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
—Pastor Sean E. Harris