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.