for the Faith
What happens after death?
Friday, August 31, 2012 at 3:00am
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?
First, for the born-again believer in Jesus Christ (2nd person of
the Holy Trinity), the Bible tells us that
after death believers’
souls/spirits are taken to heaven, because their sins are forgiven
by having received Christ as Savior
believers, death is to be “away from the body and at home with the
Philippians 1:23). However, passages such as
1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
describe believers being
resurrected and given glorified bodies. If believers go to be
with Christ immediately after death,
what is the purpose of this
resurrection? It seems that while the souls/spirits of
believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical
body remains in the grave “sleeping.”
At the resurrection of
believers, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then
reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified
body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in
the new heavens and new earth (Revelation
Second, for those who do not receive Jesus Christ as Savior, death
means everlasting punishment. However, similar to the destiny of
believers, unbelievers also seem to be
sent immediately to a
temporary holding place, to await their final resurrection,
judgment, and eternal destiny.
describes a rich man being tormented immediately after death.
Revelation 20:11-15 describes all the unbelieving dead
being resurrected, judged at the great white throne, and then being
cast into the lake of fire.
Unbelievers, then, are not sent to hell (the lake of fire)
immediately after death, but rather are in a temporary realm of
judgment and condemnation. However, even though
unbelievers are not
instantly sent to the lake of fire, their immediate fate after death
is not a pleasant one. The rich man cried out, “I am in agony
in this fire” (Luke
Therefore, after death, a person
resides in a “temporary” heaven or hell. After this temporary
realm, at the final
resurrection, a person’s eternal destiny will not change. The
precise “location” of that eternal destiny is what changes.
Believers will ultimately be
granted entrance into the new heavens and new earth (Revelation
21:1). Unbelievers will ultimately be sent to the lake of
the final, eternal destinations of all people ...
on whether or not they had trusted Jesus Christ alone for
by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that
no one may boast."
Source: Adapted from an article
"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be
or email me if you have questions.
Amen and God bless you.
"Saint Pete", Sr.