What Happens When You Die?

On Purpose Magazine Question Series

What Happens When You Die?

cemetary fog by tim heffernan, on Flickr

Cemetery fog by Tim Heffernan, on Flickr

So many schools of thought on this one. It seems that it is just not an academic type of question where the true answer can be found.

Do we just turn into dust and are no longer? Do we come back as someone or something else? Do we stay aware? Do we go someplace where we can see and help guide others back on Earth? Do we get rewarded or punished for our lives here on Earth? Do we go back to source like a drop of water back into the ocean that is the infinite? What do you think? What is your experience.

Please also share this with friends so we can get their response as well. I would love to get a diversity of beliefs discussed here.

This question is not one of science for the most part. It is strictly a debate in faith and belief.

I do not want this to turn into a mudslinging debate, but as I was diagnosed earlier this year with stage 4 cancer the question has come up. Although I do not practice a particular religion, it is hard for me to believe that my being aware is all there is and that all of us being aware only for a fleeting moment is the point of life, if there is a point to life at all.

There seems to be as many opinions as there are people out there. I did some research on near death experiences. I had one years ago and did not see a light at the end of any tunnel. I actually saw nothing. As it turns out although the Internet reports on many stories of similar NDE experiences, there are studies that show only 12% of NDE experiences caused visions and all those visions were not necessarily the same? 60% had feelings of peace and contentment and only 5% of those experienced entering the light so this means that only a very few of NDE experiences are similar… So what gives? 1 2 3

I want to know what you think. What you believe; what you hope and what you believe you know.

What Do You Believe Happens When We Die?


5 responses to “What Happens When You Die?

  1. Dear John, This is a good question and very hard to even think about. I was raised and taught in church that there is a heaven and then taught that our souls will come back to the earth and live pain free someday in a heaven like state. Then I was taught that we are reincarnated and come back to learn the lessons we did not in this life and the lives we had before.

    I had a car accident a few years ago and I saw the white light and clouds of peace, but am not sure if it was adrenaline as i jumped over the passenger and was standing outside the car when i regained conciousness. I want to believe in Angels and spirit beings and it makes me feel better when i can play that mind game. But, watching my brother die last month and the fear i felt and still feel was and is overwhelming. i have nightmares every night and am almost afraid to fall asleep. When i wake every 15 minutes i am in pain from sorrow. I am afraid to die and leave my children and i am afraid to lose them. How do we ever know?

    I sure hope you are doing better and I am praying for you everyday.


    • Terriann, so sorry to hear about your brother. I was glad I got to see him for a short time in Anaheim for the NAR Convention. It was great seeing your whole family again. I am a huge skeptic about most everything, I would like to believe that we all go to a better place, but not knowing does not bother me. I do hate the idea of leaving my wife alone, leaving my family and not seeing the kids in my life grow up. I also do not like the idea of leaving things undone. I have made peace with myself by forgiving myself and everyone that I believe has not been good to me in my life. You know you were a big part of my life and I am so glad that we still talk and love each other.

      I believe none of us leave this place unscathed. I believe we will all have some sort of resentments and regrets. The hope is that those regrets are not that we have not said I love you to someone or not said I am sorry to someone we have hurt. I have learned that out of our worst tragedy’s come our greatest gifts.

      My cancer is a gift. It has brought me into awareness and it has helped me really see things clearly. I, thankfully am not working in fear and desperation so I am at peace with myself.

      My biggest fears about my cancer is the quality of life issue. Because of my chemo (androgen deprivation therapy – Taking all Testosterone out of the body), I am loosing muscle mass and have regular and uncomfortable bone and muscle pain. I have to work out twice as much as I usually would just to stay in shape and I have to stretch (yoga) like crazy. I am lazy at heart and do not like excercise, but my quality of life has been placed in my hands to keep up. I will do that, but I do worry about the physical issues I cannot control. So I guess if I had to call it… I am more scared of living a bad quality of life more than I fear leaving this planet.

      Thanks so much for commenting and I am so sorry for your car accident. How are you doing. Private message me via email or Facebook. I am also so sorry for your anxiety and fears and if I can help, please let me know.

      Try to focus on the blessing and not the fear. I believe and it has been proven to me on many an occasion, that what you focus on expands. By focusing on the fear and loss, it will grow and be hard to shake so you have to focus on the blessing that you did not go and that you are not in such bad shape that you can no longer work or take care of your family. Also in your brothers case, he will be missed, of course, but if you believe your brother is in a better place or at least is over his pain and suffering you have to be somewhat happy for that. Try to focus on that.

      Thank you for the prayers. I am most grateful.

