Baptists/baptist view of afterlife


Kelley wrote at 2008-09-23 21:09:10
Hi Ms. Minefee,

I hope these scriptures help.

Your statements are in brackets and my responses begin with dashes.

[[The righteous, when they die to to heaven or Paradise. There they are in the prescence of God. Their bodies sleep in the ground until the return of Christ and then the soul which has been in heaven will be given a new resurrected body and we will enter into eternity in this new state. ]]

----"Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it" (Eccl 12:7).  The body turns to dust again, and the spirit goes back to God, who gave it. The spirit of every person who dies--whether righteous or wicked--returns to God at death.

     "The body without the spirit is dead" (James 2:26). "The spirit of God is in my nostrils" (Job 27:3, KJV).  The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life. Nowhere in all of God's book does the "spirit" have any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. It is the "breath of life" and nothing more.

     "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Gen. 2:7).  A soul is a living being. A soul is always a combination of two things: body plus breath. A soul cannot exist unless body and breath are combined. God's Word teaches that  we are souls.

  When you turn off a light, where does the light go? It doesn't go anywhere. It just ceases to exist. Two things must combine to make a light: a bulb and electricity. Without the combination, a light is impossible. So with the soul; unless body and breath are combined, there can be no soul. There is no such thing as a disembodied soul.

[[The unrighteous, when they die, go to hell. It is a place of torment also called Hades in the Greek and Sheol in the Hebrew. Other names are Gehenna and Tartarus names which refer to its description as a plaace of suffering as fire.]]

----The word "hell" is translated from several different words with various meanings:  31 times from "Sheol", which means "the grave" OT. 10 times from "Hades," which means "the grave". 12 times from "Gehenna," which means "the place of burning." 1 time from "Tartarus," which means "a place of darkness". NT. The word "hell" is used 54 times in the Bible and in only 12 cases does it refer to "a place of burning."

[[Luke 23:43  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (No soul sleep here. Jesus promised the man would be with Him that day.)]]

----Christ did not go to heaven at death. On Sunday morning Jesus said to Mary, "I have not yet ascended to My Father"(John 20:17). Also note that the punctuation of the Bible is not inspired, but was added by men. The comma in Luke 23:43 should be placed after the words "today" rather than before, so the passage should read, "Verily I say unto thee today, shalt thou be with me in paradise." Or, "I'm telling you today---when it seems that I can save no one, when I myself am being crucified as a criminal---I give you the assurance today that you will be with me in paradise." Christ's kingdom is set up at His second coming (Matt. 25:31), and all the righteous of all ages will enter it at that time (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and not at death.

[[1 Corinthians 5:6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (Paul is confident that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.)]]

----I think you meant 2 Corinthians for this one. This text simply expresses the desire of many of us to be done with this world so we can be home with God. " That's why we can speak with such confidence, even though we're still living in our mortal bodies and away from the Lord. 7 Actually, we are not away from the Lord. He is present, not to sight but to faith. 8 That's what faith is all about. We would like to be there with the Lord rather than being here."

[[2 Corinthians 5:1   For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (Present tense we have not future tense we will have.)]]

---This text speaks in reference to the heavenly sanctuary in heaven. If we die in Christ, we will be taken to heaven at the Second Coming."Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely"(Rev. 22:17). "To an inheritance incorruptible...reserved in heaven for you" (1 Pet. 1:4). "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say , not of this building;" (Heb. 9:11)

[[Revelation 6: 9   And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (These saints are seen in heaven under the throne of God. Not sleeping in the earth but conscious and aware.)]]

----This cry was figurative, as was the cry of Abel's blood (Gen. 4:10). The word "soul" here means people (or living beings) who had been slain for their faith. Surely no one believes that souls who die literally lie under the altar, nor do people believe that the righteous beg God to punish their enemies. Rather, the righteous beg for mercy for their enemies, as Christ did on the cross (Luke 23:34).

