What I Believe Happens To Us When We Die

What I Believe Happens To Us When We Die

What do you think happens to us when we die?  I have been kicking this idea around in my noggin for years and thought it the perfect topic to begin a new line of posts on my page featuring my personal opinions and thoughts on a variety of topics.

I am of the belief that when we die we go into a place of sleep.  In the Hebrew scriptures this place is referred to as Sheol and represents a place where both the wicked and the righteous lie awaiting God’s judgment.   This belief is new to me and different from what I was taught growing up in the church.  My background in the academic study of Christian origins has allowed me to study many books on this subject and these have helped me to shape my views.


Modern Christianity teaches that people go to heaven when they die, but from my studies I do not believe this is what happens.  The concept of a spiritual Heaven developed in the Middle Ages as an extension of Paul’s teachings of a new spiritual kingdom.  This concept dominates modern thought, but I believe this teaching stands in direct conflict with what the New Testament teaches.  For instance, Paul states that “those dead in Christ shall rise” referencing exactly what the Hebrews taught which is that all who die go to Sheol and sleep.  He also teaches that at the end of ages, death will be defeated via a complete spiritual resurrection of all who have died.

I believe this Hebrew concept of death was replaced during the Middle Ages as it does not answer a lot of questions.  Sheol is not an easy way to explain death, especially when trying to console someone who is grieving.  Going to heaven and living with God is a much better solution and reassures the grieving that their loved one is in a better place.  So I can understand how people leaned more toward this explanation.  But I have yet to find this teaching in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament.

There are many

I look forward to many great conversations and hope you enjoy these thought-provoking posts as much as I know I will enjoy writing them.


36 thoughts on “What I Believe Happens To Us When We Die

  1. I don’t know. We all have a theory. My late beloved husband was a Buddhist, so according to his beliefs, he should have been reincarnated into another form after 45 days in the bardo. Who can say what is true for all of us? Perhaps what we believe is our destiny.

      1. I’d also like to believe that my Dad was reunited with his 3 brothers after he passed, since he idolized them. He was a wonderful man, a good Dad, just like my husband, so hopefully what he most wanted in this world was fulfilled for him in the next life. I’d really like to believe that who live a righteous life get to see those we love in the next world, and to be at peace. I’ll believe that for today, because it makes me feel better.

  2. I cannot buy the idea of a “god” so cruel as to give a single life as a pass-fail test followed by some supposed reward of eternal bliss or eternal suffering. So, if I were to believe in an afterlife, which i don’t at all, it would have to be one of learning and spiritual evolution through reincarnation (not necessarily on this planet) until an ultimate reunion with some sort of source of souls. The only kind of immortality I can credit is that in the memory of others and our effects on the world. If I’m wrong about that, in due course I will find out.

      1. As it is said, “Dead men tell no tales.” We can’t know (if there is anything to know or anyone to know it) until we get there, if there is a there there. We cannot imagine not being, so the mystery bugs us.

  3. We’ll see, it’s really anyone’s guess.Truth be told, I have very little faith left since my beloved husband was taken from me suddenly in Feb. 2016.I guess I still have a bit of faith in hope and deliverance, Why not? I do want to believe that the righteous among us do get our peace and our rest. Let’s hope I’m right. If not, then Heaven better have a Complaint Department, I’ll be the first in line, elbowing folks out of my way (LOL)! I’ve never been shy, my Mom and Dad’s daughter, so watch out, world! Why not laugh, I’m told it’s very healing.

  4. My grandfather on my mother’s side passed away about six years ago. He’d been in and out of the hospital for numerous heart issues before finally leaving this world. About a month before his death, I had a private conversation with him and he confided in my that during one of his surgeries, something happened to him. He had an experience that he described as beautiful. Funny thing is my grandfather was an Atheist. My grandfather had what is known as a Near Death Experience, which means one of two things. 1, my grandfather had a very elaborate hallucination as the product of a dying brain, or 2, he was in the presence of God. If the latter is the case, God didn’t care what he was, It just welcomed him home. I take comfort in that and think of my death often, with a mix of apprehension and curiosity.

