A few days ago I experienced the death of my older brother. I honor him for being my brother, and being a marine. His life was hard and his childhood was even greater in difficulty than mine. We are both overcomers. I loved him and will miss him. Farewell David, perhaps we can reconoiter in paradise.
And once again, a lot of false statements have been made about what happens when you die. The only place to find the truth about death is in the Word of God. In order to fully understand what happens when you die, you must first fully understand how life begins.
God said in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee…” How is this possible. It is possible because in the beginning, God created all things. All things were in Him and they became visible at the time of His designated good pleasure. Before God said, “Let there be light,” all of us were in Him. We were all in God as spirits.
The question then becomes, how did we get here on earth? We all came from Adam and Adam came to earth as a result of Genesis 2:7. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breathe of life; and man became a living soul.” In other words the first man was formed with a body from the dust of the ground. Then God blew into that body a breath of life, which is the same as “spirit.” God blew into the nostrils of the body that He formed for Adam, the spirit of Adam, which came out of God. Since Adam, God now forms the body of all of us in our mothers womb and He breathes into the mothers womb, our individual spirits which comes out of Him. When the spirit, (breath of life) enters into the formed body, that person becomes a living soul.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 says tells us what happens when a person dies. It says, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.” In other words, when a person dies, his or her spirit goes back to God, the body returns to dust and the soul of that person no longer exist. That is why Job 27:3 says, “All the while my breathe is in me, and the spirit of God is my nostrils.”
Ecclesiastes 9:5 says, “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know not any thing.” When you die you know nothing. You are not aware of what’s going on earth and you are not looking down from heaven because the dead knows nothing. In order to be conscious of anything you must have a soul. But a soul is the combination of body and spirit. When the two no longer exist together, there is no soul and there is no consciousness of anything.
At this present time, no one is in heaven or hell. Acts 2:29 and 34 tells us that King David is both dead and buried and his grave is still with us today. But King David has not yet ascended into heaven. His body has turned to dust and his spirit is back with God and his soul no longer exist. If this is true for David, then it is also true for everybody else.
Nothing happens to the dead until Jesus returns. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 makes it perfectly clear what happens when we die. The passage begins by saying the Lord does not want us to be ignorant about what happens to the dead in Christ. The dead in Christ refers to those who have died as saved or born again Christians as a result of accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If you as a Christian, believe Jesus died and rose from the dead, then we too will eventually rise from the dead. And that will happen when Jesus returns. I Thessalonians 4: 16-17 says, “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. Then, we which are alive and remain, shall be caught us together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we be with the Lord forever.” It is perfectly clear that we will all go to heaven at the same time. This eliminates anyone being able to say, “I got to heaven before you did.”
I should point out here that as we and the dead rise up to meet the Lord in the air, before we get to Him, our bodies will changed, in the twinkling of eye, into a new incorruptible body. Jesus then will give back to the dead, their spirits that had been placed back in God and the dead will once again become a living soul to enjoy being in the presence of the Lord for ever. This is the joy of Eternal Life.
This is how the bible wants us to comfort one another as Christians. Not with, “he/she is in a better place.” Not with, “he/she is looking down on us from heaven.” Not with, “he/she is with their loved ones in heaven.” None of this happens until Jesus returns to get us. By the way, if people go to heaven immediately after death, then why is Jesus coming back to get us?
The bible provides no answer for comfort for those who die without accepting Jesus Christ while they were alive. Revelation reveals to us that there will be a second resurrection of those who failed to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savor. Those who fail to do so will be resurrected from the dead to be thrown into the Lake of Fire.
Revelation 20:12-13 identifies those comprising the second resurrection as the wicked judged by God at the great white throne judgment prior to being cast into the lake of fire. The second resurrection, then, is the raising of all unbelievers; the second resurrection is connected to the second death. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).
Now, more than ever, is the time to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that many will be convicted to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus is soon to come, but when He comes, it will be too late to accept Him.