When a believer or unbeliever dies there is it correct to say there is no judgment yet UNTIL the BEMA or the Great White Throne? Or will we face Jesus as stated in Hebrews 9:27 where immediately after we die the believer goes to heaven in their spiritual bodies and those who rejected Jesus will be cast to Death and Hades (and later on to the lake of fire)? And for those who reject Jesus, what becomes of their bodies, will they just remain as spirit in Hades and the lake of fire?
Can a person contact dead relatives. Is what is done on the TV real?
Did God predestinate how long a man would live and when he would die. I have always thought that when people die is was just because they were in wrong place/wrong time.
I guess my question is, God "chastens" believers when we have sinned, and then, if we do not turn away, He will then take our life. My father died two years ago as the result of a heart attack brought on by 30 years of battling diabetes. He was 48 years old. PLEASE tell me God did not bring the horrible amount of suffering my daddy endured upon him as chastisement for some unconfessed sin(s), and then take away his life as a final punishment. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but all (physical) death isn't the final result of some personal sin(s), is it? God wouldn't punish me by taking away my daddy because of some sin my daddy didn't confess, would he? I have been very troubled by his death, and it has left me seeking answers about the afterlife. I am American Baptist and a born-again Christian, as was my father, but
there are so many things about death I don't understand. When I asked them if Daddy could see me now, if he knew and was proud of the things I accomplished since
his death (he wasn't alive to see me go to prom, graduate, be the first in our family to go to college, etc.), even my own pastors had differing opinions. Could not
(physical) death be a reward for a life faithfully lived, but riddled with suffering?
I have so many questions about the bible, but I have one critical doubt about AFTER DEATH and SOUL. I study this subject but exact answer not come. In Luke 16:19-31 Lazarus and rich man story, they both are died and Lazarus is in paradise and rich man is in Hades. They both see with each other and Lazarus feeling comfort at Abraham's bosom and rich man feel very torment in Hades. What is the soul? Can you explain this to me?
Answer: If your dad battled diabetes for 30 years and died of a heart attack it was the illness that took his life not God. The Lord does say He chastens believers and the length of time is not stated, but it seems from the examples that chastening into death was not done over a long period of time. The purpose of chastening is to turn one back to the Lord and away from sin. Those in Acts and 1 Corinthians that were chastened were done so after a short period of time. Also in 1 John 5 it says not to pray for one who is sinning unto death. That seems to indicate that if God was chastening a Christian to death it would be obvious. Also, for God to chasten one there must be some public or gross sin involved. We all sin as 1 John 1:8, 10 says. Many times the sin goes unconfessed, so the sin that brings death is one that is public in nature or in one's church that brings shame on the name of Christ or the local church.
Did God predestinate how long a man would live and when he would die. I have always thought that when people die is was just because they were in wrong place/wrong time.
I guess my question is, God "chastens" believers when we have sinned, and then, if we do not turn away, He will then take our life. My father died two years ago as the result of a heart attack brought on by 30 years of battling diabetes. He was 48 years old. PLEASE tell me God did not bring the horrible amount of suffering my daddy endured upon him as chastisement for some unconfessed sin(s), and then take away his life as a final punishment. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but all (physical) death isn't the final result of some personal sin(s), is it? God wouldn't punish me by taking away my daddy because of some sin my daddy didn't confess, would he? I have been very troubled by his death, and it has left me seeking answers about the afterlife. I am American Baptist and a born-again Christian, as was my father, but there are so many things about death I don't understand. When I asked them if Daddy could see me now, if he knew and was proud of the things I accomplished since his death (he wasn't alive to see me go to prom, graduate, be the first in our family to go to college, etc.), even my own pastors had differing opinions. Could not (physical) death be a reward for a life faithfully lived, but riddled with suffering?
Honestly, I think I have seen the chastening hand of God a few times in my ministry, but it has not been often.
Most people die of natural causes not by direction from God. God may have allowed his early death to spare him continuing pain and suffering. Probably the reason you got differing answers to you questions is that we just do not know the mind of God. But if a man loved the Lord and tried to serve Him, he is with the Lord and experiencing the joys of heaven. I lost my dad in September 2000 and I miss him really awful at times, but I know he was saved and loved the Lord. I also would not want him to have to come back and live as he did the last few years of his life. He suffered greatly with bad lungs and other problems. Breathing was a struggle and he was on oxygen. I would have done anything to ease his suffering while he was here, but I could not do anything. I prayed for him and I believe God answered my prayers and took him home and ended his suffering. I loved dad and I take great comfort in knowing he is free of pain now, in the presence of the Lord and that soon I will see him again and have all eternity with him. Our separation is only a short and temporary one.
