One Minute After You Die STUDY GUIDE

One Minute After You Die STUDY GUIDE

by Erwin W. Lutzer
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One Minute After You Die STUDY GUIDE by Erwin W. Lutzer

"One minute after you die you will either be elated or terrified. And it will be too late to reroute your travel plans."

Death comes to all, and yet death is not the end. For some, death is the beginning of unending bliss, for others, unending despair. This study guide companion to One Minute After You Die is perfect for those who want to go deeper in their understanding of life after death. Dr. Lutzer will guide you to a biblical and practical perspective on issues like:

  • Channeling, reincarnation, and near-death experiences
  • What heaven and hell will be like
  • The justice of eternal punishment
  • Trusting in God’s providence
  • Preparing for your own final moment

Split into eight manageable sections, this study guide will help you to engage the material via study questions, discussion points, and personal reflection. The One Minute After You Die DVD is also available to help guide your group or individual study.

Though the afterlife is shrouded in mystery, the Bible does peel back the curtain. Dr. Lutzer will help you understand what is on the other side.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802412966
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 05/01/2015
Edition description: Study Guid
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 1,258,325
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

DR. ERWIN LUTZER has served as senior pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago for over 30 years. A renowned theologian, Dr. Lutzer earned his BTh from Winnipeg Bible College, a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary, a MA in philosophy from Loyola University, and an honorary LL.D. from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law. He is an award-winning author and the featured speaker on three radio programs that can be heard on more than 700 radio stations in the United States and around the world. Dr. Lutzer and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Chicago area and have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

Read an Excerpt

One Minute After you Die

Study Guide

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2015 Erwin W. Lutzer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-1296-6



In preparation for these discussion questions and the DVD lecture, please read:

CHAPTER 1,Attempting to Peek behind the Curtain"CHAPTER 2,"The Descent into Gloom"

From the Author

Denial, anger, fear, depression, and helpless resignation—all these feelings erupt in the hearts of those who face death. No matter that death is common to the human race; each person must face it individually. No one can endure this moment for us. Friends and family can walk only as far as the curtain; the dying one must disappear behind the veil alone.

Naturally, we would like to know in advance what we can expect on the other side. Human nature being what it is, we grasp for some clue, some hint we might glean from those who are about to cross the boundary.

Reincarnation, altered states of consciousness, and glad reunions in a metaphysical place such as heaven are popular themes at the box office. Dozens of movies portray the enchantment of the life beyond. Fear of death has been supplanted by blissful feelings about a hereafter where everyone ends happily reunited. There is no judgment, no careful review of one's life. To be sure, death has mystery, we are told, but it is not to be dreaded.

How legitimate are reported glimpses from behind the curtain? Many are convinced that the immortality of the soul is now confirmed by paranormal experiences that can have no other explanation than that the soul does survive the death of the body. But can reliable information be transmitted back to earth by those who tell us what they have seen and heard from the other side?

Although we have no reason to think that we can peer behind the curtain and report what we have found, we can gratefully accept all that God has shown to us in His Word.


Answer these questions while watching the DVD and reading the book.

1. Life's last great mystery is death. We must all face this mystery __________.

2. Those who engage in the occult practice of channeling claim they are speaking with the __________.

3. Followers of the doctrine of reincarnation hold that death itself does not __________.

4. Usually, near-death experiences involve a person's soul being separated from their __________.

5. Near-death experiences may not reflect the __________ experiences of life beyond death.

6. Authoritative and reliable information about what exists beyond death comes to us only from what God reveals to us in the __________.


1. What personal experiences can you share as you think about the topic of death? Do you fear death or do you welcome it?

2. What are some dangers channeling presents to its practitioners? How do demonic spirits influence this activity?

3. Read Deuteronomy 18:11–12 and Isaiah 8:19–20. What do these passages tell us about God's view of one's consulting a medium?

4. From a biblical point of view, how may we explain the phenomenon of ghosts? What should be our position regarding this phenomenon?

