Life After Death, What Happens After You Die?
Life after death. There are a lot of theories out there but for the sake of this article, I am going to use the Bible and the Bible only as a source of information. So let’s get started.
Hebrews 9:27 says “and as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgement.” So one appointment we will all keep is death and then a judgement.
What about a trip to heaven? Isn’t that what we hear at almost every funeral? “My saintly mother is up in heaven looking down on us”… “Uncle Buck is out of pain and in a better place.” The guy who murdered 20 people in a movie theater is now forgiven and enjoying the carefree life of heaven.
According to the Bible there will not be immediate ascension to heaven. As a matter of fact even Jesus did not ascend directly to heaven. “15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why do you weep? whom seek you She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabbi; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” John 20:15-17
So Jesus did not ascend directly to heaven and neither will man… “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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. ” 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
So if we are not ascending to heaven, the what happens after we die? Let’s look at a bible account in the book of Luke. In Luke chapter 16 we get the story of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man and Lazarus die. Lazarus is comforted and the rich man is in torment. Their spirit is alive and aware of their surroundings. The rich man makes a request for water and is informed that there is a great gulf that separates the two places we are told about. The rich man also makes a request for Abraham to go to evangelize his five brothers. Abraham informs the rich man that there will be no such trip made. There is enough on earth now for the rich man’s brothers to make their decision.
So what about “The Judgement”? It would appear from the scriptures in Luke, that there is a judgement is made the instant we die. “10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10
But is there another Judgement? “10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:10-15
So it would appear that the Bible teaches that there is death. A judgement. A waiting time until Jesus returns, then ascension to heaven for those who are in Christ and judged worthy. According to the Bible the judgement will be based on “their works” both good and bad. In Matthew 7:21 Jesus said that many, in the day of judgment will address Him as Lord, but He will reject them, because they did not do the will of His Father in heaven. In Luke 6:46 Jesus ask the question, of “why call me Lord and do not the things that I say?”
The will of God is found in the bible… “16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16 It would be difficult to know what the will is without reading it or hearing it.
There is a great scene in the Star Wars movie… “Return of the Jedi”. Lord Vader’s ship arrives on the yet uncompleted Death Star. Darth Vader informs the commander that he is there to put them back on schedule. The commander informs Vader that they are working as hard as they can and he needs more men to conform to the Emperor’s request. Vader then informs the commander that he can tell the Emperor himself. The commander upon hearing that he will be meeting the Emperor face to face responds “We shall double our efforts!”. How many of us would “DOUBLE OUR EFFORTS” if we knew we would meet God… today, face to face.
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God… Romans 3:23, but God still wants us to repent and do the best that we can. Revelation 2:10.
“10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” 2 Peter 1:10
Learn the word of God. Do the word of God. And make your election sure.