What does the Bible really say about what happens after death?
[Darris McNeely] Here on Beyond Today, we deal with the issues about life. And we deal with the truth of the Scriptures. Often we get questions about after-death experiences, near-death experiences. Do people come back actually from the dead and – back to the land of the living, physically, and then tell and relate accurate stories of what they see? What about all of this? We’ve actually done a Beyond Today program on near-death experiences, but it warrants just a quick, brief discussion about it because we find that a lot of people really do not understand what the Bible says about death, and when we take that biblical definition, then it helps us to understand the answer and come to some – a reasonable, logical, biblical solution for that question, and an answer to that question.
The Bible does record instances where people were dead, and they were brought back to a physical life. Elijah the prophet did that in his ministry. Jesus Christ Himself raised individuals, notably Lazarus, back from the dead. Of course Christ Himself was resurrected after three days and three nights in the grave. But those were back to physical life experiences when people lived out their normal life and they did not come back. There’s no record in the Bible of them having experiences of things beyond life at this particular point.
Now, with all the accounts that people have, and the extreme interest in what happens at death, and again, people recounting that they see lights, they see loved ones or they hear voices, or they have this interesting experience, and then they are drug back into the land of the living – it raises the question, it raises a lot of issues that do need answers. But if you look at what the Bible says, and take its definition of death, then that is extremely helpful. Let me give you two scriptures. Psalms 6:5 Psalms 6:5For in death there is no remembrance of you: in the grave who shall give you thanks?
American King James Version×– it says that “in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who shall give You thanks?” as the psalmist is writing about God. Again, 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.
American King James Version×and in Ecclesiastes 9:10 Ecclesiastes 9:10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
American King James Version×, it says, “The living know they shall die, but the dead know not anything.” The dead know nothing. “Neither have they any more a reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.” Again, 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.
American King James Version×, and the previous scripture was Psalms 6:5 Psalms 6:5For in death there is no remembrance of you: in the grave who shall give you thanks?
American King James Version×.
So if we accept the Bible’s description of death, we realize that those who do return to consciousness are not – or maybe medically revived and later relate their experiences -- weren’t really dead in the true sense, because the brain, the heart, requires oxygen. It requires blood to be flowing to it in order for them to function and to meet the requirements of life. And when those are removed, then there is death. And there is no consciousness beyond that. Science knows a great deal about life, and yet there are even aspects about life today and the human body that science is still investigating and still learning.
How much more, or how much less, I should say, really, do we really understand about death and when that moment takes place? There’s still a lot to learn about life. If we take what the Bible says, then it allows us the ability to have truth and understanding, and we don’t have to speculate about all of this other – these other near-death experiences.
And so, when you know the truth, the truth can set us free, and free from a lot of fear or doubt when it comes to this issue of what happens at death, and helps us to understand the critical issues about life.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.