Life After Death

In many, if not all, Post Abortion Counselling Centres worldwide, part of the programme is to inform grieving mothers that their child they killed by abortion is safe in the arms of Jesus now and they will see them again when they (the mothers) get to heaven. But is this true? Is it as simple as that?

When we die we assume we will go straight to heaven. After all, this is what most people believe, but is it true? If it isn’t true, then what does happen when someone dies? Does everyone have an immortal soul that lives on after death? What does the Bible say about death?

Let’s start at the beginning. In Genesis 2:7 it says “And 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.” Our soul is not something separate from the body but is who we are. When a S.O.S. distress signal is sent out it is calling for help to Save our Soul(s) – meaning our very life, not just the part of us that will supposedly live on when we are dead. Why would our soul need saving if it was going to go to Heaven after death? The word ‘soul’ and ‘person’ are interchangeable within the Bible, but basically it means the whole person, not just a part of us that lives on after death.

In Genesis 2: 15-17 it says “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in that day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” God told Adam he would die even before Eve had been created. This was something that Adam told Eve as this is what she told the serpent (the Devil, Satan) when he later asked her “yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” She knew she would die if if she ate from the tree – she also said they were not even allowed to touch it, but we don’t know if that was something God or Adam said or she assumed it. Genesis 3: 1-3.

But the serpent’s reply was “Ye shall not surely die.” Genesis 3:4. Sadly Eve believed the lie of Satan and took from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and ate the fruit. She then gave it to her husband, Adam. He, too, ate the fruit.

Now who do you believe? God, when He says we will die; or Satan who said we will surely NOT die?

It seems that the majority of people actually believe Satan as they believe our soul or spirit lives on after we die. But the LORD God never said that to Adam. So although after eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good or evil, Adam and Eve didn’t die immediately the dying process had begun. The Lord had created them to live forever if they kept His commandments.

But as they had sinned by not obeying God’s command not to eat of the tree of Good and Evil, and as the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) if Adam and Eve were not to personally die then something did need to die to take their place. This the Lord did by killing lambs or sheep so he could clothe Adam and Eve. This would have been the first death on earth. An innocent animal died in their place as a substitution.

Our actions all have consequences, and one of the consequences for Adam and Eve was that they were evicted from the Garden of Eden lest they ate of the Tree of Life and lived forever as sinners. God couldn’t allow that to happen. This was so serious that the LORD God placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:24. (Another lie of Satan is that cherubim are sweet baby type angels but you only need read your Bible to see that is not true.)

In Genesis 3:19 God tells Adam “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” This would have been a good place for God to tell Adam that his soul or spirit would at the time of death go to heaven, hell or purgatory. But God doesn’t say anything of the sort. God knows who we are and will resurrect those whose names are in the Book of Life, at the end of time to live eternal lives.

Throughout the first two thousand years of man’s life on earth, from Adam to Noah, you will not find anything that suggests that when all those in the genealogy lists died any of them went after death to heaven, hell or purgatory. These concepts were not thought of. Death meant death. Dead meant not alive. Someone died – they slept with their fathers – and they were buried. This continued even down to Jesus’ day and beyond.

However, Paganism had entered mankind’s way of worship and Satan convinced so many people that the good went immediately upon death to heaven and the bad went to hell to burn for eternity. Over time Satan then introduced the idea that some people went to purgatory if they weren’t quite good enough to get to heaven on their own merits. Spiritualism took hold and people began to ‘converse’ with the dead. In reality they were conversing with fallen angels who we now call demons. God warned us against this.

The whole sacrificial system that the LORD God had instigated at the time of Adam for their forgiveness and salvation was forgotten until the Lord, in His mercy, re-instated it in the Tabernacle/Temple service after He had brought Israel out of Egypt. Confession, repentance and forgiveness for sin leading to eternal life, was re-introduced so long as God’s Commandments were kept. The Day of Atonement was a significant introduction to the way of life for the Israelites. They knew that they needed to be forgiven so they could be with God at the Day of Judgement when they would be resurrected at the end of the world. They did not believe that their soul went to heaven, hell or purgatory at death.

Down through the ages Satan has convinced mankind that ‘we will surely not die‘. Jesus called Satan the Father of Lies. John 8:44

When Jesus’ friend Lazarus died Jesus at first said ‘He is asleep’ but then He clarified His statement by saying that Lazarus was dead. Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days before Jesus arrived and brought him back to life. Jesus never consoled any of the mourners that Lazarus’ soul was in heaven or purgatory, He just said Lazarus was asleep. After Lazarus was brought back to life Lazarus never said that he had been in heaven or purgatory. As far as he was concerned it was though he had been asleep then woken up at the sound of Jesus’ voice.

Have you ever had an operation under general anaesthetic? How long did your operation last? Half an hour, one hour, many hours? But when you awoke how long did you think you were unconscious for? Did it feel like an instant from being put to sleep to being awakened? That is what death is like. When we die we will awake at the resurrection to either be with the Lord for eternity or to be punished in hell fire for our un-confessed sins.

We are mortal. We do not have an immortal soul. Only the LORD God is immortal. “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:15-16.

This death we all die is the death we suffer because of the sin of Adam, which is why it is termed ‘sleep’ in the Bible. We can awaken from sleep. We cannot awaken from death. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. When do we get this eternal life?

Our bodies must change. Paul, talking to the believers in Corinth says: “Behold I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15: 51-53 These verses show we are not yet immortal.

