Examples Of Death

What happens to people after they die?

Watchtower answer:  The dead cease to exist until after the resurrection.

Bible answer: The dead exist in one of two places—torment or paradise.
The first example is given by Jesus Christ Himself: two people die—one is saved (righteous) and the other is lost or unsaved (wicked):  Neither of them ceases to exist!

You might be thinking, “It’s just a parable.”  Question:  Would Jesus teach His disciples by giving an untrue example? No!  Did God ever use fire to punish the wicked?  Yes!

Numbers 16:35 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.  (They were tortured—burned alive with fire.)  This is how the God of love punished His wicked children called Israel.
Gen 19:24  Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;   25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Luke 16:19-31   There was a certain rich [he was lost] man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:   20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus [he was saved], which was laid at his gate, full of sores,   21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.   22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;   23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.   24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.   25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.   26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.   27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:   28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.   29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.   30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.   31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

The second example shows what happened to the false prophet and the antichrist (two men) at the end of Armageddon and then shows them 1000 years later still being tortured in the lake of fire.

Rev 19:20 And the beast [Antichrist] was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev 19:20 NWT And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who render worship to its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur.

1000 Years Later

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Two men were in the lake of fire for 1000 years being tormented.  This is consistent with the examples that Jesus gave in Luke 16 and Matt 25:41 and 46.

Matt 25:41;46 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand [the unsaved], Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

What is your authority and who will you believe?  The Bible says that there is life immediately after death, for man can kill the body but not the soul—it lives on forever, either in paradise or in hell fire.

Matt 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The soul lives on after the body is dead. Since God can do anything, He is able to destroy them both, but as you see, that’s not how God deals with the wicked.  The unsaved are punished in the lake of fire for ever and ever.

Rev 14:11 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.

Immediately after death you will be in one of those two places.  Believing in the true Jesus of the Bible,the Eternal Son of God, and receiving Him as your personal Lord and Saviour will determine where and how you will spend eternity.

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