If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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What is the spiritual dimension to life? What happens behind the scenes of this physical and visible world. To understand life it is good to understand the context of what life is about, including the unseen factors that are often denied in our materialistic age. Without understanding them, we are working with half the picture; like a student who looks at only half the material for an exam.
This overview points to the main teaching on the subject in the Bible. To understand more, there is a web page on each subject.
The first chapters of Genesis describe our origins. Origins are vital to understand why we are here and what our purpose is. Irrespective of your views on how factual or historical these texts are, they are worth examination at least from a spiritual perspective - What was God up to when He created? What was man’s part supposed to be?
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.*2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
3 Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.5 God called the light "day" and the darkness "night." And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.
Heaven: a place of fulfilment and satisfaction beyond comprehension on earth. Only in heaven will we experience the depth of love, abundance of joy and satisfaction of the soul that we hanker after. The Lord promises to wipe every tear from our eyes. The pain of our time on earth will be dealt with completely as we embrace the fullness of God.
Revelation 21:3-5 3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, God's home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.*4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever."
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making everything new!" And then he said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true."
In the spiritual realm there are beings called angels. The Greek word angelos means messenger. Angels are unseen unless they reveal themselves. They were created by God for a distinct purpose and are powerful agents to do His will.
Luke 1:11-20 11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar.12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him.13 But the angel said, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. ... 19 Then the angel said, "I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news!20 But now, since you didn't believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time."
The devil or Satan is God’s enemy. He is a shadowy figure who is active though unseen. He was one of God’s chief angels who led a rebellion against God at the start of the world. This page looks at his origins and end. Another page looks at his way of operating - The Devil.
Revelation 20:8-10 8 [Satan] will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore.9 And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God's people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.
10 Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Demons or Evil Spirits have a wide range of powers over people and objects. Their origin is not clear from the Bible, but the Bible is clear about their existence and power. The terms ‘demon’ and ‘evil spirit’ are used interchangeably. They are part of Satan’s army.
Luke 4:33-35 33 Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil* spirit—began shouting at Jesus,34 "Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"
35 Jesus cut him short. "Be quiet! Come out of the man," he ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further.
There is an unseen spiritual world. In this unseen world are such beings as angels and demons. There are people who interact with the spiritual forces of darkness, commonly known as ‘the occult’. This is forbidden by God in the Bible. These forces do have power, but interaction with such beings puts a person under their control and leads to death.
Deut 18:10-13 10 For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering.* And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft,11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead.12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the LORD your God will drive them out ahead of you.13 But you must be blameless before the LORD your God.14 The nations you are about to displace consult sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the LORD your God forbids you to do such things."
One day Jesus will return. His return will bring to an end the current order of the world. He will judge the world sending everyone to their reward whether for good or evil.
1 Thessalonians 4: 15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.*16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died* will rise from their graves.17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.18 So encourage each other with these words.
Much of life is punctuated by evaluations to see how well or badly we have done. At the end of life there is also an evaluation. The outcome of that final evaluation decide how we spend the rest of eternity. If we understand the basis of the final evaluation we have a better chance of living for a glorious future.
Revelation 20:11-15 11 And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide.12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave* gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds.14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death.15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
Hell is the place God will send all who are condemned following His evaluation of our lives at the great white throne; all those who refuse God’s forgiveness in this life.
‘Do you think a Nazi war criminal could be forgiven by God and escape Hell; after sending people to the gas chambers?’ Yes! God will forgive anyone who asks forgiveness and receives Life, but people prefer to face Hell than let go of self-justifications, pleasures, pride, or, or ... ‘
2 Thessalonians 1:7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels,8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.
BEYOND HERE AND NOW