What Happens When We Die?


Many people often wonder what will happen to them when they die.

There are many views on this question. Some people think that we go straight to Heaven or Hell, or somewhere in between. Some people believe that we are reincarnated and come back to life on this earth as another person or animal.

But what does the Bible teach? In the Bible Jesus calls death a “sleep”.

Lazarus had been dead for several days but Jesus said that he was just sleeping. Jesus said,  “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him.” Then Jesus explained, “Lazarus is dead.” John 11:11-14. 

Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, said, “the living know they will die, but the dead know nothing.”

Ecclesiastes 9:5.

How much do the dead know?  According to the Bible they know nothing.

What happens when we sleep? We don’t know what is going on around us and when we wake up it is as if no time has passed.

This is what happens when we die. We are asleep until Jesus calls our name on the resurrection day.

When Jesus comes again to this earth He will raise from the graves all those who have chosen to follow Him. “The Lord Himself will come down from Heaven...and those who have died believing in Christ will rise first.”

I Thessalonians 4:16 

If we have already left the grave, who would God raise back to life again when He comes? It doesn’t make sense.

Does it make sense that Lazarus would go to Heaven as soon as he died only to have to come back into the grave four days later so Jesus could resurrect him? No.

God isn’t cruel like that. After Lazarus is really starting to enjoy the beauty and wonders of Heaven, then is God going to make him come back here to this dismal planet?

Some people say that our “soul” lives on after death. In Ezekiel 18:20 (KJV), we can read that, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” And we know from Romans 3:23 that, “all have sinned.” We can see then that this applies to everyone. Every soul will die. Our soul will not live on after the grave.

The first lie ever told was by the devil in the garden of Eden. He told Eve that if she ate the fruit she would not die. The devil said to Eve, “You will not die. God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree, you will... be like God!”

Genesis 3:4, 5.

If we believe that people live on after the grave then we are really believing the same lie that the devil told Eve. We are believing that we really don’t die we just live on in some other place or state of existence.

Let’s talk about the belief that when a person dies they go straight to Heaven.  If one of your beloved relatives died and went to Heaven, how happy do you think they could be, in Heaven, if they knew how sad you were about their death?

God’s plan is really best. He has the dead sleep in their graves until He returns. The dead don’t know anything. They don’t know how sad their relatives and friends are about their death.

When God returns all those believing in Him will be raised back to life and will be reunited with their relatives who also believe in Him. Then they will be happy.

The first lie ever told was by the devil. He told Eve that if she ate the fruit she would not die.

All Bible verses are from the New Century version of the Bible unless noted otherwise.