Will You Really Go to Heaven When You Die?

Summary

Death is a mystery. There’s much confusion, ignorance, and even outright deception over what happens after death. Many believe we go immediately to either heaven or hell when we die.

But what does the Bible say?

Here are five biblical truths we need to learn and understand about death:

1. We human beings are mortal — we die. We are not immortal, nor do we have “immortal souls.”

The Greek philosopher Plato (who lived from 428 to 348 B.C.) popularized the teaching that the body and the “immortal soul” separate at death. So this false idea did not come from Scripture.

We humans live a physical-chemical existence. We were created from dust, and we are going back to dust. If our soul is already immortal, then why would we still need eternal life as a gift?

2. We have a non-physical “spirit in man” that animals don’t have, giving us self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and intelligence.

This “spirit in man” helps us understand and comprehend things that animals cannot.

3. At the moment of death, this “spirit in man” leaves the dead body and goes back to God.

After death, the body goes back to the dust of the ground while the “spirit of man” goes back to God who gave it. Without this “spirit of man,” the human being is just a dead body, a corpse.

4. This “spirit in man” is not conscious of itself. The dead are really dead.

The Spirit In Man (SIM) can be likened to the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card of a cell phone. The SIM cannot be used to make calls or send text messages without the cell phone.

In the same manner, the spirit in man is not alive, conscious, or useful without the human body.

Christ said no one has ascended to heaven. Even King David, the “man after God’s own heart,” still had not ascended into heaven when the early church began 1,000 years after he died!

All the heroes of faith listed in Hebrew 11 died without having received the promises.

5. God will resurrect, or bring back to life, all who have ever died. Death is real, but like sleep, it is only temporary. There will be life after death!

All human beings are mortal. We do not have an “immortal soul” that immediately goes to heaven, hell, or purgatory. The “immortal soul” teaching is unbiblical and is of pagan origin.

At the moment of death, we do not go to either heaven or hell. Instead, our body goes to the ground, while the “spirit in man” goes back to God who gave it.

When we die, we are really dead — unconscious — until the resurrection. Jesus Christ (or Yahshua the Messiah) will soon return to this earth and resurrect all who are in their graves.

So death is just a temporary “sleep.” It is not the end of life! 

Full Transcript

What really happens at the moment of death? Do people immediately go to either heaven or hell? Are the departed conscious and aware of what’s happening in the land of the living? This is a mystery that will be cleared up by our ultimate source of truth, the Bible. Let’s discuss...

Have you ever attended a funeral where the priest or the minister said, “Our departed brother (or sister) is now in the presence of God. He (or she) is now in a much better place, looking down from heaven, smiling on us from above.”

Those statements are attempts to make the bereaved feel good… But are they the truth?

Death is one of the biggest mysteries of life. Sadly, there is so much confusion, ignorance, and even outright deception over what happens after death. Most people, including many pastors and professing Christians, believe that we go immediately to either heaven or hell when we die.

But what does the Bible say?

Here are five biblical truths we need to learn and understand about death:

1. We human beings are mortal — we die. We are not immortal, nor do we have “immortal souls.”

The Greek philosopher Plato (who lived from 428 to 348 B.C.) popularized the teaching that the body and the “immortal soul” separate at death. So this false idea did not come from Scripture.

The Bible teaches that we humans live a physical-chemical existence. Notice these verses:

In Genesis 2:17, God warned Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...

“for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Genesis 3:19 — God says to Adam:

“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”

Job 34:15 — All flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.

Psalms 104:29 — You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

Ecclesiastes 3:20 — All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.

Notice Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus [Yahshua] our Lord.”

If it is true that our soul is already immortal, then why do we still need eternal life as a gift?

2. We have a non-physical “spirit in man” that animals don’t have, giving us self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and intelligence.

Notice these verses:

But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.

