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God's Not Mad at You
“What really happens when you die?”

“What really happens when you die?”

JANUARY 22, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “What really happens when you die?”

Steve Brown:
What really happens when you die? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
If you think laughter isn’t spiritual or that faithfulness to God means conformity to Christian stereotypes, then this program probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for honest, Biblical answers to honest questions, welcome to Key Life. Here’s our host, author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey. Happy Friday.

Steve Brown:
Happy Friday to you.

Pete Alwinson:
I know here we are.

Steve Brown:
Here we are.

Pete Alwinson:
To dispense truth,

Steve Brown:
from Sinai.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s exactly right.

Steve Brown:
Anybody who believes that, by the way, we, you know, we kid around a lot. We really believe this stuff. And we’re sometimes wrong. So you gotta be like the Berean Christians, you’ve got to get your Bible out and you’ve gotta check. And if you correct us, we’ll change. But you know, you’re, we’re not going to hide from you, we’re going to tell you what we have seen. And between us, we have a whole lot of years of doing this. So mostly. Well, even that’s arrogant. That sounds so self righteous. Mostly we are right though. We love getting your questions. Even if we answer them wrong. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, by the way, that’s Pete Alwinson, and go to ForgeTruth.com. If you haven’t read his book, Like Father, Like Son, consider yourself uneducated. And you can get it wherever good books are sold. Alright, when you ask a question, if you want to, you can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 seven, record your question, and sometimes we put them on the air, in your voice. You can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

In Canada,

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can email us at Steve@keylife.org. And if you can help us financially, all of those places are places where you could do that. We are a member of ECFA and the States and CCCC in Canada, both organizations ensure ethical financial practices. You can charge it on your credit card or just stuff a wad of dollars in an envelope and send it to, actually we take very seriously your gifts and your donations, and we’re very careful how that’s spent. We squeeze every dime for the glory of God. If you can’t, we understand say a prayer for the ministry. And, Pete, you say a prayer for the ministry and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Alright. Father, we do pray for your glory to be revealed through this ministry and in the lives of your people. What a privilege to come to you, at the end of the week. And remember that you’ve been in charge, and loving us every minute of every day. You are large and in charge, you are sovereign, you are kind and merciful and patient with us. You teach us, because we’re your children. You rescue us, because we’re your sheep. You look fondly upon us, because you loved us before the foundation of the world. So Lord, with all your great affection given to us in Christ, we ask that you would help us to revel in it and just rejoice that we’ve along to you and that that power of your grace would energize us every day. Be with us in the midst of our needs. And so many of us have needs right now, that we could list off a whole, a long list of Lord for power, for wisdom, for forgiveness, for love, for a job, for health. And we come to you and we ask that you would meet us down this time of Q&A. We ask that you would be glorified and we’ve given it to you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, let’s go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
What do you think heaven will be like for us one minute after we die and before we have our resurrected bodies?

Steve Brown:
Well, if you die, and one minute later, the resurrection of the body takes place. What you’re asking is what happens in between times. I have not the foggiest idea, but that’s built on a presupposition too. And the presupposition is that, when you die, your body is buried, and God’s going to fix that in the future when Jesus returns and put it all back together and you’ll have a resurrection body. That may not be true. It might be, and historically that’s how those questions are dealt with, that you’re, the spiritual part of you is present with God when you die. And that later on, I Corinthians 15, your body will be resurrected. And so we say in the Apostles Creed, I believe in the resurrection of the body, but what if, when you die, it’s a whole nother world and your move out of time and space, where God is in eternity and timed things, like the question you asked, are not relevant. I mean time stuff fits time and space, if you’re living in time and space.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
But if you’re outside of it and everything’s on a plane, it’s another game altogether. So, you know, I don’t know. There seems to be some contradiction and we know there aren’t, because you get when the dead in Christ will rise in I Corinthians, and then you get the last trumpet, and then you get Jesus saying to the thief today you’re going to be with me in paradise. And you say, wait, wait, wait. There’s gotta be, there’s a problem there, but I don’t see there is, I think God is trying to teach in time language, what it has nothing to do with time. Maybe, you know, that’s surmised.

Pete Alwinson:
No.

Steve Brown:
I find it helpful.

Pete Alwinson:
It is. That’s very, it’s important for us to think globally, like you just helped us think, you know, that God is outside of time and this is all much bigger than we grasp.

