What happen to believers who die?

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What happen to believers who die?

Post  rose on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 1:09 am

I recently read an article that talked of Pugatory, few questions arose to my mind:

  1. Is pugatory a Biblical theology?
  2. What happened to people who died in the Old Testament?
  3. What will happen to non-believers when they die?
  4. Is it possible to travel between heaven and hell?

Please answer these for these are confusing me a lot. I would request you to answer while giving references from the Bible.

God bless

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Re: What happen to believers who die?

Post  Fatima on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 1:12 am

I know that the concept of pugatory is not Biblical. The people who are non-believers will not go to heavens and surely who die in Jesus are with Jesus.

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Re: What happen to believers who die?

Post  planet_shakers on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 1:19 am

Catholics and Evangelicals agree that the Lord has not made it perfectly clear what happens after we die. When it comes to the afterlife, most Evangelicals would say Christians go directly to Heaven to be with the Lord, some would say we go to a temporary heaven (traditionalists). Seventh Day Adventists and some other Christian groups say there is a "soul sleep" (conditionalists) where the person is in some sort of suspended state until the final judgment. Both Catholics and Evangelicals believe we will appear at the Judgement Seat of Christ.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body. (2 Cor 5:10)
The Evangelicals who impress me the most are the Biblical scholars, and they generally say they don't know, or they say that there is some sort of temporary place in Heaven where people go to await the final judgment.

Roman Catholic theologians also agree that it is hard to understand the afterlife. scripture does not spell it out. Catholics and most Evangelicals agree there is some sort of temporary place in Heaven. Catholics would say we can discern from scripture, tradition, and from the beliefs of early Christians that there is a temporary place where many Christians go called Purgatory.

Belief of Roman Catholics
Catholics believe that Purgatory is a step before Heaven where believers are cleaned up for the "wedding banquet" of the Lord in Heaven. Not all believers have to go through Purgatory (some go straight to Heaven) but all people in Purgatory eventually make it to Heaven. They are the elect.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (Catechism 1030)


Catholics believe that some people go straight to Heaven, which is also what Evangelicals believe. It would be very cool to go straight to Heaven. Let's pray for each other for that. The Church believes that Purgatory is a place to clean up the effects of "Venial Sin" (not Mortal Sin which if un-repented, leads to eternal punishment - hell). If we were to put it in Evangelical terms, Purgatory would be where the backslider would get cleaned up before joining the wedding banquet of the Lord - so he wouldn't be thrown out (Mat 22:12). For nothing unclean can enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27). Purgatory does not remove sin itself. Jesus did that on the Cross. Purgatory removes the effects of sin. An imperfect way to look at it is to think of a nail hammered into a piece of wood. My father would pull the nail out of the wood (sin) but there would still be a dent in the wood. Purgatory is the process of straightening out the wood (the effect of sin). Certainly Jesus can and does the clean up. He is a merciful God but he is also a just God.

People who rebelliously refuse to believe that Jesus is Lord and who do not yield to Him don't go to Purgatory. They go to hell.

Catholics agree with Evangelicals that in Heaven, there will be justice, as well as mercy. In a sense, Purgatory is more compassionate than the Evangelical concept articulated by Rick Warren. Pastor Rick says Christians who do not handle themselves well on earth will spend eternity not getting the full reward (yet still be in Heaven). Purgatory is temporary punishment, not the permanent heavenly punishment found in the theology articulated by Evangelicals such as Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) and the Moody Bible Institute. We think Purgatory is a more scripturally sound approach to justice in the afterlife, and in better alignment with the first century Church.

Catholics feel the Church exists for one reason. To make sure that souls get into Heaven. The Church feels that God has charged it with the duty of taking care of all Christians until the moment they enter into Heaven. Catholics believe that souls in Purgatory are on their way to Heaven but are not yet in heaven, that's why Catholics pray for them.

Article Source: http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/purgatory.htm

In Christ

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Re: What happen to believers who die?

Post  stylz4christ on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 1:22 am

Roman Catholics believe in pugatory although the word pugatory is not in the Bible. Roman Catholics get this idea from the following verses:

Paul prayed for Onesiphorous after he died, "may the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the lord on that day" (2nd Timothy 1:16-18).

"After his death, Jesus went to preach to the Spirits in prison" (1 Pet 3:19)

"Nothing unclean can enter heaven" (Rev 21:27)

God bless you

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Re: What happen to believers who die?

