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Life After Death
The opinions of man are many concerning life after death.  Some say death is annihilation (man ceases to exist).  Some say death is just a stepping stone into reincarnation: Man continues his existence in a different time period and possibly a different life form.  Others say, skeptically, "we can't be sure of anything after death.  Any attempt to explain man's destiny beyond the grave is mere speculation."  Still others insist that there is a bright hope for every person that dies.  All will inherit Heaven as their eternal destiny.  Is there any hope of knowing the certainty of eternity?  The God who created this world has revealed to us the certain and absolute truths of what man will face beyond the grave in His holy infallible Word!

General Facts about Our Death

1)  Every man has an appointment with death and with judgment. "… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
2)  Every man dies because of indwelling sin.  "… the wages of sin is death…" (Romans 6:23).
3)  At death a man's body goes back to dust to await resurrection.  "… unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:19).
4)  At death a Christian's soul and spirit go immediately to be with Christ.  "… to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (2Cor. 5:8).
5)  At death those who have rejected Christ go immediately to Hades to await final resurrection and judgment.  "… in hell [Hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments,…" (Luke 16:23).  "… hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged …" (Revelation 20:13).
6)  Death will be cast into the lake of fire.  "… Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:14).

General Facts about Our Resurrection

Listen to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: "... the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth: they that have been good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28,29).  Note first of all that all men will live eternally and secondly that all men will be resurrected -- either to life or damnation.

The Eternal Condition of Those Who Reject Christ

The Bible reveals that what a person believes about Jesus Christ determines his eternal destiny.  "… whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life…" (John 3;15).  "… whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).  "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18).  "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).  Rejecting Christ results in the following consequences.

1) Conscious torment and intense desire for relief.  "… In hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, … And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame" (Luke 16:23,24).
2)  Conscious memory of past life and opportunities to live for Christ.  "… Remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented" (Luke 16:25).
3)  The realization of no second opportunity for salvation after death.  " Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us…" (Luke 16:26).
4) A great longing to warn loved ones to believe on Christ so they don't have to face the same judgment.  "…I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment" (Luke 16:27-28).
5) A resurrection of the body unto condemnation.  "…Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; … and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation"  (John 5:28,29).
6)  A judgment of works to determine the degree of condemnation (see Revelation 20:11-15; Romans 2:5-6; Luke 12:46-48).
6) Eternal separation from God in the lake of fire which is called the second death.  "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:14-15).

The Eternal Condition of Those Who Believe on Christ

1) Immediately upon death they go to be with Christ for all eternity.  "For to me to … die is gain….having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better" (Phil. 1:21-23).
2)  At Christ's second coming the marriage of believers will be consummated in the marriage supper of the lamb (see Revelation 19:7-10).  Christ will dress his bride in white, pure and spotless from all sin (see Revelation 19:8; Ephesians 5:25-27).
3)  At Christ's second coming, the believer's soul and spirit will be reunited with a glorified body like that of Christ (See 1Cor. 15:51-57; 1Thess. 4:13-18; 1John 3:1-3).
4)  At Christ's second coming believer's works will be judged to determine their rewards and service in the new heaven and new earth (see 1Cor. 3:12-17; 2Cor. 5:10; 2Timothy 4:8).
5) All tears, death, pain, and sorrow will be forever removed from their experience and they will live in the eternal joy and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matt. 25:21).  "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 (Revelation 21:4).
6)  They will co-reign and rule with Christ over all of God's creation, even over Angels (see 1Cor. 6:1-3; 2Timothy 2:12; Ephesians 1:19-21; Revelation 2:26; 3:21).

Final Considerations

"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade man..." (2Cor. 5:11).  Will you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior?  If you believe on Christ, you will not be condemned, but if you refuse Christ, you are condemned already and face an eternal judgment of everlasting torment (John 3:18).  "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power (2Thess. 1:9).  Why not trust Him today?  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

God's way of Salvation

The question of being right with God is not "Am I living a good enough life?" Nor is it the statement "I'm doing the best I can". Salvation is not gained by what WE do for God, rather it is a free gift based on the FINISHED WORK of Jesus Christ! (Eph. 2:8,9) Religion is MAN'S effort to please God. Becoming a Christian is believing that GOD has already done all that needs to be done for me to be saved. Many religious people on judgment day will discover to their utter despair that "religion" will not allow them into the presence of God in heaven (Matt. 7:21-23). 
The vital question is "Are your sins forgiven?" All men are sinners by NATURE and by action. (Rom. 3:23; 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3) We don't become sinners when we sin; we sin because we ARE sinners. Our very NATURE towards God is corrupt (Isa. 53:6; Rom. 9:10- 1 3). Because we are sinners we experience death (Rom. 6:23). Death is not only physical (separation of the soul from the body), but also spiritual (separation of the soul eternally from God) (2Cor. 5; Gen. 3). Man's only hope of being reconciled to God is through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (2Cor. 5:17-19). Through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection He paid the penalty for man's sin and freed believers from the bondage and condemnation of sin (1Cor. 15:1-7; 1Pet. 2:24). Forgiveness is possible through His shed blood (I Peter 1:18,19) by TOTALLY trusting Jesus as your Savior, as your ONLY hope of being made right with God; you can be saved from the condemnation you justly deserved.  "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12).  "…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…" (Acts 16:31).

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