There are many different thoughts on the idea of what happens to us after we expire (die). Some believe that human beings are not“eternal beings” and cease to exist after they are dead. Others believe that when we die our “energy” is transferred into some other life form while still others believe that humans carry on in some sort of way, but are unsure of just exactly how. In order to be at peace with ourselves on earth we need to know the questions regarding “life after death.”
The only real way to know them is to understand that “man” is an eternal being, and was made in the image and likeness of God; moreover, man (like God) possesses a “body”, “soul” and “spirit” (II Thessalonians 5:23). Man’s disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden caused death to reign over him; therefore, all men must taste of death. This disobedience brought sin into the world (Romans 5:12) and explains why our physical bodies grow old and weak and eventually give up the ghost (spirit); however, since man is an eternal being like God he must continue on into eternity. According to the scripture at death the spirit and soul of man leave the body and depart to a place prepared of God for them. This presents a problem because man is in a “fallen state” and cannot come into the presence of God; therefore, he must suffer God’s wrath in hell’s fire for the rest of eternity.
There is hope; however, the scripture says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:8-9). The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ made it possible for man to be redeemed (to make something acceptable or pleasant in spite of its negative qualities or aspects). He actually became sin or fallen man, and paid for the sins of humanity with his death on the cross. Through his death, burial and resurrection he opened the door for man to go to heaven. God did his part by sending Christ to take man’s place, and now all man has to do is “repent” and “accept” Christ into his heart as Lord and Savior. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9&13). Once man accepts Christ by faith his spirit and soul are washed from Adam’s original sin, and he is free from the chains of sin and of bondage.
At death the bodies of “saved” and “lost” individuals are buried in the same manner; however, the soul of the saved individual is now accepted by God (because of Christ), and is granted entrance into heaven. In summary, the “lost man” goes to hell to pay for his own sins while the “saved man” goes to heaven because his sins have been paid for by Christ. The scriptural view of “life after death” makes complete sense being that Christ holds the “keys” of “hell” and of “death” (Revelation 1:18), and it is in his power to cast someone into hell or grant someone access into heaven!