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What Happens After You Die?

Meet the Hansen clan. Like any typical family, they have their issues. George, the father of Jennifer and Sebastian, is an atheist. His wife, Suzanne, is into the New Age. Suzanne's sister, Mary, is a born-again Christian, married to Tom. Tom's mother recently died in a car accident. When Rosalyn died, Tom really wanted to know what happened to his mom after death.

His friends and family had many different views on the subject. George said, "Death is just the last step in our evolutionary process. When you're dead, you're dead. That's all. Enjoy life today, it's all you've got." Suzanne told Tom, "This is just a new beginning for your mother. Now her soul is set free and she can come back again, perhaps as a cow, or human in the never-ending circle of life, no one ever really dies."

Tom didn't like that idea too much since he's not a vegetarian. The idea that he might be eating someone's relative or even his mom someday didn't sound right to him. Tom's wife, Mary said, "My dear husband, I know you must be sad, but your mother is now in Heaven, watching over you." At first, that sounded real good to Tom, but then he wondered how much he liked the idea of his mother watching his every move now that she was in Heaven. It was bad enough when he was a child.

Tom's ever-so-sarcastic co-worker said, "Perhaps she went to purgatory, or the flames of Hell. Was she a good Christian?" As Tom though about these conflicting views, he felt an overwhelming desire to know the truth. How could he know for certain what happens once you die? The apparent darkness beyond the grave troubled him a lot.

He thought, "If I die, then what? I like my life and the idea that I might cease to exist forever is a rather terrifying thought." So, Tom set out on a journey to discover the truth about death. He scoured the Internet looking for answers, read articles, and watched videos on the subject. But the more he read and the more he heard about death, the more confused he became.

Perhaps like Tom, you've wanted to know what really happens after death? Unfortunately, you can't pick the after-death version you most prefer; going up, going down, coming back around, or staying in the ground forever. You can choose to believe what you want, but that doesn't make it true. There aren't many truths on the subject, just one.

Since we believe the Bible is God's word to us, we are going to discount the staying in the ground forever and coming back around ideas. The Bible doesn't support those theories. The secret to solving the mystery of death is found in the truth about the soul. Are you a soul or do you have a soul?

If you are a living soul, there is nothing that leaves your body when you die. The truth about death is important to understand because if you have a soul, separate and distinct from the body, the door is thrown wide open to the world of spiritualism. The Bible says, "God only has immortality."

If the soul never dies, it must be immortal, but that idea is not found in the Bible either. At the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Satan said, "You shall not surely die." Thus, the first lie about man possessing immortality was told to Eve. But God said, "If you eat the fruit of the tree, you will die." Who was right, Satan or God?

Adam and Eve and every human being since have fallen under the hand of death. Everyone eventually dies. No one will argue that fact, but what then? A correct view of the soul is found in the book of Genesis. It says, "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." Notice the word became. Man became a living soul. It took the body and the breath of life to make a living soul.

The word, soul in Hebrew means being or creature. With the breath of life, man became a living creature, or living being, or living soul. Now, the question then follows, did Adam have a creature, or did he become a creature? Did he have a being, or did he become a being?

Did he have a soul, or did he become a living soul? A simple reading of the text makes it clear he became a living soul. He did not have a soul distinct and separate from the body. Take away the breath of life and man is no longer a living soul. Simple. All that is left is the body without the breath of life. Now he is a dead soul, a dead creature, or a dead being.

According to the Bible, the word breath and spirit have the same meaning. When the Bible says, "The breath returns to God who gave it." It is the same as saying, "The spirit returns to God who gave it." Some Christians believe the spirit is separate from the body, that when a person dies, his spirit goes to Heaven as a conscious entity.

But is this true? Note what Solomon said, "The living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished. Never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun."

Tom's mother didn't go to Heaven the day she died, which means he can breathe a sigh of relief. She won't be watching over his every move. The breath of life returned to God who gave it and her body returned to the dust of the earth.

God said, "Dust you are and to dust you shall return." God banished Adam and Eve from the tree of life, so that man would not live forever. It makes no sense then to say that when they died, they would live forever, either in the flames of Hell, or go directly to Heaven as a spirit.

The prophet Ezekiel said, "The soul that sins, it shall die." And David said, "When a man dies, in that very day, his thoughts perish." Jesus and many other Bible writers compared death to a sleep. When his friend Lazarus had been dead for four days, Jesus said, "He is asleep." His disciples didn't understand, so Jesus said plainly, "Lazarus is dead."

When people die, they sleep in the grave until the resurrection. When you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning, eight hours seems just like a moment in time. So it will be with the sleep of death. But what about people who say their loved ones came to them in the night and told them about Heaven?

Once you understand this simple truth about death, it becomes apparent that all spiritual manifestations of people who have died are illusions; evil spirits posing as deceased friends and family who really are still in the grave. It's not difficult for evil spirits to appear as someone from the past. It happened to King Saul when he went to the witch at Endor and an evil spirit impersonated the prophet Samuel.

The truth about death exposes the lies of Satan and reveals the many ways he has deceived people on earth. Paul wrote to Timothy, "The spirit clearly says that in later times, some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." Tom finally discovered the truth about death.

It's just a sleep until the resurrection. He doesn't go up, down, or come back around, and he doesn't have to worry about his mom watching over his every move, or eating a distant relative someday. Best of all, because of Jesus, he won't pass into oblivion, he can have life after death, eternal life. That, my friend, is the truth about death.
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