What Happens After We Die? Part 2
(this post is a continuation of a previous post)
Based on what God has revealed to us in Bible, here’s 7 points to help us understand what happens after we die:
- Our souls/spirits continue to live on: We don’t simply cease to exist. Our spirit/soul lives on. We are not reincarnated into another form (we retain our uniqueness). We were made to live forever.
- The souls of those who have been reconciled to God through Jesus experience blissful joy in the presence of God.
“And he [the thief on the cross beside Jesus] 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.” – Luke 23:42-43
“Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 5:8
“I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” – Philippians 1:23
“‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” – Matthew 22:32 (those who have died still experience God as their God)
OT texts: Gen 5:24 (Enoch); 2 Kings 2:11 (Elijah); Ps 23:6, 16:10-11, 17:15, 115:18; Daniel 12:1-3
- Those who have not been reconciled with God, remain separated from God’s gracious presence and under God’s punishment:
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.” -Jesus (Luke 16:19-26)
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”-Jesus (Matthew 25:46)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”-Jesus (Matthew 7:21)
“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Jesus (Matthew 5:30)
- No purgatory, No second chance: After death comes Judgment (Heb 9:27)
- No ‘soul sleep’. “Sleep” sometimes used to refer to death in NT (John 11:12-14)
- No annihilation. Life or Punishment is eternal and conscious (Matt 25:46, Rev 14:11, 20:10)
- After this intermediate state, Jesus will return and all of us will be given bodies and will be judged. (Matt 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; Rev 20:12, 15). Those who have been reconciled to God through Jesus will live forever on the new earth, and those who have not been reconciled to God will be separated from God in hell.