I am not sure that people in heaven know what we are doing now, but Luke 16 seems to indicate they might. I do know that our love as father and son did not stop when he went to be with the Lord and we will have eternity to share our joys together. I try not to focus on my loneliness at not having him here, but on our soon reunion!
I hope this helps you deal with your lost some. As David said about his son who died in 2 Sam. I cannot bring him back, but I can go to him. In God's time you will be reunited with your dad and you are doing well to honor him by living a godly life for the Lord.
We must understand that the word "soul" has various meanings in Scripture. Sometimes it refers to the whole man (Genesis 2:7). Often, though, it refers to a conscious, immaterial part of man which exists beyond death apart from the body. In other words, the soul is the spiritual, rational and immortal substance in man, which distinguishes him from brutes; that part of man which enables him to think and reason. In Genesis 2:7, God formed the material body of a man, but it had no life until He breathed "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul ." Bible words must be defined by the context in which they are found. Almost all Bible words have various usages and definitions in different contexts. This is true with words in our normal language usage in or out of the Bible. Let's look at the use of the word "soul" in both the Old and New Testament.
In the Old Testament the word is used as "Soul," "living being," "life," "self," "person," "desire," "appetite," "emotion," and "passion."
Examples of the soul as an immaterial, conscious part of the man are seen in Genesis 35:18 and 1 Kings 17:21-22. In Genesis 35 the death of Rachel is recorded, and we learn that her soul ( Hebrew - "nephesh") departed when she died. "... as her soul was in departing, (for she died)..." It then refers to that which give the body life and comes from God. In Genesis 1:30 the word "nephesh" is translated "life" and refers that which makes animals alive.
In 1 Kings 17 it is recorded that a young boy died and was raised again through Elijah's ministry. The Bible plainly says his soul departed and returned again to him: "...O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived" (1 King 17:21,22). There it is clear that the soul is what is eternal and when in the body a person is alive. The soul of a man is unique to that man. It is the spiritual part of a man that brings life, but being spiritual cannot be seen.
In the New Testament, the word "soul" is also used to describe the spiritual part of man that is distinct from his body. "... I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:23). Here we are told that man has three parts, body, soul and spirit. Paul did not say man IS a soul; he says man HAS a soul. The soul then is that which gives man life, and the spirit is the intellectual part of man that thinks, reasons, acquires knowledge, has the ability to know or reject God. 2 Corinthians 5:1 says "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. " Thus when a believer dies he receives a tabernacle (a new body or covering) that is eternal in the heavens.
In Luke 16:22 Jesus said that Lazarus died and went to "Abraham's bosom." This is a phrase taken from the practice of reclining at meals, where the head of one lay on the bosom of another, and the phrase therefore denotes intimacy and friendship. To say that Lazarus was in Abraham's bosom was therefore the same as to say that he was admitted to heaven and made happy there. Jesus therefore showed them that this poor and afflicted man might be raised to the highest happiness, while the rich, who prided themselves on their being descended from Abraham, might be cast away and lost for ever. Jesus was teaching that salvation was received by faith and that the Jews were not saved simply because they were Jews. They too had to believe and put their faith in Jesus the Messiah. This is the same thing Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3.
The word here translated hell in Luke 16:23 is the word "Hades" means literally a dark, obscure place; the place where the unsaved or lost departed spirits go. It is only the temporary abode of the unsaved who will be brought up and judged at the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. These whose names are not in the book of life will be judged and cast into the eternal Lake of Fire.
Hades, before the ascension of Christ was formerly in two divisions or parts. In "Hades" there were respectively two halves divided by a great gulf. The saved were in one part and of the lost in the other. The place where the save were was called "paradise" and "Abraham's bosom." (See Luke 16:22; 23:43) The Old Testament saints were with Abraham, they were conscious and were "comforted." (Luke 16:25) On the cross the believing thief was told by Jesus that day, with Christ in "paradise." (Luke 23:43) The lost were separated from the saved by a "great gulf fixed" (Luke 16:26). Both men, though dead being physically separated from their material bodies, were alive, conscious, in the full exercise of his faculties, memory, etc. Lazarus was in this wonderful place free of his formal sufferings and pain, but the lost rich man was in torment.