  2. I am going to heaven and I know for certain because to believe by faith is to know…I know I have eternal life because God is faithful to reveal himself to me and assure that my faith in Him is a true real reliance upon the true God. To understand the idea of being “saved” “redemption” “resurrection of the dead” you need to understand that Adam and Eve broke God’s command to not eat the fruit and since that time man and his creation is fallen, men are sinful and need a savior to forgive sins because our Creator is totally righteous and holy and a just God. He must punish sin but He is merciful so Jesus came down as being the Word of God who originally created everything and humbled himself in the form of a baby Child…he grew up without sin and started preaching at age 30. He only lived a few years after that at which He was crucified on the cross by the Jews and Romans. He fulfilled many prophecies in Isaiah and other old testament books and on the 3rd day in the tomb he was resurrected, defeated death and offers forgiveness of sin to all those willing to be sorrowful and turn away from lying, stealing, lusting, hating, idolatry (making a God to suit yourself), coveting, etc. and trust Jesus to be sufficient in His sacrifice to forgive your sins freely and offer you escape from hell’s pit and instead eternal life w/ your creator and righteous God. Just like a lamb was slain to create clothes for Adam and Eve in the garden so Jesus (the lamb of God) was slain so we could wear his righteousness as clothing to cover all sins. He will seal you with His Holy Spirit and help you to maintain a relationship w/ Him as you walk in the light and not the dark…no go on and maintain a clear conscious before God and man and know by His work of change in your life that you are a new creation in Christ.

  3. I had posted this yesterday in the stream. I’m going to heaven when I leave this body.

    I will from time to time post my Christian beliefs and share things I agree with, like this. For those of you not in like mind, but tolerant, I thank you. For those that are not, please forgive me for any offense you feel I have directed towards you as it is not my intention to hurt you, but it is my intention to be clear about my belief. Therefore, choose accordingly, , , plus, share, mute, block, or ignore.

    There is a saying,,,,,”You can’t take it with you” meaning when you die, you die alone and can take nothing with you to heaven. None of your earthly achievements, possessions, or wealth will go with you.

    But I know there is one thing I can take to heaven with me, and that is YOU and as many people as I can that will believe. When I get to heaven, I want to see my family, my friends, and YOU. Yet I know, ultimately, the choice to believe is yours. I am only called to share my beliefs with you. God has not charged me with forcing you to believe, something I couldn’t do anyway. And I am grateful for this because the consequences of your choice also belong to you,,,,,whatever you believe that to be.

    Worldwide,,,,,we are not in a cultural war about what is right or wrong, what is politically correct or what is violating someone’s rights or not, what is OK for this group’s beliefs or not. It is a religious war; one that is mankind’s rebellion against God Himself; not a rebellion against a religion, a nation, or a political agenda.

    Rev. Franklin Graham hit the nail on the head. Christians cannot be politically correct when it comes to identifying sin. Non-Christians believe some judgement against behavior is occurring. Yet, Christians are not “judging” the sinner when they identify sin. God is the one who judges, and He has made His will perfectly clear through the Scripture and has identified what sin is. God loves sinners and proved that through Christ’s sacrifice, and it is possible for the Christian to hate the sin and love the sinner. Because of that, Christians are charged to label sin when seen, so sinners can be saved and not spend an eternity in Hell.

    But sinners have a NIMBY attitude. Sin is something others do. That other person’s behavior is wrong, but mine is not. Not only is my behavior OK, but you must accept it, embrace it, and tell me I am not doing anything wrong. God said this political correctness about sin would happen.

    John 15:21-27 (New Living Translation)
    21 The people of the world will hate you because you belong to me, for they don’t know God who sent me.
    22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin.
    23 Anyone who hates me hates my Father, too.
    24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be counted guilty. But as it is, they saw all that I did and yet hated both of us — me and my Father.
    25 This has fulfilled what the Scriptures said: ‘They hated me without cause.’
    26 “But I will send you the Counselor — the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about me.
    27 And you must also tell others about me because you have been with me from the beginning.

    “God is not ‘politically correct’ and He is certainly not tolerant of sin. The Bible tells us that He is going to judge all sin one day; and anyone who is not found under the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, will face an eternity in hell separated from God. Scripture says, “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 13:49-50). But today God is willing to forgive anyone who truly repents (is willing to turn from their sin), asks for His forgiveness, and believes on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (“For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” Romans 10:13).
    ~Rev. Franklin Graham

    I have disabled comments, not because I don’t want any, but because your comments about this, any decision you make about this, your thoughts about this, are your choice alone. If you have made any choices, or if you really want to dialog about this with me, please PM me directly.
    Thank you. 

    • Christy, I know it is very hard to have a definite opinion on anything on the Internet as there will always be those out there that want to judge and criticize others for their beliefs. We have to shame and blame. It is how we are taught to stand up for ourselves and how we are taught to change others, including our kids minds. It never works, but we continue anyway. I say this because I can feel that you really want to get out your point, but are tired of the attacks you may get. It seems that every faith feels judged for their beliefs, not just Christians.

      Also thank you for wanting ME with you. If there is a heaven, I hope I do see you there.

      This post was put up to find out what people believe not matter what… so Whether I agree with your beliefs or not, I really appreciate your feedback.

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