What Happens When We Die?
No. 11 in the Series, Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning God
Many people are concerned about what happens after death. Some say death is the absolute end of life, therefore, they live a life without fear of consequences. Others say that after death there will be a coming judgment for which people must prepare by living properly now.
There Will Be Judgment and Life after Death
The Bible tells us that God exists and a life other than our physical, tangible realm of here and now also exists. What we can see is temporal and is created by God, whom we cannot see (2 Corinthians 4:18). It is the eternal and invisible God who, for a purpose, created what is visible, including the earth, the trees, the animals, and human beings (Ephesians 3:9,11), (Colossians 1:16), (1 Timothy 1:17). Just as God is in the realm of eternity, so the life after death determined by the coming judgment of God is also after this presently visible realm (Hebrews 9:27).
Two Main Types of Life after Death
1) Those who fulfill God’s purpose of creation, that is, those who believe that Christ died for their sins and resurrected for their justification and who take God in as life to become one with Him, will be with God, one with God, and ruling with God over the whole earth. (John 3:16-18) This is the best possible thing that can happen to someone after death.
2) Those who are without God today will be apart from the loving God for eternity. They will suffer pain in the lake of fire, being burnt together with Satan (the devil) and his fallen angels. (John 3:16-18) The lake of fire was not prepared for man but for Satan and his angels. However, all mankind became one with Satan as a result of the fall of Adam. Because some do not turn back to God in spite of many warnings and opportunities, God will have to give them up to spend eternity with Satan and share in his torment. This is the worst type of life after death. We hope that as many as possible will turn to God and be spared, especially you who are reading this.
The Deciding Factor for which Type You’ll Have
In order to live a life that will prepare us to face the coming judgment, we must first find out what will be rewarded and what will be disapproved. Many people have the misconception that a person who does good deeds while living on earth will go to heaven, whereas a person who does evil things will go to hell. This concept is not according to the Bible. If you read the two types of life after death carefully, you will see something different. The deciding factor for what one’s life will be like for eternity is not one’s behavior while on earth but rather whether or not one has believed Christ's death and resurrection and received God as life (John 3:16-18).
Although man was created by God to contain Him, man was still given the choice to take God as life or to take Satan. Man chose to take Satan, who then entered man and became the sinful nature in man. Man became a sinner in his constitution and full of sins in his actions. There is now an element within man which loves unrighteousness and hates righteousness, which loves sin and darkness and hates light. All that God desired man to be, man is not. Man without God remains in sin and is dead in his spirit, the very part of man which was created to contact and contain God. If man does not repent, man is doomed to remain with Satan for eternity.
But God, who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loves man, is not willing to see His created man become a victim of Satan and end up in the lake of fire with Satan. It is this love that motivated God to become a man to join in with victimized humanity, to die as the perfect substitute to rescue man from destruction (Romans 5:8). He then resurrected to become a life-giving Spirit to give life to all who would believe and receive Him (Romans 4:25), (1 John 5:12).
When you receive Him into you, He will bring the life of God into you. God will be your life and be one with you (1 Corinthians 6:17). Then you must allow Him to grow in you to fill your whole being. This will deliver you from the Satanic nature that has been in you since your birth. The more He grows in you, the more you’ll be free from Satan’s tyranny. You will love as God loves. You will be righteous as God is righteous. You will express all God’s divine attributes, such as love, light, holiness, righteousness, kindness, etc. After living with God, in God, and one with God on the earth, you will certainly be approved at the judgment (John 14:20). You will definitely have a life with God, because you already will have been enjoying His eternal life during this physical life (Revelation 22:5,7).
If you have not yet turned back to God and received His life through Jesus Christ, your life is still filled with Satan, and you are condemned already (John 8:44), (Ephesians 2:12), (Matthew 25:41), (Romans 1:28). It does not matter how much good you try to do, you will never be that good. You may be righteous sometimes, but not all the time. You may show love to all people, but you may actually hate some of them secretly inside your heart. This is not because you have no desire to be an upright person, but because you lack the empowering of the divine life. God is God and Satan is Satan. If you have Satan but not God, you can never be perfect in this life, and you will definitely be in the lake of fire with Satan after the judgment. If you have God living inside of you, you may be as perfect as God in this life, and you will definitely be with God and one with God eternally (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10), (Genesis 2:9), (Deuteronomy 30:19). What you need is to receive Jesus by calling on His name and admitting to Him that you are a sinner and that you need Him as your salvation (Romans 5:19), (Romans 7:20), (Romans 3:23), (Romans 6:23), (John 4:24), (John 3:19), (John 12:46).
Pray this way: "O Lord Jesus, I know that You have created me. I know that I have sin and do not have Your life. I believe that You died for me. Lord Jesus, come into me to be my life. I want to be with You now and forever."
Then you need to read the Bible and pray every day and meet with believers in oneness so that you may grow up into Him and be built with God’s people (1 Peter 2:2), (Epheisans 4:15), (1 John 3:14), (Mark 10:18), (Phillipians 4:13), (Philippians 4:13), (Matthew 5:48), (Romans 10:13). By this, you will be assured of your destiny (Acts 2:28).
*All quoted verses taken from "The New Testament Recovery Version Online" at http://online.recoveryversion.org, Copyright © 1997-2012 by Living Stream Ministry.