Twitter icon


Facebook icon

ABOUT THIS SITE
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays

Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
-Christian definition
 -Shared beliefs
 -Handling change
 -Bible topics
 -Bible inerrancy
 -Bible harmony
 -Interpret the Bible
 -Persons
 -Beliefs & creeds
 -Da Vinci code
 -Revelation, 666
 -Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment/climate

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

 




We ask you, humbly, to help us.

We hope you enjoy this web site and what it represents.
If so, fantastic!

The thing is ... we're an independent group of normal people who donate our time to bring you the content on this website. We hope that it makes a difference.

Over the past year, expenses related to the site upkeep (from research to delivery) has increased ... while available funds to keep things afloat have decreased. We would love to continue bringing you the content, but we desperately need your help through monetary donations. Anything would help, from a one-off to small monthly donations.

$3? $5? $15? The option is yours. Regardless, your help would be appreciated.

Please click HERE to be taken to our donation page. Thank you so much.
Bruce Robinson, Founder.


Christian beliefs

Menu

A key topic: beliefs about life
after death, mainly in
Christianity

horizontal rule

Four quotations:

  • A Quotation by Epicurus, in a Letter to Menoeceus, during the third century BCE:

    "Therefore death, the most terrifying of evils, is nothing to us, since for the time when we are, death is not present; and for the time when death is present, we are not. Therefore it is nothing either to the living or the dead since it is not present for the former, and the latter are no longer."

  • Niccolo Machiavelli's last words when he died at the age of 58:

    "I desire to go to Hell and not to Heaven. In the former I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes, while in the latter are only beggars, monks and apostles.

  • Anon:

    "It is said that you die three times:

    'The first is when the body ceases to function.

    The second is when the body is consigned to the grave.

    The third is that moment, when your name is spoken for the last time'."

  • Tommy Wong, from his book, "Wisdom on How to Live Life - Book 3")

    "Guru: Okay, what is the spiritual solution to death?

    Tom: The solution is to believe that we’re souls and not bodies.

    Guru: And then?

    Tom: Then, souls do not die. They live forever. So we actually cannot die.

    Guru: How does this belief help the living?

    Tom: By believing that we cannot die, we don’t fear death. And by not fearing death, we don’t fear life.

    Guru: Yes, splendid answer. And by not fearing life, you can really be alive in your life."

horizontal rule

Overview:

Is there life after death? What form does it take?

Various Christian denominations and leaders have taught conflicting answers to those two questions:

bulletWe eventually land up in Heaven, Hell, Limbo, Purgatory, Sheol, or some other place, state, or condition.
 
bulletWe simply disappear and cease to exist in any form.
 
bulletOur souls separate immediately from our body and go to Heaven or Hell while our bodies remain on Earth to decay.
 
bullet We sleep for a long time after death before being woken up for a final judgment. 
 
bulletWe are reincarnated into new bodies to live another lifetime on Earth, either as a human or animal.
 
bulletInfants who die go to Limbo, where they remain in an infant state forever.

Unfortunately, the Bible seems hopelessly ambiguous on matters related to life after death. This can be shown by the great variety of scenarios, covering the above options and more, which have been proposed by different Christian faith groups and writers over almost two millennia.

Each group has based their beliefs on what they regard as true interpretations of key biblical passages, supported by church tradition, reason and the occasional "near death experience" (NDE) when people have claimed to have died, gone to heaven or hell, and returned to llfe on Earth.

Most faith groups teach that their beliefs are correct, while all others are wrong. It is obvious that most or all of the tens of thousands of faith groups around the world are mistaken in their beliefs.

To answer the above question:

bulletJust about every devout churchgoer is absolutely certain that there is life after death and that they know what form it takes. Generally, these beliefs match the teachings of their faith group.
 
bullet Any priest, priestess, pastor, minister, etc. would probably be happy to fill you in with the details of what their particular faith group teaches.
 
bullet One might try to determine the truth via prayer to God. However, a pilot study that we conducted some years ago indicated that getting such answers from God through prayer is unreliable.
 
bullet No human may really know where the truth lies. If life after death exists, it might be necessary to die first before we learn the truth. Even worse: if there is no afterlife to experience, then we will never know, because -- after death -- we will not have a functioning brain to realize that there is no afterlife.

Sponsored link.

Topics in this section:

bullet Introduction

bulletBeliefs about the afterlife: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Limbo

bulletConservative & liberal interpretations of Biblical passages.

bullet Beliefs of specific denominations:

bullet Diverse Christian beliefs in salvation: Who gets to go to Heaven; who to Hell?

bullet Comparing the strengths & weaknesses of belief systems about salvation. Do any make sense?

bullet

What happens to a person immediately after death?

bullet A personal essay donated by Cary Cook, titled: "After Pascal. Thoughts on an afterlife"
 
bulletHell:
bulletAbout Hell itself:
bullet

Descriptions of Hell in the New Testament (location and temperature)


bullet

Descriptions of Hell's other torments. A Catholic publication about Hell. Hells in other religions


bullet Is Hell endothermic or exothermic. Is Hell hotter than Heaven?
 
bullet A personal essay donated by "Alan J", titled: "My Journey to Hell"
 
bulletBeliefs about Hell:
bulletThe diversity of conservative Protestant beliefs

bulletIs punishment temporary or eternal? (Annihilationism or Traditionalism)

bulletConflicts between secularism and conservative Christianity

bulletBeliefs by the American public according to polls
 
bulletBeliefs unique to Roman Catholics:
bulletPurgatory

bulletLimbo
bullet Essay donated by Contributing Editor, Susan Humphreys:
bullet Dissecting logical arguments about life after death and God.

Sponsored link:

Related topics elsewhere in this web site:

bulletDivisions within Protestant Christianity
bulletInerrancy of the Bible
bulletBiblical inspiration
bulletAmerican religious beliefs according to opinion polls
bulletComparison of American Christian beliefs with those of other Christian cultures
bulletSalvation
bullet Who will be saved and thus attain Heaven and avoid Hell? Beliefs of modern and ancient Christians
bulletCan non-Christians be saved?

Site navigation:

 Home page > Christianity > History, beliefs... > Specific beliefs > here

or Home page > Christianity > Bible > Contents > here

Copyright © 2001 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-FEB-24
Latest update: 2018-OCT-14
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
123456789

Go to the previous page, or go to the Christian beliefs menu, or go to the "What the Bible says about" menu, or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Hot, controversial topics

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 
Sponsored links: