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Author Topic: Where Do We Go When We Die?  (Read 4087 times)


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Where Do We Go When We Die?
« on: April 16, 2009, 02:37:05 PM »
The question is NOT where will you go?

Major denominations have bought into the Catholic teaching of instant ascention into heaven.
But thankfully not a time of judgment in "Purgatory" based on " is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," (Heb 9:27)

The doctrine of the major denominations is as follows:
a} Paul makes it clear that at the moment of death one is immediately ushered into the presence of God [cf. 2 Cor. 5:8].
b} "Asleep" (koimomenon, Gk.) is a euphemism for death, but this does not indicate "soul sleep."
c} Paul is suggesting that death is like sleep for believers because (1) it is a temporary state, (2) it is a restful state, and (3) it is a state from which one awakes.
d} Jesus' words to the thief on the cross also convey this assurance [cf. Luke 23:39-43].
e} Daniel 12:2 uses the same metaphor to speak of death and resurrection.

I disagree and I will go through these points with scripture.
First, I will state that we are always present with the Lord as king David declares in Psalm 139:7-10 (All scriptures are from the NKJV)
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me."
It would appear that it is utterly impossible to be anywhere that God is not present.

The scripture they use in 2 Corinthians 5:8 is taken out of context. Paul is not talking of death, but being raptured.
This is plain when you read the chapter from the beginning.

1  For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
...says that this mortal body "the portion of us that can sleep" now lives in can be likened to a tent. A temporary home.

2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
...says "the portion of us that can sleep" longs to be clothed permanently in a resurrected body that is imperishable.

3  if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
...says "the portion of us that can sleep" does not want to face death but be raptured into the resurrected body. Not dead, which is sleeping without a body. Naked, unclothed without a tent.

4  For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
...says "the portion of us that can sleep" longs to be clothed in our immortal bodies. That we need not sleep anymore, but have eternal life. Raptured! Caught up to heaven fully clothed, finally.

5  Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
...says that this is guaranteed to those "born again" of the Spirit.

6  So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
....says that knowing that while we are at home in the (mortal) body we are absent from the Lord. Not in heaven, which is impossible with a corruptable body.

7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.
...says that we walk by faith because of the guarantee of the Spirit. (c.f. 4:16, 5:5)

8  We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
...Finally "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the (mortal) body and to be present (in heaven) with the Lord. RAPTURED!

Second point is from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

13  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
What has fallen asleep? Not the bodies. The bodies are lifeless and cremated and/or buried, or even eaten by wild animals.

14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
It would appear that whatever portion of us that is asleep is present with the Lord [in heaven] and will be brought back to join our resurrected, imperishable bodies. Our "house not made with hands"

15  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
Sometimes what is not said speaks as loudly as what is said. Paul did not say that the dead would precede us, but that we would not precede them.
I believe that Paul is saying that at the rapture we will not precede those that have passed on but will rise together. He did not say that they precede us that live. They sleep in Christ waiting to receive their resurrected bodies at the rapture!
We will all have to die. [1 Cor 15:36; Heb 9:27] The living will die and be changed, receive their incorruptible body, in a twinkling of an eye. [1 Cor 15:52]

16  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Here we see the 'dead' bodies rise imperishable to join in the air with the portion of us that sleeps in Jesus. [1 Cor 15:42-44]

17  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Finally, the living "...shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality" [1 Cor 15:51-54]

HALLELUJAH! "The portion of us that sleeps" is now fully clothed in a house, a body "which is from heaven."

"We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him." [2 Cor 5:8, 9]

Last point is the comment Jesus made to the thief on the cross. If you understand that the translators placed the punctuation marks in the English texts, you will quickly see that it is in the wrong place. The comma should be after today.
"And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise.'"
or paraphrase it as "And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, today I say to you, you will be with Me in Paradise.'" He didn't say when. We know that Jesus Himself said He would be in the grave 3 days, not in Paradise.
If we believe that the punctuation is correct then John is a liar when he writes "...'Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'" [John 20:17]

My point is those that have passed on (died) will not be dancing and fellowshipping in heaven with the angels, saints (including family) and/or prophets, but they will be waiting to be raptured with the living.
Some mysterious portion of us will sleep unclothed in the presence of the Lord. It could very well be our souls!

In His service
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[<Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.>]


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Re: Where Do We Go When We Die?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2009, 07:20:27 AM »
H.S.!  You are such a...a... a big Brother!  Infuriating!  Just when I think I can't get anything else on my have to throw something else out there!  lol   ;)

Ok...this is another topic I'm gonna have to take a day or two to digest (printing out your post...again), a few days to study and then...I'll get back to you.  (like I'm not busy enough already!  *sheesh!*)  You come bead my niece's prom dress, H.S., and I'll have more time to study. 

