Life After Death in the Holy Bible

Equipe de Estudos Ecumênicos
Thursday | May 13, 2021 | 10:45 AM

What comes to your mind when you hear about life after death? Understanding our existence beyond the earthly realm is of utmost importance to lead a more purposeful life.

In this text, we invite you who like to study spiritual matters to explore what the Holy Bible tells us about the phenomenon of life after death, through passages from the Sacred Scriptures―biblical verses that unveil our spiritual origin.

In the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, we learn to approach the Bible in Spirit and Truth, in the light of the New Commandment of Jesus, the Ecumenical Christ, the Divine Statesman, who summons us to “Love one another, as I have loved you. Only by this shall all of you be recognized as my disciples” (the Gospel according to John 13:34 and 35). That is, from the ecumenical perspective that Christ has taught us, without resorting to interpretations taken by the letter that kills or to preconceived truths.

Biblical Events That Prove Life After Death

1) The Account of Prophet Jeremiah 1:4 and 5

In this Bible passage, we find the following warning:

“The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’”

In these verses, we have the revelation that everything originates in the Spiritual World, as taught by the President-Preacher of the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, José de Paiva Netto, in the article “Jesus, the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the Dead”:

“There is Life before life. For this reason, there are Laws that precede human laws and take precedence over them, for Jesus, the Divine Legislator, revealed: ‘Before Abraham was born, I am!’ (the Gospel according to John 8:58)”

Jeremiah receives the warning that before his mother received him in her womb, he already lived. This underscores that he was pre-existent in the Spiritual World, the true origin of us all. And if there is life before our earthly birth, we can also affirm the reality of life after death, as we return as spirits to the World of Truth after such phenomenon.

This realization is essential for us to discern our origin and destiny: the Eternal Spirit, which originates in the World of Truth and returns there after completing its journey on Earth.

2) The Thief on the Cross

Resorting to the Holy Scriptures, we also understand that the spirit does not sleep after death. To clarify this point, we turn to the narrative of “The Thief on the Cross,” recorded in the Holy Gospel of Jesus according to Luke 23:39-43:

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Jesus: “If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?

41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this Man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.”

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

This is indeed proof that “every day is the day to renew our destiny,” as Brother Paiva Netto affirms.

On that day, Dismas experienced a renewal in the presence of the Christ of God. Jesus announced that he would not be sleeping until the final judgment when He said, “today you will be with me in paradise.” But one might wonder: how? Fully conscious, alive, and not sleeping in the tomb.

Upon disincarnating, the body undergoes the phenomenon called death and then perishes, but the Soul does not: It survives and awakes to the continuation of existence, furthering its evolutionary journey within the spiritual realm.

Much like the revelation conveyed to Prophet Jeremiah (1:4 and 5) that he already existed before being formed in his mother’s womb, Dismas’ Soul would also go to the place from which we all came, the realm of Truth.

Each belief confers distinct titles upon the Spiritual World―some refer to it as Heaven, others as Paradise. However, what truly matters is our recognition of its existence. Jesus has never lied and never deceived anyone. When He said to Dismas “today,” He meant precisely that, not a decade or two later. The moment is now, as He assured us.

We always have the chance to access the truth about the paradise that Christ spoke of. We only need to immerse ourselves in His teachings and seek to understand the true meaning of life, always having in mind the goal of spiritual evolution through good deeds and good thoughts.

3) The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (the Gospel according to Luke 16:19-31)

Another passage confirming that life in the Spiritual World is dynamic, active, and purposeful is found in the Gospel of the Heavenly Educator according to Luke 16:19-31.

It is a story told by Jesus in which a rich man had a beggar named Lazarus at his gate, who asked for help with his sores, but he did not help him. Upon arriving in the Spiritual World, the rich man found himself in hell, while the beggar was taken by the Angels to “Abraham’s bosom.”

Here, the Sublime Pedagogue elucidates that material circumstances such as financial standing, social roles, or professions do not dictate the spiritual region we enter following our death.

Rather, our actions, our good deeds lead us to a good place in the World of Truth, so we may continue our active work in favor of Goodness.

Christ Himself has announced: 

“My Father’s House has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (The Gospel according to John 14:2)

The parable continues, describing that, upon arriving on the afterlife, the rich man who failed to assist those in need around him realized that life endured.

And then, observing the situation he was in, perishing in hell, he prayed for divine intervention to allow Lazarus to return to Earth, warn his relatives not to make the same mistakes he had made, and urge them to adopt good attitudes in their daily lives, since life goes on.

And the response he received was (Luke 16:29): “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.

This lesson showed all of us that it is always time to renew our actions and that we are constantly supported in our quest to rectify our actions. Furthermore, we witnessed Lazarus finding solace in the Spiritual World for having persevered in doing Good despite the trials and hardships he had faced on Earth.

In addition, we can learn from the rich man’s attitude about how much we still need to study and live by this divine truth. He believed that if his relatives could see a spirit bearing witness to the Spiritual World, they would believe in the reality of life after death and would reeducate their own lives.

But Jesus clarifies that humanity would need to evolve significantly to acknowledge the existence of the Spirits—which are a reality―as He explained in verse 31. He asserted that even if someone were to rise from the dead, many would still not believe in the latent truth of existence on the Other Side of Life.

16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Brother Paiva teaches us that:

“The Spiritual World is not an abstraction. It is invisible, but it does exist.”

4) “We are surrounded by such a great cloud of [invisible] witnesses” (Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews 12:1)

Inspired by the teachings of Jesus, Apostle Paul uttered these words, providing further evidence that there is life after death.

The spiritual harmony we establish through our deeds, whether good or bad, attracts certain spiritual companions who resonate with us and are alive in Spirit in the World of Truth, just as we will be after death. 

On the Other Side, those who preceded us are not sleeping; on the contrary, they continue their spiritual evolution, working and watching over us. It was Jesus who taught us that there is no idleness in the Spiritual World, when He said: 

“My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.” (The Gospel according to John 5:17)

Therefore, when a relative, a friend, or an acquaintance arrives in the Spiritual World, we should pray for them, for their happiness on their new journey. This invigorates their spirit with the power of prayer, reassuring them that they have not been forgotten, and that they are still loved by those who remain on Earth.

We conclude this study by saying that spiritual matters are not limited to human beliefs but form a sphere of knowledge that illuminates our lives in all fields, giving a broader purpose to our existence.

Regardless of one’s belief, our behavior should center on living by the teachings of Jesus, so that we always have around us heavenly companions, the Blessed Souls, our Guardian Angels, who always wish to assist us on our earthly journey.

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