This past Wednesday night I participated in an outreach along with Talbot colleagues Gary Manning and Alan Hultberg at the Uptown Whittier YMCA. The outreach was in support of a new campus plant for Whittier Hills Baptist Church in one of many “downtowns” here in the Los Angeles basin (but referred to in Whittier as “uptown” rather than “downtown”). People from the uptown community received invitations either on the street—I went out twice along with two of my daughters and some others from the church—or by mail. We told people that the purpose of the forum was to respond to the recent upturn in the media of discussions about what happens after death. The turnout to the event was good and the responses were encouraging.
Here is a link to the audio recording of my 25 minute talk followed immediately by 30 minutes of questions and answers by our three member panel.
Outline of opening talk by Ken Berding:
- Misconceptions about Heaven (Note: The presentation included an eight minute video clip from a Barbara Walters expose called Heaven to illustrated misconceptions about heaven in popular culture. Her portion has been cut out right after the introduction; that’s why the first minute or so of the talk seems a little bumpy.)
- What the Bible actually says about Heaven
- Misconceptions about Hell
- What the Bible actually says about Hell
- Who goes where?
Panel Discussion with Talbot professors Alan Hultberg, Gary Manning, and Ken Berding, moderated by Joel Garman.
Nine Questions were asked from the Audience:
- If there is no pain or crying in heaven, what if we don’t see a loved one there? (Respondents: Gary, Alan)
- Some Christians believe in a place called “Purgatory.” What is it and why do some people believe in it? (Respondents: Alan, Gary)
- Will we remember our lives on earth when we’re in heaven or hell? (Respondent: Ken)
- If God is a loving God, how can he send people to hell, which is eternal separation from God? (Respondent: Alan)
- In John 3 we hear about being born by water and spirit. What about baptism? Do people have to be baptized to go to heaven? (Respondents: Gary, Ken)
- Can people who are in heaven or hell now communicate with people who are alive? (Respondents: Alan, Ken)
- What about people who have a near death experience, are resuscitated, and then claim to have gone to heaven or hell? (Respondents: Ken, Gary)
- What happens to children or babies when they die? (Respondents: Alan, Ken, Alan)
- How do we know for sure whether we’re going to heaven or hell? (Respondents: Gary, Alan, Ken)