Where Will I Go When I Die?

When a person dies, it is clear to everyone that a vital aspect of the deceased’s life has ended. But is it possible for a life to truly be over at death? And if not, what will happen to the “me” that outlives death?

The Bible gives us answers—not the kind of answers meant to indulge all our curiosities, but answers sufficient to warn against living aimlessly and adopting the shortsighted worldview of the materialist: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (1 Cor. 15:32).

Death Cannot Destroy Souls

Not surprisingly, people of almost every worldview expect some kind of life after death. Few people can look at a dead body and conclude that the person’s life has been completely extinguished. We sense that life so real, so precious, and interconnected cannot simply cease when the body fails. This very expectation of life after death seems to testify to the continued existence of the soul. In Solomon’s words, God “has put eternity in [our] hearts” (Eccl. 3:11). We sense eternity. We yearn for it. Our lives are terribly abridged without it.

In Jesus’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31), Jesus confirms that the soul will outlive the body of the dead. The death of the body does not kill the soul; the value of a human is not spent simply because their body decays (Matt. 10:28–31). A person’s soul does not depend on this body; it was Adam’s soul, his spirit, that made him a living being (1 Cor. 15:45). You have a never-dying soul. As Mark writes, “What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (Mark 8:36–37 MSG).

Death Ends a Time of Decision

Dying is like casting a completed ballot into a locked box. Even before the vote is counted, the choice is irretrievable. Death seals our eternal destiny. Paul writes, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things donein the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). This life in the body is a probation for the life to come. Here and now we decide whether we desire to spend eternity in God’s restored kingdom, or if we would cast our lot with the kingdoms of this earth that will one day be put under the feet of King Jesus (1 Cor. 15:24–25). Jesus’s parable of the talents ends with this dreadful judgment against the one who failed to invest in eternity: “Cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25:30). Our undying souls confirm our accountability to the One who has given them to us (Matt. 10:28).

Scripture mentions no post-mortem opportunity for an unconverted person to be made right with God. The medieval Roman Catholic Church developed a theory of purgatory, suggesting that those who were not sufficiently prepared to go straight to God after death could be further refined by fire. But Jesus could not have been clearer: after death, the souls of the deceased are either in a place of torment or of blessedness, between the two of which a great gulf is fixed to prevent passage from one place to another (Luke 16:26).

Life sometimes offers “second chances.” But at death, second chances expire without warning.

It continues at: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/where-will-i-go-when-i-die

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