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Where are the dead?

Updated on January 14, 2016

Many churches teach that when a person lives a holy life, he/she will be present at heaven, but for the ones living an evil life they will burn in a place of torture. Others teach that when people die, they pass on to the spirit life and unite with their ancestors. Others also teach that when a person dies, they go and to be judged, then afterwards to be reborn in another body. What do you think?

Such teachings all split one thing in common, and the idea is that there is a part of us that survives death of the physical body. Many of this teaching say that we somehow manage to live on forever, obviously having the ability to hear, think, and see. But how is this possible? All this ability are all linked to our brain which when a person dies it stops working. Our belief, feelings, memories and all senses linked with the brain stops working. So what really occurs at death?

Where can we find satisfying answers? God created everything, and it is clear that he knows about the condition of the dead better than we do. So it’s best we look at what was said and recorded in His word the Bible.

What does the Bible really teach about death?

When a person dies he/she no longer exists; it’s okay to say that death is the opposite of life. The dead do not hear or even think, not even one part of anything that we have survive death of the body. Humans do not have unending spirit or soul.

Regarding this Solomon wrote, “For the living recognize very well that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all,” he also went on and said their hate ,jealousy and even their love have all perished, they no longer know of anything that is being done under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10). Also according to Psalm 146:4, it records that when a person dies, his thoughts also expire. We are immortal, and therefore we do not continue to live after the death of our body. The life we enjoy is like a frame and when it’s put out, does the frame go anywhere? No, it’s simply gone.

Jesus's view on death

Jesus did talk about the state of the dead he did that regarding to Lazarus, a man who he knew very well and who had died. Jesus told his disciples “Lazarus our friend has gone to rest and am going there to arouse him from sleep”. Disciples thought that Lazarus was may be in a rest as in sleeping recovering from may be illness. So they said to Jesus, “Lord if he has gone to take rest he will get well”. (John 11:11). But they were wrong they did not understand what Jesus meant so he said it clearly to them “Lazarus has died”. (John11:14).

Note that Jesus compared death to sleep, Lazarus was not in heaven nor in a burning hell was not uniting with the ancestors or angels and he was not reborn as another human. Simply he was at rest in death like in a deep sleep with no dreams, because after he was raised up from death, he didn’t tell stories of how good heaven is, or how hot it is in hell, he was simply asleep. Other Bible scriptures also compare death to sleep include (acts 7:60 1corinthians15:6).


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    • jeremymwas profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Nairobi

      thanks for the positive's ,,more hubs on the way :-)

    • Oztinato profile image

      Andrew Petrou 

      3 years ago from Brisbane

      An understandably short Hub.

      Religions are not static, they can evolve or devolve, they can suit times places and cultural circumstances. Why the cherished principle of evolution is tossed aside by certain people solely in discussions about religion is a "mystery".

      Life (from an evolved religious perspective) is a test. A student is not given the answers during a test. Sentient humans are given numerous tests; this implies both an end to such tests and also implies a "reward" at the end of the test.

      Yes there are those today who claim that there is no existential mystery and no tests and no "rewards" for passing the tests etc. Science has been spurred on by the existential mystery ie "the need to know", so it is hard to know why the same scientist will then say there is no need to know ie there is an existential mystery. That said, the scientific reality of the existential mystery demands answers. Hawking agrees with Kurt Godel that science can never understand everything therefore it is only philosophy that can solve existential mysteries. Part of philosophy is religion and in fact all philosophy evolved from religion. Religion tells us there is a reward for passing life's tests and that only faith and hope can enable one to perceive what science can't re existential mysteries.

    • jeremymwas profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Nairobi

      yeah I agree with you note that when Jesus referred to gehenna yes it was a site that had fire 24/7 because that site was a garbage site and garbage was thrown there to be burnt up. but it did not mean that people will burn to time indefinite,because what does fire do? if you throw something in the fire will you ever recover it? of course not understand that Gehenna was used as an example of total destruction(everlasting death),as in the ungodly will no longer exist. Note also about the lake of fire is not an actual place that people will be thrown in, note that even death the bible says will be thrown in the lake of fire simply meaning there will be no more deaths . rev 20:14

    • Titen-Sxull profile image


      3 years ago from back in the lab again

      This is one of the best hubs regarding the Bible I've seen here on hubpages. Few bring up the other views that exist within the Bible about death. Ecclesiastes is by far one of the stranger books in the Biblical cannon.

      The Bible is not one coherent vision made by one person but a collection of works authored, changed and compiled over the course of centuries of spiritual upheaval and changing beliefs.

      By Jesus' time there was a belief that at the end of days there would be a Resurrection and judgment for all the dead. Christianity shows this in numerous places, that the dead will be raised, the trumpet sound and all will be judged. The damned will go the Lake of Fire prepared for the Devil and his angels (Revelation 21:8 has a list of all the deeds that get you damned) while the others move on to eternal life.

      Meanwhile other OT passages reference Sheol, a general realm of the dead where all the dead went, both righteous and sinner.

      Jesus references hell by referring to Gehenna, a heap of ever burning garbage in the valley outside of Jerusalem, claiming that only God can throw men body and soul into Gehenna. There is clearly a belief in some spiritual element, some kind of soul, among some of the New Testament authors.

      The truth is the Bible presents different often conflicting ideas about death and the afterlife because beliefs about such things varied among its authors and the cultures and religious sects they belonged to.


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