When We Die

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Thoughtful and careful Bible students have come away from God’s Word with different answers to the question of what precisely follows in the minutes, hours, days and years after a person dies. Does a person’s spirit go to heaven as their body suffers decay? If so, is their soul then rejoined to their body in the resurrection spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 where it says that the dead in Christ will rise (1 Thessalonians 4:16). And if the Spirit goes directly to heaven upon death why would David pose the rhetorical question to God, “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?” However, if a person enters into a state of unconsciousness akin to sleep upon death and remains so until the day of Christ’s return (as Advent Christians have traditionally taught) what do we make of Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord?” It’s a difficult question to unravel.

In this message we will be continuing our three-part study through the Advent Christian Doctrinal Distinctives by seeking God’s Word for an answer to our second question, “what happens when a person dies?”