The What-Happens-After-Death Page
The Existence of the SoulAccording to the Bible, the soul keeps living after the body has died. References for this are Matthew 10:28, where it is written that "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" and Luke 23:46, where Jesus says, as He is dying, "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." According to that verse, God was responsible for handling Jesus' spirit after He died.
Since Jesus was human (and God), and also since humans were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) , it follows that all humans have a spirit which continues after the body dies. Also see Genesis 2:7, where God breathes the breath of life into Adam to give him a soul. (Side note - the account of the creation of animals does not contain their having a soul; man is unique and separate from the rest of the world in that respect.)
OptionsThere are two options for your life after death. You must choose one before you die. There is a default choice, if you refuse to decide. The book of Romans has some things to say about this decision (although feel free to read more than just one book of the Bible). A couple of verses to keep in mind as you read the upcoming descriptions are 5:8-9 (But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him) and 8:1 (There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.)
The options are
What happens at the end of the world?
Isaiah 66:22-24 -- "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.
And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."
II Peter 3:7 -- "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
If you want to know what will happen after death and at the end of the world, then read and study the book of Revelation. There are some other passages (such as Daniel's prophetic chapters 8 through 12, most notably chapter 9) and various other verses scattered around, but Revelation seems to contain the most information (as well as being quite interesting). Note that the text is written in the past tense, even though it refers to future events. That is because the text was written describing a vision which happened earlier.
HeavenThis section does not deal with the questions of how to get to heaven or who goes to heaven, or such. That is found in the Gospel page or a little in the Differences of Christianity page. This section does describe heaven, as the Bible does.
For a description of how the people will be affected, read Revelation 21:4 -- "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
For a description of how heaven will look, read Revelation 21:18-27 -- (excerpts listed due to length of passage) "...the city was pure gold ... the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones ... the street of the city was pure gold ... the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it ... And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
A little more description exists in Revelation 22:1-5 (not listed here).
HellEven if they do not believe in hell, people usually know what it is. It seems that people have a pretty good understanding of the fire part. But where people go wrong is picturing hell as a bunch of people in a hot cave, being ruled by the devil. In reality, hell will be a lake, not a cave, and the residents will be crying out loudly, not talking to each other. The lake, of course, is not a water lake, but a lake of fire. See Matthew 13, verses 42 and 50 for some collaboration on that description. Also note that the devil does not rule hell, but is there being punished, just as the people are.
Revelation 20:10 -- "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
That description is seconded, and applied to regular people, in II Thessalonians 1:8-9, where it says that those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ "shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power"
Those previous verses provide vivid descriptions of hell, and Revelation 20:15 tells how to get there. Revelation 20:12 sets the stage for verse 15 by explaining that everyone who has ever lived will stand before God, and He will determine their end by the Book of Life. Then comes Revelation 20:15 -- "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."