Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 12

What happens at death?

Ecclesiastes 12:7

Ecclesiastes 12:7 gives a very clear description of what happens at death. As the Bible is Godís word, its description of death is very important to us. We do not believe that this is just someoneís opinion. God has provided this description to help us understand about death.

During a personís whole life, that personís body and spirit remain together. However, it is easy to distinguish the body from the spirit. The body consists of materials that come from this earth. The Bible says that God made people from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7).

But a body without a spirit is not alive. A personís spirit comes from God. It does not belong to this world and it does not consist of materials from this world.

At death, both the body and the spirit return to their proper places. The body returns to the ground. In a grave, a body actually becomes part of the earth again. After a few years, hardly anything of the body remains - just a few bones. In the end, even the bones return to the soil.

But the personís spirit does not return to the earth; it does not belong on this earth. The personís spirit returns to God, who gave it to that person.

And then God is that personís judge (Ecclesiastes 12:14). He judges the personís spirit. God will make one of two possible judgements about that person (Matthew 13:47-50):

(1) God wants to forgive people because Jesus died for them (John 3:16). Then, their spirits will go to heaven (John 14:2). But that is only possible when people have invited him into their lives (John 1:12).

(2) Other people cannot benefit from Godís kindness. God will decide that they are guilty because of their evil deeds (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Ecclesiastes 7:20). And they cannot avoid his punishment (Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:11-15).

Next part: All is vanity (Ecclesiastes 12:8)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.