8 Bible Verses on Death and the Afterlife

Updated on November 7, 2017
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Tim Truzy is a minister in a Christian church, and he has participated in other religions.

A small church in eastern NC
A small church in eastern NC | Source

Eight Bible Verses Concerning Eternal Life and Death

  • Mathew 10:28 - And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell. - Mathew is warning believers of the Christian faith to not be afraid of mortal death. Also, Christians are made aware of the potential of the soul to wind up in a permanent state of condemnation. This verse is a reminder of the presence of evil in this world and the afterlife.
  • John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. - According to this scripture, Christians are assured repenting and acceptance of Jesus Christ guarantees eternal life. This scripture also reminds Christians of the love God has for them. This verse is considered one of the most important in the Christian faith.
  • Luke 23:43 - Jesus Christ said, “Truly I tell you, today you will dwell with me in Paradise." - Jesus Christ is informing Christians the transformation from a sinful way of life to a new spiritual existence is instantaneous. In this verse, Jesus was speaking to the man next to Him who was a criminal condemned to death.
  • John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, have everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. - To avoid eternal punishment, Jesus Christ is instructing readers to abide by His teachings. The verse is making reference to the "eternal nature" of the soul to either be in torment or in peace after death has occurred.
  • Philippians 3:20 - For our citizenship is in Heaven from which we also eagerly wait for a savior; - This verse tells Christians they are “citizens” of Heaven if they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. This verse is referring to Jesus Christ when mentioning a "savior."

  • John 11:25 - Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: - Jesus is sharing His mission in this scripture. He explains everlasting life is a matter of acting in accordance to His teachings.
  • In the next verse, John 11:26, Jesus states believing and practicing His teachings while a person is alive insures eternal life after death. In short, Christians understand with everlasting life, they are granted access to a majestic land.
  • In John 14:2, Jesus informs believers of a place with many “mansions” where Christians will be after mortal death.

The Christian View of Death

These verses are important to the faith because they make death a less frightening event for many Christians. In essence, Christians feel after death they will continue to exist in some spiritual manner.

However, such a point of view is not true of other religions. For this reason, accepting what occurs after death is essentially an individual choice.

Graves in one of the oldest churchyards in North Carolina
Graves in one of the oldest churchyards in North Carolina | Source

Different Perspectives on Death and the Afterlife

There are various outlooks on what the afterlife will reveal to us when we die. However, science notes death as the ending of all biological functions in a living being. Some of those activities which cease include: the brain stops functioning, the heart quits beating, and breathing ends. People may choose to dispose of the body using various methods as well. Nonetheless, what happens after death remains uncertain. Below are a few ideas and beliefs about what happens after death has claimed our physical body.

  • Atheism –This perspective centers on not believing in any gods or any particular deity. Atheists do not pray or look to religion for answering questions. However, atheists tend to favor science for resolving problems in this world. Atheists believe since we are mortal beings, we will simply not exist further when we die.
  • Hinduism – Hinduism centers on finding existence within oneself. Initially practiced in India, Hinduism involves worshiping various gods. Removing bodily distractions is paramount in the faith to reach enlightenment. The goal of people who follow this faith is to obtain salvation, ending the cycle of death, rebirth, and reincarnation.
  • Buddhism –Buddhism was first practiced in India. Through living a disciplined life, a Buddhist strives to understand existence outside of the "self." Buddhists pray to Buddha and try to reach enlightenment. Once enlightenment is obtained, a soul does not have to endure the cycle of death and rebirth. Buddhism has many similar characteristics to Hinduism.
  • Taoism – Taoists believe in maintaining balance. The goal of the Taoist is to become immortal. Death and the afterlife are irrelevant because every person has the potential to be immortal. Taoism involves following customs and displaying certain attitudes to be aligned with the Tao, which is the “way.” Taoism was originally practiced in China.

Which belief do you have about death and the afterlife?

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Death and the Afterlife from a Christian Viewpoint

Because we do not have definite data from any source about what happens after death, Christians trust the words of Jesus Christ and the Bible for explanations. In essence, our view of life, death, and the afterlife is linear. We are born, mature, and eventually, we die. By contrast, Christians recognize God's outlook is more expansive. God has an eternal outlook on death and the afterlife; He knows all possibilities. Although there are many Bible verses pertaining to God's perspective on these subjects, I only chose a few for this article.

