the afterlife

These bodies we have are not meant to last forever. Death will come to each of us. Yet, death is the great unknown. We would all like to know what happens on the “other side.” In this series we will take an in-depth look at what the Bible has to say about the afterlife. It has much to tell us. Indeed, we will discover that death is not the end of our existence, rather it leads us to an eternal destination, heaven or hell.


The thought of eternity is hard for us to comprehend. Yet eternity is something we are all facing. Indeed, it is the personal future for each and every one of us. Therefore, it is crucial that we understand how to live in light of it.  In this book, we will examine how to conduct our lives with eternity in mind. How do we live a life pleasing to God with eternity in our future?

However, before we examine this topic, it is important to understand what the Bible has to say about death, dying and the afterlife. If God created a perfect world, then why do people die? Is there life after death? Is heaven a reality? If so, then how do we get there? Are there answers to these questions? Where do we find them? There are indeed answers to these and other ultimate questions about death, dying and what lies beyond the grave. They are found in only one place, the Bible! Once we answer these preliminary questions from Scripture, then we will look at how we should live in the light of eternity. 

For example, how do we live a life that honors God in preparation for eternity? How do we prepare for our own death? Should Christians be afraid of dying? How do we react to the death of a loved one who is a believer? How do we react to the death of a loved one who may not be a believer? Should believers be buried or cremated upon death? This book will answer these and other questions about how to live in the light of eternity.

Part 1: Understanding Death, Dying And The Afterlife

Question 1: Why Are The Subjects Of Death, Dying, And The Afterlife Worth Studying?

Question 2: Where Did Death Come From? If God Created A Perfect World Why Is There Death And Dying?

Question 3: Are We Humans Made Up Of Both Body And Spirit Or Are We Merely A Body? 

Question 4: According To The Bible What Is The Meaning Of Physical Death?

Question 5: The Bible Uses A Number Of Terms To Describe Physical Death: What Are They?

Question 6: Can The Spirit, Or Soul, That Is In Each Human Being, Be Destroyed Or Is It Immortal?

Question 7: In What Sense Do Human Beings Have Immortality?

Question 8: What Is Spiritual Death?

Question 9: What Is The Second Death Or Eternal Death?

Question 10: Did The Biblical Characters Bury Their Dead? If So, Then Why?

Question 11: Do We Find Examples Of Cremation In The Bible?

Question 12: Does The Bible Speak Of Embalming The Dead?

Question 13: Does The Bible Encourage Superstitious Practices About Death, Dying And Burial?

Question 14: Does The Bible Command Or Allow Worship Of Ancestors?

Question 15: What Hope Did The Old Testament Give For Those Who Had Died?

Question 16: What Hope Does The New Testament Give For The Dead?

Question 17: In What Sense Has Jesus Abolished Death?

Question 18: Who Has The Ultimate Power Over Death: God Or The Devil?

Part 2: : Living In The Light Of Eternity 

Question 19: Can Anyone Be Certain They Are Going To Heaven?

Question 20: How Do Non-Christians Face Death?

Question 21: Should Christians Be Afraid Of Dying?

Question 22: Are Life And Death Under God’s Control? 

Question 23: Is There An Appointed Time Each Of Us Will Die?

Question 24: Can We Lengthen Or Shorten Our Life By Our Behavior?

Question 25: Burial Or Cremation? What Should The Christian Do?

Question 26: What Does Scripture Have To Say About Suicide?

Question 27: How Shall We View Samson Taking His Own Life? Did He Commit Suicide?

Question 28: Do Those Who Commit Suicide Automatically Go To Hell? (1 Corinthians 3:16,17) Is It The Unpardonable Sin?

Question 29: What Is The Blasphemy Against The Holy Spirit? Why Is This The Unpardonable Sin?

Question 30: What Sin Will Keep People Out Of Heaven? How Does Someone Today Commit The Unpardonable Sin? 

Question 31: How Should We Respond To The Death Of A Loved One Who Is A Believer?

Question 32: How Should We Respond To The Death Of A Loved One Who May Not Be A Believer?

