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Where do Christians go after death?

Do post-apostolic christians go directly to heaven after death or to hades to await the resurrection?

Contrary to what is generally taught in Churches, the Bible teaches that when we die, we really are dead. In death, we corrupt back into dust.

This was the sentence passed on Adam

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.

We do not possess an immortal soul, we ARE a soul, and souls are mortal.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Souls die.

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

We all sin and we all die.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

When we die, our soul dies. When we are placed in the grave, our soul is placed in the grave.

Psalms 89:48 What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?

In the grave, our faculties perish and we are unconscious.

Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. 7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. 8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. 10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Our thoughts perish

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

English translations which translate the Hebrew ‘sheol’ and the Greek ‘hades’ as ‘hell’ do us a disservice. ‘Sheol’ is translated in the King James Bible as ‘grave’ 31 times, ‘hell’ 31 times and ‘pit’ 3 times. It clearly means grave.

The Greek equivalent of ‘sheol’ – ‘hades’ is translated in the King James Bible as ‘grave’ 1 time, ‘hell’ 10 times. Again, it clearly means grave.

The Bible likens death to sleep. We all experience the unconsciousness of sleep.

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

Acts 7:60 And he (Stephen) 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.

David, for example, has corrupted into dust.

Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:

David hasn’t ascended to heaven

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

In fact, no one other than Jesus Christ has ascended to heaven.

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

David, along with all the rest of the faithful sleeps in the dust awaiting the resurrection. The hope of the Bible and the gospel of Christ is that of resurrection from the dead.

Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

The dead remain in the grave until the resurrection takes place at the return of Christ.

John 5:28-29 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).

Christians who have believed and obeyed the gospel, will be raised from the dead and given eternal life.

Until that time, they ‘sleep’ in Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

May I suggest that you read:

After Death – What? (click on the title) and Heaven and Hell (click on the title)

I hope you find this helpful.

God bless,
Glenn

 
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