What happens after death is a popular subject among all humans. Everyone is interested in what happens after death. Are we in the presence of the Lord immediately after we die? Or are we somewhere else for a certain time before being with the Lord? Even further, many people want to know if we just cease to exist.
In this article, we are going to discover what happens after death and if we are in the presence of the Lord when we die.
Life after Death
There are many theories in the world about what happens after death. Atheists believe that nothing happens after death. “Lights on, lights off” mentality penetrates the thoughts of an atheist. In the mind of an atheist, there is no God, which means there is no life after death.
Catholicism teaches that there is a period of purgatory that everyone has to go through before going to heaven. Purgatory is not found in the Bible as it is an idea created by Catholics. Buddhism and Hinduism teach that individuals are reincarnated after they die.
None of these theories align with what the Bible teaches about life after death. The Bible tells us that we are automatically in the presence of the Lord when we die.
When a believer passes away, the believer is automatically in the presence of the Lord because they have placed faith in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (John 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Those who fail to place faith in Christ will go to hell when they die and will eventually be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
The Apostle Paul says, “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).
From Paul’s words, we are told that as soon as we die, we are with the Lord. There is no “in-between” time in which we wait to be with the Lord. Paul tells us that if we die, we are automatically with the Lord in heaven.
If we die before the rapture, we will not yet have our glorified bodies. All believers who are in heaven now have their heavenly bodies. They do not yet have their glorified bodies. Believers will not obtain their glorified bodies until the rapture of the Church.
For believers who are still living when the rapture occurs, their earthly bodies will automatically be transformed into their glorified bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54). Believers who have died before the rapture will be resurrected and transformed into their glorified bodies (Philippians 3:21).
The only individual who already has their resurrected, glorified body is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Our resurrected glorified bodies will be amazing as we will be raised with imperishable bodies that will never grow tired, never grow hungry, never grow thirsty, never get sick, and never sin again (1 Corinthians 15:35-58).
The Lord truly is going to bless us with our resurrected bodies. Even though we will automatically be in the presence of the Lord when we die, we will not yet have our glorified bodies. Instead, we will have our heavenly bodies, and we will obtain our glorified bodies at the time of the rapture.
Living with God Forever
After we die, we are immediately in the presence of the Lord. From then on, we will forever be with the Lord. There is no greater future than to be serving, worshipping, and praising God for all eternity.
There will be many events to take place in the future; however, we will be with the Lord throughout them all. As believers, we will be spared from the dreaded seven-year tribulation and will reside with the Lord in heaven.
All believers will return with the Lord at His Second Coming for the battle of Armageddon. Although this may sound scary, we will be with the Lord, and He will reign victorious. Nobody is stronger than God as He is the Creator of all things, and He is before all things.
Throughout the Millennial Reign of Christ and the creation of the New Heaven and New Earth, we will be with God. No one will ever pluck us out of God’s hand because we are His forever.
What Happens to Unbelievers?
Unfortunately, since unbelievers never place faith in Christ, they will not be with the Lord when they die. Instead, they will be separated from God in hell (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
Unbelievers will not forever be in hell as they will be resurrected at the Great White Throne Judgment, after which they will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15).
There is no future happiness, peace, or joy for those who choose to never place faith in Christ. There will only be sadness, pain, and tears. Salvation is not limited to only a select number of individuals.
Rather, salvation is open to all who choose to place faith in Christ by believing that He died for their sins, was buried, and rose again (John 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). If anyone believes in Jesus and accepts Him as their Savior and Lord, they are given forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and redemption.
For those who place faith in Christ, they will be saved from going to hell and the lake of fire. Many people shrug off the idea of hell by reasoning that since God is a loving God, He would never send anyone to hell.
It is true that God is full of love, but He is also righteous and just (Deuteronomy 32:4). Also, God does not send anyone to hell. It is us who send ourselves to hell for failing to place faith in Christ. Every single person is destined for hell unless they place faith in Christ.
We are all sinners as we are all born into sin, and we all freely commit sins (Romans 3:23). It is only when we place faith in Jesus that we can be forgiven of our sins. Hell is a very real place that many people will go to when they die if they do not place faith in Christ.
Only believers will be taken to be in the presence of the Lord when they die, and we will be with Him forever. If you are not a believer, never fear. You can become a believer today by placing faith in Jesus by believing that He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again.
If you believe in Jesus and place faith in Him, you too will become part of God’s eternal family, and you will never have to be afraid of separation from God. As a child of God, you will forever be part of God’s family, and you will always be kept safe in the mighty arms of God.
What Does This Mean?
Therefore, even though there is a myriad of different theories in the world today about what happens after death, we know the truth of what happens after death is only found in the Bible. The Bible is the infallible Word of God, and we can rely on it (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
At the moment of death, if we are a believer, we will automatically be in the presence of the Lord. However, if an individual is an unbeliever who dies, they will go to hell. Do not let this discourage you, but rather use it as motivation to help others come to know Christ.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
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