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Sermon #3177

Death and Heaven

A Sermon on Romans 8:18-23


Romans 8:18-23 ESV KJV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because …

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Sermon Description

Speculation about the end of the world and the millennium (Christ’s thousand year reign) has captivated the Christian imagination throughout church history. This, in conjunction with the intermediate state and the eternal state of believers, provokes great discussion among pastors and theologians. Thankfully, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones helps the church by navigating these topics in this sermon on Romans 8:18–23 titled “Death and Heaven.” He pauses his exposition of Romans in order to demonstrate the futility of interpreting Romans 8 as referring to a literal thousand year reign of Christ instead of the future glory when the children of God inherit the new heaven and new earth. Far from reducing the Christian hope to some type of “spiritism” where a non-bodily existence is the goal, the apostle Paul maintains an eternal state where the body will be like Christ’s resurrected body. This is different than the intermediate state, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, when after death the Christian goes to be with Christ until the resurrection of the dead. All this, he argues, has practical application as Christians engage the world in politics and, most importantly, as they go through great trials and suffering in this life. Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones expound the great biblical truths about death, heaven, intermediate state, glory, resurrection, and the second coming of Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle is dealing with how Christians should face suffering and trials in this present world.
  2. The only way to face suffering is to know the truth about the glory that is awaiting us.
  3. The glory will be revealed in us and through us. The whole creation will partake in this glory.
  4. The glory described here is final and permanent, not temporary. It is the eternal state of the redeemed.
  5. This passage does not refer to what happens when we die or an earthly millennium. It refers to what will happen at the end of the world when Jesus returns.
  6. When we die, our spirits go to be with Christ, which is the intermediate state. This passage refers to the final state that includes our bodies.
  7. In our eternal state, we will not be disembodied spirits. We will have glorified bodies and live on a glorified earth under new heavens.
  8. Heaven in an eternal sense will be heaven on earth. We will spend eternity in our glorified bodies on a glorified earth.
  9. We should not be surprised by anything that happens to us in this world. The whole creation is subject to vanity.
  10. We should never pin our hope on anything man can do to improve conditions. There will be no radical improvement of this world.
  11. Our salvation in the here and now is always incomplete. In our spirits we are saved, but our bodies are not yet redeemed.
  12. At present we groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption of our bodies. The whole creation groans, and we who have the Spirit groan even more.
  13. We groan because we know the condition of our bodies and the suffering in this world, but even more because we know the glory that is coming. The more we know of the glory, the more we groan.
  14. The groaning here is the result of certainty, unlike the wretched man of Romans 7 who did not know he was saved. We groan because we know our deliverance is coming.
  15. We should be waiting for the glory and adoption, not trying to determine times and seasons or make prophecies. We should look for Christ's appearing and the redemption of our bodies.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.