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Probe Ministries > Q & A: Probe Answers Our Email > Theology > "I Have Some Questions About What Happens After Death"


"I Have Some Questions About What Happens After Death" Print E-mail

I have read one of your publications titled "What Happens After Death?" In the section "One Minute After Death" you make this statement:

"What happens when we breathe our final breath? The Bible teaches what will occur. First our immaterial soul and spirit will be separated from our physical body. Second, we will immediately receive the judgment that will determine our eternal destiny. Those who have trusted in Christ's payment on the cross for our sins will enter into eternal life in the presence of God."

My questions are these:

a) It sound that the judgement of man is by batch, for not all men died at the same time (from Adam to our time). My question is: Does this mean that there are already people now in heaven (paradise) and there are already people cast to hell?

b) Does this mean that there are already people now in paradise and that they have seen our Lord and His son Jesus Christ.

c) Since you are using Revelation 20:11-15, my question is: What do you mean by "first resurrection" and "thousand-year reign" in Revelation 20:5?

d) In 2 Thessalonians 4:16, What do you mean by "dead in Christ shall rise first" relative to the thousand-year reign and judgement day?

Thanks for reading the article. Here are some answers for you.

a) It sound that the judgement of man is by batch, for not all men died at the same time (from Adam to our time). My question is: Does this mean that there are already people now in heaven (paradise) and there are already people cast to hell?

Yes, there are souls in heaven and hell now. When we die, our soul separates from the body and goes to heaven or hell.

b) Does this mean that there are already people now in paradise and that they have seen our Lord and His son Jesus Christ.

Yes, those in heaven are in the presence of the Lord.

c) Since you are using Revelation 20:11-15, my question is: What do you mean by "first resurrection" and "thousand-year reign" in Revelation 20:5?

At the rapture, when Christ returns for the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), the bodies of the "dead in Christ" are resurrected in the new glorified state and unite with their souls. Then those who are alive and in Christ are raptured and join the saints in heaven. After the seven years of tribulation when God's wrath is poured out on the earth, the bodies of those martyred for Christ in the Tribulation and the bodies of the Old Testament saints are resurrected in their glorified state. The resurrection of the bodies of all those in Christ, Old and New Testament saints, is the first resurrection, the resurrection unto life. After the resurrection of the saints comes the thousand-year rule of Christ on the earth.

The second resurrection is the resurrection of all those not in Christ, and they are judged and sentenced to hell (Revelation 20:11-15). This occurs after the thousand year rule of Christ.

d) In 2 Thessalonians 4:16, What do you mean by "dead in Christ shall rise first" relative to the thousand-year reign and judgement day?

Presently, those who are in Christ (or Christians) are in the presence of the Lord. The souls of Christians are in heaven. At the rapture when Christ returns for the church, the bodies of these believers will be resurrected from the dead and unite with their souls. Their resurrected bodies will be glorified and eternal as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 15.

Thanks for asking your questions. I will use these questions on my radio show in the future.

Patrick Zukeran
Probe Ministries


About the Author

Patrick ZukeranPatrick Zukeran served on the staff of Probe Ministries for 22 years, having received graduate degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M) and Southern Evangelical Seminary (D.Min). He presently serves on the faculty of the Bible Institute of Hawaii (www.biblehawaii.org) and is the Director of the Pacific Apologetics Center (www.pacificapologetics.org) based in Hawaii. He serves on the faculty of several Christian colleges around the world. He has a national and international speaking and teaching ministry, and also hosts a national and international radio show “Evidence and Answers” (www.evidenceandanswers.org). Pat has authored several books including The Apologetics of Jesus, co-authored with Norman Geisler, Unless I See, and served as editor of God, Eternity, and Spirituality. Pat can be reached at pat@biblehawaii.org.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
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Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565

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