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What Truly Happens When We Die?

A biblical perspective

By May SylvanPublished about a month ago 3 min read


What happens when we die? This universal question affects us all, as death is an inevitable part of life, with 150,000 people dying each day. As we face the end of our earthly existence, the destination of our souls becomes a crucial consideration. Perspectives vary: some believe in heaven, hell, purgatory, or eternal sleep. But what is the truth?

To find the truth, Christians turn to the Bible, their ultimate source of absolute truth.

Biblical Perspective on Death

According to the Bible, Christians should not fear death but view it with joy, as it signifies being with Christ in heaven, free from suffering and sadness. Paul expresses this in Philippians 1:21, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain," and in 2 Corinthians 5:8, he affirms a preference to be "away from the body and at home with the Lord."

Upon death, various beliefs exist about what happens next. Some Christians believe in "soul sleep," a state of unconscious existence until Jesus' second coming. Other Christians, particularly Catholics, believe in purgatory, a place where souls are purified before entering heaven. However, the Bible does not mention purgatory. Another belief is that upon death, a believer's soul goes immediately to Christ while the body remains in the grave until the resurrection. Scripture provides clarity on these doctrines.

Soul Sleep Doctrine

Some Christians believe in "soul sleep," where the soul remains unconscious until Jesus' second coming. This view, historically associated with Anabaptists and Irvingites, suggests a state of unconscious existence after death. However, this doctrine is not widely accepted and lacks strong biblical support.


The Roman Catholic Church teaches purgatory, a place for further purification before entering heaven. However, the Bible does not mention purgatory. This concept mainly arises from apocryphal texts like 2 Maccabees 12:42-45, which suggest making atonement for the dead. The Bible, however, emphasizes that Christ's sacrifice alone atones for sins (1 John 2:1-2).

Immediate Presence with Christ

The Bible indicates that upon death, believers' souls immediately join Christ in heaven. Jesus told the thief on the cross, "Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43), and Paul expressed a desire to "depart and be with Christ" (Philippians 1:23). These scriptures support the belief that believers are immediately in God's presence after death.

Eternal Fate of Unbelievers

Based on the bible, unbelievers face eternal punishment, possibly after a period in Hades, awaiting final judgment. This suggests a different fate for beleivers. The story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:22-23) illustrates immediate torment for the unrepentant, with final judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15, culminating in the lake of fire for those not in the Book of Life.

Encouragement for Believers

Believers look forward to an eternal home with God, where suffering ceases. The new heaven and earth described in Revelation 21:1-3 portray a future of everlasting communion with God. Christians are encouraged to share the gospel actively, recognizing the urgency of salvation as 150,000 people die daily. Jesus is the only way to salvation (John 14:6, John 3:18), and believers are called to be disciples, spreading His message until His return.

Ultimately, Christians believe they should live actively in their faith, sharing the gospel and making disciples, as instructed by Jesus. Time is limited, with many people dying daily without knowing Christ. Christians are called to be the light of the world, using their gifts for God's glory and spreading the message of salvation through Jesus, who said in John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."


Understanding what happens after death from a biblical perspective provides hope and purpose. For believers, death leads to eternal life with Christ, and they are urged to live actively in their faith, sharing the gospel to save others. Therefore, Christians are urged to actively share their faith to save as many as possible before time runs out. Time is fleeting, and the call to discipleship is urgent and essential.

CONTENT WARNINGfact or fiction

About the Creator

May Sylvan

Welcome to my page. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy. Let's engage in the comment section

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