Steve Brown:
Oh. It is.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, and so that’s why all of what you said makes sense. It is true, the Bible does seem to speak in phenomenological language, on a plane, in time, sequentially, so that Paul says in I Thessalonians 4.
He will bring with him those who have died in Jesus when he comes back.
So, the older theologians talked about the intermediate state.

Steve Brown:
And that’s what the questioner was asking.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s really what the questioner is bringing up. What’s that going to be like, in some sense, if you think in terms of the intermediate state, then we’re with him, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, we’re with him, in your scheme of things, then we’re with him in the real,

Steve Brown:
In reality.

Pete Alwinson:
in reality and eternity.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. And,

Pete Alwinson:
And with our bodies too.

Steve Brown:
Oh yeah. Well, all of that is one event, rather than two events. But again, you know, we, if God who is infinite is communicating to those who are finite, that would be us. That’s crazy. You can’t even do that. And so God has to get the fodder down low, and that’s why Calvin called the Bible God’s baby talk. It is a God who says,
My thoughts are not your thoughts. And my ways are not your ways, says the Lord. For, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than then your thoughts.
You know, it’s fun to sit around and to talk about these things. It really is,

Pete Alwinson:
It really is, absolutely.

Steve Brown:
but we don’t know.
I mean, we don’t get it. You got to have a high tolerance for ambiguity, if you’re going to be dealing with God,

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
because that’s always going to be you’re part of what’s going on.

Pete Alwinson:
What we can say, is it’s going to be glorious and, and, and it will be more than you could ever imagine.

Steve Brown:
This is an email question. Why do you have a problem with people saying it funerals, well done, thou good and faithful servant?

Pete Alwinson:
Why do you?

Steve Brown:
Well.

Pete Alwinson:
That seems kind of narrow-minded Dr. Brown.

Steve Brown:
And, I’ve offended more people than you have, than you even know. I just don’t think you can say that without an explanation, because when you say it at funerals, you misuse the story that Jesus told. And not only that, you’re suggesting that they were good people and got to heaven that way. And everybody who’s not good, that would be everybody sitting in the congregation at the funeral. They’re not, they’re going to say, Hm. And that’d be everybody, by the way, not everybody will say this, but everybody who knows what I said is true, are going to say I’m in serious trouble. And so they miss the gospel. And so when, well done thou good and faithful servant, there are servants that are faithful. There are servants who do good things. There are servants that serve Christ in hard places. Of course there are. But that ain’t enough to get him to heaven.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And, Jesus was talking about risk more than he was goodness.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
But when you say that, immediately people think goodness. And they think, well, if I’m not good, I’m in trouble, I better be better than I’ve been.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And so they make all kinds of commitments and then they fail. And they live without the gospel.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. That’s so powerful. I remember serving, a funeral, you and I did together.

Steve Brown:
I remember this.

Pete Alwinson:
Do you remember that one?

Steve Brown:
She never spoke to me after that?

Pete Alwinson:
Oh man. Well, the husband, he was a great guy,

Steve Brown:
And he was, I loved him.

Pete Alwinson:
And he said all these kinds of great things. And then you got up there and said, and before I preached a little bit, you preached and you said, He wasn’t perfect.

Steve Brown:
Let me tell you what he would say, if he were here.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. And so that was really good. And that’s needed at a funeral to remember, cause we tend to,

Steve Brown:
Yeah we do.

Pete Alwinson:
We tend to make saints, canonized saints out of those who’ve died.

Steve Brown:
Where should a Christian relate to science? I grapple with the idea that creationism and evolution do not necessarily have to be at odds with one another.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. What do you think?

Steve Brown:
Well, I’m kind of, I really like Hugh Ross, and we have listeners that don’t, but I find Hugh very and Fazale Rana at Reasons to Believe, to be quite cogent and together, he’s not young earth. But he believes in creation and not creation through evolution, but literal out of nothing creation by the God of the universe.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
And I can read Hugh Ross and I think he’s cogent and balanced. Go to reasons.org, if you want to check on some of that. And I think you’ll find it helpful. In fact, if you haven’t been there, you’ll find it absolutely mind blowing. So, but you know, that’s way above this pay level of, you know, I don’t get all that. I don’t understand. I sit and listen to Hugh Ross and think, I don’t, I have no idea of what you just said. But if you’re into it, check it out.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. No, I think that’s a great encouragement and I think they don’t necessarily have to be contradictory, creationism and evolution, but you cannot be a Christian or a Biblicist and believe in the mechanistic atheistic evolution.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. So there. We’ve got to go. Key life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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