Wat gebeur met ‘n mens se siel as jy doodgaan?
Dankie vir jou vraag. Christene glo dat as die mens se liggaam tot niet gaan (fisies disintegreer), dit nie beteken dat die persoon (wat uit siel/gees bestaan) ook tot niet gaan nie. M.a.w. elke persoon bly voortbestaan in ‘n nie-materiële vorm: hulle wat God geken het is by God, en hulle wat Hom nie geken het nie, bestaan op ‘n plek waar hulle God se oordeel (by die wederkoms) afwag. Tog is dit uit die Bybel duidelik dat persone (siel/gees) by die wederkoms weer met ‘n liggaam (verheerlikte liggame) verenig sal word en ons op ‘n nuwe aarde sal woon.
Hieronder volg ‘n paar vrae wat verband hou met hierdie kwessies en wat skrifverwysings gee wat jyself kan ondersoek (dit kom van die webwerf www.gotquestions.org). Laat weet gerus as daar nog iets is wat onduidelik is.
Question: “What happens after death?”
Answer: Within the Christian faith, there is a significant amount of confusion regarding what happens after death. Some hold that after death, everyone “sleeps” until the final judgment, after which everyone will be sent to heaven or hell. Others believe that at the moment of death, people are instantly judged and sent to their eternal destinations. Still others claim that when people die, their souls/spirits are sent to a “temporary” heaven or hell, to await the final resurrection, the final judgment, and then the finality of their eternal destination. So, what exactly does the Bible say happens after death?
First, for the believer in Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that after death believers’ souls/spirits are taken to heaven, because their sins are forgiven by having received Christ as Savior (John 3:16, 18, 36). For believers, death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). However, passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 describe believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies. If believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, what is the purpose of this resurrection? It seems that while the souls/spirits of believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical body remains in the grave “sleeping.” At the resurrection of believers, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21-22).
Second, for those who do not receive Jesus Christ as Savior, death means everlasting punishment. However, similar to the destiny of believers, unbelievers also seem to be sent immediately to a temporary holding place, to await their final resurrection, judgment, and eternal destiny. Luke 16:22-23 describes a rich man being tormented immediately after death. Revelation 20:11-15 describes all the unbelieving dead being resurrected, judged at the great white throne, and then being cast into the lake of fire. Unbelievers, then, are not sent to hell (the lake of fire) immediately after death, but rather are in a temporary realm of judgment and condemnation. However, even though unbelievers are not instantly sent to the lake of fire, their immediate fate after death is not a pleasant one. The rich man cried out, “I am in agony in this fire” (Luke 16:24).
Therefore, after death, a person resides in a “temporary” heaven or hell. After this temporary realm, at the final resurrection, a person’s eternal destiny will not change. The precise “location” of that eternal destiny is what changes. Believers will ultimately be granted entrance into the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1). Unbelievers will ultimately be sent to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). These are the final, eternal destinations of all people—based entirely on whether or not they had trusted Jesus Christ alone for salvation (Matthew 25:46; John 3:36).
Question: “What is the intermediate state?”
Answer: The “intermediate state” is a theological concept that speculates regarding what kind of body, if any, believers in heaven have while they wait for their physical bodies to be resurrected. The Bible makes it clear that deceased believers are with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). The Bible also makes it clear that the resurrection of believers has not yet occurred, meaning that the bodies of deceased believers are still in the grave (1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). So, the question of the intermediate state is whether believers in heaven are given temporary physical bodies until the resurrection, or whether believers in heaven exist in spiritual/non-corporeal form until the resurrection.
The Bible does not give a great amount of detail regarding the intermediate state. The only scripture that specifically, but indirectly, speaks to the issue is Revelation 6:9, “… I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.” In this verse, John is given a vision of those who will be killed because of their faith during the end times. In this vision, those believers who had been killed are under God’s altar in heaven, and are described as “souls.” So, from this one verse, if there is a biblical answer for the intermediate state, it would seem that believers in heaven are in spiritual/non-corporeal form until the resurrection.
The heaven that ultimately awaits believers is the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 21-22). Heaven will indeed be a physical place. Our physical bodies will be resurrected and glorified, made perfectly fit for eternity on the New Earth. Currently, heaven is a spiritual realm. It would seem, then, that there would be no need for temporary physical bodies if believers are in a spiritual heaven. Whatever the intermediate state is, we can rest assured that believers in heaven are perfectly content, enjoying the glories of heaven and worshipping the majesty of the Lord.
