What happens after Death?

This is a topic that has come up in the minds of everyone at some point along the road of life.
Be it Christian, Atheist or whatever Religion, everyone who is old enough to know what “Death” is, has wondered about that point in life when they cease to exist.

It is important for Christians to understand death properly while they are still alive here on earth. The majority of people have misconceptions about death, afterlife and Heaven.

Understanding death helps us not to fear it, but also not to welcome or celebrate death as many Christians do.

Sections in this Biblical Teaching:
1) What is Death?
2) Who is in Heaven right now?
3) When shall passed-away Christians go to Heaven?
4) Is Death a Friend or Foe?
5) Apparent contradictions about the Death and Heaven

1) What is Death?

Death is the loss of life, the stoppage of all vital functions in the physical body.

Also referred to as “Passing away” or being in the state of “Sleep” (to put it more gently), death is the opposite of what you are doing right now.

It is loss of consciousness, sense, feeling and awareness. Not a desirable state for anyone to be in.

The word “Death” in the New Testament is the Greek word “Thanatos”, which means: “The natural end of earthly human existence.”
Thanatos is not simply the instance of when someone expires, but it is a continuous state of gravedom, which someone can be brought back out of at the Resurrection.

Death is not avoidable; it is a fate we must all meet at some time. (With the exception of the righteous who are still living at the time Christ’s return and are “taken away” with Jesus)

With that in mind, we should make the most of the life that we have.

Christians live with the Hope of Christ’s return in the future, where we will be given everlasting life and we will be free from all the sorrows of this world we live in today.
It is something really worth looking forward to and worth working towards achieving.

2) Who is in Heaven right now?

Most Christians believe that upon the time of death, a righteous person immediately goes to heaven with God, Jesus Christ and the Angels.

They believe they are all there, grandparents, ancestors, other passed-away family members and friends, dancing and having a joyful time in heaven while watching down upon us as we live our daily lives on earth.

Such beliefs are contrary to what the Bible says about Death and going to Heaven.

Several verses in the Bible seem to indicate that a few persons other than Jesus Christ are already in Heaven; however, this is a misinterpretation of the scriptures.

Now, let’s start from a logical standpoint about the Bible.

The Bible from start to finish is based around God, Jesus Christ and his return for us at “The Resurrection” in the future. Agreed?

If after death (as most people believe) the righteous immediately go to heaven, then what is the purpose of Jesus Christ’s return? Why is it necessary?

Let’s look directly at what the Bible says:

(1 Thessalonians 4:16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

(1 Thessalonians 4:17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

(1 Thessalonians 4:18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The Bible says: “The dead in Christ shall rise”

This means that those righteous Christians who have passed away throughout History will at that time finally be raised from the grave; they will be rescued from Eternal Death.

This contradicts the idea of people already being seated in heaven right now.

At the moment of death, all remembrance is lost. Your ancestors cannot be looking down at you; they are “asleep” in Gravedom.
Gravedom is the state in which all dead dwell, it is not a location, for example the spot where a body is buried in the earth.

Here are some scriptures that talk about Gravedom (Sheol or Hades):

(Psalms 6:5) For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

(Psalms 146:4) His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

(Ecclesiastes 9:5) For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

(Ecclesiastes 9:6) Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

(Ecclesiastes 9:10) Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

As you can see, the Bible says nothing here about going to Heaven directly after death. It says that your thoughts shall perish; you will have no remembrance of anything.

 

Now, what happens to your existence after death? Is that the end of you forever?
Let’s take a look again at what the Bible says:

(Psalms 89:48) What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.

(Psalms 16:10) For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

(Psalms 49:15) But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

As the Bible states, God will redeem (rescue by resurrection) the righteous from the Grave. He will not leave our soul in “hell” forever.

This word “Hell” in Psalms 16:10 is translated from the word “Sheol”, meaning Grave; it is not the fiery Pit of destruction mentioned in Revelations.

Even Jesus experienced gravedom at the time of his death. If anyone should have gone immediately to heaven, it should have been Jesus Christ, but as the Bible states, Jesus was also laid in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights.

(Matthew 12:40) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

(Acts 2:30) Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

(Acts 2:31) He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

(Acts 2:32) This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

God raised Jesus from the dead because he had a specific purpose for Jesus, which was to redeem man from Sin.

Jesus was the only person raised from the grave “into heaven”, and is the only one in heaven with God and his Angels.

(A few people were raised from the dead “back on to earth” throughout the Bible. They did not go to Heaven like Jesus did, they would have died again later and gone back to the grave like everyone else)

This is what the Bible says.
The passed away believers of God, the righteous people will rise only on that day of Jesus’ return.

3) When shall passed-away Christians go to Heaven?

As I have quoted multiple times above, the passed-away Christians will go to Heaven on the day of Christ’s return.

Let us look a little deeper now into this topic.

First let us look at Jesus’ promise:

(John 14:1) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

(John 14:2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

(John 14:3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Jesus tells us not to worry, but trust in him and God.
He also says that he will prepare a spot for us in heaven, a place for the righteous to join him.
Lastly, Jesus says said he will come again to bring us with him, to the place that he is now. (Heaven)

Now, let’s see if an exact day or time is specified for Christ’s return:

(Mark 13:32) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

(Mark 13:33) Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

(Matthew 24:42) Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

(Matthew 24:43) But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

(Matthew 24:44) Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

The Bible says in multiple places that NO ONE knows the time of Christ’s return, only God himself knows the right time that he will send his son, Jesus Christ to come for us.

