Series: Sticks and Stones Week 1 (Fear the Reaper) 10.9.05

Hey all,
Sometimes when I’m trying to go to sleep at night I think about death. I think about where I’m going to go, what it’s going to be like and I even think about who I might see. Sometimes I become overwhelmed with the thought of not being here on earth, not seeing my friends and family. Then there are times I look forward to the possibility of being in heaven and meeting my creator face to face. No matter how I view death I always feel a little overwhelmed. How many of you have ever thought about death?
This past Sunday we started our three week series (10.09.05-10.23.05) Sticks and Stones where we will be tackling such subjects as death, self-image, abuse, and bullying. In our first week (Fear the Reaper) of our brand new series we tackled the Catholic perspective of death. In Sunday’s message we broke down this heavy subject into 4 points. Below I have included the points, passages and quick summary for you to talk with and discuss more with your family.
Hell is where love doesn’t exist.
Matthew 13:42 – “They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
– We often see Hell portrayed by Hollywood as a flaming pit filled with people moaning and wailing. This portrayal is really not too far from what Jesus describes. Hell is shown to us as a place where pain and suffering are constant with no hope of love or peace. This is all due to the absence of God. When we sin we push ourselves away from God, the more we choose sin the farther away we are, hell can be best described as the point at which we have completely pushed God out of our lives by continually choosing sin over his love.
Purgatory means we are on the right path but we still need to work harder.

1 Peter 1:6-9 – “In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
-This is something most Catholics struggle with. Some people believe purgatory is a waiting room or a lesser hell where we stay for eternity. Purgatory is a time where we are on the right path and desire to get into heaven; however, we haven’t completely fulfilled God’s will for us. Purgatory can be looked at more like a stepping stone where a little more work is needed in order to fulfill our purpose; it is not permanent but temporary.
Heaven is a reward for those who live in God’s image and God’s love.

Revelation 22:5 – “Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever”
-Heaven is something to strive for and be desired. It is a place where we are given endless joy and peace. It is a place where we get to meet God and feel his love. By doing God’s will and staying away from sin and temptation we bring ourselves closer to God and will be rewarded for our hard work and suffering here on earth.
Where we go after we die is up to God.

1 Corinthians 2:9 – “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”
– Sadly I have heard people talk about who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. Sometimes people are quick to judge on who deserves what, when really it isn’t their opinion that matters in the subject. God sent Jesus to judge and God created all of us in his image and with his love; therefore, where we go after we die is not up to us but up to God.

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