Crucial to Christians understanding of death and the afterlife is the fundamental defining event of the faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians attend churches and study the Bible to better grasp these spiritual issues along with other subjects. Coincidentally, Jesus Christ explained the way in which eternal life is given in the religion. For this reason, Christians recognize that death is not a terminal event for the soul. Death of the body in this world does not end the soul, according to Christian teachings.

Source

Death is an Inescapable Part of Life

All animals and plants must die at some point. Human beings are no exception. Like the flowers in the picture, we brighten an otherwise dreary and stifling world. Inevitably, we must leave this Earth. However, unlike flowers, we deal with questions of death and the afterlife.

Theories and beliefs abound about what the afterlife will bring. Some people totally are opposed to the idea of life after death. Nevertheless, Christianity and some other religions believe there is an afterlife. Indeed, Christians believe there is an eternal spacious place waiting for them, but this isn't the view of all people.

Sources Used

Buddhism - Dictionary definition of Buddhism | Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/buddhism-1.

Hinduism - Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hinduism.

History of Taoism – Wikipedia. Retrieved October 10, 2017, from:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Taoism.

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    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image
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      Tim Truzy 9 days ago from U.S.A.

      Beautiful. Credence2. You are a wise and insightful person. I must tell you: I didn't really know Christ until I became a member of another faith. I learned more about Christianity from that faith than i ever learned from big Christian churches.

      I believe God sends us places to prepare us to do His work.

      I like the fact that you served in our military because you will understand this. (My dad served in Vietnam.)

      But I encountered a preacher who had served in Vietnam as well.

      He was my barber. He cut my hair for eight years before he told me he was a pastor.

      Anyway, my friend, I went to his church; a small intimate group of people with seven families. They were helping each other every day with normal tasks of living. These people were genuine about serving God.

      This was a revelation for me.

      I joined that church, and quickly studied to become a minister.

      I asked Christ: "Lord, can you forgive me for going astray."

      In my heart I felt His response: "I was with you. You needed to learn so you could serve me better."

      Also, I hope I didn't bore you.

      I'm about to begin to follow you. You have shown me from the few articles I read: you have a real understanding of life and people.

      I am honored by your comments Credence2.

      Thank you.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 9 days ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hi, Tim, this was a great article and you are a most interesting fellow.

      Here is my take on all of this;

      There are many scriptures that make clear that the dead have no knowledge and simply ceases to exist in the physical sense.

      But, Jehovah God in his goodness has retained the memory of all of the departed and can, at the time of resurrection, bring these people back to life atom by atom, molecule by molecule. That would not be so daunting a task for the creator of life.

      I read the account of Lazarus who was dead and resurrected by Jesus on an occasion. Seems to me that if there was any state of conscious memory Lazarus would have been singing like a magpie about what he experienced while dead. But, he had nothing to say, because he was simply unconscious.

      When I look at myself and the big picture, the conclusions I come to are the only ones that make any sense.

      Atheists criticize me for assuming that there is a superior being responsible for my existence as unscientific. I criticize them for accepting endless strings of coincidences that favor my very existence while ignoring the likely possibility of there being a pattern. I would be looking to avoid the obvious, if that was how I applied the ‘scientific method’.

      His handiwork is all around, the intricacies of the ant and its industriousness, makes our modern computer science look archaic and hopelessly primitive in comparison.

      Oxygen by its very nature is highly volatile and reacts with everything (ie) rust. To have an atmosphere with as much gaseous oxygen as the Earth has would be almost unique. Life, itself, is the reason there is so much oxygen in this planet’s atmosphere. So to find planets circling distant stars that have the approximate mass of Earth does not make them Earthlike.

      Whatever field of study there is to study, the intricacies of the creation is evident for all to see, for those willing to put the question to an honest evaluation.

      My wife is an unbeliever and says that the Earth is a mess, so where is God (Jehovah)? I tell her, that he did not make robots, we have free will and the choice to self govern and rule, giving an opening to Satan by default, was our choice. Humanity made the wrong choice. This will all be corrected in Jehovah’s good time.

      I tell her that just because people say that they are “Christian” does not mean that they are. I associate in a spiritual sense with those that through their good example move others to action. I abhor hypocrisy. The biggest churches with the most prominent preachers are not the best example. God’s simple and beautiful message to humanity is garbled by men with their traditions and distractions. The message is infinitely more important than the messenger. The promise Jehovah makes to those that choose to be obedient is the only one that has any real value. It liberates us to avoid an epicurean attitude and the fear of death as the be all, end all.

      That is why I do not proselytize, you cannot make people believe as they must discover for themselves as I did and be convinced of the truth at their own volition. I share with people when the occasion presents itself. This happens frequently.