christian view of death and life after


#1

Hi friends,

I’m curious to know what the Christian view is of life after death so I have a few questions

  • What happens to the soul/spirit after a person dies and is buried?
  • Is the body and soul/spirit ever re-united?
  • If yes, do we take the same form (human form) or another shape / form?
  • Do Christians believe in Judgment day?
  • Do Christians believe they will See God? when does this happen?
  • Is there a fixed time when people go to heaven / hell or do people go as soon as they die?
  • Do different Christian denominations hold different beliefs about the above?

I guess thats all the questions I can think of right now


#2

Death
Judgment
The Resurrection of the Body
Heaven
Hell
Purgatory
ewtn.com/faith/teachings/lastmenu.htm


#3

I’ll try to explain in brief terms. Yes, there is some disagreement amongst Christian denominations about the answers.

  1. At the time of bodily death, the spirit lives on. Our souls live forever.

  2. We are given a new “resurrected” body after the last judgement. We believe that this body is like a human body (but better) and that Christ prefigured what this body would be like at the Transfiguration, and when he saw the apostles and others after his resurrection.

  3. Yes, we believe in judgement day. Matthew 25:31-46 give a good description.

  4. Our purpose in this life is to prepare our souls to “see” God. To see God in all his glory, we must be absolutely pure ourselves, or seeing God, and seeing how God sees us will be extremly painful and shameful (this leads to the idea of Purgatory). Catholics believe that purgation is necessary before we can see God, while most Protestant Christians do not.

To see God will give us joy, happiness, and fulfillment beyond all comprehension. Nothing else is necessary for us to be happy in Heaven.

  1. As to exactly WHEN we go to Heaven or Hell - somebody else will need to answer this one.

#4

Thanks ricmat, where does the spirit live, I take it if the person is bad, the spirit goes to purgatory is that right?.. what if the person is good, where does the spirit go, does it stay in the grave with the body or does it go to heaven without the body

  1. We are given a new “resurrected” body after the last judgement. We believe that this body is like a human body (but better) and that Christ prefigured what this body would be like at the Transfiguration, and when he saw the apostles and others after his resurrection.

How will the disbelievers or evil doers will be transfigured, will they also have a glorious new body or will they have a hideous one

  1. Yes, we believe in judgement day. Matthew 25:31-46 give a good description.

If I read that correctly then the criterion for entering paradise is not belief in Jesus but feeding and sheltering the believers in Christ.

if Jesus will separate the sheep and goats based on who fed and sheltered the believers then what is the point of believing as long as you feed and shelter at least one believer?

but what about the nations before Christ, like the people of Noah and Abraham, those who lived before Christ and were not Christian. How will they be judged, since they were not Christian. So who would they have to feed and shelter in order to be judged favorably?

  1. As to exactly WHEN we go to Heaven or Hell - somebody else will need to answer this one.

Sorry i did not mean an exact date and time, do people go in all at once after the general judgement? In relation to the first question what happens between the death and judgement if the person is good and does not need to go purgatory where does the soul go


#5

I’m not an expert on this particular subject, but I’ll try to get a bit deeper…at the risk of saying something not totally correct:

Persons who are “very very good” will go to heaven. Those who are not so very very good but are still pretty good go to purgatory. Those who refuse God’s mercy…[and other reasons I don’t recall offhand] go to hell.

At death, the spirit is immediately judged. I think (but not sure) that the spirit goes immediately to heaven, hell, or purgatory. Then at some later time (the last judgement) when all of humanity is judged, we receive our resurrected bodies and go to heaven or hell. Purgatory will not exist at that point (or perhaps for only a limited time after that).

It is speculated that our resurrected bodies will be glorious, or hideous - depending on the state of our souls.

Jesus describes heaven in many many ways, and also describes many requirements to get there. The quote from Matthew 25 is one that came to my mind. When it talks of feeding and sheltering “my brothers”, Jesus is speaking of all humanity as his brothers, not just Christians. And he’s speaking of feeding and sheltering more than just one other person, more like a way of life and an attitude. Another requirement is baptism. We believe that there is baptism by water (the most common type). But also baptism by blood - for example, a martyr who dies for Christ but is not yet baptized, and baptism by desire.

And indeed…it is possible to get to heaven without ever having heard of Jesus, or without having totally understood Jesus. This would include Abraham, Moses, etc. Once Jesus is made known to them after death, we believe that they would have desired a real baptism by water, so they will be in heaven too.

We believe that Jesus opened the gates of heaven for everybody, but that Jesus left us the Catholic church to give people the right “tools” to get to heaven, so your best chance of getting to heaven is to be in, or close to the Catholic church so you can use those tools.

Your questions are actually very good, and quite deep. If I mis-answered them then I hope my fellow Catholics will correct any errors I made.

:slight_smile:


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