What Happens When You Die

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What Happens When You Die

What Happens When You Die?

The only one that can give us a credible answer to the question of “What Happens When You Die” or “Where do we go after death” is Jesus Christ. No educator, no religion or no one else knows where or how the afterlife will unfold, except Jesus Christ. He is one that came back from the dead and has given us a definitive answer and teaching on the subject of life after death.

Pastor Andre Explains “What Happens When Your Die” According to the Bible.

What Does the Bible Say About Death?

In the New Testament the word for this world of the dead is “Hades”, which appears 42 times. We must understand that Sheol and Hades are not really hell, as the King James Version of the Bible translates those words. The Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Hades both refer to the same temporary place, whereas hell is a permanent abode of punishment that lasts forever.

Before I go over exactly what Jesus said, let me explain what the Bible says about death. In the 39 books of the old testament, the world of the dead is called “Sheol” 65 times,. That word can be translated to mean “the grave”, “hell”, or “death”. We shouldn’t confused the word “Sheol” with “the pit” or the Lake of Fire, since it is the place of all those who have departed this life, both believers and non-believers.

The word “Tartarus,” a word that appears only once in the entire Bible in 2 Peter 2:4, and is defined by bible scholars as the deepest abyss of Hades. “Gehenna” is the New Testament word for the permanent place of the dead, used by Jesus Christ himself 11 times. James used the word also and the word refers to the Valley of Hinnom, just outside of Jerusalem, where the refuse of the city was dumped. It was characteristic of this valley that a fire was continually burning there. Many see this as a perfect characterization of hell, which is a place where the fire is NOT quenched and in Mark 9:48, otherwise known as the Lake of Fire from Revelation 20:14.

Unfortunately the King James version of the Bible translates all the following words Sheol, Hades, Gehenna, Tartarus as the same: “Hell”. Which they aren’t and should be viewed distinctly different.

A Description of Sheol-Hades

Listed below are some scriptures that provide a picture of Sheol-Hades:

  • Proverbs 9:18 It’s a place where the dead exist
  • Psalm 86:13 It’s a place for the soul
  • Psalm 9: 17 It’s a place for the wicked and those who forget God
  • Genesis 44:29 It was where godly Jacob expected to go
  • Psalm 88:3 It was where David was expected to go
  • Psalm 89:48 All men go to Sheol

It’s very clear according to the bible that Sheol is a place where both the righteous and the wicked go immediately after death. It is a specific place and seems to be the dwelling place of the soul. Psalm 49:15 informs us, “God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,” which let’s us know that the righteous expected one day to be released from Sheol.

What Did Jesus Say About Sheol and Hades?

Jesus in the book of Luke 16:19-31 talks about an account of two men who died and end up in Hades. This story is NOT a parable, but he specifically uses names to record what happened. Remember characters in parables aren’t given names. He talks about Abraham and Lazarus. He mentions that both Lazarus and the rich man went to Hades, but not to the same part. Hades is composed of three compartments: Abraham’s bosom also the part known as paradise, the Great Gulf Fixed and the Place of Torment.

Abraham’s Bosom

The most desirable compartment in Hades, is Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise, which is a place for comfort. In verse 25, Abraham says of Lazarus, “Now he’s comforted.” This is the paradise of the Old Testament, to which souls of the righteous dead went immediately after death. We can rightly assume that they were carried there by angels to this place of comfort. It is also a place of companionship for Lazarus, for he has the joy of fellowship with Abraham. Although Lazarus had been treated poorly on earth, he now holds an enviable position by the side of Abraham. This indicates the wonderful possibility of the fellowship with all the other saints such as Elijah, Moses, David, Joseph, Esther, Mary and millions of others.

The Great Gulf Fixed

The second compartment doesn’t give a great deal of information about it, but we know that it was an impassable gulf over which men may look and converse but not cross. God designed it so that those who want to go from one side to the other can’t, nor can anyone cross over from the other side. Once a person dies, he is confined to one side or the other, comfort or torment.

Jesus was clearly interested in warning men about this place in order to keep them from going there. The rich man called Hades a place of torment, indicating that it is a real place, not merely a state of existence, as some would like to believe or think. Remember in verse 22, it mentions that the rich man died and was buried and in verse 23 it begins with “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.” The unbeliever goes immediately to the place of torment. He is conscious of what he missed, for it states, “He lifted up his eyes….and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. The unbeliever will be constantly reminded of what he missed due to his rejection of God.

Escape From Sheol-Hades

One of the main victories wrought by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is that the church age born again believer doesn’t have to go to Sheol-Hades. In Psalm 16:10 as quoted by Peter in Acts 2:25-31, states the fact that Jesus Christ is not in Sheol-Hades today. In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul informs us, “We are confident, I say and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. In other words, since the resurrection, the believer at death has gone not to Sheol-Hades, but to be present with the Lord, who dwells in heaven. So for the present day believer or any Christian during the church age dies can be assured that his soul proceeds immediately to heaven to be with his Savior Jesus Christ.

The question that actually confronts us is, “When did this change take place?” Since, we know that the Lord Jesus went to Paradise, from the book of Luke 23:43 he told the thief on the cross next to him who cried out for salvation, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Therefore, we know that Jesus went directly from the cross into the Paradise section of Sheol-Hades. What’s more is that in the book of Ephesians 4:8-10 reveals that Paradise is no longer located in Hades, but was taken by Christ up into heaven. This indicates the believer now goes to heaven. It also means that there is an empty compartment in Sheol-Hades.

