In Luke 20, the Sadducees come to Jesus with a theoretical question. They talk about a woman married to a man who dies. She marries another brother, and he dies, and so on, down to a time when she marries the seventh brother, and then she dies. They ask him, in the resurrection, whose wife will she be?
Jesus, rather than answering their question. He tells them that the children of this world marry, but they which shall be obtained the resurrection of the dead, neither marry or are given in marriage.
God is not a God of the dead. But, he is rather the God of the living.
This brings up the question. Where are the dead? What happens when we die?
The Bible is the only source of information that we can look to in order to find an answer the question, what happens when we die. Atheists, philosophers, and scientists can not begin to answer the questions related to what happens when a person dies. They are ill-prepared to answer what is one of man's most vital questions.
No other source exists that can answer these questions, outside of the Bible.
What is the Nature of Man?
We recently discussed the soul of man. And, we will touch upon that a bit today as we look into what happens after the life of man.
There are only two reasonable answers to this question. Either man is only physical, or he is possessing both a physical and spiritual nature.
There are two parts to man. The Bible teaches that man is a composite being possessing both a physical body and a spiritual soul. In addition to possessing the physical man, mankind has been made in the image of the Creator God.
- Genesis 1:26-27
We are made in the image of God, and we have a immortal spirit.
- Daniel 7:15
Daniel, was grieved in his spirit, in the midst of his body. The Bible makes a distinction between the outward man, and the inward man, which is the spirit.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16
- 1 Peter 3:4
Our adornment is to come from the inside.
We need to understand that man is a dual, composite, being. There is the outward, physical man, and the inward spiritual man.
What is Death?
Death is the separation of the spirit of a man from the physical body of a man. It is the separation of the soul from the body.
- 2 Peter 1:13-15
Peter says he is going to die. He's talking about the separation of the soul from the body.
- James 2:26
When the body and the spirit are separated that is what death is.
- Luke 23:46
Giving up the ghost, indicates the separation of the soul from the body.
- 1 Kings 17:21
- Luke 8:54
We see in these resurrections that the spirit returned back into the body.
Spiritual death, is also a separation. It is the spiritual separation of the soul of man, from the Spirit of God.
- Isaiah 59:1-3
Where are the Dead Now?
For those who have physically died, where are they now? They are in the hands of God.
- Ecclesiastes 12:7
The dead are not annihilated as atheists teach. So, where are they? Jesus said, "I am the God of the living." Concerning the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were clearly physically dead, but they were living spiritually.
False Doctrines Concerning the Dead
There is no such thing as purgatory. It is not mentioned in the Bible. Thus, it is false doctrine.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13
- John 5:28-29
Neither Heaven, or Hell, currently abide the souls of the departed. Those who have departed this life, are in a place called Hades.
The English translations of our modern Bibles translates the word Hades as two different words, Hades, and Hell.
- Luke 16:23
- Acts 2:27,31 (ASV)
When Jesus' spirit departed from His body, his Spirit went to Hades.
- Revelation 20:13-14
Death, and Hell... but the better translation should be Hades. Those that were in the grave, are judged and then they are put into Heaven or to Hell.
- Luke 23:43
The saved are sent to a place called Paradise. This is where a division is located. The place of Paradise for those who physically die in a righteous state. And, a place called Torment for those who die in an unrighteous state.
- Luke 16:19-31
We see there are two portions. One called Paradise, where Abraham resides. And the place called "Tartarus"or Torments. The place where the wicked await the final judgement.
- 2 Peter 2:4
Tarturus, or hell, or hades, and torment.
Where do We Go When We Die?
You have the saved that die who enter the narrow gate and enter the place of Paradise.
Those who die, unrighteous, enter the wide gate and enter the place of Torments.
They both await the final judgement, the day when we shall receive either our final reward or final condemnation, and sent to either Heaven, or Hell, for all of eternity.
Other Questions About Death
Are the Dead Conscience?
The Bible teaches there is consciences in Hades. Abraham, the rich man, were conscience.
The idea that we are just sleeping, and will awaken at some point is not an accurate depiction of the Hadean world. The Bible teaches that there is conscience-ness in death.
Will the Body be Raised?
The Bible teaches that there is resurrection.
- John 5:28-29
- Acts 24:14-15
The resurrected bodies shall be changed, and be endowed with an immortal nature. We don't know exactly what that looks like, or what it entails. But we will have a body, a spiritual body. We can't know what that is like. We have no experience with that.
It is not flesh and blood, but a spiritual body, given to us at the resurrection.
- 2 Corinthians 5:10
Will There be Future Recognition?
Will re recognize one another in Hades? There are incidental comments that we will have recognition. The rich man, was aware of Abraham, and he was concerned for His family.
- Matthew 8:11
This is evidence that we shall have recognition in Heaven.
- Revelation 6:9-10
Seems to imply that martyrs will have awareness and recognition of what took place in the earth.
There seems to be indication that we will be raised, our bodies will be changed, and we will have recognition.
Where are the Dead?
There are two words, the Hebrew word Sheol, and the New Testament word, Hades are referred to as the place of waiting. The Greek word Gehenna, refers tot he eternal Hell, the final separation.
Departed spirits cannot alter their direction. There is no place like purgatory. There is a gulf fixed and no one can cross it.
- Luke 16:26
- 2 Peter 2:9
Those that are like the rich man, they are being tormented now, and only have to look forward to eternal torment. Those that die and are in Paradise, have to look forward to the glory of Heaven.
When we depart this eternal life, we go tot hat place of comfort. We cannot change our fate once we depart this life.
Only in this life do can we make preparation for the next...
If you haven't made preparation for the next life, by becoming a member of the family of God you can do so today by believing that Jesus is the Son of God, choosing to obey His word, repenting of your sins, and confessing His name before men. You can be baptized for he forgiveness, and cleansing of your sins, so that you can rise again into a new life. And, having done that, living faithfully unto death, so that you may be preserved for that Great coming day of the Lord, to be in Heaven with the Father for eternity.
If you are a Christian who hasn't been living faithfully, you can return, repent today to be restored into the family of God.
If we can assist you in any way please contact us.
Image: Courtesy WVBS.org availble at whereafterdeath.org