Do your children understand what happens after death? Join AMBrewster to discuss the importance of such conversations and how Christian parents can use Halloween to find out what their kids believe about the afterlife.
Learn more about Evangelism Parenting.
Check out 5 Ways to Support TLP.
Listen to the following episodes on Apple Podcasts by clicking the titles.
“Teach Your Children to Interpret their Movies Correctly" (episode 267)
Click here for our free Parenting Course!
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow AMBrewster on Twitter.
Follow us on Pinterest.
Subscribe on YouTube.
Need some help? Write to us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com.
Click "Read More" for today’s Episode Notes and Transcript.
To download the PDF, click the link below. To download the images, right-click and select "Save Image As."
Halloween isn’t the only time of year young people contemplate the afterlife, but it seems you just can’t escape it in October.
Today we’re going to discuss the common misconceptions concerning the afterlife and talk about how we can prepare our kids for it.
But first . . .
Don’t forget that if you purchase anything on Amazon after utilizing one of the links at TruthLoveParent.com, TLP will earn a commission off of your purchase. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it’s a huge blessing to us.
You can also invest some of your year-end giving into TLP via our PayPal links. I say, “invest” because that is exactly what it is.
For example, Ryan and Kim are to thank for today’s episode. Their one time gift made it possible to create this resource. And the gifts of our monthly Patrons allow us to do things we would never otherwise be able to do as we fulfill our mission to glorify God by teaching Christians moms and dads to be intentional, premeditated, disciple-making Ambassador Parents.
As you consider how to invest your year-end giving, please click on the “5 Ways to Support TLP" link in the description of this episode to learn about some new options.
Okay, so last time we talked about how you should not shelter your children — of any age — from death. And today we’re going to continue that discussion by considering the natural outcome of death.
Last time I referenced Hebrews 9:27, and that’s where I want to go today.
Hebrews 9:27 and 28, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
Death is not the final stage.
If it were, Christians would have just as much reason to fear it as the rest of the world. It would represent the end of our existence. But it’s only a transitory step in the immortal lifespan of humanity.
We’re born, we live, we die, and then we either live forever or actively die forever.
This is why God says that after death comes judgment.
Therefore, 1. We need to teach our children that there is, in fact, an afterlife.
In episode 267 we discussed how to “Teach Your Children to Interpret their Movies Correctly.” One of the observations we made was that our kids’ entertainment doesn’t try to shield them from death, but it sure does try to shield them from what happens after death.
Marvel recently wrapped up Phase 3 of their movie universe with Avengers: Endgame. Now, if you really want to see the movie and you honestly haven’t seen it yet, I’m about to spoil part of it. But if you legitimately made it this far without seeing it or knowing what happens, that’s kind of amazing.
Anyway, spoiler alert: Tony Stark, Ironman, dies at the end.
And it’s this beautiful sacrificial death. It’s almost Christological.
But, here’s my point. There’s no kid out there wondering where Tony is now. In their minds, he’s dead. He’s not in Hell. He’s certainly not in Heaven. He just isn’t.
And that’s what the incredibly vast majority of films and books teach our kids. By ignoring the afterlife, they come to tacitly accept that it’s either not a thing or it’s not a thing worth worrying about or it’s not a thing we can even know.
So our kids become practical agnostics or atheists when it comes to the afterlife.
May it never be for the children in our homes!
Our kids need to understand the reality of the human life-cycle because there is infinitely more life after death than there is before it.
2. We need to teach our children that the afterlife starts with judgement.
Halloween is a mixed bag with this one.
On one side, Halloween does the same thing our movies do — it doesn’t deal with the afterlife at all. Tombstones and serial killers are everywhere, and that’s it.
On the other side, when it does deal with the afterlife, it sorely misrepresents it. Either everything is this comically hellacious depiction or it injects ideas like ghosts into the situation.
But God talks a lot about the afterlife, and it starts with judgement.
This is not to say that the judgment is a scary thing that denotes merely punishment. This word can refer simply to a non-biased decision. It can result in negative consequences or positive consequences.
The point is, there is something after death, and it starts with this judgement.
By the way, don’t forget about our free episode notes at TruthLoveParent.com. The really great news is that you no longer have to download a JPEG image anymore. You can download the PDF directly. I’m so happy we have that option now.
Anyway, if our kids don’t know about the judgement that comes after death, then how can they prepare for it?
The unbeliever will face The Great White Throne Judgment. Revelation 20:11-15 reads, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
That will be an eternally horrific moment for anyone to experience.
If we don’t want our children to stand in that judgment, we must prepare them for the afterlife. You can click below to hear our episodes dedicated to Evangelism Parenting.
But even if your child is born again, that doesn’t mean that afterlife is free of judgement. Did you know that?
