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Are people judged immediately after they die and go directly to heaven or hell?

Do they have to wait for the day of judgment to discover their fate?

According to the Bible when we die we really are dead.

We don’t have an immortal soul or spirit which continues on in a conscious existence.

In death we corrupt back into the elements from which we are made.

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Our faculties cease to function and we remain unconscious in the ground.

Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing,

For this reason, death is likened to sleep.

1 Kings 2:10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.

Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Hell is not a place of eternal torment.

The Hebrew and Greek words translated ‘hell’ mean the grave.

The punishment for sin is death, not eternal torment.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die…

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death…

Those who understand the purpose of God will be raised from the dead to be judged.

This will happen when Jesus Christ returns to the earth.

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (condemnation).

Jesus Christ has been appointed to judge the living and the dead.

Acts 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick (living) and dead.

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Those accounted faithful will receive everlasting life.

Everlasting life is the reward for the faithful, not for the wicked.

The wicked will be condemned to die again.

This is called the second death.

The kingdom of God will be established upon the earth, not in heaven.

No one other than Jesus Christ has gone or will go to heaven.

John 3:13… no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

David, for example, didn’t go to heaven.

Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens…

David, like the rest of the dead lies in the grave waiting for the day when Christ will return from heaven to raise the dead.

The kingdom of God will be the restored kingdom of David on the earth.

Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Jesus Christ will rule the earth from Jerusalem.

This time is described by Isaiah (it is also repeated in Micah ch, 4)

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

The idea of immortal souls which go elsewhere after death comes from pagan philosophy which the Christian Church adopted as it slipped into apostasy in the 4th century AD.

Christ will rule over the mortal population of the earth for 1000 years, at the end of which there will be a second resurrection and final judgment. Sin and death will be eradicated and all who live on will be given eternal life. God will live in and with his creation.

Paul explains what is going to happen:

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

This will be the fulfilment of God’s declared purpose:

Numbers 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

This fulfilment is described in Revelation:

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

I hope you find this helpful.

God bless,

Glenn

 
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