I gave my final message in the series on Facing Your Fear yesterday and addressed the fear of death. I've often thought at funerals, "I should share this stuff on Sunday! This is too good just to keep for funerals!"
I took the message a little deeper than the typical nice thoughts about heaven. In fact, I challenged the thoughts a bit and then showed the theology behind why Jesus raising the dead was central to his message.
Two of the biggest questions I get about heaven are: where do we go when we die? and, when do we get our resurrected body?
Paul said that we get our resurrected body when Jesus returns and the dead are raised. He describes how we will be given "spiritual bodies" (read 1 Corinthians 15). What that is, I'm not sure. But Jesus' resurrected body looked the same as normal and he could still eat food but had the ability to go through walls. So there was definitely a difference.
What happens to those who die before Jesus returns? That was a big question in the early church too. Paul said that when we leave our body we are in the presence of the Lord. So, even without a new spiritual body, our spirit must have some form of existence in God's presence. This is the confusing part. But the Bible says nothing about a Purgatory where we wait around waiting for our number to be called!
You can download the sermon text (attached) or download it from the website.