5. Discuss the doctrine of reincarnation. What are its basic premises?

6. Discuss 2 Corinthians 11:14 and Satan's practice of duplicating God's light by disguising himself as "an angel of light." What other deceptions and substitutions for truth might we find within these occult practices?

7. Discuss the qualifications of Jesus in telling us what lies on "the other side."

8. Describe your understanding of the concept of sheol. How would you explain your view to someone?

9. What Greek word is used in the New Testament to translate the Hebrew sheol. What do you think the story Jesus told in Luke 16 teaches us about the afterlife?


For the believer in Christ, we have a glimpse beyond the curtain, and it is based on the authoritative Word of God. Christ has risen from the dead and in doing so has conquered death. We can have no greater assurance regarding death than from the risen Christ: "I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades" (Revelation 1:18).

If you are a Christian, you may rejoice that death is not an enemy to be feared. The apostle Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 15:55, "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sin that gave death its sting has been conquered by our Lord (w. 56–57).

We may go about our walk of faith, confidently anticipating death. As Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: "We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him" (2 Corinthians 5:6–9).

Even so, death has mysteries that must be explored. In the next section, we will discuss what unbelievers experience at death.

Engaging the Topic answers:

1. Alone 2. Dead 3. Exist 4. Body 5. True 6. Bible



In preparation for these discussion questions and the DVD lecture, please read:

CHAPTER 2, "The Descent into Gloom"

From the Author

Death, we must remember, is the consequence of Adam and Eve's disobedience in the garden of Eden. God had warned them that if they ate the forbidden fruit, they would die. And die they did. They died spiritually in that they were separated from God and tried to hide from Him. They also began to die physically, as their bodies had begun the journey to the grave. And if Adam and Eve had not been redeemed by God, they would have died eternally, which is the third form of death. From the original disobedience in Eden, death in all its forms began its trek throughout the world.

As we learned in the last session, the most important word in the Old Testament that speaks of the afterlife is the Hebrew word sheol. So here are some facts we should know in order to understand what the Old Testament means by the word sheol. First, there is a clear distinction between the grave, where the body rests, and sheol, where the spirits of the dead gather. Second, sheol is often spoken of as a shadowy place of darkness, a place that is not part of this existence. Third, after death one can be united with his ancestors in sheol.

In the New Testament, we find sheol translated by the Greek word hades. The New Testament pulls back the curtain so that we can see into hades (or sheol) with more clarity. Here we are given some very specific details about what hades is like, both for those who die as believers as well as those who die as unbelievers.

Christ described the radically different destinies of a believer and unbeliever. So far we have learned that death has two faces: to the unbeliever the very thought of death is terrifying, or at least it should be. But for those who have made their peace with God, death is a blissful eternity.


Answer these questions while watching the DVD and reading the book.

1. The fall of man in the garden of Eden, and its consequence of death, was the result of Adam and Eve's __________ to God.

2. An important Old Testament word that sheds some light on the afterlife is the Hebrew word __________.

3. New Testament discussion centering on the Greek word __________ provides even more clarity regarding the afterlife.

4. Today when believers die, they are said to go directly to __________.

5. A tradition in medieval times was the faulty theology of __________.

6. For the unbeliever, the thought of death can be __________.

7. For the believer, death is a means of __________.


1. Have you attended funerals of both believers and nonbelievers? If so, did you note differences between the services?

2. Read the story Jesus told in Luke 16:16–31. Have each member of the group comment on a particular characteristic of the account that stood out for them. What did you collectively learn about hades in this passage?

3. For a moment assume the role of Lazarus and describe the emotions he experienced; then do the same with the rich man. Consider the importance of this story for understanding the hereafter.

4. From this story, observe the reversal of roles between the rich man and Lazarus. In what ways did the rich man's perspective change after arriving in hades?

5. Focus on Luke 16:31. In what way is the statement of this man even more relevant to us than it was back in Jesus' day?

6. What is the doctrine of purgatory? Why is it faulty theology?

7. In the lecture, a sharp distinction is made between the judgment of believers and that of unbelievers. As you contemplate these passages, what does all this mean for you?

