Grave Matters (Part 1: What Happens After Death?)

“GRAVE MATTERS” [Part 1: What Happens After Death?]

INTRO: Today we’re beginning a series of messages on death, resurrection and eternity called “GRAVE MATTERS.”

Today we’re going to focus on what happens when people die. Where do they go? What is their state of existence? What happens next?


  1. Annihilation – ceasing to exist.
  2. Reincarnation – coming back as someone or something else.
  3. Animism – being absorbed into the wider world.
  4. Ultimate Reconciliation/Universalism – everyone is eventually saved, even if they first spend some time in hell.
  5. Resurrection – the body is resurrected (Christianity).

I. Jesus Died by Being Crucified on a Cross (John 19:6-34).

II. Jesus’ Body was Buried in a Tomb (John 19:41-42).

III. Jesus’ Spirit & Soul went to Hades (Eph. 4:9; Ps. 16:10).

  1. Our entire being consists of spirit, soul and body (1Thess. 5:23).
  2. Death – the spirit leaves the body (Jn. 19:30; Ja. 2:26; Acts 7:59)
  3. Jesus’ body went in a tomb (Jn. 19:41-42), but His spirit and soul went into the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4:9).
    1. Hebrew – Sheol – the place of departed spirits (for both the righteous and the unrighteous) (Ps. 16:10).
    2. Greek – hades (Lk. 16:19-31; esp. v. 23). This is not the final destination but rather an intermediate state.
  4. The two compartments of hades and their characteristics.
    1. For the righteous (a place of comfort).
    2. For the unrighteous (a place of torment).
  5. Jesus preached to the unrighteous spirits in hades (1Pet. 3:18-20).

IV. Jesus Rose from the Dead the 3rd Day (1Cor. 15:3-4; Phil. 3:20-21).

  1. His spirit & soul entered His resurrected, glorified body.

V. Jesus Ascended to Heaven 40 Days Later (Acts 1:1-3).

VI. Jesus Brought Paradise to Heaven (Lk. 23:43; 2Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7; 2Cor. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:21, 23; Eph. 4:8; Matt. 27:51-53).

  1. Paradise is now in heaven (Lk. 23:43; 2Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7).
  2. The spirit & soul of the righteous who die now go directly to heaven to be with the Lord 2Cor. 5:6, 8; Phil. 1:21, 23).

NEXT WEEK: The resurrection. What? When? How?