1.There is no Life after Death
This is the view of naturalistic, secular humanist that says there is no God. When we die there is nothing. I suppose everything just goes dark when the lights are turned out. This view is primarily espoused today by Richard Dawkins. He is a devout atheist who has made a career attempting to debunk Christianity and take away hope from all those who follow Christ. But in Hebrews 12:6, the author says that God made the universe out of nothing. It breaks my heart that Dawkins and other atheists are trying to take away the hope that is within us as Christians.
2. The Soul Sleep
“Soul sleep” is the belief that after a person dies, his/her soul “sleeps” until the resurrection and final judgment. The concept of “soul sleep” is not biblical. Paul refuted that when he taught that for believers, as soon as we die, we immediately are in the presence of Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). Until the final resurrection, there is a temporary heaven called “Paradise” (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4). The temporary hell is known as “Hades” (Revelation 1:18; 20:13-14). In Jesus story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar, as told by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31, no one in Hades is sleeping. The Seventh-Day Adventist church and Jehovah’s Witnesses, just to name a few, are believers in soul sleep.
3. The Reincarnation issue
Reincarnation is the idea that after we die, we return again and again for multiple lives. Life is a cycle of coming and going, birth and death. Many believe that a good and blessed life reflects how well we behaved in previous lives. The better we were, the farther up the food chain we return. Reincarnation is foreign to the Bible. The Bible teaches just the opposite. Hebrews 9:27 declares: “It is appointed unto men once to die and after that comes judgment.”
The idea of reincarnation has been around for millennia. Think about it. After wintertime came Spring and the planting of crops. Plants grew in the summer and were harvested in the Fall. Everything died in the winter and then came alive again in the Spring. It’s easy to see why ancient peoples believed in reincarnation. They experienced it in the repeating seasons.
4. The Bright Light
We’ve all heard people testify of near-death experiences in which they look down a long hall and see a bright light. I have some experience with that. I’ve had heart rhythm problems since I was 13. On numerous occasions, my heart rhythm went into supraventricular tachycardia, when the upper chambers beat over 400 times per minute and the lower chambers, the ventricles, tried to keep up. The result was a quivering heart with no pumping action.
With no blood going to my brain everything started to go dark. When SVT hit, I knew that I had only seconds to get on the ground. You know what it’s like when you stare too long at an electric light bulb? That’s what it looked like to me when my heart was failing to get blood to my brain. There was nothing spiritual about this. It was totally explainable as a physical manifestation.
5. The Purgatory Issue
The idea behind Purgatory is that many people are not good enough to go straight to heaven. They are placed in a “holding tank” until enough people pray for them so that they can get out of purgatory and on to Heaven.
Purgatory is never mentioned in the Bible. It is mentioned in one of the apocryphal books that were written by the Jews for the first century. The Jews do not accept this book as divinely inspired. Unfortunately, it is seen as Scripture by the Roman Catholic Church. It did not make it into the actual Canon of the 27 books of the New Testament. The idea of Purgatory comes from 2 Maccabees 12:39-46. By acting honourably Judas Maccabeus was qualified to make atonement for friends who had been involved in sin. These men needed someone to pray them out of hell.
6. St. Peter at the gate
There seems to be an idea commonly accepted by many Americans that when they die, they will meet St. Peter at the gate. On the basis of their behaviours on earth, Peter will determine whether they can go to heaven or must go to hell. Unfortunately, too many people feel that the Bible teaches that going to heaven or hell is based on how many “goods” or “bads” they’ve done. That is never true. Going to heaven or hell is based on our response to the gospel. Jesus died on the cross to forgive the sins of the world and whoever believes in Him might have sins forgiven and live eternally.
7. The truth about the Bible
Jesus promised that at the moment of our death He will personally take us by the hand and escort us to our new home in Heaven. This is not a job for angels. He reserves for Himself the right to personally accompany us into Heaven’s glory (John 14:1-6).
Death is nothing to fear; in fact, we Christians can look forward to it with anxious anticipation. In Philippians 1:21-23, Paul declared: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.”