Question 33: How Are We To Understand People Who Have Claimed To Have Visions Of Heaven Or Hell Right Before Their Death? (Deathbed Visions)

Question 34: How Are We To Understand Claims Of People Who Say They Have Died, Gone To Heaven Or Hell And Then Returned? (Near Death Experiences)

Question 35: In The Light Of Eternity, How Should We Live A Life That Is Pleasing To God


In the first volume of our series we considered what the Bible had to say about living in the light of eternity. We began by covering the subjects of death, dying, and the afterlife. We found that death is not the end. Indeed, it leads to an ultimate destination. For believers, it is in the presence of the Lord but for unbelievers it consists of eternal separation from Him. Understanding these biblical truths will help us live our lives in the light of the eternity which awaits us. In this book, we will look at what the Bible has to say about the state of those who have died. What happens to people “one second” after they die? Are they conscious or do they sleep? Do believers go immediately to heaven and unbelievers immediately to hell? What does the Bible say? We will consider these and other related questions as we examine this important topic of the present state of the dead

The In-Between State 

Question 1: Does A Temporary State For The Dead Actually Exist?

Question 2: According To The Old Testament, What Happened To People Immediately Upon Death? (Sheol)

Question 3: According To The New Testament What Happens To The Dead? (Hades) 

Question 4: In The Old Testament Era, Was The Unseen Realm Of The Dead Divided Into Two Compartments? 

Question 5: Today, What Happens To A Believer Immediately Upon Death?

Question 6: Do Believers Have A Body In Their Intermediate State?

Question 7: Do Believers Experience All God’s Promises In The Intermediate State?

Question 8: Does The Soul Of The Believer Develop Morally Or Spiritually In The Intermediate State?

Question 9: What Is The Intermediate State For The Unbeliever?

Question 10: Was Jesus’ Story Of The Rich Man And Lazarus A Parable?

Question 11: What Can Be Learned About The Afterlife From The Account Of The Rich Man And Lazarus? (Luke 16:19-31)

Question 12: What Are Some Questionable Conclusions That People Draw From The Story Of The Rich Man And Lazarus?

Question 13: Should The Living Attempt To Contact The Dead? (Spiritism, Necromancy)

Question 14: Did The Dead Prophet Samuel Communicate To Saul Through A Medium At En Dor?

Question 15: What Is The Doctrine Of Purgatory?

Question 16: Is There Such A Place As Purgatory?

Question 17: Is There Any Biblical Support For Purgatory?

Question 18: Why Is Purgatory Such An Attractive Belief For So Many People?

Question 19: What Is Limbo? (Limbus Infantum)

Question 20: Should The Living Pray For The Dead?

Question 21: Is Onesiphorus An Example Of Praying For The Dead?

Question 22: Should The Living Pray To The Dead?

Question 23: What Are The Arguments That The Dead Know What Is Presently Happening On The Earth? 

Question 24: What Are The Arguments Against The Idea That The Dead Know What Is Presently Happening On The Earth?

Question 25: What Are The Arguments For People Remaining Unconscious After Death? (The Doctrine Of Soul Sleep): 

Question 26: Is Soul Sleep A Biblical Doctrine?

Question 27: In What Sense Is Death Like Sleep?

Question 28: What Is Reincarnation? 

Question 29: What Biblical Arguments Are Given For The Idea That Humans Live A Succession Of Different Lives? (Reincarnation)

Question 30: Do Humans Come Back In Other Lives As Different People (Reincarnation) What Does The Bible Say About This Subject?

Question 31: Were Texts Which Support Reincarnation Removed From The Bible?

Question 32: What Observations And Conclusions Can We Make About What Happens To Us One Second After We Die? :  

Appendix 1: What Are The Various Views Of Sheol?

Appendix 2: How Is Sheol Described?

Appendix 3: Who Are The Shades Who Live In Sheol (Rephaim)


In the first book of our series, we looked at some basic questions about death and dying. We found that death was not God’s original intention for humanity. It only came about as a result of sin. We also discovered that death is not the end; it leads to an ultimate destination for every human being. Knowing this, we discussed how to live in the light of the eternity facing each of us. 

In our next book, we learned that after people die their bodies go to the grave but their spirit or soul goes elsewhere. Indeed, they are either consciously in God’s present or in a place of judgment. This is known as the intermediate or “in-between” state. However, by its very name the intermediate, or the in-between, state has the idea that something is coming after that. Indeed, it is only temporary. This book will look at what comes after the “in-between” state. In this third volume we will look at the subjects of the resurrection of the dead as well as the coming biblical judgments. The Bible says there will come a day when the bodies of the dead will be joined with their soul or spirit.  Once this occurs, the dead will be judged. The righteous dead will not be judged for their sin. Indeed, judgment for believers consists of rewards. However, the same cannot be said for the unrighteous. Their judgment will consist of punishment. 

