While beliefs about the afterlife vary from culture to culture and faith to faith, many believe that, when we die, our immortal soul will go to heaven to be with God for eternity. Do you have an immortal soul? What happens after you die? This program gives the answer to a question that almost everyone wrestles with: What really does await you after you die?
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
Many people passionately believe that when we die our souls will go to heaven for eternity. There, they expect to see departed loved ones and other long-lost friends—even lost pets, perhaps. The other details are a bit “fuzzy,” but this eternity in heaven is often imagined as some sort of never-ending “resort” of comfort and delights.
Now you might believe many of these things about heaven, yourself. If so, I have incredibly GOOD NEWS to share with you: You are wonderfully wrong. The truth is that God has something planned for you, for me, and for all who have gone before us that is far, far *BETTER* THAN HEAVEN! You need to know the details of what He has planned—stay tuned!
Greetings, and welcome to Tomorrow’s World! I’m delighted you’re here.
Today we are going to plunge into a question that many people long to answer: What comes next after we die? We’ll also be offering you a free booklet about God’s purpose for you after death, Your Ultimate Destiny. It really is completely free. Be sure to keep an eye on your screen for information on how to get your copy.
In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that 72% of Americans believe in some sort of rewarding afterlife. Even for those who consider themselves unaffiliated with a particular religious faith, 37% said they believe in an afterlife in heaven—including some agnostics and atheists who responded to the poll.
While beliefs about that afterlife vary from culture to culture and faith to faith, many believe that they have an immortal soul will go to heaven after their deaths, to be with God for eternity.
But what does that really mean?
Ideas vary wildly. Most imagine they will meet friends and family who have long been dead. Others believe it will be like a life of eternal luxury and comfort—but, frankly, details are hard to come by.
Peter Stanford, author of the book Heaven: A Traveller’s Guide to the Undiscovered Country, made this observation in the Daily Mail:
“In the marketing-speak that creeps ever more into our daily exchanges, the best bit of the ‘religious offer’ is the promise of an afterlife. That is why so many people who have severed all other ties with formal religion (i.e., churchgoing) continue to cling vaguely to the notion of Heaven. It lends itself perfectly to vagueness.
Still, the important questions remain: Is the idea that after death we will spend eternity in heaven true?
Does it come from the Bible? What about the billions who have died before us? What will you and I do for eternity if we live forever? What is the TRUTH about what happens when we die?
The answers to those questions may not be what you think they are. For instance, the Bible makes it plain that you do NOT immediately go to heaven when you die. But I’m here to tell you that is GOOD NEWS. Because what God has planned for you is FAR BETTER THAN HEAVEN! In fact, the idea of an eternity relaxing in heaven does not even come CLOSE to the joyous future that is REALLY in store for us after death. And today on this program, we’re going to show you, out of your Bible, the details of that future.
Before I can do that, I need to clear up a fundamental misunderstanding that many people have—and that is the idea that we all have an immortal, continually conscious soul that goes ANYWHERE when we die. God’s word plainly says that we do not.
While some verses here and there are sometimes wrenched out of context to make it seem otherwise, the plain teaching of the Bible is that the dead are just that: DEAD—unconscious and without life, awaiting a FUTURE resurrection.
Consider Ecclesiastes 9 and verse five. There, King Solomon explains it very simply:
For the living know that they will die; but THE DEAD KNOW NOTHING…
Later, he adds more detail:
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
His father, King David, understood this. In Psalm 6 and verse 5, he wrote:
For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?
The Bible is clear: The dead are simply that: Dead.
But that does NOT mean the end! For the Bible makes JUST as plain the fact that there is a coming RESURRECTION of the dead! The Apostle Paul made it clear that this resurrection was his hope, not an eternity in heaven, declaring,
I have hope in God… that there will be a RESURRECTION of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
Well, what’s so special about a resurrection? Why is that so much better than the idea of going to heaven? We will explain the inspiring answer in our next segment.
But first, let me give you an opportunity to request this week’s free booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny.
This easy-to-read but thoroughly documented work will take you scripture-by-scripture in outlining for you the purpose of human existence and the meaning of your life
Lives have been transformed by the information in this booklet, and it is free for the asking. Here’s how to get your copy. And afterwards, we’ll discuss the startling purpose for your life, which truly is better than heaven! So, don’t go away.
So, the Bible says that the dead await a resurrection. Actually, as we’ll see on our program, the Bible speaks of different resurrections for different people. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before we examine that, we need to understand the PURPOSE OF HUMAN LIFE TO BEGIN WITH.
That’s where our book, Your Ultimate Destiny, will be so helpful to you. Our booklet will lay out, in detail—verse by verse—the biblical proof of the truth that God’s purpose for mankind is to REPRODUCE HIMSELF—to expand His family!
