What Happens After I Die?

March 2, 2010   |   Category: Urgent Questions   |  

By Irvin Baxter

It’s no surprise to some people that as many as 18 percent of those brought back to life after a heart attack have had near-death experiences. To others, the idea that human consciousness and the body can exist distinctly from each other seems unscientific. However, if there is no existence beyond the grave, then millions of people throughout history, from the Pharaohs of Egypt to Jesus of Nazareth, have been deluded.


An Eternal Destination

Death cannot be avoided by exercise, diet, meditation, pills, surgery, the next genetic discovery, or anything else. Many are uncertain and fearful about their eternal destination. Some speculate that because they haven’t murdered anyone or robbed banks, they are already good enough for heaven. Their own hearts are deceiving them. According to the Bible, the human heart is the most deceitful thing there is (Jeremiah 17:9). The sin problem must be dealt with. Romans 3:23 says that the entire human race has sinned and fails to measure up to God’s standards. Everyone has turned away from God and done what they wanted to do (Isaiah 53:6). There isn’t anyone who hasn’t sinned (Ecclesiastes 7:20).


Eternal, Glorious Life

There really is life after death, an eternal, glorious life for those who love God (1 Corinthians 2:9). Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, took the punishment we deserved for our sins (Isaiah 53:5). He proved Himself victorious over death by rising from the grave three days later. Thousands of witnesses saw Him after His resurrection, over a period of 40 days. Then He ascended to heaven. According to Romans 4:25, Jesus was, “…delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” [NKJV]

Jesus’ resurrection, a well-documented event, is the supreme proof of life after death. Just as Jesus’ body was raised from death, many live in the hope that their bodies will also be transformed when Jesus returns (1 Corinthians 6:14). However, everyone doesn’t automatically go to heaven. Each of us must make a choice that will determine our eternal destination. The Bible says that we die only once, and after that will come the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). There is an eternal destination in hell for those who reject Jesus as Savior. (Matthew 25:46).


Obeying the Gospel

God doesn’t enjoy it when anyone dies in his sin, but wants them to turn around and start living for Him (Ezekiel 33:11). Life after death is eternal life in heaven with God, for believers. For unbelievers, life after death is eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). How can we receive eternal life after death and avoid an eternity in the lake of fire? Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) [NKJV] We must obey the gospel, which states,

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures….” (1 Corinthians 15:3) [NKJV]


Death, Burial and Resurrection

We are born again when we participate in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. We must die to ourselves, repent of our sins, be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ by immersion, and receive the gift of God’s Spirit, the Holy Ghost. Jesus’ blood covers our sins at repentance, and the waters of baptism wash them away, making us clean for the Spirit to come and live in our lives. While we still might have to deal with physical death, we can confront death without dread, knowing that it leads to eternal life in heaven. If you wonder about life after death, or just struggle to face living here on earth, you can have peace and hope by obeying the gospel. Remember, John 3:7 states, “You must be born again.”

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3 Responses to “What Happens After I Die?”

  1. Julia A Waldron

    The scriptures teach we sleep in the grave until Yeshua’s return at the last trump and the dead that are true believers will rise to join Him in the air and the remaining alive bodies will change and also join Him in the air..Those that are not believers will be raised at the second resurrection after Yeshua;s 1000 year reign on earth to judgment. No one ‘goes to heaven’ when they die..we sleep in the grave according to scripture..is this what you are teaching, or not? 🙂

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello Julia,

      Here is what scripture says: 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.14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.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: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.

      • 2 Corinthians 5:6 KJV  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

        2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

        Philippians 1:21-23 KJV  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  (22)  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.  (23)  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

        Revelation 6:9-11 KJV  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  (10)  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  (11)  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

        Revelation 7:13-14 KJV  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?  (14)  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.