Death -- What Happens Next?
Luke 14:25-28, Matthew 10:37-39
Many people think that when a person dies, that is
all there is and nothing else happens. We as Christians know that
is far from the truth. There is a story of a young child who asked
his mom, "When do people die?" His mother told him to go to the
cemetery and look at the graves. The little boy decided that people
die at all different ages. That is so true! We never know when we
are going to die. That is why we need to understand what happens
after death, and what we can do to prepare for death.
We all have three parts; 1 - body, 2 - spirit, and
3 - soul. Le us think about each one and what happens when we die.
First our body -- that is the physical part that we see returns
to dust, because we are made from the dust of the earth.. (Genesis
Second our spirit -- that belongs to God and when
we die goes back to God. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
Third our soul -- this is the part that lives forever.
Depending on what we do with Jesus determines (decides) where our
soul lives. Our soul can go to one of two places, heaven or hell.
- The soul of the wicked (unsaved) goes to hell. This would be
anyone that dies without accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. (Luke
16:23) (Rev. 1:18) Hell is a real place and was made by God, but
not for man. (Matthew 25:41) Anyone who does not accept Jesus
will go to hell after they die. (Rev. 20:15)
- The soul of the righteous (saved) goes to paradise. In Luke
16:22 calls this Abraham's bosom, in Luke 23:43 uses the word
paradise. Both are talking about heaven. When we accept Jesus
as Lord and Savior and we die, we are going to heaven to live
with God forever. We will not be in this earthly body, but will
get a new body. Remember it is not the body that lives forever,
but the soul.
When anyone dies, their body (physical) will return to dust, their
spirit will return to God, but their soul??? What happens and where
the soul goes depends on what the individual does about Christ.
Did the person accept Christ? Did the person refuse to accept Christ?
That is what is most important. There is no other question that
we must answer that is more important than that. What about each
of you? Have you accepted Jesus? If not, why not?