What Happens When We Die?

Have you ever wondered what happens when we die? 

The End of my father’s life was a journey in pain management. I can still remember being woken up in the night. I received the phone call that I had dreaded since the day he was diagnosed with kidney failure years before: “Your father has died.” His presence in my life up to that point had been constant and stabilizing. A new and unwelcomed normal began to take over my heart. 

The days and years after my Dad’s death were not easy ones. The Bible called me to an eternal perspective saying, “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4), and reminded me that it is better to spend time at a funeral than a party (Ecc 7:2).

But, what was it like for my Dad? 

What was it like for him when he died? 

The Bible has a lot to say about death. 

It offers hope.

When we die, we are not IN CRISIS – but IN CHRIST.

The truth is, any time that we deal with death, it’s difficult. Death never feels right, and I think God agrees that death should not happen. I don’t think it was ever His intention for us to be in a world where death exists. That is why He sent His Son to save us from death to life through faith. 

He sent His only son to solve the problem. 

He DID solve the problem!

Many of us are in a season of loss. Times where life takes more away than it gives. One of my favorite promises comes from the 23rd Psalm: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 reminds us, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.”

Here is a concept I hadn’t considered before reading this Psalm from chapter 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Why would death be precious? Because He has something for us on the other side of this. In Philippians 1:21, Paul expresses, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”

My friend, Dr. Charles Goodman, said it this way, “It’s a win-win situation.” Remember, when we die, we are not IN CRISIS – but IN CHRIST. There is an afterlife from a Christian perspective. Paul described it in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

When we die, we are not IN CRISIS – but IN CHRIST.

Paul said the last enemy to be destroyed was death and also asked, “Death, where is your victory, where is your sting?” The great mystery that Paul explains is that we are not just asleep, but we are transformed into the glorified version of ourselves.

  • 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. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
  • “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8)
  •  “He will wipe away every tear; death shall be no more; no more pain, no more suffering, no more crying.” (Revelation 21:4)
  • “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 )

Did you know that two people every second are dying without faith in Christ around the globe? That is 154,937 people every day. That number is staggering to me. Death is going to grip all of us. It is the common ground on which all humanity stands. However, what happens when we die is determined by our relationship with God through faith in Christ. Who is close to you but far from God? 

“Let not your heart be troubled— BELIEVE IN ME.” ~Jesus~


3 thoughts on “What Happens When We Die?

  1. Pastor Stephen, thank you for that blog. It was very timely as I just lost my best friend who was struck by a vehicle while out walking. He was a Christian and so I am glad for his transition to be with Christ.

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