The Bible has much to say about these topics. Therefore, it is crucial that we understand that one day our bodies will be raised and that we will be judged for our choices here upon the earth. Consequently, this is a very important topic to consider.

Part 1:The Resurrection Of The Dead

Question 1: Does The Bible Directly Teach That The Dead Will Be Raised Someday? 

Question 2: Does The Bible Symbolically Teach That The Dead Will Rise?

Question 3: Is The Resurrection Of The Dead Taught By Predictive Prophecy?

Question 4: What Does Jesus’ Resurrection Teach Us About The Future Resurrection Of The Dead?

Question 5: How Do We Understand Certain Biblical Statements That Seemingly Deny The Resurrection Of The Dead?

Question 6: Who Will Raise The Dead?

Question 7: Why Do Believers Need A Resurrected Body?

Question 8: Are There Some People Who Will Never Die? (The Rapture Of The Church)

Question 9: What Will The Glorified Bodies Of The Righteous Be Like?

Question 10: What Are Some Inadequate Views Of The Resurrection Of The Body?

Question 11: What’s The Difference Between Resurrection And Resuscitation Or Re-animation?

Question 12: Isn’t The Resurrection Of The Dead A Scientific Impossibility?

Question 13: Does The Bible Teach That Both The Righteous And Unrighteous Will Be Raised From The Dead?

Question 14: What About The Unbelievers? How Will They Be Raised? Will They Have A Body?

Question 15: What Are The Biblical Arguments That Everyone Be Raised From The Dead At The Same Time? (One General Resurrection)

Question 16: What Are The Biblical Arguments That There Is More Than One Resurrection?

Question 17: Since We Are Going To Get A New Body, How Should We View Our Present Sinful Body? Should We Hate It? 

Part 2: : The Coming Biblical Judgments 

Question 18: Will The Human Race Be Judged In The Future?

Question 19: Who Will Be The Judge Of Humanity? What Does The Bible Say About Jesus Judging The World?

Question 20: What Is The Stated Purpose For God’s Judgment Upon The Human Race?

Question 21: On What Basis Will People Be Judged?

Question 22: Will Believers Have Any Part Of God’s Judgment?

Question 23: What Arguments Are Given For People Having A Second Chance To Believe In Jesus After Their Death? (Post Mortem Evangelism, Second Probation)

Question 24: Does The Bible Teach A Second Chance To Be Saved After Death? 

Question 25: What Are The Various Judgments That Are Still To Come?

Question 26: What Are The Arguments For Everyone Being Judged At Once? (One General Judgment)

Question 27: Why Do People Believe There Will Be A Number Of Judgments Instead Of One Final Judgment? (Judgment Will Be In Stages)

Question 28: How Will Believer’s Be Judged? (The Judgment Seat Of Christ: The Bema)

Question 29: What Things Should We Do In This Life To Earn Rewards In The Next Life? (On What Basis, Or Criteria Will Believers Be Judged?)

Question 30: Will Every Believer In Jesus Christ Receive A Reward In Heaven?

Question 31: Whom Will Christ Judge At His Second Coming? (The Judgment Of The Nations)

Question 32: What Is The Last Judgment? (The Great White Throne) 

Question 33: What Will Be The Results Of God’s Final Judgment?

Question 34: What Observations And Conclusions Should We Make About The Resurrection Of The Dead And The Coming Biblical Judgments?


Question 1 Does Heaven Really Exist? 

Question 2 What Is Heaven Like? (Does It Actually Have Streets Of Gold And Pearly Gates?) 

Question 3 What Are The Various Ways Heaven Is Described In The Bible? 

Question 4 What Is Paradise? Is It The Same As Heaven? 

Question 5 What Is Abraham’s Bosom? (Abraham’s Lap, Or Side) Is It A Description Of Heaven? 

Question 6 Did Old Testament Believers Immediately Go To Heaven When They Died? 

Question 7 What Are The Three Heavens? 

Question 8 What Is The New Heaven And New Earth? 

Question 9 What Are Some Of The Contrasts Between The Old Creation In Genesis And The Future Creation Of The World? 

Question 10 What Is The New Jerusalem? (The Holy City) 

Question 11 If Heaven Truly Does Exist, Then How Does A Person Get There? 

