We see everyday that millions of people are dying around the world every second. Within the Christian faith, there is a lot of confusion regarding what happens after death. Some people claim death is final some claim life begins after death, some claim everyone is in sleep until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, some others believe that when some one dies instantly they are judged according to their fruits ,few others believe that they go to be with Christ immediately after death. Death is really a mysterious topic to be discussed.
Types of death: God says the wages of sin is DEATH not immortal life (Romans 6:23) but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). The scripture says that there are three types of death. When each person dies on this earth it’s called physical death, a separation of the spirit from the body is called second type of death which is called spiritual death (Isaiah 59:1-2)and the third type of death is called eternal death which is permanent separation of humanity from God (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
God told Adam and Eve they would die if they ate of the forbidden fruit. (Genesis 2:17). When Adam disobeyed God, he experienced immediate spiritual death, which caused him to hide from Lord God among the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:8). Later, Adam experienced physical death (Genesis 5:5). The physical death has entered into the world with Adam's sin (Romans 5:12) affected all living things.
When a righteous man dies: Deaths of saints are precious in Gods eyes (Psalms 116:15). When a righteous man dies he enter into peace (Isaiah 57:2) and into eternal life(Matthew 25:46)and will fear no evil(Psalms 23:4), he has a hope in his death(Proverbs 14:32).
Few righteous man in bible are Abraham( Genesis 25:8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age , an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. Isaac(Genesis 35:29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him) Moses(Deuteronomy 34:5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD) Jacob(Genesis 49:33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people).
When unrighteous man dies: God has no pleasure in the death of a wicked person but desires them to turn from their wicked ways so that they can live (Ezekiel 33:11). (Ezekiel 18:32).The wicked and unrighteous man dies in their sins (John 8:21)without hope(Proverbs 11:7).Their death will be sudden and unexpected(Proverbs 29:1) and their remembrance shall perish from the earth(Job 18:17, Proverbs 10:7).
Eg. Of few unrighteous men in the bible are Herod, Judas Iscariot, and Jezebel
Types of heaven: The FIRST heaven is the atmosphere or sky that surrounds the earth.
The SECOND heaven is the physical universe that has stars, planets and so on.
The THIRD heaven is where God and his throne resides. Scriptures say that Jesus Christ went to the Third Heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) to prepare paradise for His Elect.
Elijah and Enoch are in heaven: scriptures say that the believer in Christ is escorted by angels at death to a place of peace .By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him. (Hebrews 11:5)
And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him (Gen 5:24).
And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a
Chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (2 Kings 2:11)
John 3:13 says that no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Soul sleep is unbiblical: Death is described as sleep. There are many scriptures to say that people who die are conscious in Heaven. Jesus Christ said to his disciples that Lazarus had fallen asleep (John 11:11, 14). Stephen’s death is described as falling asleep (Acts 7:59). Paul describes Christians who had died in Thessalonica as “asleep” (1 Th 4:13). In the Old Testament, we are told that David “slept with his fathers” (1 Kings 2:10).
Ephesians 3:14-15: For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. There are many scriptures that Challenge the Concept of Soul Sleep such as Genesis 35:18 Luke 16:19-31,Luke 23:43,John 11:25-26 ,1 Peter 3:18-19 ,Revelation 6:9-10.
The soul leaves the body at death: The souls of the unrighteous go to a place of eternal torment until the Last Day and The souls of the righteous go to be with the Lord in Paradise (Phil 1:22, 2 Cor 5:6-8)
Jesus tells us in Mathew 10:28 that the soul survives death, even though someone may kill the body. Jesus soul did not remain in his dead body. The Gospels tell us that at the moment of his death, Jesus prayed, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” and then he yielded up his spirit (Luke 23:46; Mt 27:50) .Acts 7:59-60 describes Stephens death: “And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Luke 16:19-31
Bible says souls can die:
Ezekiel 18:4: Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Acts 2:27: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Acts 3:23: And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Psalm 55:18: He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.
James 5:20: Let him know, that he who converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Psalm 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
Matthew 10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul .But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
Soul sleep is biblical: People who are dead lie in the grave and know nothing, think no thoughts, have no emotions, possess no consciousness and are waiting for the resurrection. When we die we don’t immediately go to heaven or hell for we sleep in the grave until the awaiting of the resurrection of the dead. There are many Scriptures say about soul sleep: some of them are Job 14:10 ,Job 14:14 ,Psalm 6:5 ,Psalm 49:15 ,Daniel 12:2 ,John 5:28-29 ,John 3:13 ,Acts 2:29-34 ,2 Peter 3:4
The Scripture says the dead will sleep in the dust of the earth (Psalm 13:3) and sleep the sleep of death (Deut 12:1-2) and they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep(Job 14:12)"unto the coming of the Lord" (1 Thess 4:13-15). Further John 5:28-29 says, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Ecclesiastes 9:5 makes clear that for the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Few will be able to enter to heaven: Scriptures say that many are called but few are chosen. (Mathew 22:14).Heaven is meant for those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21:27) and the names of saints are written in heaven(Luke 10:20) .In order to go to heaven .we must believe Jesus Christ ( John 11:26) shed His precious blood, died, was buried, and rose again 3 days later. We need to be born of water and of the Spirit and get baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) and strive to enter the straight gate(Luke 13:23-24) by being obedient to the will of God(John 14:15) and living holy and blameless before him(Ephesians 1:4).
Matthew 7:21-23 :“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."