What do Baptists believe about the Afterlife?


What happens to a person when he dies? Some believe that nothing happens; people die, their bodies decompose, and the end is the end. But this is not what Baptists believe to be true. Baptists believe what Orthodox Christians have believed to be true for two thousand years.

Christians believe there is more to life than just living and dying. Christians believe the universe, the earth, humans, and all that is contained within it were created by God—an infinitely powerful being Who exists outside of time with no beginning and no end. It is this God Who gives life purpose and grants to His children eternal life.

Moreover, Christians believe God has revealed Himself to mankind in the Bible. The Bible is a special Book because its authors were guided by God’s Spirit to pen only truth (2 Tim. 3:16). This same Sovereign God has preserved His Word so that Christians are not ignorant concerning what happens to people after they die.

According to the Bible, followers of Christ will spend eternity in an amazingly glorious place of indescribable splendor, beauty and joy in the presence of the Light of the Universe—the Son of God—Jesus Christ (Rev. 21). Christians die; their bodies are buried but their spirits (or souls) are immediately ushered into the presence of the Lord in heaven (2 Cor. 5:8).
Some groups and religions teach a “soul-sleep;” which is a not Biblical. Instead, the Bible makes reference to God’s people as alive after death. For example, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus to Peter, James, and John on a high mountain in Israel after they died (Mt. 17).

When Jesus Christ returns to this earth, Christians’ bodies will be raised from the dead, be made perfect, and be reunited with their spirits to live forever with Jesus (1 Thess. 4:16).

“What will we do in heaven for all eternity?”

In heaven, God will wipe away every tear, and there will be no sorrow, sadness, or mourning (Rev. 21:4). Christians will work, play, eat, learn, and worship in their resurrected, glorified bodies without the interference of evil (Eph. 2:6-7). The same God Who created universe is going to destroy this world with fire and create a new heaven and a new earth for His people (2 Pet. 3:3). This restored creation will be freed from the tragic effects of sin and the curse. Christians will still be known by their earthly identities, but anything contrary to obeying and enjoying perfect fellowship with God will have been destroyed (Rev. 21:27). In the purest sense, we will enjoy the company of our Lord and brothers and sisters in Christ forever (1 Thess. 4:18).

But those who have rejected the Son of God will be judged by God (Jn. 5:24), found to be wanting (Rev. 20:12-15), and be sentenced to spend an eternity with Satan and his demons in hell (Mt. 25:41). Now if the idea of people spending eternity in hell sounds overwhelmingly frightening to you, it should (2 Cor. 5:11)! It is intended to be an overwhelming and frightening thing designed by God as punishment for rejecting the offer of love, forgiveness, mercy, and eternal life that He extends to the world through His Son (Jn. 3:16).

Unbelievers [in Christ], murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns “with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

The Bible doesn’t make any reference anything other than heaven and hell—purgatory or a place in-between is not a Biblical concept.

Christians, like unbelievers in Christ, will die, but Christians don’t experience the second death (Rev. 21:8).

The apostle John wrote that if anyone says that he doesn’t sin [or transgress God’s laws] he is lying and the truth is not in him, but anyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God (1 Jn. 1:8, 5:1). The Bible teaches that “born of God” describes a divine second birth whereby God adopts a person into His family as a son or daughter of God (Jn. 1:12,13). Only those who repent [turn] from their sin of lying, cheating, stealing, rebelling, idolatry, immorality, and/or anything that has previously kept them from believing in the person and work of Jesus as the Christ are born of God (Luk. 13:3, Acts 17:30).

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God’s only Son who has always existed as the second person of the Trinity (Mt. 14:33, Jn. 1:14).

They believe over two thousand years ago Christ left the glories of heaven as the Messiah [the Christ] to the Jews (Phil. 2:6-8). He was supernaturally born of a Virgin as the God-Man (Mt. 1:23), lived a perfect life (Heb. 4:15), and then, according to God’s plan, was whipped, punished, and put to death on a bloody cross as an innocent man for the sins of the whole world (1 Jn. 2:2, Heb. 9:22).

God made Jesus sin for us, [in spite of the fact that] He knew no sin, so that believers could be made righteous in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:21)

Christ defeated death and the works of the devil when He rose from the grave and demonstrated to the world that God has the power to give the same life to all who believe (Heb. 2:14,15)—first to His Son—and then to all who declare themselves to be followers of Jesus (Mt. 10:32, 1 Cor. 15). Followers of Christ have Jesus as their advocate with the Father so that their sins are forgiven as a member of God’s family (1 Jn. 2).

