What happens when we die?

hplantin's picture

What happens when we die?

"Sooner or later all of us must face up to death. Energetic adolescents ignore it, and their middle-aged parents often pursue illusions of perpetual youth. But the elderly and terminally ill know better. Nothing in life is as certain as death. And we all wonder what happens when our friends and loved ones die." So begins John Cooper in a Calvin Seminary Forum article. Cooper goes on to talk about the most common Christian view, that we exist with Christ, apart from the body until the resurrection. Then he discusses some questions and challenges to this view. Do souls survive apart from the body? Is there even such a thing as a metaphysical soul separable from the body or is that just Greek Platonism? What about near-death experiences?

Read on for a fascinating discussion.

What are your thoughts?

JeffLogan's picture

Heaven on Earth

Doug writes, You make an interesting segue: from "howe I can affect God's kingdom here on Earth" to "those who believe in Him will be in Heaven with him". If the latter, why should we worry about the former? God's kingdom here, with no inhabitants? What was the use of creating the earth at all, then, if our 'home is heaven'?

Jeff writes, the Bible says the saints live and reign with Christ a thousand years. Given the context of that truth it is apparent that that 1,000 years is in the Heaven that we now speak of as God's dwelling place (above the earth). However, Jesus said the meek would inherit the earth. So there must be a return to earth after the 1,000 years. And, certainly, John saw the earth made new and Isaiah testified of the same. In Revelation fire comes down from God out of heaven and consumes the wicked who are encamped around the City of God on the breadth of the earth. So that fire must also burn up everything on the earth. And Peter testifies in 2 Peter 3 that this is the case. So does Malachi 4. And Isaiah 24. And Jeremiah 4. And in 1 John 3 it says Jesus will destroy the works of the devil. So once the works of evil have been utterly consumed by the everlasting fires then this earth will be regenerated by the creative Word of God. And I believe we will witness this re-creation of the earth.

So the answer is that this earth was created to be our home but sin has ruined it. But God will burn up all traces of sin and recreate this earth, probably in its Edenic beauty. And, I believe the Bible says that God will once again dwell with man. I think that wherever God is will be heaven, right? Heaven is a perfect state of things rather than a specific place, isn't it? What do you think? But apparently we have mansions in heaven which Jesus has gone to prepare for us in His Father's house. He promised His disciples that they would be there with Him. So we can be sure that we will live in heaven, for some period anyway, before we inherit the earth made new.

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“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."