by Peter Ditzel
Have you ever wondered what will happen to you when you die? Will you simply go into oblivion and cease to exist? Will you experience eternal bliss in heaven? Or will you suffer unimaginable anguish forever in hell?
Most people have wondered about these questions, and great thinkers have tried to discover the answers. But frankly, no one can know the answers unless they are given or revealed to him. And the only One who can reveal them is God. He has determined the answers from eternity.
While the Creation makes known that there is a God, the Bible is God’s complete and only revelation to man in this age concerning those things necessary for glorifying God in worship and for man’s salvation and faith. Although He used many people to write it, it is all the Word of God. The Bible reveals what will happen to you when you die. But it also reveals some other things you should understand first.
You Are a Sinner, and So Is Everybody Else
The Bible reveals that you are a sinner. Here’s how we can know this.
The first chapter of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, tells us that God created everything, including man. The second chapter gives us more detail about the man, Adam, and his wife, Eve. It tells us that God placed Adam in a garden called Eden. It also tells us God told Adam he could eat of the fruit from any tree in the garden except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This command of God was His law for Adam. If Adam disobeyed God’s law, he would die.
Chapter three tells us that a serpent (really Satan, the devil, see Revelation 12:9) tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit; she gave it to Adam, and—knowing that he was disobeying God—Adam ate it.
The Bible, in 1 John 3:4, tells us, “Sin is the transgression of the law.” By breaking or transgressing God’s law for him, Adam sinned. And by sinning, he earned death (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23a). Before Adam sinned, there was no death. But by sinning, he brought the death sentence upon himself. He would eventually die. More than that, when he sinned, he died spiritually. Spiritual life is a relationship with God, but spiritual death separates us from Him.
You are a sinner because the Bible says, “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Adam’s sin, because he was the father and representative of the entire human race, counts as your sin (Romans 5:18), so that you were a sinner even before you were born (Psalm 51:5).
Adam’s sin has also corrupted the nature of all his descendents, so that we are continually committing our own sins. The prophet Jeremiah was inspired to write, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Since you have inherited a depraved nature that causes you to continually sin, you are by nature a sinner. You naturally disobey God, you are a natural lawbreaker: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). A few verses earlier, we read, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10–12).
If there is nothing you can do to please God, if you are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), what will happen to you when you die? Without some sort of intervention, you will remain separated from God for eternity. Although spiritually dead, you will be conscious and will suffer torment. On the Day of Judgment, your name will not be “found written in the book of life”; you will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15) where you will be tormented forever (Revelation 14:10–11;Matthew 25:30, 41).
Obviously, if you cannot do anything about this awful situation yourself, then you need help. You need to be rescued or saved from your sins and their penalty of eternal damnation.
Make no mistake about it. God is a just God, and justice demands that lawbreaking, or sin, be punished. God will not simply forgive your sins without making sure that His law is satisfied.
Before the foundation of the world, God provided a perfect plan to save His people while maintaining His justice. In His love and mercy, God would save His people through His Son. He would have His Son born into the world as a man—Jesus Christ—live a sinless life, and then be sacrificed to pay the penalty for the sins of all who will believe on Jesus Christ as their only Savior.
Scriptures links on this page.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. —Revelation 12:9—back
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. —Genesis 2:17—back
For the wages of sin is death….—Romans 6:23a—back
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.—Romans 5:18—back
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.—Psalm 51:5—back
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.—Revelation 14:10–11—back
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth…. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.—Matthew 25:30, 41— back
Copyright © 2001-2017 Peter Ditzel