Truth, Understanding, Insight


25th March 2007, mgh


2) The Death State

If the Bible says the soul dies, what happens after death? The Bible is very clear about what happens to humans when they die.

The following references represent a few of the many passages in the Bible that describes what happens to humans when they die. Reference has already been made to Ecclesiastes 3 where both man and beast are described as having the same destiny after death. They return to dust.

Ecclesiastes also refers to man's cognitive processes after death.

“The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

The opening chapters of Genesis clearly state all human's destiny as a result of Adam's sin.

“In the sweat of your face shalt you eat bread, till thou return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you art and unto dust shall you return.”(Genesis 3:19)

The Psalms repeatedly reinforce these principles related to a human's destiny. A few examples are given for consideration.

“In death there is no remembrance of thee: In the grave who shall give thee thanks.”(Psalm 6:5)
“Man being in honour abideth not, he is like the beasts that perish.”(Psalm 49:12)
'The dead praise not Yahweh, neither any that go down into silence.”(Psalm 115:17)
“His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” (Psalm 146:4)

The prophet Isaiah also refers to man's mental state in death.

“The grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”(Isaiah 38:18)

Jeremiah in referring to the judgement that came on Babylon said, Death is “a perpetual sleep.”(Jeremiah 51:39,57)

In the New Testament, Peter refers to David.

“The patriarch David...he is both dead and buried...David is not ascended into the heavens.”(Acts 2:29-30)

Paul explains why men die and return to dust.

“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,”(Romans 5:12)

James uses a metaphor to describe man's life.

“For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”(James 4:14”

Peter also in a poetical way uses similes to describe our life.

“All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away.”(1Peter 1:24)

Where might people obtain the idea that something in them lives on after death? In the garden of Eden Eve is told by God she would die if she eats of a certain tree,

And the serpent said unto the woman, "You shall not surely die:" (Genesis 3:4)

The serpent was cursed for this lie.

What about eternal life? See Resurrection