What Happens When a Sinner Dies?

If you strip away all of the labels, the divisions, the classes, and the standings of people, you realize that there are two types in this world:  those who are saved and those who are lost.  We know from the Scriptures what happens when a saved man dies, but what happens when an unbeliever leaves this world?  What will it be like to close his eyes in death without knowing Christ?  Is there hope?  Does the Bible give answers?

We must understand what is meant by being saved and by being lost.  To be saved means that one has put his trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour.  He has believed that Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross for the sins of men, was buried, and has risen again.  He turns to Christ, in faith, repenting of his sins and receiving the Lord’s gift of life.

To be lost means that one has not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.  This person may have been baptized, joined a church, given large sums of money to charities, and lived a “good life.”  Without Christ, though, he is still lost.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

We looked yesterday at what happens when a Christian dies, so let’s look at the Bible answers for those who are lost.

When a lost man dies…

1.  …Your Spirit Leaves Your Body (James 2:26)

There is more to you than flesh and blood.  You have been created spirit and soul and body (I Thessalonians 5:23).

In your spirit, you are conscious of God – a man without Christ is dead to God in sins
In your soul, you are conscious of yourself – intellect, feelings, & will
In your body, you are conscious of the world – sight, smell, sound, taste, touch
When the body dies, the spirit – the real you – leaves the body.  The spirit does not die as we think of a body dying.  It does not fall into a soul sleep.  You are very much conscious and aware.  You are alive, but you do not have your body.

So, where does your spirit go?

2.  …You Enter into Hell (Luke 16:19-31)

In this portion of Scripture, Jesus told a real story of real people.  He tells of one who died and went to paradise.  He also told of one, a rich man, who died and went to Hell.

Of this rich man, the Bible says, “…In hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments….”

People do not like to think of Hell.  Some even say that Hell does not exist.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Hell is not purgatory, and it is certainly not a party.  It is the place of the damned.  It is the place of separation from God.  It is the place of waiting for the day of judgment.

Notice some truths about Hell from this passage:

  • It is a place where you go immediately after death (Luke 16:22-23)
  • It is a place of torment (Luke 16:23)
  • It is a place of no mercy (Luke 16:24)
  • It is a place of fire/flame (Luke 16:24)
  • It is a place of consciousness and memory (Luke 16:25)
  • It is a place of no escape (Luke 16:26)
  • It is a place where prayers are not answered (Luke 16:27)

3.  …You Will Not Be Reunited with Loved Ones

Some have the idea that Hell is a great party.  Mockingly, they say, “The Devil’s going to be scared of me when I get there.”  It’s like people think that they will be in power.  Wrong.

Hell is a place of torment.  You will not find comfort in Hell.  You will not have mother’s sweet embrace in Hell.  You will not know the love of your child in Hell.  You will not have friendship and companionship in Hell.

The rich man in Luke 16:19-31 asked for comfort, but he was denied.  He was in Hell.

4.  …You Will One Day Be Resurrected (Revelation 20:5)

Hell is not the end.  There is something far worse.  Jesus taught of the resurrection of damnation (John 5:29).  What is this resurrection of damnation?

It is a time near the end when God will raise your body out of the dust and reunite your body and spirit.  Revelation 20:5-6 says this resurrection of damnation takes place after Christ rules on the earth for 1,000 years.

You may think this sounds good.  After 1,000 + years, you are set free from Hell and receive your body again.  The news gets worse.

5.  …You Will Stand before God in Judgment (Revelation 20:12-13)

The Bible says that “they were judged every man according to their works.”  Do you want to give an account unto God for ALL of your works?  It is coming.  Things you think you have escaped on this earth will be answered before God Almighty.

Because you did not have the forgiveness of your sins that Christ offered by His own death and blood, you must answer to God for them.  You will be judged.

The Judge of all the earth cannot be bribed or corrupted.  He is not a crooked Judge.  He is righteous, and He judges according to His law – the law that you are already guilty of breaking.

6.  …You Will Be Cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14-15)

After judgment comes the penalty of our crimes.  Because we refused God’s redemption, we must accept the just rewards of our sins.  Our sin demands wrath and damnation; we have offended a holy God.

The lake of fire is the final home for all eternity.  All without Christ shall go to that lake of fire.  It does not end.  It will not cease.  It is forever.

“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever:  and they have no rest day nor night….” (Revelation 14:11)

You will be eternally separated from the love and grace of God.  You will be forever cast out of His presence and His glory.  You will not have friends, family, or loved ones.  This is the second death.

There is a Way Out

You may think, “God would not do this to me.”  If God did not punish sin, then He would be unjust.  God is not willing that you should perish.  He desires you to repent and come to know Christ as your Saviour.

The wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Jesus DIED that you might live.  He paid for your sins.  If you will receive Him, then this awful, biblical truth will not be your future.  Christ loves you.

Won’t you receive His salvation?

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9 thoughts on “What Happens When a Sinner Dies?

  1. I’ve put your important teachings on my TAB BAR- about what happens to the Christian and sinner when they die. Thank you for the clarity with which you present this topic from the Word of God. Few pastors mention the ‘H’ word today or even the other 3 letter ‘S’ word.

    Like

    • Thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate the feedback and getting better acquainted with others in the blogosphere!

      The truth of God’s word makes all the difference. The word of God is quick and powerful. It changes men’s hearts and convicts men’s consciences of the truth. I believe we must get the message out.

      I hope you have a great day, and thanks for being a friend to Counsel of a Friend!!

      Like

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