Tuesday, November 27, 2007

After Life (2) - Paradise

Jesus will return to earth at the end of the age to bring in the last judgment. This raises an important question. What happens to people between when they die and Jesus returns? The Bible explains that we all go to a temporary dwelling place to await the final judgment. Those who know Jesus wait with him in paradise, while those who do not know him wait in Hades.

When a believer arrives at the end of life on this earth, their body dies, but their soul lives on (2 Cor 5:6-9). When they came to faith, they were born again of the Spirit. This is the resurrection of the soul; their spirit has come to life.

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it…. "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life (John 5:21,24).
The first resurrection allows the soul to live forever.

The soul of the believer goes straight to Paradise to be with Jesus. He said to the penitent thief:
Today you will be with me in Paradise (Luke 23:43).
Christians have the assurance that their believing loved ones go to be with the Lord when they die, because they have gone straight to Paradise. It is an intermediate state, where God’s people wait for the last judgment, at which they will receive their final reward.

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