Question: “Where did Old Testament believers go when they died?”
Answer: The Old Testament teaches life after death, and that all people went to a place of conscious existence called Sheol. The wicked were there (Psalm 9:17; 31:17; 49:14; Isaiah 5:14), and so were the righteous (Genesis 37:35; Job 14:13; Psalm 6:5; 16:10; 88:3; Isaiah 38:10).
The New Testament equivalent of Sheol is Hades. Prior to Christ’s resurrection, Luke 16:19-31 shows Hades to be divided into two realms: a place of comfort where Lazarus was and a place of torment where the rich man was. The word hell in verse 23 is not “Gehenna” (place of eternal torment) but “Hades” (place of the dead). Lazarus’s place of comfort is elsewhere called Paradise (Luke 23:43). Between these two districts of Hades is “a great gulf fixed” (Luke 16:26).
Jesus is described as having descended into Hades after His death (Acts 2:27, 31; cf. Ephesians 4:9). At the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it seems that the believers in Hades (i.e., the occupants of Paradise) were moved to another location. Now, Paradise is above rather than below (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).
Today, when a believer dies, he is “present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-9). When an unbeliever dies, he follows the Old Testament unbelievers to Hades. At the final judgment, Hades will be emptied before the Great White Throne, where its occupants will be judged prior to entering the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13-15).
Question: “Do we become angels after we die?”
Answer: Angels are beings created by God (Colossians 1:15-17) and are entirely different from humans. They are God’s special agents to carry out His plan and to minister to the followers of Christ (Hebrews 1:13-14). There is no indication that angels were formerly humans or anything else—they were created as angels. Angels have no need of, and cannot experience, the redemption that Christ came to provide for the human race. First Peter 1:12 describes their desire to look into the Gospel, but it is not for them to experience. Had they been formerly humans, the concept of salvation would not be a mystery to them, having experienced it themselves. Yes, they rejoice when a sinner turns to Christ (Luke 15:10), but salvation in Christ is not for them.
Eventually, the body of the believer in Christ will die. What happens then? The spirit of the believer goes to be with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8). The believer does not become an angel. It is interesting that both Elijah and Moses were recognizable on the Mount of Transfiguration. They had not transformed into angels, but appeared as themselves—although glorified—and were recognizable to Peter, James and John.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul tells us that believers in Christ are asleep in Jesus; that is, their bodies are dead, but their spirits are alive. This text tells us that when Christ returns, He will bring with Him those who are asleep in Him, and then their bodies will be raised, made new like Christ’s resurrected body, to be joined with their spirits which He brings with Him. All believers in Christ who are living at the return of Christ will have their bodies changed to be like Christ, and they will be completely new in their spirits, no longer having a sin nature.
All the believers in Christ will recognize one another and live with the Lord forever. We will serve Him throughout eternity, not as angels, but along with the angels. Thank the Lord for the living hope He provides for the believer in Jesus Christ.
Question: “What are the New Heavens and the New Earth?”
Answer: Many people have a misconception of what heaven is truly like. Revelation chapters 21-22 gives us a detailed picture of the new heavens and the new earth. After the events of the end times, the current heavens and earth will be done away with and replaced by the new heavens and new earth. The eternal dwelling place of believers will be the new earth. The new earth is the “heaven” on which we will spend eternity. It is the new earth where the New Jerusalem, the heavenly city, will be located. It is on the new earth that the pearly gates and streets of gold will be.
Heaven—the new earth—is a physical place where we will dwell with glorified physical bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-58). The concept that heaven is “in the clouds” is unbiblical. The concept that we will be “spirits floating around in heaven” is also unbiblical. The heaven that believers will experience will be a new and perfect planet on which we will dwell. The new earth will be free from sin, evil, sickness, suffering, and death. It will likely be similar to our current earth, or perhaps even a re-creation of our current earth, but without the curse of sin.
What about the new heavens? It is important to remember that in the ancient mind, “heavens” referred to the skies and outer space, as well as the realm in which God dwells. So, when Revelation 21:1 refers to the new heavens, it is likely indicating that the entire universe will be created—a new earth, new skies, a new outer space. It seems as if God’s heaven will be recreated as well, to give everything in the universe a “fresh start,” whether physical or spiritual. Will we have access to the new heavens in eternity? Possibly, but we will have to wait to find out. May we all allow God’s Word to shape our understanding of heaven.
