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Death and the Afterlife… What’s Next?

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SIH STSTA ICONShintoism calls it “Ama-No-Hashidate”; some of the New Age followers call it “Astral Plane”;  Aborigines describe it “Bralgu”;  Buddists have given it the name “Ching Tu”;  “Djanna”, or the “Garden of Allah” is the Islam version;  the Native American Indians called it “The Spirit Land”;  Eskimos give it the title “The Land of the Moon”;  Hindus describe it as “Nirvana”;  “Pole Star” was the common title for it given by the Aztecs;  “Sheol” was the chosen Hebrew term; while the Greeks called it “Hades”;  and the state of the dead for the Norse warriors was called “Valhalla”; and many, many, others.  For a more complete list please see:

So many names, so many different beliefs, for the place and/or condition of those who have died!

“What takes place, if anything, after a person’s spirit is separated from their body?”

“Where does their spirit go?”

“What can I do now to secure a future afterlife?’

These themes are addressed by every known religion.

Why are these subjects of universal interest?   It is because death affects every one of us.  Based on mankind’s experience over thousands of years, apart from a never before experienced act of God, has one thing held true…. every human being will eventually die.

What will it be like and how can we be prepared for it… the Bible gives us the clear, unquestionable answer to these issues we all face…


And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.  (Heb 9:27-28)


In our text, we find the answer to life’s most pressing issues.

First, in verse 27 we find what will take place following our death…

The Bible tells us much about the “afterlife”.  In today’s blog entry we will be centering on one of the most important aspects of the after life… the coming judgment.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” – Here, we have the clear, undeniable proclamation … Following a person’s death, one of the aspects of the afterlife, involves a judgment of each work that has been performed while on earth. (Eccl 11:9, Rom 14:9-12, 2 Cor 5:10, 2 Tim 4:1, Judges 1:14-15, Rev 20:11-15).

The specifics of this judgment can be debated.  Personally, I believe this judgment will come in two different phases.  One judgment will involve those who have trusted in Christ, while the other phase will be the judgment of those who have never trusted in Christ.   These details are really not important for our blog entry today.  The important point is this… the Bible has made it absolutely clear that EVERYONE must face the judgment of their works by Jehovah God.

What are the possible results of this judgment?

For those who are unprepared, they will receive consignment to the lake of fire for an eternity… suffering the just punishment for the sins they have committed.

For those who are prepared for this judgment,  they will be ushered into an eternity with the Lord, having their sins forgiven and their works of service rewarded (Matt 25:31-46)

So the real question is this…. “Are we ready for that time of judgment?”  If not, “What must we do to become prepared”?


Second – in verse 28 we find how we can be prepared for this coming judgment

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

The key to being secure for our future judgment is found in the work of Christ on the cross.  You see, it was on the cross that Christ took the punishment for our sins upon Himself so that we would not have to receive that punishment.  (1 Pet 3:18, Eph 2:13-17, Rom 5:8-21, 2 Cor 5:21)

Notice that our verse also speaks of faith in the life of those who are prepared to meet Him at His coming. (These are the same people who are prepared for the judgment of their works, as well).  They are the ones who, by faith, are looking for Him to come back at His second coming.  This faith they have received from God as they turned from their sins to serve the living God. (1 Thess 1:9-10, Acts 26:17-18)   By placing our trust in Christ, as the Savior from our sins and the Lord of our life, we can be prepared for the coming Judgment Day.  “Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.”  (Job 35:14)


I know of no better application than the verses found in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14…

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.   (Ecc 12:13-14)

What is the commandment of God?

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.  (Mar 1:14-15)


To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”



  1. The Judgement Seat of Christ [2 Cor 5:10] holds no terror for the believer, but will there be shame? How much “gold, silver and precious stones” will there be among the “wood, hay and stubble’?
    As Martha Snell Nicholson expresses it:

    When I stand at the Judgement Seat of Christ
    And He shows me His plan for me,
    The plan of my life as it might have been
    Had He had His way – and I see
    How I blocked Him here and checked Him there,
    And I would not yield my will –
    Will there be grief in my Saviour’s eyes,
    Grief though He loves me still?
    He would have me rich and I stand there poor,
    Stripped of all but His grace,
    While memory runs like a hunted thing
    Down the paths I cannot retrace.
    Then my desolate heart will well-nigh break
    With the tears that I cannot shed;
    I shall cover my face with my empty hands,
    I shall bow my uncrowned head.
    Lord of the years that are left to me,
    I give them to Thy hand.
    Take me and break me and mold me
    To the pattern Thou hast planned.

