Bible answers to Your Questions by our Minister
What Happens after Death?
The unseen future after this life is often a mystery to many. For some, it spells hopelessness, fear and despair. But for the child of God, we are encouraged “that we sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1Thess. 4:13).
Why is it that the Christian can be so secured in death, and full of hope? The answer is Christ. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even sothem also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thess.4:14).
Where do the dead go? The chart above depicts two worlds – the period before Judgment Day; the second, after the Judgment. The top section of each is used to describe the place where the presence of God is and the bottom for the abode with Satan. The middle column of the first circle represents the life of an individual in this world.
Let us now proceed with the answer to the question, where do the dead go in each aspect of life.
We are brought into this world through physical birth (Gen.3:16). This brings us into the age of infancy. Should a person die during this period of innocence, he goes to God (2 Sam.12:22). However, a person soon grows up and becomes accountable for his actions (James 4:17). This brings him into the
world of sin (Rom.3:23). Should he die at this time, he dies in an unsaved condition.
When Jesus came, His purpose was to give us life more abundantly in His church (John 10:10). As a result, we do not need to remain in this unsaved condition, but through the new birth (John 3:5 cf Acts 2:38) we are added to the church (Acts 2:38, 42). If a person dies within the boundaries of the church, he goes to be with God. However, it is possible for a Christian to backslide (Gal.5:4) into the world of sin. If he does so, the abode of Satan awaits him in death.
On the return of Jesus, all who have been dead in Paradise (Luke 23:43), Tartarus (Luke 15:19-31) or are still alive (1 Thess.4:15-17) will be gathered for the Judgment day (Rev.22:12). At this time, the good will be gathered into Heaven (Rev.22:5) to be with their God forever; and the bad will be cast into Gehena (Rev.20:10) where they will suffer eternally.