Love you, Bro!   :D

smiley ;D


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Re: Where Do We Go When We Die?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2009, 10:10:13 AM »
I saw this when I first became a believer in Christ, before I studied doctrine from the churches.
It was revealed while I was first reading the Bible. It was less complicated, just me, the Holy Spirit and His word.
I think I was more enlightened before reading commentaries and church doctrine.
I refuse to join in church Bible study anymore as I find it is all doctrine study.
There are many different denominations because of their doctrinal differences. So which one is right?
I find that even the paraphrased versions of the Bible are more a commentary on, rather then the Word of God.
I found this subject interesting after studying the Seventh Day Adventist doctrine that states that the soul ceases to exist without a body and spirit. Using Genesis 2:7 where God formed man from the dust and AFTER He breathed the breath [5397. neshamah, nesh-aw-maw'; a puff, i.e. wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect:--inspiration, soul, spirit.] of life into his nostrils and he became a living soul [5315. nephesh, neh'-fesh; a breathing creature].

They go through a whole bunch of old testament scriptures to back up their belief. Although sleep, referring to death, is mentioned 66 times in the old testament, I believe it was different in that there is no more hades, a place where dead souls go. A Jewish belief [alluded to in Titus 1:14] mentioned in Luke 16 where the good (Israelites) go to paradise and the bad go to hell separated by a impassable chasm.

I believe this was changed when Jesus died to pay for our sins. When He went down and preached to the Genesis 6 Sons of God [1 Peter 3:18] and possibly the dead in hell. [Eph 4:9]

I believe that the Bible does teach "soul sleep" contrary to popular major church doctrines. This going to heaven the split second after we die is not found in the Bible unless you totally ignore the scriptures I used. I believe these scriptures cannot be taken any other way unless you try to align it with obscure passages that could ambiguously mention sleep as meaning dead yet alive in heaven.
I believe bodies die, souls sleep. Yes, our souls will be alive, absent from the body, and asleep, awaiting the rapture.
It is easier to take these plain, in your face, unmistakable scriptures as gospel and every other scripture can be easily understood from them. Even Jesus explained the difference (of dead and asleep) to His disciples in John 11:11-14.

Let the Bible interpret itself. I am always open to your thoughts, but with reservation if it is doctrine rather than from the Bible.
Oh, I do believe that we go to heaven, or wherever we "sleep in Jesus" the moment our bodies die.
But I don't believe your dead relatives will be encouraging your prom dress beadwork. lol!

In His service
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[<Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.>]


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Re: Where Do We Go When We Die?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2009, 04:07:32 PM »
I got an email asking me "how do I reconcile Phil 1:21, into my theory?"

First of all - it is not a theory. I am quoting the word of God and interpreting it the way I read it.

OK, it may not be the way most of the fundamental denominations' doctrine interpret the scriptures I thought I was clarifying in my comments.

As for Phil 1:21, let's look at what the "Spirit" has shown me in context.

First let me go to another scripture to lay the background.

"From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness; besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches." [2 Cor 11:24-28]

Here we see the suffering that Paul endured from the Jews for the church.

Now we will got to Philippians which was written from prison where the Jews had him placed for defending the church, the body of Christ. This, I believe, is another situation where Paul wants to be RAPTURED. He wants to be with His Savior.

"But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from good will: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel." [vv. 12-17]

-> Paul is exhorting the church by telling them that his imprisonment seemed to be for the furtherance of the kingdom in that he had the guards believing that being a bondservant for Christ was the true chains in his life. Their chains didn't cause the saints to become faint and fearful and lose confidence in the Gospel he preached.

-> His  life should be to them an example of steadfastness and witness under adverse circumstances which made some bold to witness, although some were not always motivated for the right reasons. They were to carry on in good will and love.

"What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death." [vv. 18-20]

-> Paul is conveying the message that he is rejoicing as long as Christ is preached and that their prayers, if not, then his death will free him from his physical imprisonment. Either way, Paul expected that their prayers would deliver him. God did not give us a Spirit of fear.  In the New Testament, Paul's letters to the church ensure that "Christ is preached."

"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
" [vv. 21-24]

-> To live would mean he could continue in his ministry. His life found all its meaning in Christ. To die would be gain for him because then there will be his ultimate union with Christ, without the sufferings of this life.

-> Here on earth in this perishable body, Christ is with us. To die means we would be with Him in a better place with or waiting for an imperishable body by being raptured. Paul would be released from his imprisonment and constant persecution from the Jews.

-> He was confident that either release in life or death would advance the cause of Christ. His desire would be that he be released because it would be for the churches advantage that he could continue his preaching.  But if Paul had got his wish it would not have furthered the kingdom like his imprisonment. While being imprisoned, Paul wrote to the churches which is now a major portion of the New Testament. This was "more needful" because this was the ministry that is still evangelizing the lost. If he was released, it would be faith building answered prayer to them.

"And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God." [vv.25-28]

->  Here Paul seems certain that he will be acquitted, because he believed he was still needed on earth in the Lord's service.  The big question is, "Could Paul have been as effective if he was free? Would he have still written the letters to the churches?"

