The Truth About Life After Death Provides Hope And Comfort
While it may be comforting to those coping with the death of loved ones to think of them as looking down from heaven, this belief is not supported by the Bible. Instead, Gods Word comforts us with the fact that God will raise them to life again, and all will have a chance to become children of God, who will live happy, productive and abundant lives forever!
In the meantime, there is no suffering in the grave. The dead have no thoughts or consciousness and are unaware of the passage of time. They are sleeping in their graves.
But God promises they will live again! When the dead are resurrected, it will be as though they have awakened from a deep sleep.
Paul likened the perception of the dead from the time they die to the time they are resurrected as like a moment, in the twinkling of an eye . That means that the time between death and resurrection is like a split second to the personthe blink of an eye.
When the dead are resurrected, it will feel like their death occurred a moment agoeven though their death could have occurred hundreds of years before!
We can take great comfort in knowing that when they awaken, they will rise in a much different world, a world that Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints will have been ruling.
So, to summarize, do we go to heaven when we die?
The Bible answers this question very clearly: No. Only Jesus Christ has gone to heaven. Human beings dont go to heaven or hell at death.
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Believers Can Face Death Without Fear
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:Death is swallowed up in victory.O death, where is your victory?O death, where is your sting?For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Death Was Never Gods Intent
Scripture tells us God designed humans to live eternally in deep relationship with Him. He created the rest of the universe by a mere command, speaking stars, planets, and oceans into being. But when it came to man, Gods involvement was much more direct and intimate.
Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being . Psalm 139 tells us He knit together our inmost being, that He knows us fully, and searches our depths. All of these passages speak of a loving Father and Creator deeply involved with His creation.
Though mankinds sin brought deathseparation from Godinto the world, this was never Gods intent. He created us for life. Life with Him.
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The Consciousness Of The Soul After Death
Is the soul conscious after death? This is not a new question. For centuries there have been certain religionists who have contended that the soul existed after death but that it was not conscious. Upon investigation, some of you may be surprised to know of the wide-spread belief in the teaching of the sleeping of the soul. Because of the universal interest in the whereabouts of the dead, false sects prey upon the public, claiming complete knowledge of the subject. Such groups as Jehovahs Witnesses, spiritualists and others have spread the sophistical conclusion that at death the body returns to dust and the soul becomes unconscious.
Such statements as the following are but a few of the distortions and perversions of the Holy Scriptures that have to do with the soul after death. At death, it is not the body but the soul which dies.The interim from death until the soul is resurrected is one of unconsciousness.Even the apostles were unconscious for centuries. These assertions are being made by the advocates of the teachings of Russell and Rutherford, but they are the views of the men themselves, imposed upon the Holy Scriptures. These ideas were read into the Bible, but were never in the mind of the inspired writers.
Concepts Of Life After Death
The Christian end-time expectation is directed not only at the future of the church but also at the future of the individual believer. It includes definite conceptions of the personal continuance of life after death. Many baptized early Christians were convinced they would not die at all but would still experience the advent of Christ in their lifetimes and would go directly into the Kingdom of God without death. Others were convinced they would go through the air to meet Christ returning upon the clouds of the sky: Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we shall always be with the Lord . In the early imminent expectation, the period between death and the coming of the Kingdom still constituted no object of concern. An expectation that one enters into bliss or perdition immediately after death is also found in the words of Jesus on the cross: Today you will be with me in Paradise .
Eternal life is personal life, and precisely therein is fulfilled the essence of humanity created according to the image of God. Within eternal life there are differences. In the present life there are variations in talent, duty, responsibility, and breadth and height of life, just as there are also distinctions in wages according to the measure of the occupation, the sacrifice of suffering, and the trial . Correspondingly, the resurrected are also distinguished in eternal life according to their glory:
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What Does The Bible Say About Death
Death is the unconquerable foe that has taken over the likes of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. Postulates or theories by minds like Einstein or Stephen Hawking can never be proved upon this subject. So what does the Bible say?
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One of Jesus most significant miracles recorded in the Bible was the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead . There are other instances of people who had been raised from the dead, but unlike those mentioned before in the Bible, Lazarus had been dead for an entire period of four days. When Lazarus died, Jesus said, Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up. Then His disciples said, Lord, if he sleeps he will get well. However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep .
How Is Death Like Sleep
Death is like sleep in that no conscious thought occurs when one has died. People who are dead are completely unconsciousunaware of the passage of time and without any feelings or awareness of themselves or their surroundings.
These Bible verses elaborate on how death is a state of unconsciousness:
- His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth in that very day his thoughts perish .
- For the living know that they will die but the dead know nothing .
- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going .
But another reason death is analogous to sleep is because, as is stated by some of the above scriptures, death is temporary. When someone falls asleep, they will eventually wake up. When someone dies, they experience the sleep of death for a period of time, but will awaken in the future. The Bible calls this the resurrection of the dead.
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Old Testament Bible Verses About Life After Death
In Christianity, the Old Testament refers to the time before Jesus was born. Take a look at the passages about life after death written somewhere between 1200 and 165 BC.
1. Psalm 23:4
King Davids Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death uses the same contrast he often conveyed for a discernible effect. Plus, these are some of the most widely known and oft-repeated words across many platforms and genres.
2. Daniel 12:23
The Book of Daniel is mainly concerned with eschatology, consisting of six stories about Babylon and four visions that interpret the history and predict the future of the victorious Jews.
Verses 12:23 confirm that those who are awakened by God will find happiness and shine brightly for eternity.
3. Ecclesiastes 9:5
Ecclesiastes is part of the wisdom books, written to raise the hard questions and offer more challenging solutions.
In it, verses 9-6 are about the awareness of life, which leads to ignorance after death. The point is to appreciate the moments we have because the days under the sun are limited.