When Jesus returned to heaven and took Paradise and those therein with Him to heaven. Paul said he was "caught up to the third heaven. . .into paradise." (2 Cor 12:1-4) Paradise, then is now in the immediate presence of God. Ephesians 4:8-10 indicates the time of the change. "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men ." Verse 9 explain that Jesus first descended into "Hades" and took the Old Testament saint to heaven with Him. "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." Thus He took the paradise division of Hades with Him. During the present church-age the saved who died are "absent from the body, at home with the Lord" meaning they go to heaven where the Lord is and where the Old Testament saints were taken. The wicked dead in Hades, and the righteous dead with the Lord awaiting the resurrection
The Bible does not teach "soul sleep" which is a false teaching that says that at death man's spirit or soul does not journey to Heaven or Hell, but sleeps in the grave until resurrection day.
Ghosts are not the spirits of dead people, but rather the work of demons who mimic deceased people. Demons do inhabit the air in the spirit world and they witness what people do. This allows them to possess and speak through "medians." However, when a man dies his soul goes to heaven to be with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:1f) or if the person has rejected the Lord Jesus as their Savior they go to Hades, which is the temporary abode of the unsaved.(Luke 16:22-23) The lost or unsaved will at the end of the world be resurrected unto judgment and case into the eternal Lake of Fire. The demons will also be cast in the Lake of Fire. (Luke 25:41)
Following is some further information on the occult:
Astrologer--one who observes the heavens, believing the heavenly bodies influence men's lives (Is. 47:13; Da. 1:20; 2:2,10,27; 4:7; 5:7,11,15).
Charmer--those who cast spells; sorcery; incantations (De. 18:10). Consulter with familiar spirits--attempted communication with the dead whereby the consulter comes into contact with deceiving spirits; seances (De. 18:10).
Divination--fortune telling; future telling; divining into the unknown (Nu. 22:7; 23:23; De. 18:10,14; 1 Sa. 6:2; 28:8; 2 Ki. 17:17; Is. 44:25; Je. 14:14; 27:9; 29:8; Eze. 13:6,9,23; 21:21,22,29; 22:28; Mi. 3:6,7,11; Zec. 10:2; Ac. 16:16).
Enchanter--to use enchantments; spell casting; charms; communication with spirits (Ex. 7:11,22; 8:7,18; Le. 19:26; Nu. 23:23; 24:1; De. 18:10; 2 Ki. 17:17; 21:6; 2 Ch. 33:6; Is. 47:9,12; Je. 27:9).
Familiar spirits--spirits involved with those attempting to communicate with the dead; deceiving spirits impersonating the dead; spirits participating in witchcraft and those who are in communication with them (Le. 19:31; 20:6,27; De. 18:11; 1 Sa. 28:3-9; 2 Sa. 21:6; 23:24; 1 Ch. 10:13; 2 Ch. 33:6; Is. 8:19; 19:3; 29:4).
Necromancy--the art of revealing future events by pretending communication with the dead (De. 18:11).
Observer of times--one who consults the stars; who believes the heavenly bodies have a ruling influence over the physical and moral world (De. 18:10; Is. 47:13; Da. 1:20; 2:2).
Prognosticator--one who consults the stars in an attempt to predict the events of men's lives (Is. 47:13).
Soothsaying--one who divines, consults the stars; predicts the future; fortune telling (Jos. 13:22; Is. 2:6; Da. 2:27; 4:7; 5:7,11; Mi. 5:12; Ac. 16:16). Sorcery--the practice of witchcraft; wizardry; magic; divination; enchanting (Ex. 7:11; Is. 47:9,12; 57:3; Je. 27:9; Da. 2:2; Mal. 3:5; Ac. 8:9,11; 13:6,8; Re. 9:21; 18:23; 21:8; 22:15).
Witch--one who practices witchcraft; worshiper of Satan; nature worshiper; one who practices sorcery and enchantment (Ex. 22:18; De. 18:10; 1 Sa. 15:23; 2 Ki. 9:22; 2 Ch. 33:6; Mi. 5:12; Na. 3:4; Ga. 5:20)
Wizard--sorcerer; conjurer; charmer; enchanter (Le. 19:31; 20:6,27; De. 18:11; 1 Sa. 28:3,9; 2 Ki. 21:6; 23:24; 2 Ch. 33:6; Is. 8:19; 19:3).(See the Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible and Christianity, David Cloud.)
But it does not say that God has appointed "the" time for a person to die, but rather that all men will in time die. If you step out in front of a Mac Truck most likely you will be killed. If you do not you will continue to live. The Bible does not teach that God has predestined man to physical die at some appointed time. If you smoke, are over weight, take drugs, are exposed to dangerous chemical, have poor health, etc you will shorten your life.
