There are numerous questions about what happens when someone dies. Some of these questions are answered with a thought, a rumor, an old wives tale, or given with false hope. I had an acquaintance who told me my grandma was now an angel after she passed and she would be able to look down on me from time to time. I asked her why she thought people turned into angels. She said everyone knows that. I politely told her I don’t believe that just because everyone ‘knows’ that. There is no proof, and my Bible doesn’t say anything about people turning into angels.
Just because people think something is true, doesn’t make it true.
Sometimes the truth hurts, because it’s not what we want to hear, but it’s honestly better than clinging to something false. It is estimated that 140 billion human beings have walked on earth since the beginning of time, and life came to an end for each of them. All must enter the portals of the grave, but the real question is what happens afterwards…
Is There Life After Death?
Job asked (Job 14:14), “If a man die, shall he live again?” In 1 Corinthians 15:16-22 God’s word is clear when He says that the day will come when the trump of God shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.
“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
This tells us that Christ was risen from the dead, thus guaranteeing that all Christ-followers who die will follow Him and also be raised from the dead.
Christ’s tomb is an empty tomb, He conquered the grave. Death couldn’t hold Him. The grave of other religious leaders not empty – they did not triumph over death. They were not witnessed to ascend to heaven. Think about this for a moment. Whom would you rather believe in; someone who was actually raised from the dead, on the day He said He would, or someone who promises you things that they can’t deliver because they are still in the grave? Since Jesus raised from the dead, it is logical to believe what He says, and what His followers have said, to be true.
What happens after our physical body dies?
In Ecclesiastes 12:7, stated by the wisest man ever, Solomon, he makes a general statement on death, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” There are two things that this text nails down.
- The body will return to the dust and the dust to the earth.
- The Spirit will return to God.
Let’s go a step further. Our Spirit goes back to God when a man dies. The Bible teaches all will go back to God, but that doesn’t mean He will keep everyone. There is a judgement that will take place for those who have not put their trust in Jesus, Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and no one can come to the Father God except through Christ. On the judgment day, God will tell those who did not believe to depart from Him.
In the New Testament James 2:26 reads, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” So according to this Scripture, the Spirit is the ‘life force’ that keeps the body alive and moving with intention. Some texts read, “or breath.” If Jesus is the way, the truth and the life…Jesus is our life, our breath, our sustainer, our Creator.
In the Old Testament Job 27:3 reads, “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils.” Some texts read “by the spirit of God,” That is, “the breath which God gave him.” Genesis 2:7 tells us that God gave it in the beginning and He put it in man’s nostrils and then later it was to return to God after death. “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.”
So when our spirit has expired from our bodies, where does it go? It goes back to God…but it doesn’t say it stays there. Answer: The spirit or the breath of every person that dies, whether that person is good or evil, returns to God, Ecclesiastes 12:7, but it’s up to God, our Righteous Judge, on the when and where our spirit will spend eternity.
How am I sure I’ll spend eternity in heaven?
2 Timothy 3:16 nails it. The Bible is the inspired Word of God and is profitable for correction, reproof, and instruction (for us individually) in righteousness (being right with God). All the truths of God are found in this book. Read it. Ask God to fill you with wisdom and understanding and that your heart would be open to Him to receive the truth.
The penalty for man’s sin was paid on the cross in Jesus’ death. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). By believing on Jesus Christ and accepting the grace of His sacrificed blood, we receive the gift of eternal life. “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:9).
If you love Jesus for His sacrificial death, you will want to obey Him as He commands in John 14:15. You are not saved by your works and good things you do. Because you are saved, you choose to keep His commandments as the guide for successful living.
Prophecy reveals Jesus is coming again very soon. (See Matthew 24:32-51.) If you believe He is coming soon, then there is no time to wait until later to obey Jesus. You can obtain assurance of salvation by seeking and accepting Him with your whole heart. If you seek Him, you will find Him. (See Jeremiah 29:13).
Pray – there’s no better time than now. If you don’t know what to do next, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or see a local Pastor of a Bible believing church.