Introduction: Next to the question of “Where did we come from?” is the
question, “Where do we go after we die?” The older you get, the more
interest you would logically have in the second question. There is
much confusion today about the Biblical answer, so let’s dive in to
see what the Bible has to say about it!

  1. Satan’s First Lie

    1. Read Genesis 3:1-3. Why did the serpent (Satan) misquote God
      in verse 1? (He wanted to start a discussion about fruit

      1. What if Eve answered, “I’m not sure. You know how it
        is when you’re first created. There are so many forms
        to sign! And instructional booklets; there are
        booklets on everything! It’s all so new! We got so
        many directions at one time I’m a little hazy on the
        subject.” (Satan’s second purpose in asking the
        question was to “make the record clear” that Eve
        clearly understood what God had said on the subject.
        No one would be able to say that the sin of mankind
        was an accident.)

    2. Read Genesis 3:4-6. Was Satan’s statement that Eve would
      not “surely die” a lie? (Eve had affirmed that God said that
      eating the fruit would cause death. Therefore, Satan
      directly contradicted God.)

      1. What do you think motivated Eve to eat the fruit? Did
        she want to test whether she would die? (No. Who wants
        to test that? It was the lie about being like God that
        attracted her.)

        1. Was the “being like God” line a lie?

        2. Don’t we sing in church about becoming “more like
          Jesus every day?” Isn’t our goal to become more
          like God? (The “like God” aspect that Satan was
          marketing to Eve was “knowing good and evil.”
          They already knew about good. The lie had two
          parts: they could know evil and not die.)

        3. What was wrong with Satan’s suggested path to “be
          like God?” (It involved disobeying God and taking
          Eve’s own path to knowing more about evil. The
          quest to “be like God” is what caused Satan to
          fall in the first place. See, Isaiah 14:13-14.)

          1. Do you know people who want to be “gods”
            without obeying the Heavenly Father?

      2. If you had been Eve, would you have fallen to this
        temptation? (Everyone who reads this lesson has
        sinned. 1 Timothy 2:14 tells us that Eve sinned
        because she was deceived. It also says Adam was not
        deceived when he sinned. The logical conclusion from
        that statement is that Adam deliberately sinned. Paul
        seems to suggest that gives Adam some credit over Eve.
        Is it better to be a ninny or a rebel? The rest of us
        can probably admit to being both ninnies and rebels at
        some point in our life.)

    3. Since we believe God and not Satan, at this point in our
      lesson we are all dead. Is there a way out? Let’s explore
      that next.

  2. The Way Out

    1. Read 1 John 5:1. Why is it important to be “born of God?”
      (We just learned in Genesis that we are dead because of sin.
      If it were possible, a dead person would need to be born
      again, right?)

    2. Read 1 John 5:2-3. How do we know that we are born again?
      (Verse 1 tells us believing Jesus is the Christ is the basis
      for the new birth. However, verse two tells us that from
      that new birth springs love “for the children of God.” This
      love has two parts: loving God and obeying His

      1. Why does obedience to God’s commandments demonstrate
        “love to the children of God?” (This gives some hard
        edges, some definition to the concept of love. It is
        not some abstract, mushy feeling. True love can be
        measured by performance towards our fellow humans and
        towards God’s requirements. However, as verse 3 says,
        these commands “are not burdensome.”)

    3. Read 1 John 5:4-5, 11-13. What does it mean to “overcome the
      world?” (Putting these texts together shows that overcoming
      the world is the gift of eternal life.)

      1. How do we get this eternal life according to verses
        11-13? (Again, belief in Jesus gives us confidence
        (“you may know”) that we have eternal life.)

    4. After reading these texts, what is your conclusion about
      whether the wicked will die? (This is a clear and
      fundamental truth of the Bible. If you sin and turn away
      from God you die. If you accept Jesus, you have eternal

  3. The Future

    1. So far we have learned that we have two options: death or
      life. Satan’s first lie was that sin did not bring death. We
      know about that lie now, so we should not fall into that
      same “hole” of thinking that we can sin and live.

      1. Let’s explore how this life and death choice works.
        When do we get this eternal life?

      2. Do the righteous get one death (because they sinned in
        the past) and then get eternal life?

      3. What is eternal death for the wicked?

    1. Since the Bible has a great deal to say about these kinds of
      questions, much of which seems confusing, we are going to
      basically stick to the “hard evidence” texts.

      1. Can we, who have sinned, go to heaven without first
        dying? (Yes. There is precedent for this in the
        “translation before death” of both Elijah (2Kings
        2:11-12; Matthew 17:1-3)and Enoch ( Genesis 5:24;
        Hebrews 11:5). In addition, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
        describes a group that are taken directly to heaven.)

    2. Can we go to heaven soon after death? (Yes. The death and
      burial of Moses is described in Deuteronomy 34:4-7. A
      cryptic reference to God bringing Moses to life is found in
      Jude 1:9, and clear evidence of this is found in Matthew
      17:1-3. Of course, this also happened to Jesus. Matthew

    3. Can we be resurrected and go to heaven long after death?
      (Yes. In 1 Corinthians 15:12-14 Paul argues the general
      resurrection of the righteous. Later in that same chapter (1
      Corinthians 15:51-54) he explains the nature of the general
      resurrection of the righteous at the Second Coming of Jesus
      (v.52 “last trumpet”). Perhaps the best description of this
      is in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, which discusses the timing of
      both the resurrection of the righteous dead and the
      translation of the righteous living at Jesus’ Second

    4. Most funerals that I attend speak of the departed loved one
      as being in heaven at that time. Is that possible? (The
      example of Moses and Jesus show the possibility going to
      heaven shortly after death. However, there is the problem
      that neither Moses ( Jude 1:9) nor Jesus left a body behind
      to view. My belief is the Bible teaches that immediate
      transportation to heaven is rare. Paul’s discussion of the
      future of the righteous in 1 Thessalonians 4 teaches that
      the bulk of the righteous dead remain in the grave until the
      Second Coming of Jesus.)

    5. What about the future of the wicked? Do they burn forever in

      1. If the wicked burned forever in hell would they have
        eternal life? (Yes. The texts on hell seem to be all
        over the place when you first read them. The Biblical
        evidence that convinces me that hell is not forever is
        Satan’s first lie — that sin would not cause death.)

      2. If you teach that the wicked do not burn forever in
        hell, will that cause some people to sin who would
        otherwise be too scared to sin? (Does anyone think
        that Jesus ever used terror as a conversion tool?
        Since the Bible is plain that the wicked burn
        ( Revelation 20:7-10), just how much burning is
        necessary to deter sinners?)

    6. Friend, God gives us two options. Eternal life with Him or
      eternal death by fire. Since He loved us so much that He
      died in our place, can we reasonably choose anything other
      than life?

  1. Next Week: Light and Shadows: The Earthly Sanctuary.