You see we are responsible for our lives and how we live them. If God had predestined our lives...then we would not be responsible and be programmed robots with no responsibility for how we live our lives or take care of our bodies. God has given us a free will and intelligence to use it properly. He has given His written word the Bible to guide us and reveal to us our condition in relationship to Him and how we might be reconciled and receive salvation. After we die Hebrews 9:27 says all will be judged. Not to determine if we go to heaven or hell...because that is determined by whether we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior while we are living. But we all will be judged according to our works. The Christian (1 Corinthians 3:10-15) will be judged as to how he lived for the Lord and rewarded accordingly. For the unsaved, who reject God's salvation, they will be judged by their works which will determine the extent of their eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
The unsaved when they die go to a place called "Hades" or translated "hell" in our English Bibles. There they will remain until the end of the world and then be brought up and judged as to their punishment in eternity. (Rev. 20:11-15) Believers who received Christ as their Savior will be judged after the "Rapture" when the Lord takes us to heaven. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) As I said before Christians are not judged for condemnation, but for reward.
Clearly, God says the dead, saved or lost when they die go to heaven or hell. Both the saved and the lost will be resurrected. Christians at death go to heaven as 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 states. Then at the coming resurrection of believers called the rapture they will be changed and be with the Lord forever.(1 Thess. 4:13-18) Following the rapture Christians will be judged according to their works and will be either rewarded for their service for the Lord, or will suffer lost of reward as 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 record. The unsaved dead who rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior die and go to Hades and remain there until the resurrection of the lost as explained in Revelation 20:11-25. There the lost will be judged according to their works and cast into the Lake of Fire.
In 1 Samuel 28:7-19, King Saul sought a woman with a familiar spirit (a demon) to inquire of Samuel who was dead as to what he should do. When God intervened to rebuke Saul, the witch is shocked because Samuel appeared.(v. 12) This indicates that it had not previously happen with her. She was a fake. In the Gospels there are a number of instances where demons possessed people (Matt. 8:16,28f.; 9:32-33; 12:24; 15:22; 17:18) What people believe to be contacts with dead relatives is actually contact with demons.
Some "ghost" sightings are real ... but they are demons that manifest themselves and are not deceased people. The truth is these "ghosts" are not the spirits of men and women, but rather fallen angels (demons) masquerading as our loved ones. Demons see everything that goes on, on earth and they mimic dead loved ones. Some people make themselves open to demons and are called mediums. These people delve in the occult and are possessed and used by demons. They allow the demons to speak through them. The Bible has a number of examples of that. Demons do have the ability to manifest themselves and manipulate the matter around them. The "ghostly" figures and manifestations people see are not the ghosts of those who have died but rather demons manifesting themselves. It is simply another of Satan's tricks to deceive and confuse people.
Many supposed ghost sightings are fakes...as many seen on TV where some guy claims to have contacted someone in his audience dead relative. They are trained in what is called "cold reading" in which the "medium" asked questions of the person seeking to contact a dead relative and the supposedly reveals things the dead person is wanting to communicate. If the dead could communicate with he living...why go through a "medium?" Why not just speak directly to the living person they want to communicate with. Most of these events are fakes done with deception, some however are possessed men and women allowing demons to use them. In either case...not dead person is contacted. It is a big money maker for some people...
Answer: The Bible says the "gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." The word "hell" in Matthew 16:18 is the Greek word "Hades". Hades is technically the unseen world, it is the Hebrew Sheol, the land of the departed, that is death and represented as the grave.
1 Cor. 15:55 helps us understand, "O death (thanatos), where is thy sting? O grave (hades), where is thy victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:55) The "grave" or Hades is the result of death. Death ends life and sealing a man's destiny as to where he will spend eternity, which in heaven or hell. In a negative sense "hades" for the unbeliever seals their eternal doom. For the believer, it is simply the door that leads into the presence of the Lord (2 Cor. 5:1-7).
Luke 16:25, explains that Hades was divided in Old Testament times into two parts. One for the unsaved who were in torment, and the other Abraham's bosom or paradise. There was a great gulf between the two places. In Luke 23:43, Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Jesus that day in paradise. That would be the part of Hades where saved people went in the Old Testament when they died.
Acts 2:27, 31, says "Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell(Hades), neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption (Hades) , neither his flesh did see corruption." (Acts 2:27, 31)
Therefore hell or Hades, refers to the abode of the dead. Jesus' statement means that He would be victorious over death and that death would not close or end His "ekklesia" (church). He would be resurrected and so would all believers who professed faith in Jesus as the Son of God as Peter had just done in Matt. 16:18. There death would have not hold on Christ's assembly (ekklesia or church).