      1. Even if we don’t have awareness, it is still comforting to know the process itself is pleasant. I know that God exists because God is quite simply everything. It is every moment in time, every burst of energy, every piece of solid matter, every dream ever dreamt, every action ever taken,and everything beyond. It experiences reality not through a narrow lense like we do, but through the eyes of everyone and everything. Now I’m not sure if this means there is an afterlife, but I do take great solace in knowing that death isn’t really the end, but just a period of change where I’ll be broken down and re-used in other parts of It’s creation. An article that had a big impact on me was this one written by the late Roger Ebert’s wife, who revealed he had a profound experience himself shortly before his passing. http://www.rogerebert.com/chazs-blog/reflecting-for-the-new-year-on-rogers-last-day

  5. well, i believe in consciousness without form or body so to say ..an suppose we might re-incarnate..believe it er not! …i did a post-it bout it a while back also…

    i was like in suspended animation while dead…an like u not sure either but know we are a conscious when out of body…all i know how an what i do with it i am not sure how it werks yet either.take care thanks fer inspiring da mind 2 night lol. namaste.frum da’ Q

  6. There are so many different beliefs in this area. One of the best visualizations of the afterlife is from the movie Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep. This movie shows how we must go to the afterlife and defend what we’ve done throughout our life to help determine where we end up. It’s a comedy, but also very profound in showing how different people make choices in their lives.

  7. I asked my three year old granddaughter if she remembered being big, prepared for a flight of fantasy. She looked at me for a moment or two then quietly said, “some, but I’m forgetting.”

  8. My grandmother was devout Christian and it made me chuckle, when just before she died she turned to my dad and said I better have been right and its not Buddah up there.

    I personally think once you get your head round the fact that the minute you are born you are dying, you start living life a lot better.

  9. This is a very large and confusing subject. Although I was raised a Jew, I really didn’t know how my faith viewed the subject so I really appreciate the explanation you have provided. Makes me want to adhere to the beliefs of the faith I identify with even more! Now, I am married to a man who was raised in the Mormon faith. I have studied their beliefs on the subject, which are REALLY confusing, not to mention controversial. My husband even told me once that he is afraid and regrets that we won’t be together in the afterlife. I told him that really none of us knows what happens there, if there is even a there there. Anyway, I’m not so sure I’d want to spend eternity with any of his previous wives!

  10. Scripture makes it clear that upon death we all cease to exist, save in memory, that of God and those who knew us. It states that all those who had faith/belief in the designer, creator, and giver of life would eventually move on to the next plane of existence. He will call and we will rise.

  11. Oh WOW! Reading the posts has moved me to realize how many people are ignorant or fearful of death. What can I say but the truth of what I experienced…
    Long story short I died … It was not like all those stories I heard of a crystal city streets of gold and people all happy and loving life! Perhaps I was not good enough? Nor was it hell fire! My death was being trapped in the confines of utter darkness unable to move, to see or to scream for help… I do not know what a coma is like but I would have to say it is like that! I could hear every thought! Every memory of evil haunted, tormented and reminded me of every thing evil done to me and I did to others. I felt like was trapped inside my body and suspended in space nothing to touch, nothing to grab… to gain any sense of direction.Completely alone, empty and terrified… death is not the end but just the beginning of eternity in darkness or light. I do not know how but I became conscience in a place I thought was a hospital because of all the light. Only one person took care of me. I was still trapped in my body, I could not talk or move. I could only see and hear. Paralyzed by fear and inside screaming to just let me die… doesn’t happen that way! I had no idea I was in the presence of the Savior. He never revealed his name… But as he began to teach me TRUTH… I was so broken at the deception here on earth! The lies we believe, to ease our guilty conscience! I felt like I was being crucified but in a good way! Sounds like an oxymoron! He stripped away all the lies to reveal the truth… very humbling when you see yourself through God’s eyes! I can not begin to express the freedom I have now. Yes, I chose to come back to tell the truth! I can not keep it to myself… I must tell HIS STORY! It is difficult some days to be here when people choose to stick with the lies… simply because it is easier to believe a lie and requires no effort to discipline the flesh, correct error, to unlearn the bad habits we were taught… He still teaches me here as I spend my life learning by living! Everything reveals Him; who is, was and will be… forever God! I am in the process of publishing my experience… it will be out by Easter… No co-incidence as I have been resurrected a new creation in TRUTH. I am ALIVE because of Him alone… Now I live for Him alone! To use me to walk upon this earth and allow Him to Speak through me… anything he wants to say or do! Do not believe the lie! Death is not the end… If I can give you any encouragement… seek God while you are still alive… its so much easier… than being tormented forever by every memory of evil, every sin, every misery of life…and not being able to escape it! You can never get away from you… you will always BE! The soul never dies… the spirit returns to God in physical death… the soul awaits redemption… I was given much grace and mercy to be able to be taken up and shown TRUTH… I did not have to return, But God’s heart of love compelled me to… I saw his sorrow for mankind’s deception… I could not ignore his hearts ache to tell the truth.. if only more people were willing to draw nearer to him, so he can reveal himself here and now… not just eternity!

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