“I Have Some Questions About What Happens After Death”

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I have read one of your publications titled “What Happens After Death?” In the section “One Minute After Death” you make this statement:

“What happens when we breathe our final breath? The Bible teaches what will occur. First our immaterial soul and spirit will be separated from our physical body. Second, we will immediately receive the judgment that will determine our eternal destiny. Those who have trusted in Christ’s payment on the cross for our sins will enter into eternal life in the presence of God.”

My questions are these:

a) It sound that the judgment of man is by batch, for not all men died at the same time (from Adam to our time). My question is: Does this mean that there are already people now in heaven (paradise) and there are already people cast to hell?

b) Does this mean that there are already people now in paradise and that they have seen our Lord and His son Jesus Christ.

c) Since you are using Revelation 20:11-15, my question is: What do you mean by “first resurrection” and “thousand-year reign” in Revelation 20:5?

d) In 2 Thessalonians 4:16, What do you mean by “dead in Christ shall rise first” relative to the thousand-year reign and judgment day?

Thanks for reading the article. Here are some answers for you.

a) It sound that the judgment of man is by batch, for not all men died at the same time (from Adam to our time). My question is: Does this mean that there are already people now in heaven (paradise) and there are already people cast to hell?

Yes, there are souls in heaven and hell now. When we die, our soul separates from the body and goes to heaven or hell.

b) Does this mean that there are already people now in paradise and that they have seen our Lord and His son Jesus Christ.

Yes, those in heaven are in the presence of the Lord.

c) Since you are using Revelation 20:11-15, my question is: What do you mean by “first resurrection” and “thousand-year reign” in Revelation 20:5?

At the rapture, when Christ returns for the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), the bodies of the “dead in Christ” are resurrected in the new glorified state and unite with their souls. Then those who are alive and in Christ are raptured and join the saints in heaven. After the seven years of tribulation when God’s wrath is poured out on the earth, the bodies of those martyred for Christ in the Tribulation and the bodies of the Old Testament saints are resurrected in their glorified state. The resurrection of the bodies of all those in Christ, Old and New Testament saints, is the first resurrection, the resurrection unto life. After the resurrection of the saints comes the thousand-year rule of Christ on the earth.

The second resurrection is the resurrection of all those not in Christ, and they are judged and sentenced to hell (Revelation 20:11-15). This occurs after the thousand year rule of Christ.

d) In 2 Thessalonians 4:16, What do you mean by “dead in Christ shall rise first” relative to the thousand-year reign and judgment day?

Presently, those who are in Christ (or Christians) are in the presence of the Lord. The souls of Christians are in heaven. At the rapture when Christ returns for the church, the bodies of these believers will be resurrected from the dead and unite with their souls. Their resurrected bodies will be glorified and eternal as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 15.

Thanks for asking your questions. I will use these questions on my radio show in the future.

Patrick Zukeran
Probe Ministries

Dr. Patrick Zukeran

Patrick Zukeran, former Probe staffer, is the founder and Executive Director of Evidence and Answers, a research and teaching ministry specializing in Christian apologetics, the defense of the Christian faith. He is the host of the radio show Evidence and Answers (www.evidenceandanswers.org). Pat is the author of several books including The Apologetics of Jesus co-authored with Norman Geisler; God, Eternity, and Spirituality (ed.); and Unless I See . . . Is There Enough Evidence to Believe? Pat is a popular conference speaker and he also serves as an adjunct faculty for several colleges and institutes worldwide. He earned a B.A. from Point Loma Nazarene University, a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Pat lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and can be reached at pat@evidenceandanswers.org.

About Probe Ministries

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

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