What Happens When We Die as a Christian?
Death is not a subject we talk about much in the church because it fills our hearts with fear and dread. The truth is, each of us will die and will either go to heaven or hell depending on whether we accept Christ or not. As a Christian, you will go to heaven when you die because you believe that Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sins. Jesus said that those who the Father gave Him will be where He is which is in heaven (John 17:24).
5 Things that Happen When We Die as a Christian
1) You Will Not Perish Because You Have Eternal Life
John 3:16 is a simple verse that shows that as believers have eternal life and we can look forward to spending an eternity with God. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” You will not perish because you know Jesus Christ and have an intimate relationship with Him. Those who do not accept Christ will face an eternal separation from Him.
Eternal life begins when you get born again and goes beyond your physical death. Paul showed us in Philippians 1:23 that to depart from this earth is to be with Christ which is far better. As Christians we look forward to being with God when we die because our new life will be one without pain or sorrow.
2) Spend Eternity with God
When Jesus sits on His throne in glory, all people will be gathered before Him and He will separate them one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the Goats. He will put the sheep on the right and the goats on the left. The sheep signify those who believe in Him because He says, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’” (Matthew 25:34).
He then says about those on the left, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41). These are the ones who did not have a relationship with Christ before they died. That is the fate of anyone who dies without being born again.
3) Jesus Will Transform Our Bodies
As believers, we are citizens of heaven and we look forward to Jesus Christ coming back to take us to our eternal resting place. We will however, not meet our Savior with the kind of bodies we have, they have to undergo transformation. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21).
According to 1 Corinthians 15:50, flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God and that is why we need new bodies. Our bodies are meant for operating on earth and that is why when one dies, they are buried because the body decays but the spirit lives on.
4) We Will Have Rest
Revelation 14:13 says, “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.’” When we die as Christians, we will be blessed and will have rest from the cares and concerns of this world.
The troubles of this world can leave you with no peace and looking forward to being in heaven where you do not have to worry about anything. After you depart from this earth, you will rest. This is why people say during funerals that the deceased is resting in peace. It does not mean that everyone who dies is resting because not all have accepted Christ into their lives.
5) Our Spirits Go to be with God
When Stephen was being stoned by the Jews, he looked up to heaven and saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. As they were stoning him, Stephen called out to God saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59). From this Scripture we see that God receives our spirits when we die as Christians. We go to be in His presence where we have always longed to be. Ecclesiastes 12:7 confirms this because it says “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.”
6) We Worship God Before His Throne
We will worship and serve God when we are with Him in heaven. “For this reason, they are [standing] before the throne of God; and they serve Him [in worship] day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them and shelter and protect them [with His presence]” (Revelation 7:14-15).
Every living being in heaven worships God throughout and it will be the same for us as Christians. God is holy and righteous and deserves our worship and praise. WE worship Him while on earth and our worship of Him continues when we get to heaven.
There is a lot to look forward to as a Christian after you die because blessing, rest, and glory await you. Once you are in Christ, your name is in the book of life and you will escape the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). When Jesus left the earth, He went to prepare a place for you in heaven and He will come back to get you and take you there (John 14:2-3).
You have the assurance of eternal life in the presence of God forever.