What happens when righteous people die?

by | May 7, 2018 7:14 am

By Derrick Coble – West Sparta Church of Christ

Death touches every person several times in life. It is something we know will happen (Ecc. 9:5); yet at the same time, it seems so mysterious. As family members and friends around us succumb to death, perhaps we begin to wonder what exactly happens. The Bible has the answer:

The spirit leaves the body (James 2:26). As Rachel died in the hard labor of delivering her son, Benjamin, it is recorded, “Her soul was in departing” (Gen. 35:18).   When Jesus died on the cross, He said, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). The soul cannot die (Mat. 10:28), and this separation must occur because “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven” (1 Cor. 15:50).

The angels carry the spirit into Paradise. The angels are interested in the redemption that we have as God’s children (1 Pet. 1:12). Behind the scenes, they serve the Lord and every Christian in ways that we don’t fully understand (Heb. 1:14). Yet, we do know that they have an active part in carrying faithful souls into Paradise as they did for righteous Lazarus (Luke 16:22).

The righteous soul joins all the faithful in the presence of the Lord. Paul was looking forward to being absent from the body and present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). When Abraham and Isaac died, each was “gathered unto his people” (Gen. 25:8; 35:29). This was indicative of the fact that the soul continues in existence with other faithful people. For the righteous today, we have the comfort of knowing we will be with other righteous ones from the Bible and from our lifetime (1 The. 2:19; 4:17,18).

The righteous soul will be judged and receive rest in Heaven. When time is no more, every physical body will be raised and all the righteous will be changed (Phi. 3:21). Each soul will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), and the Lord will allow the righteous to enter “life eternal” in Heaven (Mat. 25:46). There will be rest from all labours (Rev. 14:13) while serving God (Rev. 22:3).

Let each soul live in “hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2).

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