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What happens to people when they die?

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The Bible clearly shows us that individuals who have died are resting in peace in their graves until the time of a resurrection (John 5:28 John 5:28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
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; Ecclesiastes 9:5 Ecclesiastes 9:5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
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). Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, explains in detail how the dead will be resurrected from their graves. The Bible does not say we go to heaven when we die (John 3:13 John 3:13And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
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), nor does it say that God will punish sinners forever in a hell fire. These beliefs come from the false concept of an immortal soul, as well as a misunderstanding of Jesus' teachings about our reward, and how some will be punished.

Jesus was in His grave for three days and three nights and then received life again when His Father resurrected Him. This is also what happens to all individuals who die. The dead await the time of the resurrection when they will be given life once again (Daniel 12:2 Daniel 12:2And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
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If you would like to learn more about this subject, request your free copies of the two booklets What Happens After Death? and Heaven & Hell—What Does the Bible Really Teach? Both are also available for viewing or downloading from our literature library.