What happens when you die? Is death the end? Is there life after death? It’s a question that everyone seeks an answer for. Even CNN did an article “Beyond Goodbye” to explore life after death experiences. Why all the interest? Because death is the one thing in life that everybody will experience regardless of their background, wealth, education, pedigree, philosophy, or religion. No one is exempt. We all at some point have to face our own mortality. Man throughout history has looked for the proverbial “fountain of youth” with out success. Even today we are inundated with all kinds of medical procedures, diets, medicines, and vitamins that are sold with the promise of making you feel and look younger, believing and hoping to live longer. However, regardless of how much you exercise and how well you take care of yourself, sooner or later you will face death. The question is, what happens when you die?
Death is Not the End!
Death is not the end. When a person dies their life does not end. Their bodies cease to exist, but their spirit and soul live on. Paul puts it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” Our physical bodies are perishing every day. The older you get the more you realize the truth of that statement, but we are not just a hunk of flesh. We are created as a spirit, soul and body. While our flesh dies the spirit and soul live forever!
Jesus made an incredible statement in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” Jesus was telling Martha and us – death is not the end. When a person’s dies physically the body returns to the dust from which it came, but their spirit and soul step into eternity. So, the next logical question is, where do they go?
Where do the Dead Go?
First, for the person who believes in Jesus, they go to be with Him in paradise. (Luke 23:43) Paul puts it this way “For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2Corinthians 5:6-7 NLT) So, upon dying you leave your body and immediately go to be in the presence of the Lord. That’s why for a Christian death has no “sting”! (1Corinthians 15:55-57) Then at some time in the future all those who have died and are with Jesus will go to live in the new heaven and new earth. (Revelation 21:1)
Second, for the person who does not believe, they go to be in a place where all others who like them did not believe in Jesus. It is a place of separation from God. It’s a place filled with all kinds of people some good, some bad, some evil, some very wicked, but all are there because they did not believe. It will not be a pleasant place to be. Every one of these will have an opportunity to explain and try to defend themselves before God. (Revelation 20:11-15) It will be somewhat like a trial in which evidence can be produced and stories told, but in the end the only defense is whether a person believed in their heart and declared their belief in Jesus. (Romans 10: 9-10) Once it is proven without any doubt that they did not believe, every one of them will be sent to the “lake of fire” for the rest of eternity (Revelation 20:14)
Where Will You Go When You Die?
Death is not the end you are going to live forever. The only question is where? If you do not have peace in your heart or fear death because you are not sure where you will go when you die, make the best decision of your life and allow Jesus to transform your life. Make a decision to believe and receive Jesus as your Lord. There are no other ways to eternal life with God. Jesus said to “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV) It all comes down to the question that Jesus asked Martha in John 11:26 “Do you believe this?” Unfortunately many decide not to believe. Man has come up with many different philosophies, religions, and ideas to try and explain death and eternity. Everyone has the freedom to choose what they believe. What do you believe?
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Death is not the end! “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3 NKJV