Question 12 Can Anyone Really Know That They Are Going To Heaven? What Assurance Do We Have? 

Question 13 When Believers In Jesus Christ Die, Will They Go Immediately To Heaven? 

Question 14 When We Get To Heaven Will We Immediately Get A New Body? 

Question 15 What Are The Heavenly Rewards That Await Believers? 

Question 16 Since Believers Will Receive Different Crowns As Rewards Will There Be Envy In Heaven? 

Question 17 Who Is Going To Live In Heaven? 

Question 18 What Will It Be Like Living In Heaven? (What Will We Do?) 

Question 19 Will Believers Spend Eternity Playing Harps On Floating Clouds? Will We Have A Halo Above Our Head? 

Question 20 What Won’t We See In Heaven? What Will Be Missing? 

Question 21 Will We See God In Heaven?

Question 22 Will We Remember Our Loved Ones In Heaven?

Question 23 In Heaven, Will We Have A Memory Of What Happened On Earth? If So, How Can Heaven Be A Place Of Happiness If Our Loved Ones Are Missing?

Question 24 Will We Have All Knowledge In Heaven Or Will We Still Be Learning New Things?

Question 25 Who Will Be Married To Whom In Heaven?

Question 26 Will There Be Physical Pleasures In Heaven? (Sexual Relations)

Question 27 What Will We Look Like In Heaven?

Question 28 What Type Of Clothes Will We Wear In Heaven?

Question 29 Do We Become Angels When We Go To Heaven?

Question 30 Does Time Exist In Heaven?

Question 31 Will Jesus Still Have His Scars In Heaven? 

Question 32 Do Animals Go To Heaven? Will We See Our Pets In The Afterlife? 

Question 33 Why Is It Assumed By Some That Peter Is Sitting At The Gates Of Heaven? 

Question 34 Is There A Chance That Believers Can Be Sent Away From Heaven At Some Time In The Future? 

Question 35 Are We To Believe The Testimonies Of People Who Claimed To Have Visited Heaven? 

Question 36 What Arguments Are Given That Everyone Will Ultimately Go To Heaven? (Universalism) 

Question 37 Will God Allow Everyone To Everyone Eventually Enter Heaven? (Universalism) 

Question 38 Can The Spirits Of The Dead Tell Us What It Is Like In Heaven? (Spiritism) 

Question 39 Why Should We Focus Our Thoughts On Heaven? 

Question 40 What Observations And Conclusions Should We Make About Heaven? 

Appendix 1 Don’t Statements In The Book Of Ecclesiastes Contradict Other Parts Of Scripture About Heaven? 

Appendix 2 How Will God Judge Babies And Young Children Who Die As Well As The Mentally Challenged? Will They Go To Heaven? 


Question 1 Why Would Anyone Want To Study The Subject Of Hell? 

Question 2 Does The Old Testament Teach That The Wicked Will Be Punished In The Afterlife? 

Question 3 What Did Those Who Lived Between The Testaments Believe About The Fate Of The Wicked? 

Question 4 What Do The Four Gospels Say About The Destiny Of The Wicked? 

Question 5 What Observations Should We Make About Jesus’ View Of The Destiny Of The Wicked? 

Question 6 What Did The Apostle Paul Have To Say About The Destiny Of The Wicked? 

Question 7 What Do The Book Of Hebrews, Second Peter, And Jude Tell Us About The Eternal Destiny Of The Wicked? 

Question 8 What Does The Book Of Revelation Have To Say About The Fate Of The Wicked? 

Question 9 After Looking At The Totality Of Scripture, What Do We Discover About The Final Place Of Punishment For The Wicked? (Hell, The Lake Of Fire) 

Question 10 Where Is Hell Located? Is It In The Center Of The Earth? 

Question 11 What Is Nature Of The Punishment Of The Wicked In Hell? 

Question 12 What Is The Length Of Punishment In Hell? Is It Everlasting? 

Question 13 What Terms Does The Bible Use To Describe Hell, Or Everlasting Punishment? 

Question 14 What Is Tartarus? 

Question 15 What Is Gehenna? 

Question 16 What Is The Bottomless Pit? (The Abyss) 

Question 17 What Is The Lake Of Fire? 

Question 18 Who Will Be Sent To The Lake Of Fire? 

Question 19 How Could A God Of Love Send People To An Eternal Hell? 

