Teaching About The Afterlife From Major World Religions
Most of the worlds religions have a strong viewpoint regarding life and death. Nearly all the religions believe in the afterlife, reincarnation, heaven, and hell, or soul.
Muslims believe that death is a movement from one world to another. It can be described as a journey through a separate dimension of existence.
Hindus believe in the rebirth and reincarnation of souls. According to Hinduism, death is a natural process in the existence of the soul. When a person dies, the soul travels to another world and finally returns to the earth to continue its journey.
Buddhists view death as taking a break from the materialistic world. Buddhists do not view death as a continuation of the soul but consider it as an awakening. They believe in reincarnation: once a person dies he/she will be reborn to a new life and the status of that life depends on the work he did before his premature death.
Paul declared: For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. I am like Paul. I look forward to meeting Christ face to face.
Bonita, I hope you find this helpful. Ill say a prayer right now for your small group to know the truth and be set free.
Publication date: November 12, 2015
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.
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.
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Where Does The Soul Go After It Leaves The Body
According to Matthew 25:46, we see that those who live unrighteous lives will face eternal punishment, while the righteous will have eternal life. Eternal punishment happens when one goes to hell, and eternal life is lived in heaven. Where a person goes depends on how they lived while on earth. God wants us to live a righteous life, but this righteousness comes from Jesus Christ. It is upon each of us to decide to accept Christ so that we will go to heaven, and live eternally.
Resurrection Of The Body
The apostle Paul tells us that we have three distinct parts to our actual beings a body, soul, and spirit. Here is the verse giving us this specific revelation:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What happens when we die now is that our soul and our spirit will lift up together out of our physical bodies and then ascend up into heaven. Our natural physical bodies are then left temporarily behind to rot and perish on the earth.
Paul tells us that we now have two types of bodies a natural body and a spiritual body. Our natural body is obviously our human, flesh, physical body, but our spiritual body right now is our soul and spirit united together. In other words, the saints who are now living in heaven are in their spirit bodies, since their natural bodies are still lying down here on this earth in a corruptible state.
But at a later date at Jesus second coming back to our earth, God is going to fully resurrect all of our physical bodies just like He did with Jesus on that third day from His death on the cross. On the third day after Jesus died on the cross, His soul and spirit were reunited with His physical body and then God fully resurrects His physical body.
Here is the specific verse that is telling us that our physical bodies will be raised up and transformed into new, glorified, spiritual bodies at the second coming of Jesus.
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Death Is Not Necessarily The End Of Everything
The Bible often compares death to sleep. A person who is fast asleep is unaware of what is happening around him. Likewise, the dead are not conscious of anything. Yet, the Bible teaches that God can awaken the dead as if from sleep and give them life again. For those whom God resurrects, death is not the end of everything.
What Happens In Christianity When Someone Dies
As born-again Christians believing in the only god, the things Jesus spoke, the Holy Spirit, our citizenship is in heaven and we are even waiting for Jesus to return and take us home with Him . That is why you hear Christians talking of going home to be with the Lord. The world is not their home, they are only passing by. When Jesus returns to take us home, He will transform our bodies to be like that of His.
In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul said that being away from the body is being at home with the Lord Jesus Christ. When Christian dies, they go to be with the Lord. We are talking of Christians who are born again, and not those who attend church and have no relationship with Christ. It is important to make this distinction so that people dont fall into the deception of believing that attending church is enough to go to heaven when they die.
Jesus told the Jewish leaders who were persecuting Him that studying the Scriptures diligently would not give them eternal life. They refused to believe in Him, yet the Scriptures spoke about Him . This means that reading the Bible without accepting Christ is not a way to get to heaven. Having everlasting life from Jesus is what guarantees that when we die we will go to heaven. Jesus describes what happens when you die, described as being fallen asleep, the bible tells us that eternal life awaits the faithful. The Sinful await eternal punishment and an eternal Lake of Fire.
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What Happens After Death
It is important to admit that the word soul is not merely a disembodied entity. In the Bible, soul is who you are. Consider Genesis:
God breathed the breath of life into Adam, and he became a living soul . Thus, in the biblical view, Adam does not havea soul Adam is a soul . The soul is, literally, . . . that which breathes, the breathing substance or being. In his article Soul, G.W. Moon says In Christian theology the soul carries the further connotation of being that part of the individual that partakes of divinity and survives the death of the body.
According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, who follows Aristotle in his definition of the human soul, the soul is an individual spiritual substance, the form of the body. Both, body and soul together, constitute the human unity, though the soul may be severed from the body and lead a separate existence, as happens after death. The separation, however, is not final, as the soul, in this differing from the angels, was made for the body.
The Psalmist spoke of our soul as the very inmost being of our person: Praise the Lord, my soul all my inmost being, praise his holy name .
Jesus spoke of the inestimable value of the human soul :
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell .
Therefore, we must admit:
Can We Contact The Dead After They Are Gone
The answer is no. Any attempt to dabble in spirit contact is strictly forbidden in the Bible. It is sometimes called necromancy or sorcery or dealing with familiar spirits. Remember, demons can masquerade as the dead. They can even mimic the voices of our loved ones and give information that only the dead person would have known . In case this isnt clear, let me make it plain. Do not attempt to contact the dead through any means at allséances, parlor games, crystal balls, psychic readers, channelers, or mediums. You are involving yourself in that which God forbids. Leave the dead alone.
