What Comes After Death?

Biblical Authority Devotional: The Seventh C, Part 3

by Steve Ham on August 10, 2011

Hebrews states that judgment follows death. Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., explains the only way for a person to escape the wrath of infinitely holy God.

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

Today’s big question: what comes after death?

The short answer is that judgment comes after death. Let’s make sure we have a proper perspective on this subject. Although we were brought into existence by His great power, we have rebelled against the God of the universe, the self-existent, eternal One who is a consuming fire and the Creator of all things. This truth should cause every human to fear their Maker. The finite rebelled against the infinite, the limited against the unlimited. As a result of sin, we all die, and then we must face God.

The big question is whether we face God “in Christ” or without Christ. Facing God’s judgment is a fearful reality for every person born on this planet because all have sinned (Romans 3:23). We may not like this truth and may want to suppress it, but it remains true. Our prideful attempts to place ourselves on the throne while rejecting God’s rightful authority will be dealt with for all eternity. 

The perfect and eternal character of God has been gloriously displayed in the midst of this human dilemma. Throughout the Scriptures we read of God redeeming people for Himself through atoning sacrifices, such as the one made on the Day of Atonement referenced in Hebrews 9. The priests took blood and sprinkled it in the tent of the Holy of Holies.

These sacrifices could never “take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). They pointed to the once-and-for-all sacrifice of our sinless Savior—the ultimate spotless Lamb, Jesus Christ. The sacrifices of the Old Testament were a shadow of what was to come in Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews provided a beautiful description of this truth:

For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. (Hebrews 9:24)

Judgment is a reality, and the final outcome of that judgment depends solely on whether you are “in Christ” or not. When you die, are you protected from judgment by the perfect Substitute who has already dealt with your sin? Have you repented of your sin and trusted in Jesus? He is the only One who has atoned for your sin and appeased the eternal wrath of God. 

Without Christ, you will face your judgment alone and will experience God’s wrath forever. Atheists and church-goers alike are without excuse. It is only through faith in Christ alone that we can escape the judgment we deserve.

Today’s big idea: judgment after death is a reality, and the only hope of salvation is Jesus.

What to pray: praise God that Christ has atoned for sin. If you have not already done so, repent of your sin, believe in the risen Savior, and confess Him as Lord.

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