[[Luke 16: 22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (This factual story told by Jesus refers to a man in the past waking up in torment. His hell was very real and had already started. Abraham's bosom is another term used for Paradise it refers Heaven for OT saints.)]]

-----This is a parable used to illustrate the point of Luke 16:31. Many facts make it clear that this is a parable. A few are as follows: 1. Abraham's bosom is not heaven ( Heb 11:8-10,16).  2. People in hell can't talk to those in heaven (Isaiah 65:17). 3. The dead are in their graves ( Job 17:13; John 5:28,29). The rich man was in bodily for with eyes, a tongue, etc., yet we know that the body does not go to hell at death. It is very obvious that the body remains in the grave, as the Bible says. 4. Men are rewarded at Christ's second comin, not at death (Rev. 22:11,12). 5. The lost are punished in hell at the end of the world, not when they die ( Matt. 13:40-42). Parables cannot be taken literally. If we took parables literally, then we must believe that trees talk. (see this parable in Judges 9:8-15)

[[Revelation 21:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.   It means that our bodies whether dead on land or sea and our souls which are in hell will be reunited and stand before God.)]]

----I think you meant Revelation 20:12-14. I don't understand how you came to your conclusion for this text.  I'm not sure your conclusion agrees with the tener of scripture on this point.

[[ From our perspective the body sleeps in the grave but from God's perspective we know that the soul is with Him comforted and filled with joy awaiting that day when we shall all be together again. ]]

------"For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun." "There is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going" (Eccl. 9:5,6,10). "The dead do not praise the Lord" (Psalm 115:17)  

Justin Williams wrote at 2013-02-28 00:22:58
Hello all... I hope you all are still registered with the e-mail accounts that you used when submitting your questions/answers to this website.

In responce to your question about death, I don't believe that you go straight to Heaven or Hell as soon as you die. For a short answer, I believe that people who teach these practices are in fact teaching "Spiritualism" which is "a belief that the soul continues to exist after the death of the physical body."

Are we really suppose to celebrate Halloween?(No) Why not? Because that teaches us that spirits are lurking around and they are able to communicate with us. Research what happened to people that claimed they were "Mediums" back in the Bible days... I beleive people teach this because they find comfort in thinking that they or a loved one will go straight to Heaven after they die and not be decaying in a grave.

(Luke 23:43 is a "parable"... The word "parable" comes from the Greek παραβολή (parabolē), meaning "comparison, illustration, analogy". It was the name given by Greek rhetoricians to any fictive illustration in the form of a brief narrative. Later it came to mean a fictitious narrative, generally referring to something that might naturally occur, by which spiritual and moral matters might be conveyed.

Now lets go to the scriptures...

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his eath; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Psalms 115:17 The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing; neither have they any more a reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.

John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

So, what is the "spirit" that returns to God at death? "The body without the spirit is dead" (James 2:26) "The spirit of God is in my nostril" (Job 27:3)

Answer - The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life. Nowhere in the Bible does the "spirit" have any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. It is the "breath of life" and nothing more.

Lets look at Ecclesiastes 12:7 (I want to elaborate on this scripture)... "Then shall the dust return to earth as it was: and the spirit return unto God who gave it." This scripture is telling you everything you need to know about death... What returns to God (who is in Heaven) is the spirit (breath of life) and nothing more. If in fact you go straight to Hell when you die and God said that your spirit goes back to Him after death, is He in Hell?

One last question... If we do go straight to Heaven or Hell after Death, what's the purpose of Jesus' Second Coming?

Jesus said in Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his works shall be. So if we go straight to Heaven or Hell after we die, what reward is Jesus bringing with Him?  


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Kris Minefee


I am a lifetime Baptist and 4th generation Baptist pastor. I recently celebrated 20 yrs in the ministry. I have a BA degree in Theology, and have served as professor and Chancellor of small Baptist College as well as a teacher for several Bible institutes. Presently I pastor full time in the Houston, TX area.

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