When our Lord cried from the cross, “It is finished!” in John 19:30, He was saying that the final sacrifice for man’s sin was paid. God in human flesh could accomplish what no animal sacrifice could ever do, that is atone for the sins of the whole world. After releasing his soul, Jesus descended into Hades and led all the Old Testament believers, held captive until sin was finally atoned for, up into heaven, where they are presently with Him.

Purgatory vs Limbo

We should be very clear not to confused the soulish state with the popularity of Purgatory or Limbo, which isn’t anywhere in God’s Word the Holy Bible. The definition of Purgatory is said to be a place where men go to do penance or suffer for the sins they have committed in this world in order to purify them for a better afterlife. The idea of purgatory has roots that date back into antiquity. A sort of proto-purgatory called the “celestial Hades” appears in the writing of Plato and Heraclides Ponticus and in many other pagan writers. This concept is distinguished from the Hades of the underworld described in the works of Homer and Hesiod. This purgatory is a belief mostly by Catholics, an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification. This isn’t a Christian belief because it contradicts what the bible says. Unfortunately, many are being deceived and especially by the Catholic Religious system to think they can help their love one’s in a place that doesn’t exist after death, but it’s certain that manipulation has generated larges sums of donations preying on the vulnerable who are hurting and deceived. It is very clear in the bible that if your name isn’t written in Book of Life according to Revelation 20:12-15 then you’re going to hell. The bottom line, it’s a false hope and a lie to lead someone to believe that there is hope after you die, if you haven’t been born again.

How to Get to Paradise

Men and Women don’t wind up in Hades because they’re Rich or Poor, or because he is a murderer, a whoremonger, or a thief, but because each person is sent to Hades because of NON BELIEF in JESUS and not accepting him as Lord and Savior, while alive on earth. According to John 3:18, “He who believe in Him is not judged; he who does not believe is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Keep in mind that those who go to Paradise and those who go to Hades are sinners. The latter die in their sins, while those who reside in Paradise were forgiven their sins sometimes during their life on earth. Jesus said that “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” in John 14:6. Only by Jesus Christ, then can we gain access to the Father, who is in heaven (where Paradise is now located). The Bible says that all men deserve to go to hell (Romans 3:23 and 6:23), and only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross can we escape Hades and Hell.

The word of God says in Roman 10:9-10 “That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in you heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

What Do Other Religions & Cults Believe?

1. Jehovah’s Witnesses: The 144,000 live a spirits in heaven. The rest of the righteous, “The Great Crowd,” live on earth, and must obey God perfectly for 1,000 years or be annihilated.

2. Mormonism (LDS): The Latter Day Saints is also what they’re known by and believe that eventually nearly everyone goes to one of three separate heavenly “Kingdoms,” with some achieving godhood, Apostates and murderers go to “outer darkness.”

3. Unification Church: After death one goes to the spirit world. There is no resurrection. Members advance by convincing others to follow Sun Myung Moon. Everyone will be saved, even Satan.

4. Christian Science: Death is not real. Heaven and hell are states of mind. The way to reach heaven is by attaining harmony (oneness with God).

5. Unity School of Christianity: Death is a result of wrong thinking. One moves to a different body (reincarnation) until enlightenment. No literal heaven or hell.

6. Scientology: Hell is a myth. People who get clear of engrams become operating thetans.

7. Wicca: The body replenishes the earth, which is the Goddess’s wish. Some Wiccans are agnostic about life after death, others believe in reincarnation. Some believe in a wonderful place called Summerland.

8. New Age: Human reincarnations occur until person reaches oneness with God. No eternal life as a resurrected person. No literal heaven or hell.

9. Islam: Resurrection of bodies. Fear of eternal torment is a prevalent theme of the Qur’an. Paradise includes a garden populated with houris, maidens designed by Allah to provide sexual pleasures to righteous men.

10. Nation of Islam: There is no consciousness or any spiritual existence after death. Heaven and Hell are symbols. Statements about the resurrection refer to awakening “mentally dead” people by bringing them true teachings.

11. Baha’i World Faith: Personal immortality based on good works, with rewards for the faithful. Heaven and hell are conditions, not places.

12. Judaism: There will be a physical resurrection. The obedient will live forever with God, and the unrighteous will suffer. Some Jews do not believe in a conscious life after death.

13. Hinduism: Reincarnation into a better status (good karma) if a person has behaved well. If one has been bad, he can be reborn and pay for past sins (bad karma) by suffering.

14. Hare Krishna: Those who are unenlightened continue in endless reincarnation (rebirth on earth) based on the sinful acts of a person’s previous life.

15. Transcendental Meditation (TM): Reincarnation based on karma (reaping the consequences of one’s actions) until loss of self into union with Brahman. No heaven or hell.

16. Buddhism: Reincarnation is the belief and that people do not have their own individual souls or spirits, but one’s desires and feelings may be reincarnated into another person.

17. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism: Repeated reincarnation until one awakens to one’s Buddha nature, then enters nirvana (escaping the cycle of rebirth). Heaven and hell are two of ten states of existence. After death, one enters a suspended state called ku.


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