Notice the original account of the creation of man and woman, in the book of Genesis. While the plants and animals are described as being made after their own kind—the fruit trees after their kind, the sea creatures after their kind, etc.—MAN is described as being made after the GOD kind. See for yourself, in Genesis 1 and verse 26:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
While he made all beasts after their kind, God ensured that humans, though physical, were made like Him. God makes it clear that mankind has a greater purpose than the animals do: He intends to make us His children. It is a purpose that involves FAR more than spending an eternity in heaven, as if we were “pets” to be cared for and kept happy, forever. We are to be children.
In Romans 8:16, we read this truth plainly. In the King James Version, it says,
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…
We will explain the fullness of that statement later in our program, but it includes inheriting the life and existence that the glorified Jesus Christ now experiences as a FULL son of God, eternal and brilliant, shining like the sun! Again, you don’t have to believe me. Look for yourself in 1 John and chapter 3:
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Read that and believe it: “[W]hen He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”!
And what is He like? Read the description of the glorified Jesus Christ in the Book of Revelation! He is described there as having a face that shines like the sun, eyes like fire, and a voice like many waters. THAT is the divine existence as a FULL CHILD OF GOD in GLORY that God plans to share with us!
Read how the Apostle Paul describes the resurrection body in 1 Corinthians, chapter 15:
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in GLORY. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in POWER. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a SPIRITUAL BODY. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
Raised incorruptible in GLORY and POWER. Just as Jesus Christ was raised a life-giving spirit, we, too, will be transformed to such a state, as Paul explains:
And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
As Paul says plainly in the next few verses, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” and “we shall all be CHANGED.”
Why? If we are simply to live a life of luxury in an eternal retirement home in heaven, why this emphasis on GLORY and POWER, becoming SPIRIT and inheriting a KINGDOM?
Because, my friends, it gets even better! We will dive even deeper in the next part of our program.
But first, let us briefly take a moment to remind you how to receive your free copy of this encouraging booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny. It really is free: We here at Tomorrow’s World believe that Jesus Christ commands us to give our materials away for free. That’s why you never hear us asking you for money or donations on our program like so many video preachers do today, nor do we have any sort of “suggested price.” This life-changing book, Your Ultimate Destiny, has been completely paid for!
For once, believe it or not, something really is free.
Here’s how to get your copy, and then come right back, as we look at just what God expects you to do with the glorious body He plans to give you.
As we saw in the last portion of our program, far from having “immortal souls” that simply float to heaven after death for a life of luxury, like some sort of divine, ethereal penthouse, those who are working with Christ in this life today to fulfill their purpose will be raised from the grave in POWER and GLORY—with spirit bodies like that of the glorified Jesus Christ, shining like the sun, as full Children of God! Again, this truth is proven in minute detail in today’s free resource, Your Ultimate Destiny.
But what will those who are Christ’s be doing in their glorified state once He returns? And what of the many billions who have lived and died never knowing Jesus Christ, let alone their purpose?
After their resurrection and their marriage to the Lamb on the fabulous Sea of Glass before their Father’s throne, God’s word is clear about what happens next for followers of Christ: The glorified saints of God—transformed Christians—will RETURN to earth to RULE it for 1,000 years alongside Jesus Christ!
Notice the description in Revelation 20, beginning in verse 4. After the devil is bound for 1,000 years, unable to influence mankind, the Apostle John records what he saw in vision:
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
The 1,000-year reign of Christ and the saints while the Devil is bound is not a reign up in heaven. Revelation 5:10 and other passages say plainly that the saints shall reign on the earth.
It may surprise you that ruling and reigning over the earth is at the heart of God’s plan, but that’s only because so few are willing to preach what the Bible actually says. When you allow God to open your eyes, it appears everywhere in the Bible! Jesus told the Apostles that, at His return, they would rule over the 12 tribes of Israel. He gave His followers parables about ruling cities. The Apostle Paul talks to the Corinthians about reigning as kings, and he tells Timothy that those who endure will reign right next to Jesus Christ. Isaiah 9 says of Christ that “the government will be upon His shoulder” and will increase without end, and Daniel chapter 7 says that faithful followers of God will receive that Kingdom alongside Jesus Christ, possessing it forever and ever. In fact, Paul explicitly tells Christians in 1 Corinthians chapter 6, verses 2 & 3,
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
Judging the world—judging angels! Time would fail us to mention all of the scriptures in God’s word that speak of the glorified saints reigning in power under Jesus Christ! Have you ever had this “afterlife” explained to you? It is the plain teaching of your Bible!
Resurrected and glorified Christians will work directly with Jesus Christ in ruling, healing, and beautifying this world for 1,000 years. They will help heal the crippled, the blind, the deaf, and the mute. They will bring waters to the deserts and make them beautiful and fertile! They will personally teach the people of earth God’s laws and ways, turning the earth into the paradise it was meant to be.
