What Can the Bible Teach Us?


Where Do We Go When We Die?

Where Do We Go When We Die?

1-3. What questions do people ask about death, and how do some religions answer them?

THE Bible promises us that one day “death will be no more.” (Revelation 21:4) In Chapter 5, we learned that the ransom makes it possible for us to have everlasting life. But people still die. (Ecclesiastes 9:5) So one of the big questions we ask is, What happens to us when we die?

2 The answer to that question is especially important when someone we love dies. We may wonder: ‘Where has he gone? Is he watching us? Can he help us? Will we ever see him again?’

3 Religions answer those questions in different ways. Some teach that if you are a good person, you go to heaven and that if you are a bad person, you burn in hell. Some say that when you die you become a spirit and live with your family members who have already died. And others say that after you have died and are judged, you will be reborn, or come back to life with a different body, perhaps as another person or even an animal.

4. What basic idea do religions teach about death?

4 Religions seem to teach very different things. But almost all of them teach one basic idea. They teach that when a human dies, a part of him keeps on living. Is that true?


5, 6. What happens to us when we die?

5 Jehovah knows what happens to us when we die, and he has told us that when a person dies, his life ends. Death is the opposite of life. So when someone dies, his feelings and memories do not keep on living somewhere else. * When we die we can’t see, we can’t hear, and we can’t think anymore.

6 King Solomon wrote that “the dead know nothing at all.” The dead cannot love or hate, and “there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave.” (Read Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10.) And at Psalm 146:4, the Bible tells us that when someone dies, “his thoughts” die.


A husband and wife sit in a garden and admire a flower

Jehovah created humans to live forever on earth

7. What did Jesus say about death?

7 When his good friend Lazarus died, Jesus said to his disciples: “Lazarus our friend has fallen asleep.” But Jesus didn’t mean that Lazarus was resting. Jesus further said: “Lazarus has died.” (John 11:11-14) So Jesus compared death to sleep. He didn’t say that Lazarus was in heaven or with his family members who had died. And he didn’t say that Lazarus was suffering in hell or being reborn as another human or an animal. No, it was as if Lazarus were in a deep sleep. Other scriptures compare death to a deep sleep. The Bible says that when Stephen was killed, “he fell asleep in death.” (Acts 7:60) The apostle Paul  also wrote that some Christians had “fallen asleep in death.”—1 Corinthians 15:6.

8. How do we know that God did not create humans to die?

8 Did God create Adam and Eve so that they would eventually die? No! Jehovah created them to enjoy life forever with perfect health. When Jehovah made humans, he gave them the desire to live forever. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Parents do not want to see their children grow old and die, and Jehovah feels the same way about us. But if God created us to live forever, why do we die?


9. Why was the command that Jehovah gave to Adam and Eve reasonable?

9 In the garden of Eden, Jehovah told Adam: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:9, 16, 17) That clear command was not difficult to obey, and Jehovah had the right to tell Adam and Eve what is good and what is bad. By obeying Jehovah, they would show him that they respected his authority


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