Luke 12 Lesson

What Happens To Us When We Die?


This question has been plaguing man since the beginning of time.

Death is a part of life, and it is human nature to ponder our mortality and wonder what is going to happen to us when we die.  

In today’s study, we will separate ourselves from the various theories that exist about the afterlife and zero in on what the Bible says and what Jesus taught on the subject.


The Hebrew writer said:

  • “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” - Hebrews 9:27.

From this scripture, we understand two things:

  1. We are all going to die (unless Jesus comes back first),
  2. We are all going to be judged.

After we are judged, we will either be sent to Heaven, or we will be sent to Hell

Wherever we are sent, we are going to remain there forever, and therefore, the stakes could not be any higher!

For this reason, we need to do our research and make certain that we have prepared ourselves while on Earth and done everything that we need to do to get to Heaven.


There is a common misconception in the world that if we are “nice people” and “good people” we are guaranteed a place in Heaven when we die.

But is that what the Bible teaches?

Is that what Jesus taught?

In the Gospel of Mathew, Jesus issued the following warning to us:

  • “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, andonly a few find it.” – Mathew 7:13-14.

Notice how Jesus said “ Only a few find it ” when talking about Heaven.

These words spoken by Jesus put all of us on notice! 

If we want to be a part of the small group that goes to Heaven, we have work to do.

If we want to spend eternity with God, Jesus, and all the saints, there is work to be done!

We must obey the Gospel to get to Heaven.

And to do that, we need to study the Bible and understand what it says, and does not say, about our salvation.    


Listed below are five matters of salvationthat are taught in the Bible along with their corresponding scriptures. 

The list starts with a belief in Jesus and a confession that He is the Messiah. 

Next, we must repent, or turn away from our sins and be baptized. 

And finally, we must study to learn God’s commandments and then try our best to keep them. 

We will not ever keep them perfectly (Romans 3:23),but we must try! 

The character is in the trying. 

  1. Believe in Jesus.  “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” –  Acts 16:31
  2. Confess our belief in Him.  “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” –  Romans 10:10
  3. Repent (turn away from) of our sins.  “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” –  Luke 13:3
  4. Be baptized.  “ Baptism  now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ .” –  1 Peter 3:21  and “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” –  Mark 16:16
  5. Obey God’s commandments.  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”  –  Mathew 7:21.


Simply put, Heaven will be more beautiful than anything we can imagine. 

It will be paradise!

In Heaven, there is:

  • No pain,
  • No crime,
  • No tears,
  • And no sorrow.

Consider the following four verses about Heaven:

  1. And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” - Luke 23:43,
  2. “And He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain.” - Revelation 21:3-4,
  3. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” - John 14:2,
  4. “For I consider that thesufferingsof this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” -Roman 8:18.


Now is the time to examine our priorities and recommit ourselves to Jesus.  

If there is anything that we need to do relative to our salvation, the time to act is now!

Heaven is forever.

So is Hell!

When we die, we are going to be judged and sent to either Heaven or Hell for eternity. 

Therefore, it is imperative that we understand and obey what the Bible teaches about salvation.

After all, none of us are promised another day. 

According to the Bible, there are five things that we need to do to be saved:

  1. Believe in Jesus (Acts 16:31),
  2. Confess our belief in Him (Romans 10:10),
  3. Repent (turn away from) of our sins (Luke 13:3),
  4. Be baptized (1 Peter 3:21,Mark 16:16),
  5. Obey God’s commandments (Mathew 7:21).

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture that warns us not to delay taking any of the steps that are necessary for salvation:

  • “For you, yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord is coming just like a thief in the night.   While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction will come upon them like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.   But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, so that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then, let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.   For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who are drunk, get drunk at night.   But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faithand love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.  Therefore,  encourage one anotherand build one another up, just as you also are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:2-11.


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1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?



While I do believe heaven will be a wondrous place, I also believe there is one complete step to salvation, Step #1 - accepting Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Everything else comes as a result, which is why I believe one can be saved on their death bed.

As stated in a previous lesson, it is impossible due to our sinful nature to obey God's commandments throughut our entire lives, and having this as a requirement to get into heaven seems to fall into the "works-based" category of salvation. It also seems to lessen the power and impact that Christ's sacrifice has on our salvation, almost implying that his death wasn't enough, and we need to do more to get to heaven. i think this type of thinking can be used by the enemy to create doubt about our salvation, making us constantly wonder, "Am I really going to heaven?" has a great explanation on the matter if you'd like references to scripture and more information::

God bless!


Appreciate your comments Ben. A thought-provoking topic. And that's a good thing.


Can somebody please explain to me what it means to fear the Lord. I don't understand, maybe it's my understanding of fear. I don't want to be afraid of GOD. I'm trying so hard to understand his word and get true meaning out of it, I know it would bring great change in me. Thankyou


Hi Michelle,

God is love.

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:7-8.

However, God does allow us to be tempted by Satan, as He did with Jesus, for our own spiritual growth and development.

God also will discipline those that He loves.

"For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives." - Hebrews 12:6.

Solomon wrote at the end of Ecclesiastes:

"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person."

Because God is a just and righteous God, He will not permit those that choose sin and desires of the flesh over Him to enter heaven. They will be sent to hell forever and will suffer greatly. That is where a healthy respect, or fear, can help us to stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation.

There are two motivations for us to follow God.

1) Positive reinforcement. If we follow God's commandments, we can look forward to spending eternity with God and Jesus in heaven. Heaven will be more beautiful and glorious than our human minds can comprehend.
2) Negative reinforcement. Fear of punishment is a great motivator. Spending eternity in hell should motivate us to make godly decisions.

If we put God first and follow Jesus, we have nothing to worry about. If we do not, we should fear the just consequences of our actions that will be enforced by God.

I hope that helps a little Michelle.


Yes thankyou very much. Now I understand