Afterlife: What Is After Death?
Revelations of life after death.
Death seems final. It's a thought that has occurred to at some time in our lives when our pet was old and unwell, when a loved one passes on or only when we stop to contemplate our mortality.
When nailed to the cross, in His final moment, Christ promised the repentant hanging beside him that he would be with Him again after death in paradise. It is one of the many reasons a true believer in Christ doesn't believe that death is the end and that there is eternal life after death.
But even in real life, numerous cases of near-death experiences have lead many to experience the "light at the end of the tunnel", "meeting loved ones", "feeling a real sense of being at peace".
Yet, for the Christian believer, death is not so much about an end or a physical reincarnation. While the Bible doesn’t make specific mention regarding what exactly happens after death, from different references in Scripture, we can draw a few educated inferences.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 comforts us with the good news of the coming of the Lord and the fact that the righteous shall be with Him. "13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this, we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[a] that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words."
While there are many instances of the Bible comparing death to being asleep - that feeling of being suspended and unconscious, this is also probably why, when Lazarus - who had been dead for four days - was raised from the dead, he remembered nothing of it.
In death, the children of Christ are returned to dust, and the soul ceases to exist. Only God is immortal. But there is hope yet for the true believer. The Word of God tells us that at the time of our resurrection, God will join together the soul and the physical body again, and we will live again.
No matter how long it takes for Christ to return, all the righteous will be raised, and time passed will not matter. By the calling of the Lord, they will awaken and be a witness to the glory of God.