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What happens when we die?

When someone dies, it’s as if they have gone to sleep.  

When Jesus’ friend Lazarus died, Jesus described him as “sleeping.” Do you remember last night when you were asleep? Probably not! Death is like sleep; you don’t feel or know anything. 

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your strength, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in the grave where you are going.”

This Scripture says nothing is happening when a person is dead. 

  • They aren’t doing anything. 
  • They aren’t thinking anything. 
  • They can’t feel anything. 

Genesis 2:7 tells us that a human being is made up of two parts: dust from the ground and the breath of life that comes from God. 

To make this easier, let’s call the dust a “physical body” and the breath “the spark” that only God knows how to make. You need both in order to be alive.

Together, these two parts make up what we call a “soul.” 

If you take away either of these parts, the soul dies – meaning, the person dies. 

To help illustrate this, think of a lightbulb. The lightbulb is the body and the spark is the electricity. When you turn on the light, electricity floods the bulb and it turns on. But if you turn the switch off, the light goes out.  

That’s what it’s like when someone dies. The person’s soul does not continue living. It is NOT flying around, visiting or scaring people and it doesn’t transform into an angel, because that’s not what the Bible tells us. Instead it’s like the person who died is sleeping, just waiting to be brought back to life in God’s future kingdom.  

There is another special group of faithful believers who follow Jesus now, and as a reward they will go to heaven when they die to help Jesus carry out God’s plans for His kingdom on earth for the rest of mankind to enjoy

So, what happens when we die? Some wait in the grave to be brought back to life in the earthly kingdom. Others go to heaven. The Bible promises us that everyone who has died will come to life again. We can thank God for the promise that in His kingdom, we will see all of our loved ones again who have passed away.

To learn more about what happens when we die listen to, “Do People Turn Into Angels When They Die?”