So when you hear those stories about Priests or Scientists predicting the date of the World’s end, do not pay attention to them, because what they preach is in no way in accurate alignment with the Bible.

 

Now let’s go back to a few important verses that we previously covered:

(1 Thessalonians 4:13) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

(1 Thessalonians 4:16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

(1 Thessalonians 4:17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

(1 Thessalonians 4:18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

At the time of Christ’s return, when he descends from heaven to take the righteous who are dead, and those Christians who are living, that is the only time when the dead shall be raised from the grave into Heaven.

We don’t know exactly what day or hour this event will occur, but we know that this will be the time when our loved Christian brethrens will finally be taken out of gravedom. They are not in heaven right now.

This is what the Bible says, and it is what God wants us to believe.

4) Is Death an Enemy or a Friend?

Allot of Christians welcome or look forward to death, sadly.
Some people see Death as a gateway to heaven, a rescue from the troubles of this world.

This is not what the Bible teaches us to understand about death, this is not what God wants us to believe about death.

The Bible directly says that Death is an Enemy:

(1 Corinthians 15:26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Now why is Death an Enemy?

Think about it. How can we truly serve God when we are dead?

– We cannot enjoy the good things in life God created for us.
– We cannot bring more believers to his word, saving them for heaven,
– We cannot back down the hands of the adversary from our loved ones while we lay asleep in the grave.

What God wants us to live a healthy and prosperous life. Which is exactly the opposite of being dead.

(3 John 1:2) Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Even when an unbeliever dies that is a loss for us and God, because it means that they forever lost the chance of being saved for God’s kingdom.

Every time someone dies, that is a victory for Satan.

After all, Satan’s motive is to steal, kill and destroy as stated in John 10:10.

(John 10:10) The thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I (Jesus) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

This does not mean we should fear death.

We live every day doing our best for God, having that hope of Christ’s return.

When the time comes we do finally pass away after a long healthy life, we can be comforted knowing that we did our best for God.

When death is destroyed in the future, we will finally be victorious!

(1 Corinthians 15:54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

(1 Corinthians 15:55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

(1 Corinthians 15:56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

(1 Corinthians 15:57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

That is our victory, the destruction of death!

5) Apparent contradictions about the Death and Heaven

The Bible can be confusing at times.

It is easy to misunderstand some of the scriptures, often because of the way they are written, or because of the number of translations the Bible has gone through.

The idea of Christians going to heaven directly after death had to come from somewhere.

So I’m going to explore one of those misunderstood verses in the Bible that preachers use to convince people that their loved ones are happily in heaven right now.

(Luke 23:42) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

(Luke 23:43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

In Luke 23:43, the verse apparently says that Jesus is promising the Malefactor (one of the men nailed on the cross with him) that he will be together with Christ in heaven on that very same day.

I’ll explain why this interpretation is completely wrong without a doubt.
Please read this Bible teaching here:

Luke 23:43 – The Malefactor on the Cross and Paradise

 

I did not want this Teaching to get too long with too much to read on one page, so I decided to link you to the teaching separately.

There are several other apparent contradictions on this topic, such as:
– Paul says: I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
– The vision at the Transfiguration.
– By faith Enoch was translated.
– Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom.
– The woman who had seven husbands.
– The Prophetess of Endor.

I will address each of these misinterpretations of the Bible in separate teachings.
I try to keep each teaching as short and to the point as possible.

Conclusion

After examining various important parts of the Bible, it is clear to see that after death, all of us go to Gravedom, an unconscious state where all memory and feeling is lost.

On many occasions, both Jesus and God has promised that the righteous ones in Christ shall be saved from the grave on the day of Jesus Christ’s return.

Until that day, we must make the most of our life here on earth.

God says that he wants us to have an abundant and healthy life. We cannot serve God or help our loved ones when we are dead.

Death is an Enemy, the Final enemy to be exact. So we should not look forward to death, nor should we use it for an escape from the sorrows and strife of this world.

That is what Satan wants, our death and destruction.

We should be comforted of God’s promise to us of redemption, and not be fearful of death.

Let’s continue living our life to the fullest, serving God and bringing others to be saved for God’s Kingdom!

Thanks for reading! 😀
God Bless You!
-Andrew Emmanuel Davis

4 Comments

  1. Jessalyn
    May 19, 2013

    An intleglinet point of view, well expressed! Thanks!

  2. Joseph Nanayakkara
    Jun 16, 2013

    Hi Bro. Andrew,

    Just found your page yesterday. I like and understand well the way you explain. May the Good Lord Bless you & Keep you.

    Thanks & Be Blessed !

    In Him,
    Joseph (From Spain)

  3. francesca
    Mar 23, 2014

    I found your website this morning, and i found it to be very refreshing and truthful. Your teaching is very clear and easy to understand. I felt the spirit in your teachings. May God bless you. Thank you.

  4. Andrew Davis
    Jun 1, 2014

    Thanks so much for your wonderful comments, Jessalyn, Joseph and Francesca!

    I’m very happy that my teaching was helpful to you all! 😀

    This encourages me to keep sharing more of God’s word.

    God bless you all!
    -Andrew Davis

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