This article speaks of an event that all mankind goes through. Yes, everyone that has been born on earth has or will die. God’s Holy Word says (Hebrews 9:27) ‘And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment’. As we will see in God’s Holy Scriptures, mankind is created to live forever. After we die in this life, we go to one of two places and eventually stand before God for judgement. (Note 1)
When Jesus walked the earth He gave some very important information. In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells of the Rich Man and Lazarus, both dying. The Rich Man went to a burning part of Sheol (Note 2). Though in torment, he could see and recognize Abraham and Lazarus in a part of Sheol where there was no torment, but pleasure. Scripture says no-one could go from one part to the other. (Note 3) God’s Holy Word again references this place of pleasure when Jesus was on the cross. Jesus said to one of the thieves (Luke 23:43), ‘To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ Without getting into too much theology, the Old Testament Saints could not go to Heaven when they died, because all the Old Testament sacrifices were only a temporary covering for sin. They were imperfect, not good enough. Sin kept mankind out of Heaven.
When Jesus rose from the dead, the Old Testament Saints that were in Paradise rose up with Him.(Mark 27:52-53). Jesus was the Perfect, Eternal Sacrifice for the sin of mankind. The Old Testament Saints were no longer held captive in Sheol. Paradise (aka Abraham’s Bosom) is now either empty or no longer exists.
We are now living in a time when those not trusting in God still go to Sheol, and those that put their trust in Jesus Christ (Note 4) join the Old Testament Saints in Heaven with Jesus. (Philippians 1:23)
There is coming a time (The End of Days), when all of mankind will stand before God to be judged. Hell or Sheol will give up the dead, and all those that died not trusting in Jesus Christ, will be judged according to their works (The Great White Throne Judgement). They and the angels that rebelled against God will be cast into the Lake of Fire to burn forever and ever. (Revelation 20) (Note 5)
Both the Old and New Testament Saints will stand before God for Judgement, at the Judgement Seat of Christ. Each person will be judged for what they have done for Christ with the abilities and calling that they had.
In summary all those that thought they were good enough, trusted tradition or religion, or were in full rebellion against God will have their part in the Lake of Fire. And all those that admitted and turned from their sin (repentance), while trusting in the perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ for forgiveness will live forever with God.
In the service of the Most High
Note 1: The Bible says after we die we go to one of 2 places. It does not support any version of reincarnation or purgatory.
Note 2: There is much confusion concerning the names Hell, Hades, The Grave, The Pit, The Place of the Dead and so on. For clarity I use Sheol, which is a common name used for the place of all the dead in Old Testament times and those not trusting in Jesus Christ after His resurrection.
Note 3: The Bible is also clear that when we die our destination is set, it can not be changed..
Note 4: Anyone that has turned from their sin and to Jesus Christ for forgiveness is a Saint of God. The Bible uses the words Christians and Saints interchangeably (Acts 9,26, Romans 16, Ephesians 4)
Note 5: Revelation 20 makes reference to the Book Of Life. In this book are the names of all those that turned from their sin and to God for forgiveness.