If your heart has ever been broken because of the evil and suffering that you have seen in the world and you have longed to CHANGE the world—that is EXACTLY what the resurrected followers will do under Jesus Christ for 1,000 years!
My friends—the “afterlife” God has planned is so much more than a glorified “retirement home in the sky.”
And even THEN, there is still so much more! After all, many of those scriptures we mentioned refer to the saints ruling forever, not just 1,000 years. What happens AFTER the 1,000 years?
My friends, not only is it better than the “heaven” that is taught by most churches and preachers—it is more amazing than many have dared even to hope.
Before we get to the most jaw-dropping part of the Bible’s details concerning God’s plan for you, let me pause just one more time to give you a moment to request the companion study guide to today’s program, Your Ultimate Destiny. This booklet proves beyond doubt, from the pages of your own Bible, how commonly taught ideas about going to heaven forever are a pale, deceptive shadow of the true purpose God has planned for you.
One of the booklet’s readers wrote to us about it and had this to say:
“My eyes have been truly opened just within the time I have been studying with Tomorrow’s World. After reading the booklet Your Ultimate Destiny I had a feeling that I never felt before concerning spirituality… I have learned more concerning God’s words in the last three months than I had learned all my life.”
In a moment, we’ll show you how to get your copy, and then I’ll be right back with the biggest surprise of all. You won’t want to miss it.
We have precious little time, but I have saved the best for last.
After the 1,000 years are ended, Revelation 20 tells us that the Devil is finally, utterly, removed from contact with us forevermore. You’ll also remember that verse 5 of Revelation 20 spoke of the resurrection of the saints of God as the “first resurrection.” As John wrote there,
…the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.
Later verses in chapter 20 explain that ALL of the dead, small and great, are raised to physical life to have the books of the Bible opened to them, and to have their opportunity to be listed in the Book of Life. With God, NO ONE will have been lost to Him on “accident,” or because they did not have an opportunity. Only those who truly refuse God’s offer of salvation, with an understanding of what they are doing, will be ultimately destroyed, and thrown into the Lake of Fire to be annihilated, never to live again.
So, with all who would refuse God destroyed forever, and those who remain given everlasting life in the Family of God, what next? What will all of us do as we take our first steps into eternity?
You absolutely MUST get our booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny, to read and study these things in detail, but let me try to give you as much in as I can in these final moments. It really does come back to the purpose of man: Why did God create mankind? What is it He has longed to give us all this time?
Quoting the Psalms in Hebrews chapter 2, the Apostle Paul points out in verse 8 that God has put “all things” under mankind’s ultimate dominion. Now those words “all things” in Hebrews are translated from the Greek words ta panta, which literally mean “the all”—all of Creation! The Universe! In fact, our inheritance stretches farther than our eyes can see! As Paul explains in the same verse,
For in that He put all in subjection under him [that is, under man], He left NOTHING that is not put under him. But now we DO NOT YET SEE all things put under him.
What the glorified Children of God will do for the earth, God wants us to do throughout ALL of Creation! In Romans 8, Paul describes a universe that is LONGING for the restoring hand of God’s own children! Read it there, in verse 18:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
…because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Do we have the courage to grasp what our eyes see in our Bibles?
The Bible says that the VAST CREATION around us—stars and planets and galaxies, world without end—long for OUR REVELATION as the eternal, glorified Children of God!
God’s plan and purpose for man is so much larger than it seems ANYONE will give it credit for! God has created an entire UNIVERSE for us to cultivate and beautify—joining our Heavenly Father in His work!
Consider the images we’ve seen broadcast from the surface of Mars: a desolate, dry, dead place. Can you imagine such worlds made green and alive? When we see images, we need to remember: that wasteland is waiting for you and me to fulfill our purpose and to bring it liberty! The liberty of the Children of God!
What will you do with your portion of the cosmos as a glorified Child of God? Are you willing to embrace the promises of an Almighty Creator, who longs to share His own existence with you and to give you all things?
And—perhaps, more importantly—are you willing to seek His Kingdom now, in this life, knowing that such an inheritance awaits you?
Our time today is at an end, but we have barely scratched the surface of this topic. I do hope you will request today’s free booklet and prove this life-changing truth for yourself.
And I hope you’ll come back next time. Richard Ames, Gerald Weston, and I, as well as Guest Presenter Rod McNair, will be right here to share with you the teachings of Jesus Christ, the good news of His coming Kingdom, and the prophecies of your Bible. Until then, take care.
Why were you born? Why does God allow even dedicated Christians to go through years and decades of trials, tests and persecutions? Why is it so important that we all "overcome"? What is the magnificent purpose for all our lives here on planet Earth?