Questions And Answers On Heaven With The Late Dr Billy Graham
- May 8, 2018
Q: What happens to us in the first minute after we die? Do we enter heaven immediately, or do our souls go into some kind of a sleep until the end of time, when our souls and our bodies will be reunited? I’ve always had lots of questions about heaven.
A: The Bible doesnt answer all our questions about heaven and life after deathand the reason is because our minds are limited and heaven is far too glorious for us to understand. Some day, all of our questions will be answeredbut not yet. As the Apostle Paul wrote, Now I know in part then I shall know fully .
However, the Bible certainly does indicate that when we die we enter immediately into Gods presence if we belong to Christ. From our earthly point of view, death looks somewhat like sleepbut not from Gods point of view. Paul declared, We are confident , I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord . Elsewhere he wrote, I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far .
Later, we will be given new bodiesbodies that will never age or be subject to death, because they will be like Christs resurrection body. As the Bible says, The dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed .
Is your hope in Christ? Death is a realitybut so is Gods offer of salvation in Christ. Dont put off your decision for Him, because you could be called into eternity at any momentand then it will be too late.
Do you know Jesus? You can. Heres how.
The Ultimate Question: Where Will You Go When You Die
Though views differ and questions remain about the afterlife, in the end each person must find for themselves the answer to the most important question: Where will you go when you die?
According to the Bible, every human being that dies will spend eternity either with God or separated from God. A natural response might be to wonder why there are two options.
What Happens To Children Who Die
This is obviously a very tender subject to many people. Parents want to know: Will I see my child again? The place to begin in answering this question is with the observation that the Bible doesnt specifically address this question. However, we do know two things are true. First, children are not born innocent, but sinful. If children who die do go to heavenand I believe they doit is not because they are morally innocent in the sight of God. All of us are born with an inclination to sin that leads us away from God. Ephesians 2:1 says that we are spiritually dead by nature. That applies as much to young children as it does to adults. Second, we know that Gods grace is always greater than human sin. Romans 5:20 reminds us that where sin abounded, grace superabounded. Gods grace always goes far beyond sins disgrace.
I believe that Gods grace credits children with the merits of Jesus blood and righteousness so that children who die before they are old enough to believe are covered by His blood, and their entrance into heaven is made sure and certain. Thus they are saved by grace exactly as we are.
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Bible Verses About What Happens When You Die
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What Happens At The Moment Of Death
Now we come to the central question: What happens at the very moment of death? I have already given the general answer: What happens when you die depends on what happens before you die. The Bible classifies the whole human race into two broad categoriesthe saved and the lost. The saved are those who have trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The lost are those who havent. What happens to the saved is radically different from what happens to the lost.
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Whats After Death Why Do We Need To Sleep
The death that humanity experiences at the end of their earthly lives is not the end of humanitys story. The dead may not be in heaven looking down at us, but they will rise again when Jesus returns to earth at His Second Coming.
Until then, everyone sleeps.
Death has been addressed many times throughout the Bible, and always with a sense of assurance. Solomon had no doubts about what happened after death when he wrote the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing .
The writers who chronicled the books of 1 and 2 Kings never doubted that the rulers of Israel rested with their ancestors after they died. The teachings of Scripture were clear to them.
But the Bible talks about another sort of assurance as well. An assurance of something after death.
Job knew about it . So did the prophet Daniel . Its the same assurance Jesus gave to Martha before they went to Lazarus tomb. He told her that her brother would rise again.
Yes, said Martha. I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.
And Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life.
That is the assurance that Christ gives us, the promise of life beyond the power of death. A life we can only reach through him. As he said to the Jews during his ministry:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
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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Where Can You Go From Here
- Do you want to choose to spend eternity with God? You can begin a relationship with God right now and know for certain where you will go when you die.
- Read a more detailed explanation of how to start a relationship with God, including a prayer you can use to express your decision.
- If you have committed your life to Christ and want help getting established as a Christian, sign up for our Spiritual Starter Kit.
Not Everyone Goes To The Same Place
According to Scripture, each of us will go to one of two places once we die. Those whove trusted in Christ for salvation will immediately be ushered into His presence, where they will remain for all of eternity. Those who have rejected Him and His offer of grace, however, will spend eternity in hell.
Hell isnt a place we like to talk or read about, but Jesus, the One offering eternal life, addressed this topic on more than one occasion. He told us its a place of darkness and of fire, populated by the wicked and rebellious. With each parable and statement, its as if Hes offering us a warning: Theres death and in this context, that means separation from God, and life. Choose life.
What if our inner angst regarding hell points to the heart of God? Scripture is clear: God is a loving Father who doesnt want anyone to perish. As I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked . To the contrary God is loving toward all of His creation and heaven rejoices when a single sinner recognizes her need for Jesus and turns to Him.
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To Dust You Will Return
God explained what happens when we die when he spoke to the first man, Adam. Because Adam was disobedient, God said to him: Dust you are and to dust you will return. Before God created Adam out of dust from the ground, Adam did not exist. Likewise, when Adam died, he returned to dust and ceased to exist.
The same thing happens to those who die now. Speaking of both humans and animals, the Bible says: They have all come to be from the dust, and they are all returning to the dust.Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20.