    • Rob Barkman says:


      The wonderful poem speaks for itself…. when our works are judged we all will feel shame at not doing all that we could for Him. But thank the Lord, even those times of failure are forgiven and covered by His shed blood! He is so good to us.

      May He continue to bless you and your blog ministry… it is a blessing to me and many others.

  2. Patti (PJ) says:

    Hey Rob! I was so glad tor receive your comment on my blog today. I’m glad you were blessed by it. I always like to know when “what I feel that the Lord has impressed on me to say” is a blessing to someone. Then I am reassured that it was the Lord speaking and not my own thoughts.

    I really enjoyed your post today as well. I love reading about the after-life and such. I’m also glad you made a point to bring out Mark 1:14-15. Now is the time for us as Christians to pull out “all the stops” and let people know that “lip service” saying I believe, but not “walking the walk” won’t cut it. REPENTING AND LIVING FOR GOD are two major “conditions of Salvation, and people need to wake up and realize it. Even though salvation is a gift from God, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t strings attached. I know I’m not wording this very well, but people are in the frame of mind of gimme, gimme always something for nothing. All God asks us to do in return for an Eternity in Blissful Heaven is to Love Him and Live for Him. Living for God is Not Hard. If people will just develop a loving relationship with Him. Thank you so much for this post. God Bless,

    • Rob Barkman says:


      Thanks for your kind words. You are so right when you say that Christians do not appreciate our salvaation as we should.

      An old preacher once told me that “salvation is free but it’s not cheap “. What he meant was that, although salvation is given to us as a free gift from God, it cost the Father and His Son a great price (Jesus coming to the earth and dying on the cross to pay the price for our sins).

      Sometimes, as Christians we forget the great price that God paid to secure our eternal salvation. After all He has done for us it is only our “reasonable service” that we would serve Him every day of our lives. This service isn’t to gain our salvation, nor is it to keep our salvation, but it is to show our apprecaition for all He has done for us and to submit to His will as Lord of our lives. Just as you say, there are so many professing Christians who seem to forget this principle. I like the way you described it as a “gimme, gimme, always something for nothing spirit”.

      Thanks for another great comment,
      May the Lord bless you,

  3. Paul Cheng says:

    Hi brother Rob:

    When you close your eyes at night, do you ever wonder if it might be your last? I have heard of people who just didn’t wake up. Whether they were prepare or not. Simply their time was up even in their sleep.

    Before I became a Christians, I was more afraid of what I will find. But knowing Jesus as my savior I am more sure of where I will be. The Bible holds the key to unlocking the mystery about the purpose of life, where we came from and our eternal destiny. Without knowing God, nothing in life would make sense. It would be much like watching the TV show LOST.


    • Rob Barkman says:


      I’m like you… I really do not know how those who have never trusted in Christ can sleep well at night; not being certain of their eternal destiny must be horribly burdensome to them. I am a firm believer that there is something within all of us that testifys to the existance of an afterlife. For those who say they do not believe in life after death, they are only suppressing these inward testimonies.

      To deny that a post-death judgment doesn’t change the fact the judgment will take place.

      Thanks for your commments

      May The Lord Bless You,

  4. […] 1Death and the Afterlife… What’s Next? | SUBMIT […]

  5. Rob Barkman says:

    Reblogged this on Blog and commented:

    This lesson was originally posted in February 2011. I trust it will be a blessing to us all !

  6. mwitasblog says:

    In my mind I have this picture of each one walking absolutely alone up to the judgement seat, without the earthly trappings and worldly friends who so easily give us a false sense of comfort. The only true relationship is a relationship with Jesus.

  7. Reblogged this on meanlittleboy2 and commented:

  8. […] Death and the Afterlife… What’s Next? at Settled In Heaven. We forget Christianity by word of mouth. Excited believers used nothing more than the example of their own lives and the force of argument. We never consider how foolish it is for us not to read the Bible, the first book printed, the best seller ever. Unlike our backward forebears, the people who created Western Civilization, we are just too sophisticated to read the Bible. Unfortunately, even the most sophisticated people die and rot, no matter how lovely their lives or their funerals. […]

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