Dankie vir die webwerf, het dit vandag eers ontdek. Daar is soveel vrae wat julle hier beantwoord dat ek nie weet waar om te begin nie! Ek het toe maar met die vraag “Waar kom God vandaan?” begin en ek moet sê ek het gedink dit sal so vae lang antwoord wees wat nie veel sê nie, maar dit is glad nie, baie dankie.
Ek weet nie of my vraag dalk ook êrens anders klaar beantwoord is nie. Indien wel jammer, maar as ons siel nie fisies is nie dan het dit mos ook nie ‘n begin of einde nie. So waar was ons siel voor ons geboorte?
Ek is bly jy het by ons uitgekom! Ons help graag.
Rakend die siel. Die feit dat daar nie-fisiese entiteite bestaan (soos ‘n mense-siel of ‘n engel) veronderstel nie dat dit nie ‘n oorsprong (‘n begin) gehad het nie. Die punt wat ek in die antwoord oor waar God vandaan kom gemaak het (sien “Waar kom God vandaan?”), is dat dit sin maak dat daar iets sou bestaan soos ‘n oorsaaklose oorsaak (uncaused cause) of ‘n beginlose begin. Die rede hiervoor is bloot dat niks anders sou kon begin as daar nie ‘n eerste beginner van alles was nie.
Ons glo dus God het die menslike, nie-fisiese siel geskep (dit het ‘n begin gehad), maar oor presies hoe God so ‘n siel met ‘n fisiese liggaam verenig, is daar verskillende menings. Die ortodokse Christelike siening is egter dat dit by die vroulike eiersel se bevrugting plaasvind. M.a.w. by bevrugting is al die potensiaal teenwoordig wat sal lei tot ‘n volwasse menslike persoon.
Vra gerus weer as ek nie jou vraag na jou bevrediging geantwoord het nie of as jy dink dat ek jou verkeerd verstaan het.
Ek het ‘n vraag oor die engele wat in die hemel is en die mense wat in die hel is: Sien hulle mekaar, soos in die geval met die rykman en Lasarus?
Dankie vir jou vraag.
Onthou dat God se kinders eendag op die nuwe aarde gaan woon (sien 2 Petrus 3:10 -13, Openbaring 21:1-3, ook Rom 8:19-21, Heb 1:10-12) en dit is hoe ons die hemel moet verstaan waar ons met verheerlikte liggame (soos wat die opgestane Jesus gehad het) gaan woon. Hel sou beskryf kon word as ‘n plek waar God nie teenwoordig is nie en aangesien die hemel ‘n plek is waar God homself ten volle aan ons openbaar, maak dit sin om te dink dat die hemel en hel twee verskillende bestaansrealiteite verteenwoordig. Die storie van die ryk man en Lazarus is ‘n metafoor wat klem lê op hierdie twee realiteite. Dat die rykman vir Lazarus by Abraham gesien het hoef daarom nie letterlik verstaan te word as dat hemel en hel ‘n geografiese verbintenis het nie.
Ek hoop dit help.
Indien ek vandag tot sterwe kom as wedergebore kind van God, wat sê die Woord gebeur dan met my? Sal my gees/siel onmiddelik in die teenwoordigheid van God wees of sal ek eers wanneer ons verheerlikte liggaam opgewek word, by die Here wees? Wat gebeur met my voor die wederkoms plaasvind?
Dankie vir jou vraag. Die skrif gee nie ‘n omvattende verduideliking van wat presies met die siel gebeur nadat die liggaam sterf nie. Tog kry ‘n mens wel ‘n sterk aanduiding uit verskeie gedeeltes in die skrif dat kinders van God wel onmiddelik in God se teenwoordigheid sal wees. M.a.w. die siel sal in ‘n tydelike, bewustelike, maar nie-beliggaamde staat in die teenwoordigheid van God wees totdat die verheerlikte liggame opgewek word. Presies hoe dit is om as ‘n nie-beliggaamde siel in die teenwoordigheid van God te wees, word nie presies beskryf nie, maar uit die onderstaande gedeeltes kry ons wel ‘n idee:
Filippense 1:23, 2 Korintiërs 5:6,8, Lukas 23:42-43, Lukas 16:19-31, Prediker 12:7, 1 Tessalonisense 4:15.
Ek hoop dit help effens. Hier is ‘n paar skakels wat kritiek lewer op die idee van “siele-slaap” wat jy miskien interessant mag vind.