Is there life after death?

Yes, there is life after death according to what the Bible teaches. Jesus himself spoke about two men being conscious after death in Luke 16:22-23. Paul the apostle spoke about being absent from the body means to be at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). Also, in 2 Cor. 12:2, a person was caught up into heaven "whether in the body or out of the body". So, Scripture definitely teaches there is life after death. But there are those who mistakingly believe that once a person dies, he ceases to exist until the resurrection.  This is problematic for two reasons:  First, it contradicts scripture.  Second, if a person dies and ceases to exist, then he is in the same person he was before he was born? Think about this. Let's say I built a chair to exact specifications and then burned that chair in a fire. I then built a second chair with those exact same specifications. Is the second chair, the first chair? No, they are different chairs though they are identical copies. The first chair ceased to exist and so its continuation of existence ceased. Therefore, though the second chair is a duplicate of the first, it is not the exact same chair. This is why the idea that when a person dies he ceases to exist until the resurrection is problematic.

  • Luke 16:22-23, "Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom."
    • Note, this is not a parable or a mere illustration since it contains the name of an individual, Lazarus.  Besides if it were a parable, then what is it illustrating if not life after death?
  • John 14:3, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
  • 2 Cor. 5:8, "we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."
    • Here we see that Paul is teaching that to be absent from the body (to be dead) is to be at home with the Lord.  This could not be if we ceased to exist after death.
  • 2 Cor. 12:2-4, "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak."
  • Phil. 1:21-23, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better."
  • Rev. 14:11, "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
    • This scripture is about the judgment of the wicked and how they will endure it forever in consciousness.

Therefore, we can clearly see that there is definitely life after death.





About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.