Question 20 Why Should People Have To Suffer Eternally? 

Question 21 What Are The Arguments For Understanding Hell Fire To Be Literal? (Literal View Of Hell) 

Question 22 What Are The Arguments Against Understanding Hell Fire As Literal? (Metaphorical View Of Hell) 

Question 23 Will There Be Degrees Of Punishment In Hell Or Will Everyone Be Punished The Same? 

Question 24 Is God Present In Hell? 

Question 25 How Shall We Approach The Question Of The Ultimate Fate Of The Wicked? 

Question 26 What Are The Various Conclusions People Have Reached Concerning The Final State Of Unbelievers? 

Question 27 What Is The General Case Which Is Made For The Unbelieving Dead Becoming Non-existent, Destroyed Or Annihilated? (Annihilationism, Conditional Immortality, Conditionalism, Limited Suffering) 

Question 28 Are All Humans Immortal Or Is Immortality Something Which God Gives Only To Believers? (Conditional Immortality) 

Question 29 Since God Is Love, Does This Mean That He Would Never Send Anyone To An Eternal Hell?

Question 30 If Hell Is Eternal Then Would Not Evil Always Exist In The Universe? 

Question 31 Since The Bible Says That God Wants Nobody To Be Condemned Does It Logically Follow That An Eternal Hell Cannot Exist? 

Question 32 How Can Anyone Justly Be Sent To An Eternal Hell If God Has Predetermined Their Fate? 

Question 33 Does Jesus’ Story Of The Rich Man And Lazarus Give Evidence For The Ultimate Annihilation Of The Wicked? 

Question 34 Does God’s Justice Demand That The Wicked Must Be Annihilated Someday? (The Proportionality Argument, The Punishment Must Fit The Crime) 

Question 35 Do Biblical Descriptions Such As Fire, Death, And Separation Indicate Annihilation Rather Than Eternal Punishment? 

Question 36 The Bible Says The Wicked Will Perish And Vanish Like Smoke (Psalm 37:20), Many Other Places In Scripture Say They Will Be Destroyed. Does This Not Clearly Teach The Eventual Annihilation Of The Unrighteous? 

Question 37 Does 2 Peter 2:6 Teach That The Unrighteous Will Be Annihilated From The Example Of Sodom And Gomorrah? 

Question 38 Is The Second Death Annihilation? (Revelation 20:14) 

Question 39 Does The Fact That God Will Triumph Over Sin In The End Mean The Wicked Must Be Annihilated? 

Question 40 Does Mark 9:42-48 Teach Eternal Suffering For The Wicked? 

Question 41 Does 2 Thessalonians 1:5–9 Teach That The Wicked Will Be Destroyed Or Annihilated? 

Question 42 Why Does Matthew 25:41-46 Teach, Beyond All Doubt, The Everlasting Punishment Of The Wicked? 

Question 43 Why Does Revelation 14:9–12 Make The Doctrine Of Everlasting Punishment Of The Wicked Beyond Dispute? 

Question 44 How Does Revelation 20:10–15 Help Settle The Matter As To The Eternal Destiny Of The Wicked? 

Question 45 Will The Unbelieving Dead Become Non-Existent? Is Annihilationism A Biblical Concept? 

Question 46 What Conclusions Can We Make About The Doctrine Of Annihilationism? (The Wicked Will One Day Cease To Exist) 

Question 47 Will The Wicked Dead Ultimately Be Restored After Suffering For A Time In Hell? Will They Eventually Go To Heaven? (Universalism) 

Question 48 What Observations And Conclusions Can We Make About The Subject Of Hell? 

Appendix 1 What Did The Jewish Religious Leaders At The Time Of Jesus Believe About Eternal Punishment?

Appendix 2 What Did The Early Church Believe About Everlasting Punishment? 

Appendix 3 Did Jesus Go To Hell For Three Days After He Died? (The Apostles Creed) 

Appendix 4 Why Did Jesus Tell Mary Magdalene Not To Touch Him Because He Had Not Yet Ascended To The Father? (John 20:17) Is It Because He Had Descended Into Hell And Had Not Yet Been Back In His Father’s Presence? 

Appendix 5 Do 1 Peter 3:18-20 And 1 Peter 4:6 Teach That The Gospel Was Preached To The Dead In Hades? Does This Mean The Dead Have A Chance To Believe And Escape Hell?