Do we remain conscious after death?
Ecclesiastes 12:7 . . . The dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
Luke 16:22-24 . . . Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. The rich man shouted, “Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.”
Luke 23:43 . . . Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
2 Corinthians 5:8 . . . Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
At death, the human spirit goes either to Heaven or to Hell. Christ depicted Lazarus and the rich man as conscious in Heaven and in Hell immediately after they died. Jesus told the dying thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” After their deaths, martyrs are pictured in Heaven, crying out to God to bring justice on Earth.
These passages make it clear that there is no such thing as “soul sleep,” a long period of unconsciousness between life on Earth and life in Heaven.
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