What happens when we die?


Do we go to heaven or hell, purgatory or somewhere in-between?  Millions of professing Christians believe the saved go to heaven and the wicked to an everlasting burning in hell fire?  What does the Bible say?


Several years ago an elderly Christian lady personally told me the following experience.


She said her husband had died and was dead for some time.  One night she went to bed and sometime during the night she awoke with the sense that someone was laying beside her.  Cautiously she looked to see who it might be and it looked exactly like her dead husband.  Knowing what the Bible says about death, she immediately cried out to Jesus and the person disappeared.


Who was this being?  Was it her husband? Let us carefully examine what the Scripture says about the living




the dead.


Hebrews 9:27     “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

     We are all born into this world in the same manner.  We receive the gift of life by the blessings and power of God exercised through our parents.  We soon realize that our time to live is very short and for some it proves very short.  We are confronted with this horrible thing called death.  We learn that there are different ideas and opinions about what happens when we die, but die we surely will and then as The Scripture says we will face The Judgment of God.


     There are very many accounts of death recorded in The Scripture and many texts that tell us exactly what happens when we die. In 2 Kings 22 we find the experience of King Josiah when the Book Of The Law was found in The Temple :

2 Kings 22:20     “Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.” 


When King Josiah heard the Scribe read The Book of The Law, which God had given Israel through Moses, and heard all the curses that would come upon Israel because of their disobedience, he was terrified. He sent his servants to Hulda, the Prophetess to inquire of The Lord what he must do to avert the threatened Judgments. 

 Notice what God said in 

2 Kings 22:20.


God told Josiah that he was going to die in peace, that the judgment upon Israel would not come during his life time and that  thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place.”


This Scripture tells us that when we die we will not see anything that is happening on earth.  Josiah would die and would not see the punishment of Israel because he humbled himself before God!


If, as is commonly taught by the professed    Christian churches, that we go to heaven or hell at death, then we must ask, “Are the people in heaven not able to see what is happening on earth?  But the other question remains: Is it true that we go to heaven or hell when we die?


Listen to what The Bible says about King David. 


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


2:34     For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 

 2:35     Until I make thy foes thy footstool.”


Many centuries after David lived, when Peter was preaching on the Day of Pentecost, he said David had not yet gone to heaven.  Why not?  Preachers and teachers have been telling us for many years that the righteous go to heaven.  Why was David still not there for he was a “Friend of God”?


This next verse makes it very clear.


Eccleasistes 9:5     For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.


 9:6     Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.”


Do the preachers and teachers not read these verses?


Eccleasistes 9:5     For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing


And verse 6 


neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.”


Eccleasistes 3:18     “I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 

 3:19     For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 

 3:20     All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again……… 

that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?”


Whether it is a man or a beast, The Scripture says they all receive the Breath of Life from God and when they die they all return to dust and lie silent in the grave.






Genesis 2:7     “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”


What is it that makes a soul?


Genesis 2:7     “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”


The dust of the earth formed in the image of God plus the “breath of life” from God and man becomes a “living soul”. 


Notice: It doesn’t say man “has a soul” but that he is “a soul”.



So what do we have if we reverse the process? If God removes the “breath of life”, then what happens?  We die and turn back to dust.


We are a dead soul.


But are we not told by many preachers and teachers and people that the soul can not die!


What does the Word of God say?


Ezekiel 18:4     “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”


  18:20     “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”


Even the creatures in the ocean are called souls.  

 Revelation 16:3     “And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man ; and every living soul died in the sea.”


This is what happens just before Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven. It is the second plague that will be poured out upon the earth at that time.


Psalms 146:3     “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. 

 146:4      His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”


There is no life in the grave.  Our thoughts perish, we are not able to think or see anything.


Put your trust in Jesus our Great and Mighty Saviour who is the only One who can give us life after death.



Psalm 37:10     “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.”


When the wicked receive their final punishment they will never be seen again. 


Ecclesiastes 9:10     Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”


With all of these verses telling us that the dead know not anything and they return to dust and lie silent in the grave; it is amazing that anyone would stand in the pulpit and tell people we go to heaven or hell when we die and that God is going to burn the wicked forever.


