1-4
I.  What happens to the body, the soul, and the spirit when a person dies?
    (James 2:26 NKJV)  "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
    A.  It does not say: "As the spirit without the body is dead."
II. Jesus indicated that we continue to have life after death.
    (Mat 22:31-32 NKJV)  ""But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by
    God, saying, {32} 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead,
    but of the living.""
    A.  Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus in the Mt. of Transfiguration.
III.    There is life outside the body.
    (2 Cor 12:2-4 NKJV)  "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago; whether in the body I do not know, or whether
    out of the body I do not know, God knows; such a one was caught up to the third heaven. {3} And I know such a man;
    whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows; {4} how he was caught up into Paradise and heard
    inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
    (2 Cor 5:8 NKJV)  "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the
    A.  At the time of conception, God put our spirits in our bodies.
        (Num 27:16 NKJV)  ""Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,"
        (Eccl 3:21 NKJV)  "Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal,
        which goes down to the earth?"
        (Eccl 12:6-7 NKJV)  "Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or
        the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well. {7} Then the dust will return to the earth as
        it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it."
        (Zec 12:1 NKJV)  "The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out
        the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:"
        (Heb 12:9 NKJV)  "Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall
        we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?"
    B.  Death does not end the existence of the body, but it does terminate the life of
        the body.
        (Gen 3:19 NKJV)  "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you
        were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.""
        (Eccl 12:7 NKJV)  "Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it."
        1.  We're talking about Physical life.
            (Acts 17:25 NKJV)  ""Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He
            gives to all life, breath, and all things."
        2.  We're talking about Physical death.
            (Mat 20:18 NKJV)  ""Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the
            chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death,"
        3.  We cannot have both at the same time.
            (Phil 1:20 NKJV)  "according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but
            with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death."
    C.  Death is a result of sin.
    A.  Do the soul and the spirit die with the body dies?
        (Mat 10:28 NKJV)  ""And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is
        able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
        1.  Death to the body does not mean death to the soul.
    B.  The soul and spirit leave the body at death.
        1.  Rachel's soul did not die with her body.
            (Gen 35:18 NKJV)  "And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name
            Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin."
        2.  The soul of the widow's son returned when he was brought back to life.
            (1 Ki 17:21-22 NKJV)  "And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the LORD
            and said, "O LORD my God, I pray, let this child's soul come back to him." {22} Then the LORD heard the
            voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived."
        3.  Jesus' soul was not buried with His body.
            (Psa 16:8-11 NKJV)  "I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not
            be moved. {9} Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. {10} For
            You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. {11} You will show
            me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
                (Acts 2:29-31 NKJV)  ""Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he
                is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. {30} "Therefore, being a prophet, and
                knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh,
                He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, {31} "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the
                resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption."
        4.  The rich fool was told:
            (Luke 12:20 NKJV)  ""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?'"
        5.  When Jesus died:
            (Luke 23:46 NKJV)  "[He] cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.'
            " Having said this, He breathed His last."
    C.  We conclude: at death the body dies but the soul and spirit do not!
    A.  Assurance of life after death is importance to us.
        1.  Most of us want to continue living.
        2.  Most of us hope there is life after death.
            a.  ILLUS: The skeptic Robert Ingersoll, who scoffed at the existence of God,
                did not suppress his inner longing for life after death as he grieved the death
                of his brother. At the funeral he eulogized over his brother's lifeless body:
                     Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two
                     eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry
                     aloud and the only murmur is the echo of our wailing cry. From the
                     voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word. But in the
                     night of Death, Hope sees a star, and listening Love can hear the
                     rustle of a wing.
        3.  Most of us do not want death to be a closed door, but a passageway into a future
    B.  Assurance comes from the O.T.
        (Deu 32:39 NKJV)  "'Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive..."
        (Psa 17:15 NKJV)  "As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your
        (Eccl 12:7 NKJV)  "Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it."
        (Isa 26:19 NKJV)  "Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who
        dwell in dust..."
        1.  Job spoke of the condition of the dead:
            (Job 3:17-19 NKJV)  "There the wicked cease from troubling, And there the weary are at rest. {18} There
            the prisoners rest together; They do not hear the voice of the oppressor. {19} The small and great are
            there, And the servant is free from his master."
            (Job 19:26-27 NKJV)  "And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, {27}
            Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!"
    C.  Assurance comes from the N.T.
        1.  Eternal life is one of the major themes of Jesus' teaching.
            (John 6:54 NKJV)  ""Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at
            the last day."
            (John 10:28 NKJV)  ""And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch
            them out of My hand."
            (John 12:25 NKJV)  ""He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for
            eternal life."
            (John 17:2-3 NKJV)  ""as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as
            many as You have given Him. {3} "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and
            Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
        2.  The resurrection of Jesus gives us proof of life after death (John 11:25)
            (1 Cor 15:20-22 NKJV)  "But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those
            who have fallen asleep. {21} For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the
            dead. {22} For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive."
        3.  We should have a greater understanding and appreciation for life after death.
            (2 Tim 1:10 NKJV)  "but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has
            abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,"
            a.  Our assurance of life after death is based upon Christ's resurrection and
                God's revelation.
I.  We know that when we experience the event called death, we will not walk into
    extinction, but into life.
II. When we pass through death's door, the soul and spirit depart for the body and the
    hadean realm.
    A.  The body returns to the ground from whence it came.
III.    Beyond Death's Door there is life!
** If you have any questions or if you would like to become a Christian, please let us know. 
Alan C. Cole
26th St. Church of Christ
101-26th Street Huntington, WV 25703
Phone - (304) 522-0717
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