Though many see this statement as primarily meaning that Satan would not prevail against the institution of the local church (ekklesia) it literally refers to death as destroying the believer and thus the Lord's churches. However, it does mean that in the sense that Satan is the one who brought death to man and is seeing to destroy men, hindering them from coming to the Lord Jesus Christ and being saved. The point is that because of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, no one has to go to hell the place of torment.
However, that is not the case for unbelievers. In Luke 16:16-31 Jesus stated that the unsaved rich man who when he died ". . . in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." (Luke 16:23)
Since the beginning of time the unsaved when they died have gone to "Hades" which is the abode of the lost. Those there as Luke 16 states are in a place of torment. However, they have not been judged. All the unsaved through out the ages will remain in Hades until the end of the Millennium. At that time as Revelation 20:11-15 reveals the lost will be called to what is referred at the Great White Throne Judgment. The name comes from verse 11. There each unsaved person will stand before Jesus Christ and be judged according to their works and then cast into the Lake of Fire.
The Bible does not explain specifically if the unsaved will have a body or not. It simply says they will stand before the Lord. Many believe that the lost and saved will have a body. We know this is true for believers as 2 Cor. 5:1 states. So it would seem that the lost also will have a body. There is further evidence also in the New Testament. Revelation 20:11 says that all the unsaved will "stand" before the Lord. Some take that as evidence of a body. Further the passage says the sea, death and hell gave delivered up the dead that were in them. Bodies in the earth and sea decay and go back to the elements...thus this is saying the sea and earth delivered those that were in them ... meaning in their bodies. Their souls or spirits do not remain in the sea or earth, but in Hades. So I conclude the lost will be resurrected with a physical body. This is confirmed by Jesus who spoke of the resurrection of the unsaved dead in John 5:29, "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:29)
Saved people will have what we call a "glorified" body, meaning one that is not subject to material limitations in the same why that Jesus' resurrected body was not limited. He appeared in a locked room and them left, meaning his resurrected body was physical and also was a spirit.
John says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)
"And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.' (2 Samuel 12:22-23)
When David's son died he clearly understood that the child would not be restored to life, but he said "I shall go to him." David understood that the child was in heaven. David then stopped mourning because he knew the child was in God's presence. David too understood that as a believer when he died he would go to heaven and there he would see the child. That tells us that all children go to heaven when they die before they reach the "age of accountability." The Bible does not state when this is. A child is born with a sin nature, but until he is matured enough to make intelligent decisions....he is not accountable for his sins. The child becomes accountable for his sins when he knowingly and willingly does what is wrong.
Christ died for the sins of the world and His is just. This would apply to the mentally retarded also who are not mature or intelligent enough to know right from wrong and have the ability to make sound decisions for themselves. Before this age, they will disobey...yes, but that comes from their sin nature which gives them to bent to sin. They make choices also, but their choices are made based on their conscience...which is based on what they are taught. They can make bad choices and right ones, but the choice is not based on their intelligently reasoning the matter out...or accepting truth because they understand that it is morally right. A child is a selfish being, and as they mature they can be taught to do right because it is right, whereas before they made choices based on what they were taught, or forced to do by discipline.
You will often run into the opinions of the Calvinists who in his distorted idea of salvation would say that children at any age who do wrong are guilty of sin and sent to hell. Even the unborn child according to their warped theology goes to hell. Their teachings is heresy and they do not understand that God is both just and love. God cannot do what is unjust or unloving. They will scoff at the idea Christ's died for the sins of the whole world and discount the biblical teaching that salvation is received by belief. They know nothing of what being Just and Love is.
Revelation 20:11-15 is the final judgment of the unsaved. It states that those who are condemned are judged by their works. What evil has a unborn child or even one several years old committed? If the infant does not willingly sin...how can God who is Just hold them accountable? How could our loving Creator not love the unborn or immature child and if they died send them to everlasting punishment?! An animal does not have intelligence and acts out of instinct. That is similar to what a child does. God does not hold the child accountable for that which is beyond his ability or control. If God did that He would violate His own character and nature of being just and love. The age of accountability as I stated is not found in the Bible. Children mature at different ages and therefore God has set no particular age.. The key is the child becomes accountable when it has the ability to reason, have sufficient intelligence to make a its choices. This does not mean that infants become the body of Christ or are born again or become Christians. When infants die it is reasonable to assume the they go to be with the Lord similarly as the Old Testament saints and those who died before the Law was given.