What Happens After Death?What Happens After Death?

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What Happens After Death?


What happens after death depends on a single choice that you make during your life.

You can make that choice right up to the end, just before your last breath. But once you die, you can’t undo your decision. Reincarnation doesn’t occur. You don’t come back and get to do it over. You don’t get a second chance.

If you choose to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross to save you from the consequences of your sin, you receive eternal life and go to heaven to be with Him forever in fellowship, light, joy and truth. God raised Jesus from the dead—He did not die, and neither will you if you believe in Him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)

But if you choose not to believe, you go to hell. You are condemned to loneliness, separation, never-ending regret, and fire.

Heaven or hell. Life or death. Jesus or destruction.

If you have chosen Jesus, your spirit leaves your body when you die and goes to heaven. You’re absent from the body but present with the Lord.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:6)

On the Day of Judgment, God doesn’t roll out all your sins and berate you and cast you away. Jesus already suffered the judgment and punishment for your sins. God sees you as cleansed by His Son’s blood. You’re forgiven. It’s God’s gift of grace, not earned by any good works that you have done on earth. Your name is written in the book of life.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)

You won’t be judged, but you’ll be evaluated for your Christian life—for your faithfulness and the things you’ve done that have eternal value, not for your material success on earth. You’ll receive rewards of some kind for the work you allowed Jesus to do through you. But nothing will compare to the joy of being with God in the inexpressibly beautiful space of heaven.

You also will receive a new body. Just as Jesus was resurrected, so you’ll be given a resurrection body.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;  it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (2 Corinthians 15:42-44)

When Jesus rose from the dead, He was the same and yet different. His body functioned outside the limits of space. He was able to appear in a room without entering it, and yet he ate and shared fellowship with His disciples. His hands and feet bore the holes of the nails of the cross, but He was alive and not in agony. You’ll receive a resurrection body that is suited for heaven!

But if you’ve rejected Jesus, if you’ve refused to accept Him as your Lord and Savior, you’ll stand before God’s great white throne and be condemned. You will be rejected as you rejected Christ. It will make no difference that you now realize your mistake. You’ll passionately desire to be with God, but you never will be. The book of Revelation says that anyone whose name is not written in the book of life will be “thrown into the lake of fire.”

Heaven or hell. Life or death. Jesus or eternal destruction. You have a choice but no second chance once you die.

How Can I Be Saved?


The messages and articles below dive deeper into what happens after death.

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What Happens When We Die?

What Happens When We Die?

Jill Briscoe

Children ask their parents. Dying patients ask doctors. You might be asking yourself: What happens when we die? We have a vague notion of heaven and hell, and many people assume they are going to heaven because they are “good people.” In this series, Jill answers compelling questions about death, heaven, and hell. Among the questions she confronts are: How can I be sure I'm going to heaven? What do we do in heaven? Will we know each other in heaven? If God is all loving, why does hell exist?

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Six Things We Must Never Forget

If There’s a Heaven, There’s a Hell

Stuart Briscoe

Many false teachers are influencing our culture. They say there's no need to worry about a final judgment. If we believe there's no final judgment, then it really doesn't matter what we do, and we can spend our life raising "hell." We can have a wild time and do everything that our lower nature longs to do with no limits, consequences or accountability. Stuart studies 2 Peter 2:1-9 to show us that this is not true.

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Live Like You Mean It

Paul Speaks on Death

Pete Briscoe

If you have you ever lost a loved one, you know that it is incredibly painful. However, those of us who are believers in Christ have hope. When the Lord returns, "the dead will rise first, and then we will be caught up in the air with them." Pete teaches us what the Apostle Paul wrote to encourage those who grieve the loss of someone they love.

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Album artwork for "Finding Happiness"

Living Today in the Light of Tomorrow

Stuart Briscoe

We live here, and we’re living now, so we tend to think in terms of the here and now. But this world isn’t home for believers. If we’re too focused on this world and never give a thought to living in the light of tomorrow, we won’t live well in the here and now! The Apostle Peter uses this line of thinking to warn us about the risk of becoming so earthbound and seduced by worldly things that we lose sight of heaven. What does living in light of tomorrow look like? In this message, Stuart teaches from 2 Peter about living in anticipation of the eternal days to come so that we can live our best life now.

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Your first day in heaven

Jill Briscoe

Some years ago I was asked to tour a hospital. “I see this is your birthing wing,” I said to my tour guide. The dear hospital official smiled indulgently...

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Get your second wind!

Stuart Briscoe

You most likely know that the modern Olympic Games had their roots in ancient Greece. The writers of the New Testament were clearly conversant with the Games...

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Just you and God

Stuart Briscoe

Bible passages like 2 Corinthians 5 are packed. They overflow with meaning. Nearly every word can have deep impact on how we anticipate something...

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What happens when we die?

Jill Briscoe

When someone dies, we can’t see them or talk to them anymore. They’re gone, and we grieve. Jill describes the comfort she found in understanding that a believer in Christ who has passed away is “absent in the body” but “present with the Lord.”

Will we inhabit heaven or the new earth?

Stuart Briscoe

Jesus tells us that we will be with Him in heaven when we die. The Bible also says that God will create a new heaven and a new earth. So where will we be? In answering the questions, Stuart helps us grasp the concept of an eternity not governed by the limits of time and space.

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About Telling the Truth

Telling the Truth is an international on-air and online media ministry that distributes the teaching content of three uniquely-gifted Bible teachers—Stuart and Jill Briscoe, and their son, Pete Briscoe—to help people know Christ and experience Life in all its fullness.

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