HEAVEN & HELL
I was wondering; when the rapture takes place, why would Jesus put His saints that have already gone on to be with Him after death back in the grave, only to come back out to be with Him? Is it because we don't have a glorified body yet? Thank you. God bless.
Dear Rapt Attention,
There is quite a bit of misunderstanding regarding what happens at the end of the world because there is so much sensationalism surrounding words like ‘Rapture’ and ‘Apocalypse’. The short version is that there is no such thing as the Rapture or some millennial kingdom after it. That is all made up. For the longer version, we recommend you read our post, “Life Without Rapture”.
However, when Jesus returns, there will be bodies coming out of the graves… but the souls will be coming from the spiritual realm to meet those bodies. When a Christian dies, they go immediately to Paradise and await the Day of Judgment, the day when our eternal heaven is created. Jesus said that angels immediately carry faithful souls off to Paradise (Lk 16:22, Lk 23:43), and the wicked are immediately sent to torments (Lk 16:23). Both Paradise and torments are part of Hades (‘Hades’ means ‘the unseen place’). When you die, your spirit is separated from your body and goes to Hades (Jas 2:26). On the Day of Judgment, all the souls will be emptied out of Hades (1 Thess 4:14), and all the bodies will be removed from the graves (1 Thess 4:16). On that great Day of Judgment, every soul shall be judged (Heb 9:27). If you are interested, we recently preached a series of sermons on the topic of what happens when you die; you can find those sermons here.
What does the Bible say about hell? Is the word "hell" in the Bible? I heard someone claim that the Catholics made up hell to scare people into paying to stay out.
Cash In Hand
Dear Cash In Hand,
Hell is a real place that you really don’t want to go to. The word hell is used multiple times in the Bible – Matt 5:29-30, Matt 10:28, Matt 23:33, and Lk 12:5 are just a few.
The Bible says the wicked go to a place where the fire burns, but the worm never dies (Mk 9:47-49). At the Judgment, the wicked shall go to where there is ‘everlasting punishment’ (Matt 25:46). Eternal separation from God is a very real consequence of sin and is the last thing anyone wants to face. We recently preached a series of lessons on this very topic. You can listen or download them by clicking here.
Is it possible to communicate with spirits?
Dear Séance Bound,
Nope, no talking to the dead. The Bible tells us what happens when people die, and there is no room for coming back to talk to people. Jesus told the story of a wicked, rich man and a faithful, poor man named Lazarus in Lk 16:19-31. When these two men died, the rich man immediately woke up in torment, and Lazarus was escorted to Paradise (Lk 16:22-23). This is what happens when the righteous and the wicked die. There is no wandering or ghostly haunting. In fact, the rich man was specifically told that the dead aren’t sent back to the earth to preach or affect the course of events here (Lk 16:27-31). We die, and then we wait to face the judgment (Heb 9:27).
I have the most wonderful son in the world; he is seven and has Down syndrome. My question is: after he dies and goes to heaven, will he still have Down syndrome, or will he be like us?
Down syndrome is a body issue, not a soul issue. Your wonderful son is a soul (Gen 2:7); he has a body. When we die, our spirit separates from our body (Jas 2:26). At that moment, your son will never again face the health issues he does now.
What are the four things saints will be doing in heaven?
Dear Looking Up,
The Bible doesn’t say all that we will be doing in heaven. We know that we will worship God there (Rev 22:3), and we will have our tears wiped away (Rev 21:4). We know that heaven will be far better than here (Php 1:23), but the details won’t be revealed until eternity.