II Corinthians 5:10 reads, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
Romans 14:10-12 says, “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ 12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
I Corinthians 3:10-15 then explains how the Judgement Seat of Christ is going to work: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
Your children will be judged for the lives they lived, and it will happen in the Judgment.
If we don’t teach our children about death and the afterlife, then we are failing to prepare them to meet their God.
So . . . the author of Hebrews says, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
All of this points to the fact that we and our children have a responsibility to consider the afterlife.
This is why our final point is . . .
3. We need to teach our children that the point of life after death is exactly the same as life before death.
Jesus Christ died and rose again to bear the sins of the world. And He is coming back, but when He comes back, it will not be to add to the Gospel, it will be fulfill the Gospel by taking His followers home to Heaven and relegating the rebels to Hell.
The funny thing is that most kids who have any kind of idea about what Heaven may be won’t be surprised to hear that the afterlife is all about God.
What may surprise them is that their life in the here and now is also supposed to be all about God.
Sure, God isn’t visible at this point, and, sure, there’s sin in the world, but we were created to worship God. We need to do that now just like we need to do it in eternity.
And so by teaching your children about the life after death, you’re also preparing them to live a holy life before death.
Now, real quick before we end, I want to share one more bonus point.
I mentioned earlier that Halloween does’t do a good job communicating the truth about the afterlife.
Here are some ways you can use the lies of Halloween to transition into a Biblical discussion concerning the afterlife.
1. You can ask your kids if they think ghosts are real.
And then you can put their minds at ease that humans do not become ghosts by taking them to II Corinthians 5:1-10. That passage contains verses we’ve already discussed, but also talks about how to be “absent from the body” is to be “present with the Lord.”
And Job 7:9-10 reads, “As the cloud fades and vanishes, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up; 10 he returns no more to his house, nor does his place know him anymore.” Of course, this does open up a discussion concerning demonic activity, but the main point is to teach your children what really happens after death.
2. You can ask your kids if they think the Devil lives in Hell.
Most depictions of the Devil give us the impression that he lives in and runs Hell. They also would have us think that the fire and discomfort doesn’t bother him. Even amazing works like C.S.Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters” give us that same impression.
But imagining that Satan runs Hell is like imagining that the prisoner being tortured by medieval devices is the one in charge. Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 25:41, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
God created Hell to punish the fallen angels. Though humans who reject Him will be damned to join Satan, it was created by God for the Devil, not by the Devil.
This can also lead into a discussion about the nature of Hell and how God doesn’t want anyone to die and perish for all eternity. He wants to give them eternal life!
3. You can ask your kids what they think about immortality?
Many fictional characters are immortal, including vampires. I think immortality is so intoxicating to humans because that’s what we are. We were created to live forever. Unfortunately, unbelievers and distracted Christians are so stuck on living this life as long as they can because death seems to be the end.
That’s like a child staying in their diapers as long as they can because they’re afraid of what comes next. Imagine a 22 year old still using diapers — that’s exactly what humans are like who aren’t looking forward to the afterlife.
You can use this conversation to teach your children that they are immortal. Sure, their current body will likely one day die, but their spirits will live forever and God will give them a new body — it will either be a new body created to enjoy eternity with God or a new body able to endure the torments of Hell forever.
I get that some of you may think the topics of death and hell are distasteful, but God doesn’t. We need to unpack Scriptures for them so they can better understand Who God is, who they are, and what that means for their lives.
To not talk about our immortality is to mislead our kids about God’s amazing plans for our lives.
To not talk about death is to lie to our children about sin. The wages of sin is death, not mom’s disappointment or dad’s anger.
To not talk about the afterlife is to confuse our children as to the point of their existence.
Let’s be Ambassador Parents who help our kids know their Creator better, not worse.
Don’t forget to shop Amazon this week by using the Amazon links at TruthLoveParent.com.
And while you’re there check out the many new things being added every day.
For example, we’re slowly rolling out the official TLP Store. Im really excited about the canvas wall art that’s been created for us. You can get The Communication House on a beautiful canvas. It’s an awesome conversation starter, but it’s an even better reminder of how God wants your family talking to each other.
We also have a really cool canvas that reads, “We are an intentional, premeditated, disciple-making, ambassador family.”
I’ll include a link to the TLP Store in the description. Don’t forget to check it out.
And also don’t forget to rate and review the show. It’s been a little while since our last one, and there are still bunch of you who subscribe and listen who haven’t taken the opportunity to click a star rating or leave an encouraging review. So, make sure you do that.
Obviously, you need to share this episode on your favorite social media outlets.
And join us next time as we discuss the dreaded very scary creatures living in your home. They’re not just terrorists. They’re not just zombies. They’re Zombie Terrorists!
I love you guys, and I love ministering to you in this way.
I know that God has awesome things panned for your family, and TLP wants to help you achieve them.
So, let’s do this again next time.
Join The TLP Family and receive email updates when we publish new articles and episodes.
Subscribe to Our Podcast