Hebrews 9:27-28 says “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” The first time Christ appeared was as a baby in Bethlehem. The second time He appears will be in the sky and everyone will see Him. However, only those who have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour will be saved and taken to be with Christ in Heaven; “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17

The redeemed will not see the second death, the death the Lord spoke of to Adam and Eve. In His mercy they died, but as far as the Lord was concerned they only slept until the last day, when they would rise again to be judged on whether or not they had trusted and obeyed the Lord in this life. Jesus is currently in Heaven now going through the books that contain everything about our lives here on earth and to see whose sins have been blotted out by confession and repentance, and whose sins have not. For those who have trusted the Lord and kept His commandments they will not partake of the second death as they will have accepted that Jesus had died on Calvary in their stead – his blood was shed instead of theirs and they will have their new immortal bodies.

However, when Jesus returns to earth to take His redeemed back to heaven with Him, the unrighteous dead remain asleep in their graves. Those unrighteous who are still alive when Jesus returns will then die their first death of sleep. There will be nobody left alive on earth. This is in complete contradiction to what many believe will happen as they believe that there will be a secret rapture, the righteous will be removed from the earth and there will be a further seven years for people to confess and repent of their sins. This is another lie of Satan.

When Jesus comes to take His redeemed back to Heaven (His feet do not touch the earth) they will be there for one thousand years. This is the millennium. During this time the redeemed will go through the books of those unrighteous to confirm that the Lord had judged everyone justly. Satan and his fallen angels, the demons that are on this earth now, will be bound on the earth but with no person to deceive, for the thousand years.

At the end of the thousand years, the Holy City of Jerusalem, currently in Heaven, will descend to the earth with the righteous in it; the unrighteous dead will then be raised but not in immortal bodies – which is everyone from Adam’s time to when Jesus came back for His redeemed – and they will stand before the Lord and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Satan will try and convince them that they can fight a war against those inside the Holy City of Jerusalem but the Lord God will bring fire down from the sky and totally consume every living unrighteous person and fallen angel that is on the earth. See 1 Thessalonians 1: 8-9, and Revelation 20 amongst other verses in the Bible that confirm this. This is the second death. This is the death that the righteous avoid. This is the death that Jesus died for us. This is the death that even Satan will succumb to. All sin and evil will finally be destroyed. Once everything has been consumed by the fire the fire will go out. The punishment is eternal, not the punishing. This is another lie of Satan that says God will burn people in hell for eternity.

The Lord will then recreate New Heavens and a New Earth where the righteous will live for eternity, not in heaven as most people think, and God will live with them on the earth.

So, how does that affect how we view the concept that our unborn babies go to the Lord when they die by abortion or even by miscarriage or still birth? Nobody knows what happened to them then or what will happen to them at the end of time. How can they have a ‘soul or spirit’ that goes to Jesus when they never took a breath in this life? The Lord does say the life is in the blood, and the unborn were alive in the womb with blood coursing through their bodies so maybe they would not have needed to have taken a breath to go to be in heaven at the end of time when the resurrection of the righteous takes place. But they will need an immortal body to be able to live eternally.

  • It could be that in His mercy, the Lord God does raise those to be with their repentant mothers who have committed their lives to the Lord. In this case, yes, we will get to see our children and to live with them for eternity.
  • It could be that in His mercy the Lord God doesn’t raise up those babies killed by abortion or who were miscarried or stillborn whose mothers never chose to follow the Lord.
  • It could be that in His mercy the Lord raises all babies killed by abortion or who died by miscarriage or still birth and includes them in the first resurrection.
  • It could be that in His mercy the Lord doesn’t raise any unborn babies that died before birth or were stillborn.

Whatever happens, the Lord will deal justly with all our children and with each of us. There is so much we cannot know, but whatever happens we should not be telling anyone their child is with the Lord now, even if we have had dreams or ‘words of knowledge’ about our unborn children. We must be careful not to be deceived by Satan. He is the Father of Lies. He has already convinced the world that when we die we go to hell, purgatory or heaven. He has convinced the world that our individual judgement takes place at our death (why would we need a Day of Judgement if that is the case?) He has convinced the world that he is in control of hell and the fires of hell. Yet he himself will be destroyed by the very hell fire he has convinced everyone he is ruler over. He has convinced the world that God is going to burn sinners for eternity in hell. Yet hell doesn’t exist so how can anyone go there or have been there for hundreds or thousands of years?

Go back to Satan’s first lie: You shall surely NOT die. Who do you believe? Satan or God? How do you view death? Do you believe that you will immediately go to heaven when you die because you are basically a good person? Or do you believe that only those who have confessed all their sins and had them blotted out will go to heaven when Christ returns? Christ Himself said “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” John 14:2-3. He is going to prepare a place for us and when He returns He will take us to be with Him. That hasn’t happened yet. The trumpet hasn’t sounded yet. Christ hasn’t appeared in the skies yet to take His redeemed home. But that day is fast approaching. We must all be ready.

Faith in Christ’s shed blood for each of us is all any of us can trust in for our eternal salvation. We don’t know if our children will be saved or not. Yes it hurts when we think how our actions killed our unborn children, but we believed Satan lies that said it was for the best. Only Jesus can forgive us our confessed sins and give us a new life in Him. We cannot undo the past but we can tell others about our experience and how there really was no justification for our actions of killing our unborn children by abortion.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3: 16