12.1 The State of Men After Death and the Resurrection of the Dead

What Happens at Death

When we die our bodies decompose and return to dust. Our souls or spirits (both terms refer to “the real you”) live on forever. At death believers are received into heaven where they will be with the Lord and will await the full redemption of their bodies. Unbelievers are immediately thrown into hell, where they experience conscious torment while they await the great Day of Judgment. The Bible knows of no other place for souls at death. Genesis 3:19, Matthew 16:24-28, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Matthew 25:31-46, Romans 8:18-25, Philippians 1:21-26, Matthew 13:24-43

What Happens When Christ Comes

Believers who are alive at the second coming of Jesus Christ will not die, but they will be instantly changed into a resurrected state. At that time, the bodies of the believing dead will also be raised incorruptible with a resurrected body and all believers will be with the Lord Jesus Christ in the new heavens and the new earth. The unbeliever will experience the full fury of God’s wrath forever in the Lake of Fire. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 24, 1 Corinthians 15:12-58, Revelation 20-22

12.2 The Last Judgment

God has appointed a day when he will judge the world with perfect justice through Jesus Christ, to whom he has given all power and authority. On that day the fallen angels will be judged as well as everyone who has ever lived on the earth. All must appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give account for everything they have done (their thoughts, words, and actions) while they lived on the earth. The Lord Jesus will give his unchangeable verdict on that day, forever sealing the destinies of everyone. The wicked will be sent into the Lake of Fire to experience eternal torment, while the righteous, those whom Jesus purchased on the cross, will be rewarded and will enter into eternal life. John 5:16-30, Jude 5-7, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 20:11-15