Psalm 115:17     The dead praise not The Lord, neither any that go down into silence.”



  Heaven is a beautiful place, The Father, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit are there and all the Angels, preparing a place for us to be with them for all eternity.  Jesus said in John 14: 1 – 3;


“In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 

 14:3     And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” 


When Jesus comes the second time, then the Righteous will go to heaven.


 No one goes to heaven when they die, and no one goes to hell when they die, they go to the grave and turn to dust and lie in complete silence.


There are many wonderful things waiting for the people who  will be going to The New Jerusalem.    


Isaiah 65: 21 – 25.     “And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 

 65:22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My People, and Mine Elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  

 65:23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of The Lord, and their offspring with them. 

 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 

 Isaiah 65:25         “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy Mountain, saith The Lord.”


Isaiah 25:8     He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for The Lord hath spoken it.”   



What about the teaching of eternal hell fire ?


Is there an eternally burning place called Hell ?

What does the Bible say ?

2 Peter 2:6  “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned

them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;”


Sodom and Gomorrah were turned into ashes and are an example of what will happen to all the wicked in the final execution of the judgment.


Jude 1:7       “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”


Are Sodom and Gormorrah burning today?  No, God says He turned them into ashes.


Do  we want to know what is the result of eternal fire, God says the final result is a pile of ashes.  The wicked will be turned into ashes. They will not burn forever and ever.

Here are some more verses:

Malachi 4:1     “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith The Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 

 4:2     But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” Malachi 4:3  “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.


It is amazing to me that any one claiming to be a Christian and declares that God is a loving God, can in the next breath tell people that this loving God is going to torture the wicked in hell fire forever and ever!    


Brothers and Sisters, Christians who say such horrible things about God, do not know Him nor do they understand His Holy Word.


Are the wicked going to burn up?

Yes, they will definitely be destroyed by fire. How long will they burn?


Well, let me ask you; since The Devil is the one who started this horrible tragedy of sin and kept it going for all these 6000 years, do you think The Devil should suffer longer than those he has deceived ?  Yes, he should and he will. God says in:


Matthew 7: 2     “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”



Revelation 22: 12.     “And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.


The Devil, the popes, and all the wicked rulers of  the ages, who have tortured and killed millions of God’s Children will suffer longer in the fires of hell than the billions who have been deceived by them.

As the Devil and these wicked rulers have showed no mercy unto the people under their control, so God will have no mercy for them in their punishment for all the evil they have done to others! 



So now we know how to understand Revelation 14: 9, 10 & 11.


14:9 “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 

 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of The Lamb: 

 14:11     And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”


These verse definitely sound like the wicked will be burning forever don’t they, but God never contradicts Himself and so these verses must be understood according to the verses we just read that the wicked will burn until they are nothing but ashes and then the fire will go out.  


Revelation 19:20     “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”


Have you ever had any experience with burning sulfur, which The Bible here in these verses calls “brimstone”?


Well let me tell you, if you get a small whiff of burning sulfur it will take your breath away immediately!  This is how it will be for the majority of the wicked who will be destroyed by eternal fire; so quickly they will be rendered unconscious by the fumes of burning sulfur and be destroyed almost instantly.


20:9     “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 

 20:10     And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” 

And what will be left of The Devil when he has suffered for all his evil?


God tells us in : 

  Ezekiel 28:17     Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 

 28:18     Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.” 

 28:19     All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.’


No eternal burning even for The Devil he will become ashes and never exist anymore !


Be of good courage, Jesus is coming very soon and will give eternal life to all who truly love Him and keep His Commandments.


Matthew 8:28     “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 

 8:29     “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time” ?  


1 Peter 3: 18     “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by The Spirit: 

 3:19     “By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 

 3:20     Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”


Isaiah 14:12     “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 

 14:13 “For thou hast said in thine heart,  “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:  “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 

 14:14 “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” 

 14:15 “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 

 14:16   “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 

 14:17   “That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?"