8. How would you advise someone who fears death?


The psalmist confidently exclaims, "I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you" (Psalm 73:23–25). All Christians can embrace this same confidence.

The believer is not destined for hades but rather for heaven. When we leave our earthly bodies, we will find ourselves "at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). Regardless of our struggles and pressures, as believers we may stand firm on the evidence of our risen Savior. As the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead" (2 Timothy 2:8).

Perhaps one of the most important passages on how believers should approach death is found in Philippians 1:19–26. Here Paul said that for him to die was not a loss but a "gain." To be with Christ was "far better." This kind of faith was so prevalent among the early believers that the pagans said, "The Christians carry their dead as if in triumph!" May that be true of us also.

How forward-looking are you?

Engaging the Topic answers:

1. Disobedience 2. Sheol 3. Hades 4. Heaven 5. Purgatory 6. Terrifying 7. Deliverance



In preparation for these discussion questions and the DVD lecture, please read:

CHAPTER 3, "Ascent into Glory"

From the Author

The doctor has just told you news that you thought could only be true about someone else. You have a rare form of cancer, which almost certainly is terminal. The surgeon tells you that you have at most a year to live.

No doubt you will vacillate between despair and hope, denial and determination. Perhaps you will have more concern for those you leave behind than you do for yourself. Not a one of us can predict how we might react when it is our turn to hear the dreadful news.

And yet the Bible presents an entirely different view of death that should give us hope. After Adam and Eve sinned, they died spiritually as well as physically. Thus God prevented Adam and Eve from eternal sinfulness by giving them the gift of death, the ability to exit this life and arrive safely in the wondrous life to come.

And why should we fear death if it is the route to our final home? Jesus assures us that there is nothing to fear; in fact, the knowledge that we shall die gives us the courage and hope to live triumphantly in this world!


Answer these questions while watching the DVD and reading the book.

1. The biblical view of death is one that should give the believer __________.

2. After sinning in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve died as well as physically.

3. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus described death as an __________.

4. Our present body is a temporary structure like a __________, where our spirit dwells.

5. Sleep is a New Testament picture of death, because the body sleeps until the day of our__________.

6. __________ grief is grief that enables us to make the transition to a new phase of existence.

7. We should not view death as taking us from our home; rather, we should view it as__________ us into our home.

8. Christ has prepared for every believer a __________ in heaven.


1. Put yourself in the place of Adam or Eve. Given the same scenario, how do you think you would have responded to the same temptation they faced?

2. Do you have a loved one or friend who is facing a cancer or some other kind of terminal condition? How can you help them face this difficult transition?

3. How does the experience of Stephen help us anticipate what we will see when we arrive in heaven? (See Acts 7:54–60.)

4. Jesus often referred to death as "sleep." (Read Luke 8:52; John 11:11; and 1 Corinthians 15:52.) What did He mean by referring to death as "a sleep"? In what ways did Jesus apply that image?

5. Define "good grief." What does this kind of grief enable us to do?

6. Read Hebrew 6:19–20. What encouragements does this passage give to the believer who is anticipating heaven?

7. What kinds of investments have you made in this life that you consider valuable? What investments have you made in preparation for the life to come?

8. What does Hebrews 2:14–15 teach us? Discuss the difference between the power of death and the fear of death. How can Satan use the fear of death as a weapon against believers?

9. The apostle Paul uses an interesting image for death—that of a sailing ship weighing anchor (Philippians 1:23). Why was Paul so confident that death would be "far better"?


Have you ever taken the pulse of your heart's desire for heaven? Once again I want you to think about Paul's words in Philippians, where the apostle Paul said, "My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better" (Philippians 1:23). Clearly, Paul had weighed the two, and there was no doubt in his mind. As we take an inventory of God's promises pertaining to heaven, we can only imagine what will be "far better."

When we do ascend into glory, consider the promise we have from our Lord regarding our final, permanent home! Jesus told us, "In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:2–3). As children of God, the more we contemplate our heavenly home, the more we find that our earthly home loses its appeal.