The Son of God eliminated the sting of death for all who will turn to the One True God and place their faith and trust in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross (1 Cor. 15, 1 Jn. 2). Don’t pay for your own sins. God’s Son bought you with a price (1 Pet. 1:18,19); therefore, begin glorifying God today in both your body and spirit (1 Cor. 6:19,20).

Recognize that you (like every human being) are a liar, a sinner, and you have been an unbeliever—change that today (Acts 3:19).

Turn to God, and declare yourself a sinner, guilty of violating His commandments, who now believes in the Truth and wants to be a child of God and a follower of His Son—Jesus Christ
(Jn. 9:35-38).

—Pastor Sean E. Harris

4 comments:

  1. Dear evangelical/Baptist Christian brothers and sisters:

    1. No English translation of the Bible interprets Scripture in the manner that Baptists and evangelicals say that it should be translated.
    2. No German, Spanish, or French translation of the Bible interprets Scripture in the manner that Baptists and evangelicals say that it should be translated.
    3. The Greeks in the Greek Orthodox Church do not translate their Bible in a manner that agrees with the Baptist and evangelical interpretation. On the contrary, the Greeks share with western orthodox Christians, the belief in baptismal regeneration and the Real Presence of Christ in his Supper.
    4. Their is no known evidence, anywhere on planet earth, that ANY Christian in the first 800-1,000 years of Christianity believed that baptism is simply and only a public profession of faith/act of obedience or that the Lord's Supper is simply a memorial service.
    5. There is no evidence of a "Catholic" conspiracy to destroy all evidence of the "early Baptist/evangelical believers of the first century AD.
    6. There is no evidence of Baptist/evangelical-like believers hiding out in caves for fifteen hundred years.
    7. The belief that only "the true believers" of the Christian Faith can see the Baptist/evangelical interpretation of the Bible as the TRUE interpretation of the Bible, is a typical ploy of cults. "We have the truth, and only if you are one of us, will you see the truth". This position eliminates any threat to the cult's belief system by declaring that God gives the truth ONLY to "us". Thus, anyone who questions or challenges their beliefs is not of God, is not true a believer, is not saved.
    8. When backed into a corner, Baptists and evangelicals will retreat to one of the above unfounded conspiracy theories or will find a new one such as your assertion that all English translators of the Bible have introduced their own (orthodox Christian) biases into their translation. Such a statement flies in the face of God's promise to preserve his Word! God did NOT preserve his Word just for ancient Greek educated/ancient Greek speaking evangelical Churchmen to understand!

    You are intelligent people. Open your eyes, my evangelical/Baptist Christian brothers and sisters! What you have been taught is false doctrine; doctrine that neither the Apostles nor the Christians of the first approximately 1,000 years of Christianity would even recognize as the teachings of Jesus Christ!

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  2. Which Christian denomination today is closest to the Early Church of the Apostles?

    I would suggest that you consider taking the following approach to answer the above question. Look at the doctrinal statement of each Christian denomination and ask these questions:

    1. Do the beliefs/doctrines of this Church seem compatible with the plain, simple rendering of Scripture?

    Any belief or doctrine that requires that the plain, simple rendering of multiple passages of Scripture be twisted/contorted and re-interpreted to fit with the Church's doctrine, is suspect.

    2. Any Church which claims that multiple passages of Holy Scripture were poorly translated, in every major English translation of the Bible since William Tyndale, either due to unintentional incompetence or due to an intentional conspiracy to translate the Bible with a particular theological bias, should be considered suspect.

    No Bible translator for the last several hundred years has been in danger of having his head chopped off for not translating the Bible in deference to the King's Church and the King's theological positions. Modern Bible translators are more concerned with "getting it right" than with angering/alienating a particular denomination. With the advent of the world-wide web, it is impossible for anyone to intelligently argue that a conspiracy exists today among ALL Bible translators to perpetuate the "lies" of past translators.

    3. Compare the beliefs of each Church with the beliefs of the Early Christian Church. Are they similar or very different? Is it really possible that the entire Christian Church became apostate with the death of the last Apostle, so that ALL early Christian writings, save the Bible, are untrustworthy? Are the writings of the early Christians completely useless in determining true Apostolic doctrine and practice as some denominations assert?

    I personally have used the above criteria to come to the conclusion that the Evangelical Lutheran Church comes the closest to the beliefs and practices of the Early Apostolic Christian Church. If you can prove to me, using the criteria above, that another Church/denomination is even closer...I am all ears!

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