18 Biblical Perspectives on Death and What Comes After

SharePinEmailWhat happens when we die? It’s a morbid question but one we all think about from time to time. Different religions hold varying views about death and what happens to our souls and spirits after we die. For many believers, death is not something to be feared, but is a comforting idea, as for those…

What happens when we die? It’s a morbid question but one we all think about from time to time. Different religions hold varying views about death and what happens to our souls and spirits after we die. For many believers, death is not something to be feared, but is a comforting idea, as for those who have lived a good life the afterlife brings reward.

Others believe there is no afterlife, and when we die there is no other world. But what does the Bible say about death and what happens when we die? Here, we examine the different teachings of the scriptures about death and immortality.

Death is Inevitable

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Death is described as inevitable in the Bible, something everyone experiences. “In Adam all die,” says 1 Corinthians 15:22.

We Go to One of Two Places When We Die

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According to the Bible, we all go to one of two places when we die. Those who have believed and trusted in God and salvation are taken to His eternal presence. Those who have rejected God will spend an eternity in Hell.

Hell is a Place of Darkness and Fire

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The Bible speaks of hell on several occasions. Jesus told us it was a place of fire and darkness, where the wicked and rebellious live for eternity.

We Will Overcome Death

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Jesus overcame death, and so will we. As Romans 6:5 reads: “Since we have been united with Him in His death” through faith, “we will also be raised to life as He was”.

Death is the End of Suffering on Earth

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Revelation 21:4 is a comforting verse for those seeking reassurance about death. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away,” it reads. Believers can have hope from the Bible that the pain, suffering, and loss we have experienced on Earth will not follow us to the immortal afterlife.

Our Physical Bodies Will Begin to Decay

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The scriptures tell us that our physical bodies will eventually cease to work properly and will start to decay. Once our brains stop functioning, our soul separates from our bodies, and unlike our physical bodies, our souls are eternal.

Death Compared to Sleep

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The biblical text compares death to sleep over 50 times. Ecclesiastes 9:5 says: “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing… their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished.” When Lazarus is raised from the dead, he shares neither what he experienced nor what he saw. Rather, he was “sleeping” in his tomb.

God Can Awaken the Dead

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While the Bible often compares death to sleep, it teaches that God can awaken the dead as if from sleep and give them life once more.

Death Is Not the End of Everything

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For those who God resurrects, death is not the end of everything, says Job 14:13-15.

Heaven Is Home to Angels

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In the Bible, heaven is where God watches over the universe. Angels reside there and praise Him for His work.

Death Is the Beginning of Eternity in God’s Presence

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“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him,” says 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10. In other words, rather than being alone upon death, we will be taken to a place where God lives for eternity.

Heaven Described as Beautiful and Sinless

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The Bible describes heaven as a beautiful place of happiness, where God resides and is without evil, sadness, or fear. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

We Don’t Have to Die Alone

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When we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, we have an eternal relationship with him, which can never be broken. As such, he is by our side, including during death, which was the message of John: 14:17, which said: “You know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. … On that day, you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.” 

We Should Prepare for the Unknown

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We live in unstable times and the Bible teaches us to prepare for the unknown.

Sin Will Not Reign

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On our mortal Earth, sin and evil often triumph over good, with war, anger, and hatred being all around us. But God’s presence is always good, and the notion that He will make things right is a key message of the Bible.

We Should Not Fear Death

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Fearing death is a natural part of human existence, but it is also not a healthy fear. But God does not want us to fear death or live in uncertainty and confusion. Instead, He offers us a future devoid of sickness, sorrow, and pain, and a place not to be feared but embraced.  

Death is Never God’s Intention

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As the Bible teaches us that God designed humans to live eternally with Him, through trust and salvation, death was never God’s intention, but rather eternal life in His presence.

Heaven is More Perfect Than We Can Imagine

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According to the Bible, heaven will be better than all the earthly pleasures put together. As said in Corinthians 2:9: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love Him.”

We Grieve with Hope

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Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult time. But if our loved ones belong to Jesus, our grief comes with hope that they are in a better place, and we will, one day, see them again. As 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, said: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”

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