Recently we talked about Mark 13 in minichurch- debated whether it was talking about the End Times, or the destruction of the Temple. Anyway, it led to a brief discussion about what happens after you die.
Since I was a little girl I always thought that you went directly to Heaven or Hell when you die, but I have been mulling that over in recent years, and especially in the last couple of weeks. Here are a couple of thoughts-- if you go directly to Heaven or Hell, what happens on Judgment Day? Won't it be a bit anticlimatic if you already know how you'll be judged? I mean, I know I already know I am going to Heaven, but if I am already there, will I then be judged and sent to the New Heaven? Or are you judged as you die and then sent to your eternal reward or punishment? What about people that Jesus raised to life? Was Lazarus dragged out of heaven and sent back to earth?
Well, one of the men in our group gave several theories that I have never heard talked of, in PCA circles. He said that one theory is that you go into "soul sleep" when you die, and then await the Judgement Day. Another is that when you die your soul goes to Paradise or Hades, but you are still awaiting the final Resurrection and Judgement, and you are still in a state of "sleep". Ok, so if that is true, isn't it better to be alive on this earth than to die (in that case, Lazarus wouldn't mind coming back to life)? I mean, if all you are doing is "sleeping" and awaiting Judgement, then wouldn't my time be better served here on earth? I don't know. Does anyone out there have thoughts?