Post  Waqar Daniel on Wed 18 Jun 2008, 5:51 pm

First, we need to understand that death is not natural - we were not created to die: "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." (1 Cor. 15:26).
Paul tells us in Romans that "...the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23) - that is, death comes as a result of sin. And indeed we see that in the account of the fall of mankind, Adam sins and so is destined to die (Gen. 3:22). It is often now asked, "but if believers are saved through Christ, why must Christians still die?" There are several points for consideration here, and so have been listed below:

  • First, the application of salvation is a process that is still occurring - believers have not tasted all the benefits that God by grace will bestow - receiving perfect bodies and being perfect spiritually are obvious examples. These, and the removal of death will come in God's time, and as Christians we can trust that God knows what He is doing: "When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory.'" (1 Cor. 15:54)
  • Death is not a punishment for sin for Christians: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1).
  • Death is a part of suffering that is part of this world, and suffering is a tool employed by God to sanctify us: "Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness." (Heb. 12:10)
  • Since God has chosen for this world to continue imperfectly for a time, death becomes a part of obedience for a Christian, to live and die according to God's will: "Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Rev. 2:10b)
  • As believers, our own death is to be viewed with joy as we are going to be with our father in heaven!: "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" (Phil. 1:21-23).

When believers die, the Bible clearly teaches that their souls will go immediately to be with God, leaving the physical body behind.

  • Jesus said to the man on the cross next to his, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
  • "Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." (2 Cor. 5:6-8)
  • "But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." (Heb. 12:22-24) (Emphasis added.)
  • (John, speaking of a vision of the spirits of slain believers in heaven): "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, 'How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?'" (Rev. 6:9-10)

Misconceptions regarding the time after death

  • Purgatory: The teaching of purgatory is based on passages from apocryphal (that is, non-biblical but authoritative to some) texts, inferences from a few verses (e.g. Matt 5:26; 12:32; 1 Cor 3:15; 2 Tim 1:18) in the Bible (which are certainly not anything like clear teachings on purgatory!) and teaching based on tradition. The teaching of purgatory says that there is time spent after death but before the places of eternity, where a person's spirit can work towards becoming more like God (sanctified). As such, those who have died can be prayed for, and prayed to. However, there is no support for the teaching of purgatory in the Bible - those few verses mentioned above are in no way indicative of purgatory in themselves - none of them entertain the idea and it is quite simply false reasoning to say that they do. Furthermore, purgatory adds works to salvation and makes the unwary believer unsure of their total salvation in Christ; whereas Christians are given assurance that when they depart, they will go to be with Christ (Phil. 1:23) - for salvation is by grace, through faith, not by works (Eph. 2:8-9).
  • An intermediate state of unconsciousness (the 'soul-sleep' theory): This theory teaches that the time between the death of a believer and the return of Christ sees that believer's soul 'unconscious' for the period - so that for every believer who dies, it appears to them that Christ instantaneously returned (although the events of the world have continued and many more may have died since). This gains support from those those passages of the Bible where death is referred to as 'sleeping'. However, it is better to understand that 'sleeping' in the Bible will often be a synonym for death, as death is just like sleeping to a Christian - it is just a temporary thing - it is not permanent, just like sleep. Obviously this theory too is totally incompatible with the passages above that mention 'awake' souls with the Lord before His return (e.g. Hebrews 12:22-24 & Revelation 6:9-10).

Since Christ's work of redemption had not yet taken place, it was sometimes suggested that OT believers were in a state of 'limbo' until Christ's work was complete. Not much is mentioned in the Bible regarding the immediate fate of OT believers, but we can draw some interesting points, which indicate that the souls of OT believers went immediately to be with the Lord upon death, just as NT believers' have and will:

  • Enoch and Elijah were both taken from this earth by God - in the account of Elijah's ascendency, it specifically says that he went to heaven: "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind" (2 Ki. 2:11, see Gen. 5:24 for Enoch).
  • Jesus pointed out to His hearers that God is still the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - and God is not the God of the dead (and therefore some consciousness of these must be alive and in a relationship with God): "But about the resurrection of the dead - have you not read what God said to you, `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." (Matt. 22:32)
The Bible is very clear on the fate of those who will not put their trust in God:

  • They will be raised in the body (i.e., physically) for judgement:

    • Paul said, "...and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked." (Acts 24:15)
    • "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books... If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Rev. 20:12,15).

  • They will be condemned to eternal punishment (Jesus, referring to Himself (the Son of Man) and those who disobeyed, on the day of judgement): "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels... Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matt. 25:41, 46)
Can the circumstances of someone change after they die? (i.e., is it possible to travel between heaven and hell)?


  • The parable of Jesus concerning Lazarus and the rich man plainly indicates that this is not a possibility: "...The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But Abraham replied, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'" (Luke 16:22-26)
  • Eternal destination is based on this life, not on the next: "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favouritism." (Rom. 2:5-10).

Information Source: http://www.1way2god.net

God bless you all

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Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. (Philemon 1:3)


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