As we await our future ascent into heaven, let us lay hold of this hope given to us in Hebrews 6:19–20: "We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf." Our anchor is fastened to Jesus Christ Himself!

When I asked my mother whether or nor she was sure of heaven, she replied, "I am as sure as if I am there already!" Consider where such assurance comes from and how you and I can share the same confidence.

Engaging the Topic answers: 1. Comfort 2. Spiritually 3. Exodus 4. Tent 5. Resurrection 6. Good 7. Receiving 8. Dwelling place



In preparation for these discussion questions and the DVD lecture, please read:

CHAPTER 4: "Welcome! You Have Arrived!"

From the Author

Since we are Christ's sheep, He calls us by name, perhaps standing even as He did for Stephen. We look into His eyes and see compassion, love, and understanding. Though we are unworthy, we know His welcome is genuine.

So much is different, yet you are the same person you were while on earth. You have entered heaven without a break in consciousness. Back on earth your friends will bury your body, but they cannot bury you. Personhood survives the death of the body.

Death, someone has said, is "powerful business," for you just keep living somewhere else without undue interruption. One minute after we die, our minds, our memories, will be clearer than ever before. Think of your purest joy on earth; then multiply that many times and you might catch a glimpse of heavens euphoria.

Knowledge, love, feelings, a desire for justice—all of these are the present experience of those who have gone ahead of us to heaven. Remember that the entire personality simply carries over into the life beyond. Heaven has its differences, but it is populated with your friends, who are still the same people who once dwelt on the earth.

Death rescues us from the endlessness of this existence; it is the means by which those who love God finally are brought to Him. Only on this side of the curtain is death our enemy. Just beyond the curtain the monster turns out to be our friend.


Answer these questions while watching the DVD and reading the book.

1. Although we will undergo a transition from this earthly realm to the heavenly realm, our __________ will continue.

2. In heaven, __________will no longer be part of our being.

3. In heaven our faith will give way to __________

4. For the believer in Christ, death is not our enemy but rather our __________.

5. With regard to our allotted time on earth, it is not how long we live but the __________ we make that matters.

6. Our future body in heaven will be like Christ's __________ body.


1. What sort of welcome do you anticipate receiving upon your arrival in heaven? What kind of reunions can you envision?

2. If those in heaven you know could talk to you, what do you think they would say? If you could talk to them, what would be your first question?

3. Theologians have questions about our intermediate state—the time between our arrival in heaven and when we receive our permanent, resurrected bodies. Read 2 Corinthians 5:1 and discuss what Paul was anticipating when he died. Of what can we be certain when we arrive in heaven?

4. How does Revelation 6:9–10 help us in understanding what the saints in heaven are like today, in their appearance, ability to communicate, etc.?


Excerpted from One Minute After you Die by Erwin W. Lutzer. Copyright © 2015 Erwin W. Lutzer. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

1. Attempting to Peek Behing the Curtain

2. The Descent into Gloom

3. The Ascent into Glory

4. Welcome! You Have Arrived!

5. Living in the New Jerusalem

6. When Hades Is Thrown into Hell

7. When the Curtain Opens for You

8. Knowing Today Where You Will Be Tomorrow

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One Minute after You Die Study Guide 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I wanted to be lectured with this same old baseless dogma, I could read the Bible myself! The authors of the present day Bible didn't even know Jesus. Besides, there are at least 60+ versions of the Bible written that claim to be the truth. This is the same old "fire and brimstone" put together centuries ago by a bunch of sour old men to control people. I have a personal relationship with Jesus and I am not afraid of him. He walks with me everyday and embues me with the certainity of his love. I need not fear evil. I feel sorry for "Christians" who choose to live in fear. J.J. Lodi, CA
dvwqhp More than 1 year ago
This book was a wonderful comfort after my Dad died suddenly at a young age. Knowing he was a Christian gave me the comfort in knowing where he was and that one day, we would all be together again in Heaven. What I longed to know was what my Dad was doing now? This book help me so much to understand what he is doing right now in Heaven. It was such a blessing to have this available. I have bought many other copies and shared them with others that have lost loved ones too. They too have found great comfort in it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago