None of us can escape death. Death is part of the cycle of life in God’s plan. Yes it is true that medical advances can extend a life by a few years but death still comes. It may be a newborn, a teenager, someone in midlife, or an elderly person who has lived a wonderful life, but death still comes to all.

Each of us only has this lifetime to make a decision to accept or reject God’s plan for our lives. That plan involves accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. What does the Bible say?

What happens to those who say no to Jesus? The Bible says that those who are unsaved will immediately upon death go to a place called Hades (commonly known as Hell). Hades is an intermediate place of the dead, a place of constant suffering, and a place of torment. God will then resurrect those in Hades and they will appear before God in the final judgment. This judgment will determine the degree of punishment each will receive.   Each will be placed in Gehenna, the final place of punishment. Both the soul and the body will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

What happens to those who say yes to Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior? The Bible says that those who are saved will immediately upon death go to an intermediate place called Paradise. Those in Paradise will be in a state of conscious bliss and have fellowship with Christ. God will then resurrect those in Paradise and they will appear before God in the final judgment. This judgment will determine the degree of reward each will receive. God will then usher each into Heaven, a place of everlasting blessedness, and they will make the New Heaven and the New Earth home.

For any of you who have lost a child—a word of encouragement. What about children who die before the age of accountability. This would include those aborted, those still-born, babies and young children. Do these precious ones go to Heaven? Unfortunately, the Bible does not directly or explicitly address this but does have a number of scriptures that relate to Jesus love for children and the death of child (David and Bathsheba). It is the belief of many Bible scholars that there appears to be a special dispensation of God’s grace and mercy for those who die young. It is therefore appropriate to conclude that the souls of these children are immediately in the presence of Jesus.