The Bible Plainly Tells us about Death- We just don’t want to believe it!
From June 2019
By Bob Barney
I am turning 66 in a few months, and honestly the prospect of dying in the next 10-15 years is sobering. Most of us are living a bit longer than several generations ago, but most die still in their seventies. The idea that most of your life is behind you is a sobering fact, and believe it or not, The Holy Bible is not as comforting on the subject as many believe, or better yet, led to believe by their church.
The notion that when we die, we instantly go to heaven (or hell) is very comforting to many people. In fact, I know people who where joyfully waiting to die, so they could be with their loved ones. That faith in one’s death has comforted many people over the years. I wish that could comfort me. I probably could accept dying much easier if I believed that I was going to heaven when I die – the sad PLAIN TRUTH of the matter is that I am not, and I know it. I know it because God tells me plainly that when I die, I will rest in a grave (in the King James Version they rendered “grave” as hell, thus giving us the wrong idea of just what “hell” means=simply “a grave.”).
You see, The Bible compares death to sleep. It does so dozens of times! Never does the Bible say that a loved one has died and gone to heaven. After death we are asleep, we are unconscious; we are not aware of the passing of time or of what is going on around us. We cannot see and watch over our loved ones. We can’t interfere in their fate or help them in any way. We are DEAD! The Bible says:
“5 Yes, the living know they are going to die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward; they are completely forgotten.” (The Plain Truth Bible – all quotes in this article)
The dead have no consciousness. They are in the grave in a deep sleep like a seed (1 Corth 15) and will remain until the Resurrection. see also Psalm 146:4; 115:17).
Peter on the Day of Pentecost said the same of King David. “Friends let me speak plainly to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb and dead body is with us to this day…For David did not ascend into the heavens…"(Acts 2:29, 34). Heaven’s! That’s all three mentioned in the Bible.
The first heaven is the layer of air around the earth. That’s the “heaven” that Elijah was taken up to (in a whirlwind!). You are in the first heaven every time you fly in a plane!
The second heaven is the universe, where the planets and stars are located. Like the first heaven we can plainly see them with our eyes. Our astronauts have traveled into the second heaven.
The third heaven is where God lives. It cannot be seen by the human eye. The apostle Paul knew a man who saw the third heaven in what was most likely a vision or dream. He writes,“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in his body or out of his body I don't know– Only God knows. What I know is that this man–whether in the body or apart from the body (I do not know but God knows)–was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 12:2-5).
This third heaven is the heaven we think about when we are told that our loved one is in heaven. The sad truth is that they are not. Many Christians think of the soul as an immortal entity within us that goes on living after death. This is not what the Bible says, and I for one don't want to accept this fact, but I have to if I believe God! The Bible plainly says, “And the LORD (Who is Jesus) God formed man from the earth's dirt, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living creature” (Genesis 2:7). The King James wrongly translates the Hebrew “soul.” Read any Bible commentary and you will see that I am correct. God did not put a soul into us, He made us, from the physical elements of the earth – the same way God formed ANIMALS and PLANTS! He breathed His life-giving spirit into the lifeless mortal body—and the result was a living creature- an animal. Man is an animal, just like your dog or that insect you swat and kill. When a person dies, just like in an animal, the reverse takes place. The breath of life departs from the body, and the life of that animal no longer exists. That’s what the Bible says. “The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
If souls existed as separate entities that lived on after we died, that would mean we have immortality. However, the Bible says human beings do not have immortality. Only God is immortal (see 1 Timothy 6:15, 16). Paul says that the righteous “seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (Romans 2:7). If we had immortal souls, why would the righteous seek after something they already have?
So friends, you can see why I fear my death.
I fear death because I realize that I am going to sleep, and the control freak that I am can';t accept the fact that I will have no control over anything that happens the second I die. What will happen to my wife, my loved ones, our business that I helped create, our farm -anything! That scares the hell out of me.
Yes, I know many are not worried about dying because they don't understand what death is! The Bible says that death is NOT good, nor a friend to look forward to. Death is the enemy and we should never forget that. 1 Cor 15:26 “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
What the Bible says about death and life after death:
I realize that this will surprise many, but the Bible does promise a life after death to everyone who wants it. It also promises eternal death to those who choose it! Eternal death means what it says. DEAD forever, burned up gone. No suffering in some place called “hell.” That “hell” is a lie that churches has told you. The Bible does not offer an ever burning hell of torment to sinners.
There is an order of when we have the chance to live again. When Christ returns, only true Christians will be resurrected from the dead, to immortal life! We will be in the God family. “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead that where Christians will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Christ tells us that then (Revelation 20:4-6) "And then I saw thrones to those given authority to judge. And I saw the dead bodies of those who had been slain because of their testimony about Jesus, and because of the word of God. These had had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came back to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years."
So, what happens to the rest that do not believe, and are not Christians, or had no chance to learn the way of God? Again, Jesus says through His angel in Revelation 20:11-15 : "Then I saw a great white throne and He who was sitting on it. The earth and the heavens ran from His presence, and there was no place for them to hide. Then 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.The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and the graves gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.Then death and the graves were thrown into the lake of fire.The lake of fire is the second death.Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire."