4. Psalm 13:3
Consider me and respond, O Lord. Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death
Here, Kind David tells us that we should remember God by his use of the word consider. Rather than lie in wait or slumber to be retrieved by God, King David asks for some joy or enlightenment.
5. Proverbs 12:28
6. Lamentations 3:32
Even if He causes grief, He will show compassion according to His abundant loving devotion.
7. Isaiah 25:8
What Happens To Your Soul When You Die
Many Christians think of the soul as an immortal entity within us that goes on living after death. What does the Bible say? Describing the creation of human beings in the beginning, the Bible says, And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul . Other Bible translations say, . . . and man became a living being . God did not put a soul into man. He formed the body from the dust of the ground, and then He breathed His life-giving spirit into the lifeless bodyand the result was a soul, or a living being. When a person dies, the reverse takes place. The breath of life departs from the body, and the soul no longer exists. Thats what the Bible says. The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it . At the resurrection, God reunites the body and His life-giving spiritand the person lives again.
If souls existed as separate entities that lived on after we died, that would mean we have immortality. However, the Bible says human beings do not have immortality. Only God is immortal . Paul says that the righteous seek for glory, honor, and immortality . If we had immortal souls, why would the righteous seek after something they already have?
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What Is Man Exactly How Was He Created By God
Genesis 2:7 …’And the LORDGod formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breathof life and man became a living being.’
Genesis 2:7 …’And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breathof life and man became a living soul.’
As we can see here, a “living being” and a “living soul” are the same exact thing. Also, in this very verse is theentire equation of life. And did you notice the word “became”, instead of “was given”? VERY important point! Solet’s look at the equation of life:
Dust of the ground + The breath of life = A living being
Now doesn’t that make a lot of sense? The problem is that this Bible truth already conflicts with the modern theory that a person hasa spirit/or soul/or both inside of him. We see that man before coming to life was merely dust of the ground – a breathless, lifelessbody. It was the breath of life from God that brought Adam to life, making him a living soul. That’s the important point to gain fromthis. Adam wasn’t “GIVEN” a soul. Adam BECAME a living soul with the breath of God inside of him.
Man Is Created To Endless Existence
Every human being enters the world possessed with endless existence. It is true that at death the soul is separated from the body. It is not consistent with the teaching of the Bible to say that at death the soul lapses into a state of complete unconsciousness or even into a deep sleep. If at first glance it would seem that the Bible teaches this, then we will do well to examine those passages where death is referred to as sleep. The few texts that mendacious scholars have dislodged from their context in order to prove that physical death is the cessation of all consciousness can be easily and understandingly explained when interpreted in the light of the many other passages that deal with this subject.
In Ecclesiastes we read The dead know not anything . Certainly we all agree that a dead and deteriorating body has absolutely no consciousness of anything past, present, or future. But are the advocates of soul-sleep justified in using the above text as evidence of the unconscious state of the soul after death? We believe that this method using a text to support a false theory that elsewhere is denied in Scripture, proves that those who stoop to such methods either are untruthful or deficient. Those who teach soul-sleep will find it quite difficult to harmonize their views with other statements that are made by the same writer of Ecclesiastes:
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God Who gave it .
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New Testament Bible Verses About Life After Death
The New Testament provides both uplifting beliefs and intimidating prophecies to consider about life after death.
9. John 11:11-14
In the Death of Lazarus, Lazarus died so that Jesus disciples would recognize His power over death, proving two things. One, Jesus could do much more than heal, and two, He’d reveal God’s glory.
10. 2 Corinthians 5:8
In St. Paul the Apostle’s verse, he writes that it is far more significant to be with the Lord in soul and Spirit awaiting the resurrection than to not be with Him at all.
This verse works as a suitable quote for the inside of a sympathy card after a friend’s death.
11. Revelation 2:11
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes will not be harmed by the second death.
In Revelations 2:11, “the second death” is a reminder of the cessation of life with God. It’s a mournful occasion where His Crown of Life will no longer embrace you.
12. John 3:18
John 3:18 is more or less a verdict about the choices youve made while here on earth. If you have chosen not to believe in God, then you are condemned because youve simultaneously chosen not to believe in Gods son.
13. Luke 16:22
Luke 16:22 is an interesting passage about the value one thinks they have while alive versus how God sees it. No matter who you are in life or how you come to die, the bosom of the Lord sees the person over the profit.
14. Revelation 14:11
15. Hebrews 9:27-28
16. Matthew 24:51
Further Investigations Of Life After Death
For more information and resources to help you understand life after death, check out these books about life after death. Whether youre a skeptic or a believer, youll find a few books to stretch your mind.
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Bible Verses About Life After Death And Heaven
Theres more to life after death or eternal life than you may know. In Christian eschatology, life continues as with God in Heaven. Conversely, Christians believe that lifes flame will perish in hell if God deems it a more suitable place for the person.
Jump ahead to these sections:
Other translations and versions of the Bible offer slight differences to the excerpt quotes below, which may alter the phrasing if not the entire meaning of the passage.
How Many Resurrections
In the book of Revelation, we find that when Christ returns, Satan will be incarcerated and bound in the abyss for 1,000 years. When Christ returns, the faithful saints will be immortalized. “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” .
The first resurrection, as it is called, is for the saintsfaithful Christians. But if there is a “first” resurrection, there is also a “second” resurrection. The Apostle Paul spoke about the order of resurrections, explaining that Jesus Christ is the “firstfruits”the first to be resurrected followed by those who are Christs . After these come the “rest of the dead” mentioned in Revelation 20:5.
Yes, there is hope for non-Christians. Most of them will wait in the grave until the White Throne Judgment and then have their first opportunity to learn the truth and Gods way of life.
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