What happens when we die?
ð It is clear from Scripture that those who die (fall asleep) go immediately into the presence of Jesus. When He returns, those who have died will be with Him to meet those who are alive in Jesus.
Luke 23:43 “43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
1 Corinthians 15:52 52 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.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 “6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
Philippians 1:21-23 “21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 “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. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
But what about purgatory?
ð The Scriptures are completely silent on such a place, meaning there is none. This concept comes from two places: 1) Evil lies from the enemy to deter from the gospel and from sinful mankind seeking the position of Judge or personal gain (see indulgences and Martin Luther). 2) Wishful thinking for second chance opportunities.
ð If there was a purgatory or a sideward (as in LOST) /intermediate place to go before Heaven, how would you move onward to Heaven? Regardless of your answer it would automatically presume that what Jesus did for believers on the cross was somehow insufficient to pay the penalty for all sin. This goes against the clear teaching of Scripture (see below verses). This doctrine also would rob believers of the great confidence, comfort and certainty of knowing their salvation has been secured not in personal righteousness, but Christ’s.
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 “21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
- Hebrews 10:18-31 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. 19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. 26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.