What Happens When We Die Can We Communicate With The Dead What About Psychics And All Of That
As a pastor I get questions about life after death, communicating with the dead, psychics, fortune-telling and the like. I think gotquestions.org explains it all best below.
Question: “What happens after death?”
Answer: Within the Christian faith, there is a significant amount of confusion regarding what happens after death. Some hold that after death, everyone sleeps until the final judgment, after which everyone will be sent to heaven or hell. Others believe that at the moment of death, people are instantly judged and sent to their eternal destinations. Still others claim that when people die, their souls/spirits are sent to a temporary heaven or hell, to await the final resurrection, the final judgment, and then the finality of their eternal destination. So, what exactly does the Bible say happens after death?
Question: “But what does the Bible say about praying to / speaking to / talking to the dead?”
Answer: Praying to the dead is strictly forbidden in the Bible. Deuteronomy 18:11tells us that anyone who consults with the dead is detestable to the Lord. The story of Saul consulting a medium to bring up the spirit of the dead Samuel resulted in his death because he was unfaithful to the LORD he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance . Clearly, God has declared that such things are not to be done.
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We Dont Have To Fear Death
God never wants us, His beloved creations, to live in fear, uncertainty, or confusion. In Christ, He offers us a certain, glorious and joy-filled destination a future free of pain, sorrow and sickness. This invitation is open to all who trust not in themselves or their good works but instead in Jesus and the price He paid.
When we believe Christ is who He says He isthe sinless Son of Godand did what He said He diddied for our sins and rose from the deadScripture says we receive entrance into heaven. Were granted unhindered, relational intimacy with our Savior. He who holds the universe in His hand holds our lives, now and forever more, as well. This means, when our bodies fail and illness invades, we can rest knowing were secure in Gods unshakable, unbreakable love.
Different Views About The End Of Days In Christianity
Christians generally agree on the ultimate destination of people and that trusting in Jesus sacrifice of His own perfect life is the only way to spend eternity with God.
The Bible makes the most important things clear in the Bible: What God is like, why we can trust Him, what Jesus has done for us and why that matters to every person on earth. These are the fundamentals on which Christians agree, because the Bible makes them very clear.
But some details about the afterlife remain unclear enough for Christians to hold differing beliefs about them. This does not mean they differ in their understanding of how you can know God personally.
So how do Christians reconcile themselves to believing in things that are not completely clear to them? Christians do not trust God because He always explains Himself but because they know He is good. God Himself is beyond the level of our understanding. But we can know Him and trust Him without completely understanding every aspect of His nature or the way He has designed this life and the next.
Because there is room for interpreting the Bible in different ways, Christians sometimes understand the afterlife with slight differences.
There is a whole branch of theological study called eschatology, which is the study of the end of time, life after death, and Jesus return.
The Bible talks about Jesus returning at some time in the future. Jesus return someday is a doctrine shared by all true Christians, and the Bible teaches it clearly.
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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.
Heaven Will Be Far Better Than Earth For Believers
Philippians 1:21“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Revelation 14:13“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work for their good deeds follow them!
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Bible Verses About Life After Death
There were many people who saw Jesus after His death and in the same way He was resurrected Christians will be resurrected as well. Christians can rest assure that when we die we will live in paradise with the Lord where there will be no more crying, pain, and stress.
Heaven will be more than you ever dreamed of. If you dont repent and put your trust in Christ hell is waiting for you. Gods just wrath is poured out in hell.
There is no escaping hell. Unbelievers and many who profess to be Christian will be in real pain and torment forever. I encourage you today to evangelize to unbelievers to save others from going to hell.
My home is in Heaven. Im just traveling through this world. Billy Graham
The difference between Gods side and the devils is the difference between heaven and hell. Billy Sunday
If there were no hell, the loss of heaven would be hell. Charles Spurgeon
No purgatory, no reincarnation, only Heaven, or hell.
1. Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for people to die onceand after this, judgment.
2. Matthew 25:46 These people will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.
3. Luke 16:22-23 One day the beggar died, and the angels carried him to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. He went to hell, where he was constantly tortured. As he looked up, in the distance he saw Abraham and Lazarus.
Christians never die.
Live forever by trusting Christ.
We are citizens of Heaven.
Jesus And The Thief On The Cross
It was a Friday afternoon. The trial had just ended and Jesus was being marched up to the hill called Golgotha, where he was to be crucified along with two thieves. The soldiers nailed his hands and feet into the wood, then hoisted him up, high above the crowd. Some in the crowd wept. Others jeered. One of the two thieves, bitter and in pain, spat out:
Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us! But the other rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds but this man has done nothing wrong. And he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And he said to him, Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise .
Its incredible to think that, even as he was dying in agony, one of Jesus last deeds was to offer comfort and forgiveness to someone else who was suffering. But, theres something rather odd in the words Christ spoke to the thief. From the sounds of it, Jesus is promising that, by the end of the day, both He and the thief will be in Heaven with God.
How can that be? Jesus died that afternoon and spent a whole day in the grave before being resurrected Sunday morning. And the thief didnt die that day at all. He was left hanging on that cross for a very long time, suffering the usual slow death that is typical of crucifixion. The soldiers even had to break the thiefs legs so he wouldnt be able to escape .
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