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What Happens When We Die?


Perhaps it is moribund to contemplate one's death, and yet it is as sure as the rising of the sun. It will come eventually.
    Therefore why not attempt to understand it?
    God inspired Job to write, "O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave ... that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me" (Job 14:13).
    Notice the Bible description of the state of the dead: "If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands" (Job 14:14,15).
    Job wrote of the grave as a "waiting" place, and spoke of the voice of God calling the dead from their graves.
    Jesus said, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [Greek: judgment] (John 5:28,29).
    Notice that even those who are dead and in their graves, and are those who have "done good," are not hearing the voice of God while they are dead; their death is spoken of as complete oblivion, unconsciousness of the passing of time. They await a time when they shall, in the future, hear the voice of God.
    Notice, too, that both classifications of people, good and evil, are mentioned as being in their graves. Neither the good nor the evil are living elsewhere, either in heaven or in an ever-burning hell fire. They are both dead, according to your Savior, Jesus Christ!
    The Bible nowhere teaches the "immortality of the soul." Instead it shows the state of the dead to be complete absence of life, oblivion.
    Notice what the apostle Paul said when on trial for his life: "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way, which they [the Pharisees and others who accuse him] call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the law or written in the prophets, have a hope in God which these themselves accept [even his accusers admitted this was true!], that there will be a resurrection of both the just and unjust" (Acts 24:14,15, RSV).
The apostle Paul, speaking before the rulers of his nation, acknowledged that even the Jewish leadership in the temple believed in the resurrection.
    That is because the completely heathen, pagan teaching of such ancient seers as Plato, Socrates, Herodotus and others had not yet crept into the so-called "Christian" church.
    This transformation was not to take place until about the first through the third centuries A.D.
    That's why all New Testament biblical literature speaks of a resurrection from the dead, and nowhere describes "immortal souls" going to either heavenly bliss or an ever-burning hell.
    Notice the prophecy of Daniel: "And at that time shall Michael stand up [at the time of the end], the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2). Notice carefully that this prophecy is for the end time, at the second coming of Christ! These words of Daniel echo those of Jesus Christ, and of the apostle Paul, and all other Bible writers. They show the oblivious, unconscious dead lying in their graves until a time of complete change from death and oblivion to life.