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What Happens to Us When We Die?

The Bible gives us some hints on this subject. Pointing to a few of them here. Note that Paul uses the term "fall asleep" for "physical death" of true Christian believers. Because we will be raised into eternal life at the rapture.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Paul said:

Listen, I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.

Let's use a simple example to explain this. When we go to sleep at night, say at 11pm. Then we wake up thinking we did not sleep much, but we look at the clock, and it's 4am!! How did 5 hours pass and we did not feel them? This is the exact phenomenon Paul is talking about. It is about what it will feel like to the person that just died, between the moment he died and the moment he heard the trumpet at the rapture. It may be thousands of years later, but to the person who just died, it'll feel like a moment, a "twinkling of an eye"! Then we open our eyes at the sound of the archangel trumpet at the Rapture, we rise in the same way Jesus rose. The Bible says Jesus was the first fruit. 1 Corinthians 15:20: But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Another example from the Bible about this explanation of "fast-forwarding to judgement day", is this verse about the thief on the cross next to Jesus:

‭‭Luke‬ ‭23‬:‭42‬-‭43‬

“Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.””

Jesus said this to this man on the cross who had minutes to live. Meaning that when this man dies, he will fast forward to the rapture, and paradise from there. To this man it'll seem like it happened that day - "today..."

Then the next question becomes, what happens to the person during the in-between time while dead? From our perspective who are still alive here on earth, the Bible says the person's spirit will be with God, awaiting judgement day:

Ecclesiastes 12:7

and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

2 Corinthians 5:8 Paul:

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

After death, our soul remains unconscious and with God until the rapture or judgement day when all people since creation rise. After that we will be in our refashioned perfect and eternal bodies in the "new earth". Unbelievers will be in ugly bodies in darkness and torment in a place called hell, forever.

So at death, all people's souls whether good or bad return to God, while the body on earth decays (note, the body decays into dust  regardless of whether cremated or not, for example). God keeps our spirit with Him until judgement day. He will then place our spirit in our refashioned risen body and send to the destination of His judgement. So, we deduct from this that the dead person cannot hear or see us, nor do anything to help or harm us. They remain in that state until the end of times. Then we'll all rise at the same time, at the rapture. Then judgement day is sometime after that. 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Knowing this, it should be comforting to true believers when they lose a loved-one. This is why the Bible says, don't mourn like pagans - screaming like crazy when a loved-one dies. My advice to the living believers is, shift your focus to the rest of your family and how to get them to see the God of the Bible clearly. Then we will be with each other again in heaven, for eternity this time 😊.

Related reading

End Times

Truths about Heaven and Hell

God's Perspective

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