I was curious to see what the Bible had to say about this, and found some amazing things.
Death, it turns out, was not part of God’s original plan for His creation; it was the result of man’s disobedience to God. God had intended for man to live forever, but He could no longer permit that because of man’s fallen, sinful nature. Death is the penalty of sin, and it is one we all must suffer. “Through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
The good news, however, is that the sting of death has been overcome. Jesus Christ conquered death through His resurrection. The Bible calls Jesus’ resurrection the “living hope.” Because Jesus was raised from the dead, there is the promise that others will be raised too. This will occur at Jesus’ second coming, when everyone alive who has accepted Jesus into their hearts will receive new, supernatural bodies, like Jesus’ at His resurrection.
And to those believers who have passed on before this event, Jesus promised that death would not be the end but rather the threshold to a new life in the spirit. He said, “Because I live, you will live also.” For believers, death is like passing from one room into another and closing the door. They are set free from the weight and other limitations of their physical bodies and liberated into the boundless world of the spirit.
All around the world, many thousands of people have had what are now commonly termed “near-death experiences.” These people died, perhaps following an accident or during a medical procedure, but then were revived. Many of them recalled later that during the time when they were clinically dead or very close to death, they entered the world beyond. There they were overwhelmed with the feeling of being loved by a being of light, which many identified as Jesus or God, and they also saw angels, departed loved ones, and even pets. It was the most wonderful thing they had ever seen, they said, with a beauty and glory beyond anything they had previously known. One other thing that many of these near-death survivors have in common is that they no longer fear death, for they have experienced, even if only for a moment, the next world.
If we trust in Jesus, we too have a living hope of entering this dazzling new dimension when our present lives are over. There we will enjoy the splendors of heaven for all eternity, without any of the pain or problems we have now. “And God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Romans 5:12 (NIV) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned--
1 Peter 1:3 (NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
John 14:19 (NIV) Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.