Is death a state or is death a place and a person holding humanity in the shadows? It is a question everyone is asking, and no doubt as humans it is hard for us to comprehend the reality behind death. Let us not forget those who do not believe there is life after death, for them it is a waste of time for us to have this discussion. Nevertheless, they like us are caught in the trap and reality, “We are going to die” it is a reality we are all aware of, and despite opinions no one wish to died.
According to what we know from scripture, there is a place where the dead lives, a place dark and terrible. It is a place no one wishes to see or enter, but because of its mystery we would like to have just a peek into this realm. To satisfy our desires to know the truth, God has provided for us a view of its reality through His word.
Psalm 49:15 reads “But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself”. From what we read here according to the writings of the Psalm, we see two things, one the revelation that there is such a place as the realm of the dead, the other is that when a righteous man dies, God will take him unto himself. Clearly we see to die is not to fall into unconsciousness, but rather to pass from one realm to another.
Psalm 30:3, You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit”.
If we believe in scripture, we can see here that this man had an experience where he died, and calling out to God he was delivered from the pit. He was in every sense conscious of the events in the pit, or world of the dead to the point he give God thanks for saving his life.
Psalm 30:1-2 I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2 Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me”.
God is the true God to the Psalmist, because while he was in the depths of death, God lift him out, he recognize God’s authority over the world of the dead, and those bound in death if they die in hope; in the God of heaven. When they cry out to God he will lift them out of the shadows and flames.
The Psalmist also reveals that while in the depths, his enemies’ desire was to gloat over him, they were constantly gloating as to mock him. In the depths we see that there are forces waiting to mock, and torment, which is a part of the punishment of the unrighteous. In judgment the righteous will hold their heads high, but the ungodly will perish. Psalm 1:5-6.
Sometimes the word perish and destroyed may sound to be a temporary thing for humanity, but when it comes to the eternal word of God, the word perish is not to be utterly destroyed; rather, it means to be eternally given into the hands of your tormentors.
Jesus speaks of this many times, Matthew 24:51 “He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And being the savior He came to save us from this eternal punishment reserved not for men, but for the enemy. Matthew 25:41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Matthew 8:12 “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Those who reject Christ will be brought into darkness, but the righteous will live with Christ the light of life.
Matthew 13:50 “and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. … In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Here again Jesus talks about that place.
2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord …who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord., in hell they are cut off from the presence of God.
Habakkuk 1:12, Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. … Protector, you have appointed them as your instrument of punishment. There are angels reserved to punish in hell.
Now if we consider everlasting life to be an eternal state, why not eternal punishment? John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life”. Death and condemnation is used here to mean the same thing, for in hell one is given to judgment.
So what is death to conclude, death then is to be separated from life, from God, and from his plan to cause man to inherit the earth. It is to lose our eternal place in life, and to be placed in the hands of our enemies. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
The body will rest secure, shows there is insecurity for those who dies without Christ. God will not leave his soul in hell shows while our bodies rest our breathe is away from the body, whether to God or in hell.
Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle:
5 Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me—
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?
7 No one can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for them—
8 the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough—
9 so that they should live on forever
and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die,
that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
leaving their wealth to others.
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they hadc named lands after themselves.
12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.d
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
death will be their shepherd
(but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.
20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.