-> To be worthy of the Gospel, believers should stand strife and suffering. To be of one mind is to have the mind of Christ [1 Cor 2:16] and a be a body not having spot nor wrinkle, being holy and without blemish.[Eph 5:27]

I think to be worthy of the Gospel one only needs to:
"... present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." [Rom 12:1b, 2]

How do we do that? Well I believe that everything we do is first a thought. So if we examine verse 2, it tells us to transform our thinking, by this we can renew our minds. Remember when Jesus said "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." [Mat 5:28]

It would appear that looking leads to thinking, leading to action. Therefore "casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."  [2 Cor 10:5] There is no arguing that evil thoughts lead to evil deeds. Take every thought captive and examine them closely to see if they glorify God before entertaining or acting on them.

"Deliverance" in verse 12 could either be Paul's personal final salvation or his release from prison. Either way, to live is Christ, and to die is gain!

As you see this passage does not at any time say that the dead saints would be rejoicing and dancing in heaven prior to the rapture.

I still believe they are bodiless, naked, without clothes, awaiting the rapture to raise together with the living and be with Christ forever.

I think these scriptures should be enough proof for any believer to reconcile my "theories" to the word of God.

In His service
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Joel Osteen
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 06:43:48 PM »
Joel Osteen, senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, starts off his weekly TV services (said to reach over 7 million viewers) by holding up his Bible and having the congregation recite; "This is my Bible. I am what it says I am; I have what is says I have; I can do what it says I can do. Today, I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess my mind is alert, my heart is receptive, I will never be the same. In Jesus' name."

Perhaps if he pulled the Bible down and read what God had to say, we may very likely hear a different more accurate message from God.

Last Sunday I watched his televised sermon that started off "I want to talk to you today about how heaven is cheering you on.

I grew up playing sports and I've experienced the difference it makes to have somebody in the stands that is pulling for you, to know they're watching you, to hear them calling out your name, to see their hands up in the air.

It does something on the inside. It causes you to jump a little higher, run a little faster. You've got a greater determination to know somebody is rooting for you.... is proven in sports. Teams that had home field advantage performed better.

Joel Osteen is among the foolish people that Paul warns against. Paul said clearly, "I don't want you to be ignorant." and yet Joel can read Hebrews chapter 11 and continue into chapter 12, totally missing verses 39 & 40.

Joel talked about us Christians being cheered on by the "heroes of faith" calling the prophets and saints in chapter 11 a cloud of witnesses.

What a pile of dung! If you read chapter 11 including the last 2 verses you will see that they did not receive the promise we have, in NOT being ignorant and, knowing that we have the blessed hope and will be raptured. It also appears that he missed the first 2 verses of the very first chapter in Hebrews.

If you look at a swarm of insects, they appear as a "cloud" and the author of Hebrews is talking about the testimonies of the Martyrs in chapter 11 appearing as a cloud. The Greek word for testimony in ch 11:39 - G3140. martureo, mar-too-reh'-o; from G3144; to be a witness, i.e. testify is from the Greek word G3144. martus, mar'-toos; of uncert. affin.; a witness (lit. [judicially] or fig. [gen.]); by anal. a "martyr". in ch 12:1.

A cloud is something that casts shadows, in other words overshadows. So we could say that our witness, our testimony overshadows us as does the testimonies of previous Christians that went on before us. I would like pastor Joel's testimony to lay a foundation like 1 Cor 3:10, 11 not a foundation of wood, hay and straw that I have to tear up and re-lay. As James says in 2:17 "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

The works done by the "heroes of faith" is what overshadows us as a cloud, what sets the standard, the goal that we must press toward. If the great cloud of witnesses is not the testimony of the works done by faith, but the prophets of old themselves, then God would be a respecter of persons. Which we know is not possible because James says in 2:9 "...if you show partiality, you commit sin, ..." God cannot sin, therefore God cannot show partiality. [Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; 1 Peter 1:17]

This passage is NOT talking about dead people in heaven cheering us on. It is referring to the dead peoples testimonies being an example that we should stay the course and endure the race remembering the suffering they endured for a lesser promise.

William MacDonald puts it this way. "They surround us as a great cloud of witnesses. This does not mean that they are spectators of what goes on on earth. Rather they witness to us by their lives of faith and endurance and set a high standard for us to duplicate."

So Joel, Your father and all the dead people are not a cloud of witnesses, but their testimony of faith should be all you need to endure. If I asked you simply. "Can you hear them cheering you on?" And if your response is yes, I would have to call you a liar as well as ignorant. If you answer no, then the question would be "Why are they cheering if you cannot hear them?" You said that home teams normally win because of the home-town fans cheering them on. Well, does the team hear the fans?

It would be senseless to cheer and not be heard wouldn't it. Before you go on television and preach, please ensure you have all your facts. "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13

"For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten." Ecclesiastes 9:5 | Ephesians 2:1  "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,"

In His service
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