What Adventists Believe About Death and Resurrection

What happens after we die?
June 11, 2024

Most people have wondered at some point about death, the afterlife and where they will end up. No one on this earth lives forever. It’s not something we really like to think about. It may even feel like an uncomfortable subject. But the question remains.

The good news is that we do have a reliable source that tells us how to navigate this tough subject. Seventh-day Adventists uphold what the Bible says about what happens when we die and after we die. The Bible says those who have died know nothing. That means we aren’t aware of the passage of time after death. We aren’t aware of what’s happening in the world. Death is like a deep sleep. Your body and spirit rest as the breath of life—which makes body and soul one and alive—has returned to God until the resurrection. Those who have died are resting peacefully in the grave. They are not in pain. They are not somewhere else being tormented. They are simply waiting in the grave until Jesus comes back.

When Jesus returns at the end of time, all who have died believing in Christ will have a bodily resurrection and go to Heaven with Him. This is the first resurrection. This is the Good News! Believers have the hope of eternal life because they place their trust in the Lord Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 says: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (ESV).

The second resurrection happens after a thousand years have passed. This resurrection is for those who were unfaithful to Christ. These are the lost people who decided not to follow Christ during their life on earth. Revelation 20:5 says, “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection” (ESV). Unfortunately, these people are not raised to eternal life but will face the second death. 

If you want to be a part of the first resurrection, you need to seek a relationship with God. Accept Jesus as your Savior today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life,” (ESV).

You can live a life of faith and be a part of God’s faithful people. Through reading God’s Word you will learn more about Him. As you study the Bible and pray, you will build a relationship with Him. You can accept Jesus as your Savior and follow Him. It will be the best decision you ever make! a

Seventh-day Adventist BELIEF #26: Death and Resurrection

The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later.

(Job 19:25-27; Psalms 146:3,4; Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10; Daniel 12:2,13; Isaiah 25:8; John 5:28,29; 11:11-14; Romans 6:23; 6:16; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54;

Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17;

1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 20:1-10)

By Southwestern Union Communication and Adventist.org