The Happiest Sermon Ever: A Theology of Death

Sunday, June 15th, 2014. “The Happiest Sermon Ever: A Theology of Death” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).



G. K. Beale. 1 & 2 Thessalonians. (IVPNTC). Downer’s Grove: IVP Academic, 2010.

Greg Boyd. The End of the World as You Know it”. Woodland Hills. April 6, 2014.

Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle. Erasing Hell. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2011.

Gordon Fee. The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (NICNT). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.

Edward Fudge. Hell: A Final Word. Abilene: Leafwood, 2012.

Steve Gregg. All You Want to Know About Hell. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2013.

Stanley Grenz. Theology for the Community of God. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.

Stanley Gundry & William Crockett (eds.). Four Views on Hell. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.

Leon Morris. The First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.

Kurt Willems. “Why the Rapture isn’t Biblical”. The Pangea Blog. June 4, 2014.

N.T. Wright. The New Testament and the People of God. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992.

This entry was posted in gospel, hell, Jesus, Kingdom of God, New Testament, Paul, Sermon Podcast, theology. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Happiest Sermon Ever: A Theology of Death

  1. rogerharper says:

    Many thanks Graham,

    You convey much truth with compelling compassion. Great to think of parousia as being with us, no longer hidden but open.

    Thanks too for your good answers at Your journey has brought you to see things afresh and we all benefit from your fresh view.

    You say your journey is continuing. Yes indeed. Your sermon tells us what happens to Christians immediately and ultimately, and to the unrepentant wicked ultimately. What about the latter immediately? What do we say to people in our congregations whose dead relatives were certainly not in Christ? Are they inexorably headed for destruction? Is the God who consigns most of humanity to such destruction really kind and merciful?

    I think the same question theologically is: You have explained Paradise, the New Earth and Gehenna. What about Hades? What did Jesus and the Bible writers say about Hades?

    My own study of this is written up in ‘The Lie of Hell’ ( and Amazon including Kindle.) Elements and additions are at You may be interested in my blog critiquing Tom Wright for expounding ‘life after life death’ – two ‘stages’ – for Christians, but not applying the same to the wicked. You can also listen to my interview at It would be great to read your comments.

    With love in Jesus,


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