Final Destination: What happens to Christians when they die?

A New Heaven and Earth: Final destination of Christian Believers after they die on earth

  • The spirit of a Believer in Christ who dies goes to heaven immediately. His body returns to dust, awaiting the resurrection and transformation (of the once physical body) into a glorified body to be with God forever.
  • When Jesus returns for the Final Judgment, ‘Believers’ and ‘Unbelievers’ are judged.
  • Believers are judged for their deeds on earth, and some will receive their due rewards. They can enter the “new heaven and earth.”
  • Unbelievers and those who didn’t know what Jesus did to save humanity are judged for their sins. If their name was not written in the book of life, they were thrown into the lake of fire.

What happens to both Believers and Unbelievers?

  • Rapture of believers both dead and alive.
  • The judgment seat of Christ for believers.
  • Marriage of the Lamb between Christ and believers.
  • Parousia and Battle of Armageddon.
  • The second coming of Jesus
  • Apocalypse and lake of fire.
  • The millennial reign of Jesus on earth
  • The first resurrection of the dead.
  • The second resurrection of the dead.
  • The judgment of unbelievers.
  • The new heaven and earth.

When will Jesus return?

History of God’s Chosen people.

Christian Believers after death

When Believers in Christ dies, their soul and spirit are taken to paradise (heaven) immediately because their sins were forgiven (and washed away) that moment they received Christ as Savior on earth (John 3:16, 18, 36).

This heaven (or paradise) is different from the “New Heaven and Earth,” which has yet to come. (Revelation 21:1-5)

Physical body returns to dust, but soul & spirit lives

The body remains in the grave as if sleeping, but their soul and spirit live in heaven (paradise).

Paradise is the heavenly place where all Believers stay after their physical death. (2 Cor. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:23; Rev. 2:7; Luke 23:43; Acts 7:56-59; Ecc 12:7)

→ Bible verses that indicate Christians go to heaven immediately after they die.

Is there purgatory? Such place is NOT mentioned in the Bible. It’s a human-made doctrine developed over the centuries. Catholics interpret certain passages to mean purgatory to justify beliefs like the 40-Days Novena, Indulgence, and Rosary

The Rapture

The word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible. It is based on several verses that suggest this event will happen in the future and only for Believers.

Upon the return of Jesus, ‘Believers’ (those alive on earth; in the grave; or paradise) are caught up together in the sky (the concept of “rapture“). They will possess glorified bodies to meet the LORD in the air and prepare for His Second coming to earth. (1 Thes. 4:14-17; Mat. 24:30-31)

Glorified body

The physical body (in the grave) of ‘Believers’ are resurrected first (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Their bodies transformed into an immortal “glorified body” and reunited with their soul and spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)

Likewise, ‘Believers’ living on earth (when Jesus returns), are instantly raptured and transformed into this “glorified body.” All Believers will be like Christ and see Him as He is. ( 1 John 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:17)

→ When will Ezekiel 37:1-14, the Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, happen?

Judgment Seat of Christ for Believers

There is an exclusive judgment for ‘Christian Believers’ called ‘Bema‘ (raised platform). They will appear before the “Judgment Seat of Christ.” They may receive what is due for what they did, good or evil. (1 Cor. 3:12-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Romans 14:10)

Marriage of the Lamb

Believers in Christ are given bright and pure fine linen to wear and are invited to the “marriage feast of the Lamb. It is the “purification” of Believers, united with Christ as His bride. (Revelation 19:6-10).

Parousia and Battle at Armageddon:

“Second Coming of Christ”

After the ‘Marriage of the Lamb” of Believers, Jesus returns to earth as King. The “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” leads an army. His name is “Word of God.”

The armies of heaven riding white horses and wearing pure white linen, follow Him. (Revelation 19:14)

Apocalypse and lake of fire (excerpt)

A sharp sword came from His mouth and struck nations with it. The beast and his armies are defeated. The beast and the false prophet (anti-Christ) were thrown alive into the lake of fire. (Revelation 19:11-21)

Millennial Reign

After the battle at Armageddon, Jesus fulfills His promise to rule God’s people (remnants) as their King for a thousand years. Satan, the ancient dragon serpent, was thrown into the pit and sealed for a thousand years. After that, he must be set free for a short time. (Revelation 20:3)

First Resurrection of the dead

The dead martyrs and those who did not worship the beast or its image and did not have the mark of the beast first resurrected. They became the priests of God and given authority to judge.

They reigned with Christ for a thousand years on earth. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. (Revelation 20:5)

Second Resurrection & Judgment of non-Believers

After the Millennial Reign, the rest of the dead resurrected (Unsaved people*). They stood before the “Great White Throne Judgment” to be judged for their sins. Books were opened. If their name was not written in the book of life, they were thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)

Unsaved people or those “not saved by grace” are the wicked, atheists, agnostics Unbelievers, those who never heard the Gospel or heard it but rejected God’s offer of salvation.

→ Will my dead relative who didn’t know Jesus go the heaven?

The New Heaven and New Earth

The old earth and heavenly paradise are no more (Parerchoma). It doesn’t mean destruction, but to pass to another condition. The “Holy City” (new city of Jerusalem) comes down from heaven made of gold and precious stones.

There is no more death, pain, or sadness. Nothing impure will ever enter it. It will always exist, and will always be fresh (Kainos). God’s children are beautiful and immortal. (Revelation 21)

There are trees whose leaves are for healing the nations. Sun and moon will still exist (Psalm 148:3-6), but there’s no need for it because God’s light shines forever (Revelation 21:1-22). This is the final destination for all Believers saved by Jesus.

How can I be saved from going to hell?
What happens to atheists when they die?
Quick Interpretation of 7-Signs in Revelation.
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