All Die Be Die: Can A Sinner Rest In Peace?
DEATH IS a grievous problem. Can science solve it and immortalise humans? Impossible! Medical doctors save lives, but they cannot prevent death from occurring. They themselves die. Death makes all humans powerless and ephemeral. Notwithstanding the great breakthroughs in medicine and technology, hundreds of people die every day through various circumstances. Well, it is written, “…it is appointed for man to die once…” (Hebrews 9:27).
The Bible reveals three forms of death – physical death, spiritual death and eternal death. Physical death is the separation of a person's body from his or her spirit (James 2:26). Spiritual death is the separation of a person's spirit from his or her Creator, God (Genesis 2:17, Ephesians 2:13). And eternal death is the everlasting separation and confinement of a person in the Lake of Fire to suffer torment and anguish endlessly away from the presence of God (Matthew 25:46).
Clearly, all humans are born spiritually dead, and are destined to suffer physical death once. Both Christians and non-Christians die. It is fixed. Death is the consequence of sin, crime, lawlessness or wickedness. The Bible says “the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). This means sin is the cause of all the forms of death explained above. Consider how people are sentenced to death for breaking established laws in the world.
However, believers in Jesus Christ receive the free gift of God which is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23). Every true Christian, who is sealed with the Spirit of God, has eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Blood is life. The soul or life of man is in the blood. The Bible says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11, 14). Blood transfusion is life transfusion. Blood, therefore, is used as the currency for spiritual dealings. Christ Jesus shed His sinless blood for the remission of sins of everyone who believes in Him (Matthew 26:28). Believers have evidence of unusual peace and calmness in their hearts and minds after receiving forgiveness.
As explained earlier, believers in Christ Jesus have eternal life. We have passed from eternal death to eternal life (1 John 3:14, John 5:24). And when a Christian dies physically, he or she goes to be with Jesus Christ. The spirit of a Christian does not go to be with Abraham as many pastors have been teaching. It was rather the Old Testament saints who died and their spirits went to Abraham's bosom (side) as Lazarus did (Luke 16:22).
However, believers who die in Christ go to be with Jesus Christ, the Saviour Himself in paradise. This is what the Bible teaches. Do you recollect what Jesus Christ told the criminal who asked Him to remember him in His kingdom? The Lord Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). You can see that Christ never said the man would be with Abraham but with Him.
Similarly, the apostle Paul knew where his spirit would be after his death. In his letter to Philippian church, he wrote, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:21-23). And when Stephen was being stoned to death, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59).
Now, we can confidently say that the spirits of Christians go to be with Jesus Christ to rest and enjoy the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. What about unbelievers – mockers, scoffers and sinners including atheists who ridicule the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ? Where and who will their spirits go to after they die physically? Will they rest in peace?
In most parts of the world, it is common to hear people especially sinners tell the dead to rest in peace. This is funny, isn't it? Can the dead hear? And can the spirit of a sinner rest in peace after he has died? Many write and say things they do not understand. From the Bible, we can see where the spirits of sinners who are children of the devil go to.
All sinners are destined to suffer eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire prepared for the devil and his demons. But even before their final judgement, there is a hint of a tormenting place the spirits of sinners may be kept. In Jude 1:6, the Bible says, “And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he (God) has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.”
There is no doubt that the spirit of all sinners will be kept in this place too until the judgment day. This is supported by the story Jesus Christ told of a rich sinful man, who died and was buried. The Bible says, “In Hades, he was in torment and anguish in the flame with no available water to cool even his tongue (Luke 16: 19-25). Clearly, a sinner cannot rest in peace when he dies, but suffer eternal punishment. The world's “Rest In Peace” mantra is only a deception. So, now, believe in Jesus Christ and save your spirit. Jesus loves you!
By James Quansah