The wicked are raised to life in a separate resurrection—the resurrection of condemnation. Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28, 29).
The last sensation was we know is the pang of death, the last thought that we have --- the fear that we are falling beneath the power of the grave, but then, imagine, when we arise from the tomb to the shout,
“O Death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).
That brings me comfort- in the end, but my death does not. It is the final battle I must defeat--- not I, but Jesus Christ, who has already done this for me- and you! Thank you my heavenly God, both father and Son for the love that Jesus has shown us.
Take the time and Read 1 Corinthians 15- The resurrection chapter that most churches simply will not read to you:
From The Plain Truth Bible with study notes:
The Resurrection Chapter!
1Friends, I'm making known to you the Good News which I already told you, which you received, and on which your faith is based.
2 In addition, you are saved by this Good News if you hold on to the doctrine I taught you, unless you believed it in vain.
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me -- that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.
4 He was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said.
5 He was seen by Peter and then by the twelve apostles.
6 After that, he was seen by more than five hundred of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died by now.
7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.
8 Last of all, I saw him, too, long after the others, as though I had been born at the wrong time.
9 For I am the least of all the apostles, and I am not worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted the church of God.
10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me -- and not without results. For I have worked harder than all the other apostles, yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.
11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach. The important thing is that you believed what we preached to you.
12 But tell me this -- since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead?
13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not risen either.
14 And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is in vain, and your trust in God is in vain.
15 And we apostles would all be lying about God, for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave, but that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead.
16 Certainly, if the dead don't come back to life, then Christ hasn't come back to life either.
17 If Christ hasn't come back to life, your faith is worthless and sin still has you in its power.
18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ have perished forever!
19 And if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world.
Death is a SLEEP:
20 But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has becomehas become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
23 But each one in their own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, having put down all enemies of every kind.
25 For Christ must reign until He humbles all His enemies beneath His feet.
26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is DEATH.
27 Clearly, God has put everything under Christ's authority. When God says that everything has been put under Christ's authority, this clearly excludes God, since God has put everything under Christ's authority.
28 But when God puts everything under Christ's authority, the Son will put himself under God's authority, since God had put everything under the Son's authority. Then God will be in control of everything.
29 If the dead will not be raised, then what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again?
30 And why should we ourselves be continually risking our lives, facing death hour by hour?
31 For I swear, dear friends, I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what the LORD Jesus Christ has done in you.
32 If I have fought with wild animals in Ephesus, what have I gained according to the way people look at things? If the dead are not raised, "Let's eat and drink because tomorrow we're going to die!"
33 Don't be fooled by those who say such things, for "bad company corrupts good character."
34 Come to your senses and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don't even know God.
35 But someone may ask, "How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?"
The Mystery of the Resurrection:
36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn't grow into a plant unless it dies first.
37 What you plant, whether it's wheat or something else, is only a seed. It doesn't have the form that the plant will have.
38 God gives the plant the form He wants it to have. Each kind of seed grows into its own form.
39 Not all flesh is the same. Humans have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds have another, and fish have still another.
40 There are bodies in the heavens, and there are bodies on earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the beauty of the earthly bodies.
41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their beauty and brightness.
42 It is the same way for the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die.
43 When the body is buried, it doesn't have any splendor and is weak. When it is raised again, it has splendor and is strong.
44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 The Scriptures tell us, "The first man, Adam, became a living person." But the last Adam -- that is, Christ -- is a life-giving Spirit.
46 What came first was the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later.
47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.
48 Every human being has an earthly body just like Adam's, but our heavenly bodies will be just like Christ's.
49 Just as we are now like Adam, the man of the earth, so we will someday be like Christ, the man from heaven.
50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. What decays cannot inherit what doesn't decay.
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--
Raised to life AT CHRIST'S RETURN (on the Feast of Trumpets):
52 It will happen in an instant, in a split second at the sound of the last trumpet. Indeed, that trumpet will sound, and then the dead will come back to life. They will be changed so that they can live forever.
The Feast of Trumpets! The trumpet was sounded to convoke the people on solemn feasts, especially on the first day of the seventh month (the type of the completion of time; seven being the number for perfection; on the tenth of the same month was the atonement, and on the fifteenth the feast of tabernacles, commemorative of completed salvation out of the spiritual Egypt, compare Zechariah 14:18 Zechariah 14:19 ); compare Psalms 50:1-7 . Compare His calling forth of Lazarus from the grave "with a loud voice," John 11:43 , with John 5:25 John 5:28 . TheFeast of Trumpetsteaches us that Jesus Christ will visibly return to the earth at the end of this age. At that time He will resurrect the saints who are no longer living and instantly change those saints who are still alive to immortal spirit beings (Matthew:24:31 -And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
53 For our perishable bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies and our mortal selves must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible body of ours has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then it shall be brought to pass that the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
55O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
57 How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our LORD!
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the LORD's work, for you know that nothing you do for the LORD is ever useless.