The Teachings and Beliefs of Christians About Death and What Might Happen Afterwards
There are many varied views on the afterlife that Christians hold.
Depending on denomination there are many different teachings. The
fundamental teaching is that when we die God judges us and depending
on that judgement many believe we will either go to heaven or hell.
The timing and the manner in which this is done is what varies. Most
Christian denominations teach that there is a heaven and a hell.
"Heaven", it has been suggested means "the roof of the world". This
would be backed up by beliefs in ancient Hebrew times that God was
found in high places.
"And be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come
down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people"
In the New Testament, Heaven is called; "The Kingdom of Heaven"
(Matthew 3), "The Kingdom of God" (Mark 9:46) and "The Great Reward
Christians believe that heaven is a place where your soul goes when
you die to spend eternal life with God. The views of heaven as being
in the clouds with angels, praying and praising God the whole time
doesn't seem to appealing for 20th century people. The people who
wrote it however were trying to explain something that had never been
seen so therefore it was down to the individual to interpret heaven
how they wanted. Heaven is referred to as a "white" and God is said to
be sitting on "a great white throne" Revelations 20.
"Hell" in the English language comes from Old English, "Hel", meaning
underworld. They teach that hell is place that you spend eternity
without God's presence. Many Christians used to believe that hell is a
physical, fiery place where you spend eternity being tortured. They
believed this because they associated it with the rubbish dump,
Gehenna, outside of Jerusalem where fire was constantly burning.
Because it was outside of the holy city, Jerusalem, it was seen as a
place that was far away from God. The Jews, The things associated with
the rubbish dump - everlasting fire, Dirt and smell - became
associated with being away from God andâ€¦ hell.
Roman Catholics believe in a waiting place between heaven and hell
called purgatory. This is where people go because they are not ready
to join the sinless people in heaven. They use purgatory as a place to
be cleansed and prepare to enter heaven. Protestants and Evangelical
Protestants believe that because Jesus Christ died on the cross, he
paid the price to cleanse our sin for eternity. They therefore believe
a place like purgatory, used for further cleansing, is not necessary.
It is because of the Sin of Adam, that we are all born sinners.
Christians believe that because we are all sinners we must all die.
"For the wages of sin is death", Romans 6:23. Since death is certain,