D. James Kennedy
Teaching The Serpent's Lie
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Listen to the last few minutes of Is There Really Life After Death? by Dr. D. James Kennedy, broadcast on the Coral Ridge Hour, Sunday, April 8, 2007. Here is a transcript of the relevant portion:
I can tell you this, I am not concerned about being put into a casket and put into a grave. No one will ever shovel dirt on my face. I am not going to be in a grave. You say ah! He is going to be, what, buried at sea? No. I am not going to be in the gr[ave.] Oh, my body will be in one. But when people are perhaps gathered around the open hole in the ground, and perhaps a few tears are shed, I will be looking down from paradise. I will be more alive than I have ever been alive in my life. Not only am I never going to go into a grave, or a casket, this may startle some of you, but I am never going to die. And if you are planning to die I really feel sorry for you. How can you say that? Jesus Christ said it. He said: "I am the resurrection, and the life: whosoever believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." [John 11:25-26] I live, I believe in him, I will never die. Sorry about you.
Note that Dr. Kennedy has essentially repeated the serpent's lie. He will not die, he will be even more alive [his eyes opened, knowing more], looking down on his casket from paradise [as a god].
So what of the quote from the book of John? What was Jesus really saying?
John 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
John 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
John 11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
John 11:17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
Lazarus, Jesus told them, was dead. And before Jesus arrived at the tomb, Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days already. The discussion that follows with Martha has as its focus the resurrection on the last day:
John 11:21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
John 11:22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
John 11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
John 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
So the context of the conversation is the resurrection of the righteous dead at the second coming. To that context Jesus explains:
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Lazarus was dead, but Martha knew he would be resurrected to life again at the second coming. Jesus was affirming this, saying though a believer be dead (like Lazarus), he will live again, meaning he will be resurrected to life at the second coming. Then Jesus said:
John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
That means: whosoever is resurrected to life at the second coming will live forever, and not die the second death, as Revelation 20:6 clearly affirms:
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, ...
Lazarus was not alive in heaven looking down on his tomb and grieving relatives, only to be jerked back to earth by Jesus. He was dead, in the tomb, knowing nothing (Eccl. 9:5), awaiting his resurrection. Jesus woke him from the sleep of death (John 11:11), bringing him back to life.
So it is, and will be, for all those who die in the faith. They are dead in the grave, sleeping, awaiting their resurrection at the last trumpet:
1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Cor 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1 Cor 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
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The Biblical Truth About Hell.