What Happens After Death?
Outline: Soul or spirit leaves body at death but where does it go? Science cannot answer this question; only God can. Luke 16:22, 23. Story of Abraham and Lazarus. Difference between the righteous and the disobedient. Story of thief on the cross who repented. Application to accept Jesus or face the consequence of disobedience to God.
|Theme:||Hell; Death; Saviour of Sinful Men; Heaven; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus; Assurance|
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
If we would weigh a human body just before and after its death, we would see that the weight of the body remains the same. However, at the very moment when death takes place, "something" leaves the human body, despite the fact that the weight of the body before death remains exactly the same after death. As a result, we see that this "something", which leaves the person at his death, has no weight, that is, it is not material, or tangible, but rather, something immaterial. We call this soul or spirit.
When speaking of someone who has died, it is therefore right to say, "His soul left him in the ...th hour." In other words, we could say that the immaterial spirit of the person, at the moment of death, left his body, which then remains lifeless and unmoving behind. For this reason, it must be clearly said that it is absolutely pointless for someone to think that the human spirit stops existing after the natural death of a person.
It is an unshakeable truth that the human spirit or soul continues to exist after the death of the person, and that it goes to a place which has been determined beforehand. This is why it is necessary for us to consider the important question as to where the spirit of man goes after its natural death.
Who is then really in a position to give us the correct answer to this question? Could it be science? As a matter of fact, many people expect so much from science that they idolise it. They expect science to solve every problem in our life, and give the right answer to every question about the existence of mankind. Which scientist, however, is in a position, dear listeners, to say where your father or your mother, or your husband or child or other dear ones have gone, who are now buried in a cemetery? Or which scientist would be able to really comfort you when you stand, full of doubts, at the coffin of a loved one? The science of man remains silent before dead bodies, because death for the human being and science is like a thick unconquerable wall.
And now another question, dear listener: Have you ever heard that a person who is conscious and suffers from a serious disease seeks for example, a cobbler to cure his illness? Of course not! When we are sick, then we seek out a qualified doctor, and if possible, a specialist, who can treat us. However, we often act very irresponsibly when we look for answers to the very important question of what happens after death takes place. We expect science to answer this question for us according to the truth. No scientist, however, can give us the correct answer to this question on the basis of his knowledge and research. Neither can the parapsychologists give us the answer. The only Specialist in answering this question is the Almighty God, Himself, and the correct answer is given to us from God through the Lord Jesus Christ, and in fact, in the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures.
In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 16, verses 22 and 23, we read the following: "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side." Here we see that the poor and righteous man, Lazarus, after his death, came to the place where Abraham, this deep-believing and righteous man of the Old Testament was. In contrast, the unrighteous rich man finds himself in the realm of the dead, or Hades (or Sheol). There he suffers torture. It is this place to which all men come, even until today, who have not repented in this life and are thereby unrighteous before God.
This is the difference found in the Word of God, regarding the two places in which the souls can be found of those who were obedient and righteous and those who were disobedient to God. In these completely separated places, people are waiting for the time of God's judgment, for the time which God Almighty has determined and alone knows. In the Word of God we learn that the place where the souls of the righteous are and which is known as Abraham's side, is also known as Paradise, or Heaven.
Dear listener, perhaps you have heard of the two criminals who were crucified at the same time as our Lord Jesus on Golgotha. One of these two criminals repented on the cross before he died and believed that Jesus is the Son of the Living God and his personal Saviour. Now this criminal asked the Lord Jesus not to forget him when He came into His Kingdom, and the Lord Jesus gave this now believing criminal a wonderful answer, that we read in Luke's Gospel, Chapter 23, verse 43: "Jesus answered him, I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in Paradise." (NIV)
Now the people of those who in this life repent and earnestly believe on the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour and Redeemer, will also come to the place where the Lord Jesus is in Heaven.
Now, dear listeners, I would like to ask you another question: "Do you know anyone who rejoiced at the thought of his dying?"
Doubtless, the Apostle Paul was such a man. In his letter to the Philippians, chapter 1, verse 21, he writes the following: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." The Apostle Paul, who was well aware of the joy it would be to be with the Lord Jesus, rejoiced in the thought that one day he would through his death, leave this life and forever be with his Lord. The Lord Jesus wants to give you this joy as well, dear listener, whoever you are. For this reason, consider well that when God calls you to commit your life to the Lord Jesus and you don't respond accordingly, then you too, after your death, will experience the consequence of your disobedience to God. This consequence is eternal death, far from God. The consequences of our obedience or disobedience have been determined by God and He makes them known to us in His Word.
God loves all people and even you personally, dear listener. That is why He is calling you to repentance and to dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ through this message which you are hearing. Trust Him while there is still time. Don't put off this important decision for later. Ask the Lord Jesus to come into your heart. If you are earnest, He will hear you. Your Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will also give you the assurance that you are saved forever and that you belong to Him only.