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What Happens When You Die
Benjamin Franklin said, In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. His words, though slightly humorous, remind us of a very real truth: One of the things we all have in common is that everyone dies.
At one time or another, most people wonder what will happen when they die. Death feels frightening and mysterious, and perspectives on what happens and what it means vary significantly.
To help you find some answers to this question, lets explore some different views on this topic, including what the Bible has to say about it.
If you already know what youre looking for, you can use these links to go straight to the topics that are most relevant for you:
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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After Death A Person:
- returns to dust
- knows nothing
- possesses no mental powers
- has nothing to do with anything on earth
- does not live
- waits in the grave
- continues not till the Resurrection
- After he resurrection they will be given his reward or punishment
Solomon the wise described what happens at death, Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it . And since death is the opposite of life. Lets look at what happens at creation, 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 :
Can We Communicate With The Dead
Do the spirits of the dead have the ability to communicate with the living? One of the most popular current TV shows is Crossing Over, with psychic John Edward. He, like other psychics, claims to have the ability to communicate with the spirits of the deceased. He amazes spectators with his ability to reveal details about which only the deceased loved one may have known. From this communication, people attempt to receive comfort, advice, and encouragement.
The Bible teaches that communication with the dead is not possible. Throughout the Bible God commands His people not to indulge in the practice of necromancy, the art of communicating with the dead.
Deuteronomy 18:10-11 states,
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead . . .
The Canaanites consulted spirits and the dead in hopes of gaining power and predicting future events. This practice is an abomination to God and it is for this reason the Canaanites were ejected from the land. Israel was warned not to imitate the Canaanites or they too would suffer a similar fate.
In Acts 16:16 Paul encountered girl who could predict the future because a spirit possessed her. Knowing this, Paul eventually cast the spirit out of the girl. Throughout the Bible the practice of necromancy is forbidden.
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Questions About Life After Death
In answering questions about life after death, we are left with only two sources to consult. Either we turn to human experience or we turn to the Word of God. If we turn to human experience, we find many guesses, many ideas, many theoriesbut no sure answers. Thats because, in the nature of the case, no human has a sure answer. The only people who have the answer are dead! That leaves us with the Word of God. In Gods Word we find ample, abundant answers. God who knows the future knows what happens when we die, and he hasnt left us to wonder about it. The Bible is filled with information on this subject, so much in fact that we can offer only a brief survey in this chapter.
If you want the answer in one sentence here it is: What happens after you die depends on what happens before you die. Consider what the Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment . This is an appointment no one will miss. As someone has noted, the statistics on death are appalling. One hundred out of one hundred people will eventually die. We are all terminally ill with a disease called death we just dont know when the end will come.
Before we go further, lets stop and think about some important questions that people often ask about death and dying.
Cremation In Modern Times
Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular choice for the final disposition of the body at death.
Funeral arrangements for a cremated body are not that different from other options. The body may still be viewed prior to the service, and a service may be held with the deceased present in most cases. There are a number of options available as to the disposition of the cremated remains, including burial and scattering.
Be considerate in contemplating cremation and the other choices available, Christians will want to give thoughtful consideration to all who may be affected by the decision, such as loved ones who may have strong feelings on the subject of cremation. One certainly would not like to bring unnecessary distress to anyone.
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D Theism Says: Resurrection
The Bible teaches that man will be resurrected and face the judgment of God. Those who believed in Jesus for salvation will spend eternity with God. Those who rejected Jesus will spend eternity in hell with Satan.
There are a number of Bible scholars who say that hell is not forever. They call their view annihilation. They say that the fire may burn forever, but what is thrown in the fire is burned up and ceases to exist. I dont want to get into the discussion about whether hell is eternal or not, but I do want you to recognize that the naturalists view of annihilation is not the same as the theists view of annihilation. These theists believe in resurrection, judgment, temporary punishment and then annihilation
Does The Bible Say You Go To Heaven When You Die
The Bible does not say that everyone goes to heaven when they die. It is those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior who does. John the Baptist went around telling people to repent because the kingdom of heaven was near . He knew that those who accepted the good news would go to heaven, and those who didnt would face condemnation in the afterlife.
Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. If we die before repenting and accepting Christ, we will not have eternal life. This is a life that goes beyond the physical one we live on earth. Jesus is in heaven and when we die in Him, we will with Him forever.
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Why Are Believers Said To Be ‘asleep’ Or ‘fallen Asleep’ After Death
Examples:1 Corinthians 15:20
The Bible uses the term “asleep” or “sleeping” when referring to the physical body of the believer at death. It is important to note that the term is used solely for believers. The dead body appears to be asleep when it is separated at death from the spirit and soul of the believer. The spirit and soul, which are eternal, are united with Christ at the moment of the believer’s death . The body of the believer, which is mortal flesh, perishes, or “sleeps” until the day it is transformed and reunited to the believer at the final resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:50-53 “I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changedin a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.”