Posted on April 25, 2022
What happens to a person when they die? Some say they are reincarnated. Others believe one goes to heaven, hell, purgatory, or some such place. Still others think you float around on a little cloud, strumming a harp. And some are of the opinion that the dead haunt houses, or other places. Who is right? What really happens?
The first lie ever told on this planet was when Satan told Eve “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Does a person really die? Are they able to communicate with the living? The only infallible source of truth to these types of questions is the word of God (Isaiah 8:19-20).
The Bible tells us clearly that when a person dies he never returns to his house again (Job 7:9-10). If this is true how can it be that some have supposedly seen, and even communicated with the dead? How is this possible? In these types of experiences what that individual encounters are “the spirits of devils, working miracles” (Revelation 16:14).
In the last days, “some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). Remember, the first devilish doctrine ever taught on this earth was that man does not really die (Genesis 3:4-5).
If we want to know where we are going we need to first discover where we came from. Some believe that at creation man received an immortal soul. This premise has two great flaws in it.
1. Man did not receive a soul, he “became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).
2. Nowhere in the Bible is a soul said to be immortal. As a matter of fact the Bible teaches that “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4).
Centuries ago Job asked the questions “If a man die shall he live again?”, and “man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?” (Job 14:14, 10). The answer to this is far different from what many are being taught today. “Man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep” (Job 14:12). “His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them” (Job 14:21).
All people were from the dust and when they die they all return to the dust (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20). Not only does the body return to dust, but every man’s spirit returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7). This refers to the wicked as well as the righteous.
Many are confused as to what the spirit is, but the spirit is nothing more than that which God breathed into Adam’s nostrils when He created him from the dust. That is the breath of life. Genesis 2:7; Job 27:3; Psalm 104:29. When God takes the breath of life (spirit) from man he dies and returns to dust, regardless of the type of person he was. In this state there is no knowledge, wisdom, hatred, envy, work, etc. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10). In that very day their thoughts perish, they can no longer even praise the Lord. Psalm 146:3-4; 115:17; Isaiah 38:18.
We have a tremendous illustration of what death is like in the story of the raising of Lazarus. There are several points to notice in this account.
1. What we call death, Jesus refers to as a sleep (John 11:11-14). Death is consistently referred to as a sleep in the Scriptures. 2 Samuel 7:12; Psalm 13:3; Daniel 12:2; Job 14:10-12.
2.Martha realized that the resurrection of the dead would be in the last day, and expected her brother to be raised at that time (John 11:24).
3. Jesus called Lazarus to come forth from the grave, not DOWN from heaven or UP from hell (John 11:43).
Those who have died in Christ will be awakened from their sleep when He comes (1 Corinthians 15:21- 24; 51-55). At that time “all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth (John 5:28-29). This is what the Psalmist meant when he said “I shall be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psalm 17:15). God’s people will rest in the grave until the plagues (God’s wrath, Revelation 15:1; 16:1) are over and then He will call them forth (Job 14:13-15).
Jesus will soon descend to this earth “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
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