~Job 32:8

For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

~1 Corinthians 2:11

…Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:

~Zechariah 12:1

3. At the moment of death, this “spirit in man” leaves the dead body and goes back to God.

Then the dust [the body] will return to the earth as it was,

And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

~Ecclesiastes 12:7

…the body without the spirit is dead…

~James 2:26

4. This “spirit in man” is not conscious of itself. The dead are really dead.

When we die, we are really dead — we are totally unconscious. Death is called “sleep” over 50 times in the Bible, where the sleeping person does not perceive the passage of time. There is no thinking, feeling, planning, visiting loved ones, or seeing Jesus and the angels in heaven.

The Spirit In Man (SIM) can be likened to the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card of a cellphone. It securely stores the mobile subscriber identity and the related information used to identify and authenticate subscribers on computers and mobile phones. It can also store contacts and messages.

In like manner, the spirit in man is unique to each individual and stores a record of their life, including memory, life experiences and the character built by the individual over time.

The important thing to note is that the SIM cannot be used to make calls or send text messages without the cell phone. In the same manner, the spirit in man is not alive, conscious, or useful without the human body. It cannot think, see, feel, or be conscious without the mind and body, which makes the person human.

When we die, the spirit in man goes back to God, while our body is buried in the ground where it ultimately decomposes. At the resurrection, God will give us a new body and put that same spirit back, so that the person can recall all experiences, memories, and be the same person he or she was before death.

For the living know that they will die;

But the dead know nothing,

And they have no more reward,

For the memory of them is forgotten.

Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;

Nevermore will they have a share

In anything done under the sun.

~Ecclesiastes 9:5-6

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

~Ecclesiastes 9:10

For in death there is no remembrance of You;

In the grave who will give You thanks?

~Psalms 6:5

What profit is there in my blood,

When I go down to the pit?

Will the dust praise You?

Will it declare Your truth?

~Psalms 30:9

For Sheol [the grave] cannot thank You,

Death cannot praise You;

Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth.

~Isaiah 38:18

It should be clear that the dead do NOT go to heaven, hell, or purgatory right after death.

Notice what Jesus or Yahshua, a first-hand witness, said about people supposedly in heaven:

John 3:13 — “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”

Certainly, if there was a man that would be in heaven, it would be King David of Israel whom God called “a man after God’s own heart.”

Acts 2:34-35 —"For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'

So where is David? The apostle Peter answers:

Acts 2:29 — "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

King David died around 970 B.C.E, and Peter spoke this around A.D. 31. So that’s about 1,000 years since his death. He still hasn’t gone up to heaven after all that time!

The same goes for all the heroes of faith listed in Hebrew 11 — Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham & Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and all the rest.

Hebrews 11:13 — These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

5. God will resurrect, or bring back to life, all who have ever died. Death is real, but like sleep, it is only temporary. There will be life after death!

If a man dies, shall he live again?

All the days of my hard service I will wait,

Till my change comes.

~Job 14:14

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.

~Ezekiel 37:12-13

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.

~Daniel 12:2

Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

~John 5:25

Jesus (Yahshua) said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

~John 11:25

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus (Yahshua) and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

~Revelation 20:4-5

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

~Revelation 20:12

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of [judgment].

~John 5:28-29

If it is indeed true that we all go immediately to either heaven or hell when we die, then WHY is there still a need for a resurrection? Think about it.

When Jesus (Yahshua) resurrected Lazarus after he had been dead for four days, Christ called him by saying, “Lazarus, come forth!” He didn’t say, “Lazarus, come down!” If Lazarus were already enjoying heaven for four days since his death, that would be one of the most unkind things Christ could do — to “demote” him and bring him back to his own native town.

Here’s the bottom line...

All human beings are mortal. We do not have an “immortal soul” that immediately goes to heaven, hell, or purgatory. The “immortal soul” teaching is unbiblical and is of pagan origin.

At the moment of death, we do not go to either heaven or hell. Instead, our body goes to the ground, while the “spirit in man” goes back to God who gave it.

When we die, we are really dead — unconscious — until the resurrection. Jesus Christ (or Yahshua the Messiah) will soon return to this earth and resurrect all who are in their graves.

So death is just a temporary “sleep.” It is not the end of life!

Until next week, this is Daniel Macaraeg of BiblicalTruths.TV, reminding you to always be growing, always be giving, and always be grateful.

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