“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27).
Death is a subject about which very few people enjoy thinking or talking. Everyone will die a physical death unless the Day of Judgment comes beforehand.
Death is something that all of us will face, although the majority of the population express a fear of it. Even in Bible times, some people feared death. Bildad, the friend of Job, described death as the “king of terrors” (Job 18:14). Death is viewed as an unknown by many today, but it does not have to be an unknown. The Bible describes in great detail about what death will be like for both the faithful and unfaithful in Christ. For those who are faithful, death is a wonderful event; a passage to a place of rest from pain and suffering. For the unfaithful, however, the outcome is devastating. Here is what the Bible tells us about what death will be like for all of us.
- Death will be a sleep. After death, we will be asleep, at least our bodies will be in sleep, anyways. Those who die faithful to God are described to have “fallen asleep in Jesus” (I Thessalonians 4:14). Only the body of a person sleeps after death (Daniel 12:2). The spirit, or the actual person does not sleep. The person who has died is no longer in the body that he or she was encased in during this life. That person is fully aware and fully themselves in the spiritual realm. Death is also a state of rest from the trial and problems of this world. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).
- Our bodies go back to dust. After death, our bodies will decompose and return to dust. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19).
- Death will be a leaving. Death involves the spirit leaving the body. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26). The faithful are carried away from their bodies by angels (Luke 16:22). The apostle Paul described death as a departure (Philippians 1:23).
- Death is a wonderful reunion for those who are faithful. A phrase that is used more than once in the Bible to describe what happens after the death of a person who was faithful to God is that he was “gathered to his people.” This was a description given to Abraham at his death, as well as for Aaron, Jacob, and Moses (Deuteronomy 32:50; Genesis 49:33; Numbers 27:13). These verses show that we will know our loved ones in the spiritual realm, and they will know us. Having this hope of seeing our departed loved ones in the next life helps us keep going through this life.
The world sees death as something unknown and scary, but to Christians, death is a wonderful time of reuniting with loved ones, and being in the presence of God Almighty. Those who are in the world and those who do not follow God will find death to be indeed a scary place. The Bible makes it very clear as to what happens to both the faithful and unfaithful after death, and no one can make it to Heaven by accident. “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” (Hebrews 4:1). It takes a conscious effort to do God’s Will throughout one’s life to be rewarded with Heaven. May we all work to reach our Heavenly home each and every day, and may we work to bring as many souls as we can to Heaven with us! “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).