Many people wonder what exactly happens after death. After death, there is a temporary state for both Christians and non-Christians until Jesus returns. After Jesus returns, Christians will experience the resurrection of their physical bodies, and non-Christians will experience a final judgment.
The Temporary State – What Happens After Death?
The Temporary State for Christians
When Christians die, they go immediately to a kind of heaven. Jesus said to the thief on the cross, “today you will be with me in paradise.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”Luke 23:39-43
The Temporary State for Non-Christians
When non-Christians die, they go immediately to a place of punishment that is not the final hell they will experience. Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who is in torment after dying.
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.Luke 16:22-23
The Final Heaven and Final Hell – What Happens After Death?
Christians Will Experience Resurrection of Their Physical Bodies
Paul teaches that after Jesus returns, Christians will experience the resurrection of their physical bodies.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.Philippians 3:20-21
Non-Christians Will Experience Final Judgment
Revelation teaches that non-Christians will experience a final judgment and be thrown into “the lake of fire.”
14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.Revelation 20:14-15