What happens when we die

My sermon notes for Sunday night, March 17thRemember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net


What happens when we believers die?



Soul sleep – awaiting the resurrection

Purgatory – we wait in preparation

Annihilation – we cease to exist



We go into the presence of the Lord (our soul)

Luke 23:43, 2 Cor. 5:8-9, Phil. 1:23-24


  1. A conscience and joyful existence with the Lord.
  2. A rest from the toils and sorrows of the world.


Life in the intermediate state: (life between physical death and the resurrection of the body)


Revelation 6:9–11 – [9] When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. [10] They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” [11] Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. (ESV)

  1. Self-awareness of others and of world-circumstances
  2. Mindful of the distinction of heaven and earth
  3. An awareness of our future home
  4. Body-like form. Speaking and hearing. Clothing worn.
  5. Time is an aspect


Truths about Judgement

  • Judgment Seat of Christ (bema seat) – 2 Cor 5:10, 1 Cor 3:12-15
  • Great White Throne of Judgement – Rev 20:11-15
    • The important thing is not being hung up on the number of judgments or the timing. KEY IS KNOWING EACH ONE OF US WILL STAND BEFORE THE LORD


  1. God’s judgment will be fair and according to truth. – Romans 2:2
    • Rightly falls


  1. Christ will be the judge – 2 Tim. 4:1


  1. All men will be judged – Heb. 9:27, Matt. 25:25-46


  1. Judgment will be based upon men’s deeds
    • Their actions, thoughts, words.
    • The true character of each person


  1. Unbelievers will be judged – Rev. 20:11-15


  1. Believers will be judged – Rom 14:10-12
  • Not one’s sin, that has already been paid
  • Based upon what we have been given



The Soul Leaves the Body at Death

There are a variety of ways in which scientists and doctors have tried to define death. The most popular is that death is when all brain waves totally cease. That may be the best biological answer. But there is a more important definition. According to the Bible, death occurs when the soul leaves the body. “The body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26). Jesus died by voluntarily yielding His spirit into the Father’s hands (Luke 23:46). The body is either buried or cremated but will turn to dust; while the spirit returns to face God (Eccl.12:7). The soul enters at conception and leaves at death.


True believers enter the presence of Christ in paradise

The very moment a believer in Christ dies, his soul goes to be with Christ. The dying thief went to Paradise (Luke 23:43). Sometimes this place is called Abraham’s Bosom (Luke 16:22) or the Third Heaven (2 Cor. 12:2,4). It is Heaven as it is now, not the New Heaven that is yet future. It is perfect bliss and peace, for we are with God. The Bible says that we go to be “with the Lord” when we die (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23). Their bodies are still back on Earth, their souls in glory.


Unbelievers enter into enter Hades.

Those who die in their sins go straight to Hades. This is the present state of Hell, not the future form called Gehenna. Sinners are there in their souls, not their bodies, which are still on Earth. Hades is a place of firey torment. But it is temporary, not permanent. It is the holding place for sinners until they go before God at the Last Judgment. This does not mean that their final doom is uncertain. No one in Hades will ever make it to Heaven, nor will anyone in Paradise make it to eternal Hell. The intermediate states match the final ends.


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