Nanny Ogg once declared, “The wages of sin is death, but so is the salary of virtue.” I guess that’s a tongue in cheek concession to the fact that death happens… to all and sundry. Big question is “What happens when I die”; I believe the Bible has one or two things to say.
You will die, will be raised and will face judgment (Hebrews 9:27; John 5:24 – 30). As the resurrection has not yet occurred (1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 18) the natural question is “What will happen to my soul in-between?”
The Old Testament teaches after death one’s soul rests in a state of conscious existence, Sheol (Isaiah 14:9 – 10; Ezekiel 32:17 – 32; Genesis 37:35). The New Testament clarifies, describing two realms separated by a great gulf: a place of comfort, Abraham’s bosom or paradise; and a place of torment, Hades (Luke 16:19 – 31).
It was to this place of comfort that Jesus promised the thief on the cross, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). And to this place of torment that He descended after His death and made proclamation to the spirits held prisoner there (Ephesians 4:9, 1 Peter 3:19).
When Believers fall asleep, a euphemism for death (Luke 8:52; 1 Corinthians 15:6), they look forward to being “present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6 – 9). Unbelievers descend to Hades and are later cast into Hell. As such all men are warned, “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). This gracious offer will soon pass away.
More questions? Speak to Mark.
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