2DEATH & THE AFTERLIFE~ What Christians believe about the SOUL and life after death~ What Christians understand about HEAVEN, HELL and PURGATORY~ What Christians believe about God acting as a JUDGE~ What happens during a Christian FUNERAL, and its importance to Christian faith
3Christian beliefs about the Soul Christians believe that humans have a ‘soul’, because they are made ‘in the image of God’. The soul is a spiritual element to human existence.Christians believe that the soul does not die, but lives on after the death of the physical body.Christians DO NOT believe in REINCARNATION.They believe in RESURRECTION.This means that they think that their souls will be raised back to life, just like Jesus, to live in Heaven with God for all eternity.
4Understanding Hell, Heaven and Purgatory Christians used to believe in HEAVEN and HELL more literally than they do today. Today, Christianity is more concerned with the symbolism of Heaven and Hell.
5Understanding Hell~Some Christians believe that HELL is a place of eternal punishment for people who have done wrong and rejected God.~Some think that it is a real place OR a type of spiritual existence.~Other Christians believe that HELL is a poetic way of describing eternity without God. They do not think of it as a geographical location.HELL is sometimes described as a ‘pit’ or ‘lake’ of fire, where the souls of the ‘damned’ are lost for all eternity.
6Some Christians believe that HELL is the domain of the Devil or Satan. They believe that sinners will be eternally tortured and endure an afterlife of pain and suffering.
7Christians will try to love and obey God so that they will not spend eternity in HELL.
8Understanding HeavenA common image of HEAVEN is a place of perfect love and happiness.Christians believe that there will be no sadness, pain or suffering in Heaven.They believe they will be resurrected into a new, perfect ‘body’.
9Sometimes HEAVEN is thought of as somewhere high in the sky. Some Christians think it is real place; Others consider it to be a word to describe a spiritual existence somewhere in ‘paradise’.
10Understanding Purgatory ~ Roman Catholic Christians believe in PURGATORY. They think that this is a ‘place’ for people who have died but are not ready to go straight to heaven.~ PURGATORY is sometimes called LIMBO.~ Catholics believe that if they pray for the dead persons soul and ask for forgiveness for the sins they committed their soul may reach heaven more quickly.
11A common image of PURGATORY is that of a struggle between the opposing forces of Good and Evil.
12Catholics believe that PURGATORY is a place of goodness and mercy. They believe that God is offering people one last chance to ‘purge’ their sins so that they are ‘fit’ enough (pure, and clean enough) to enter Heaven.
13God as Judge Christian believe that God will JUDGE them when they die. If you have loved and obeyed God your soul will rejoice and be rewarded with a place in Heaven for all eternity.If you have not loved God and disobeyed Him your soul will lament and be punished with a place in Hell for all eternity.BUT Christians believe that God is FORGIVING.They think that JESUS was a SAVIOUR, who died on the Cross and took away the sins of the world. He did this so people could repent (say sorry) and be forgiven for the wrong things they do.
14‘ I am the Resurrection and the Life ‘ Christian FuneralsA Christian FUNERAL service reminds people that one day a Christian’s SOUL will be raised up to eternal life with Jesus. This is called RESURRECTION.Christians are sometimes cremated, but are usually buried. They believe that death is not the end.A lot of Christian FUNERAL services begin with the words of Jesus:‘ I am the Resurrection and the Life ‘
15Christian funerals share a lot of common features: Most Christian funerals take place in a church, where a short service of remembrance is led by a priest or minister.Usually passages from the Bible are read to offer comfort for the bereaved and provide hope for eternal life.Prayers are said to ask for comfort and to give thanks for the life of the dead person.Friends or family may give a short talk to celebrate the dead person’s life.Hymns are sung to praise God and give thanks to Him for all He does.
16Christians, like everyone else, are sad when someone they love dies Christians, like everyone else, are sad when someone they love dies. But a Christian funeral service teaches that death is not the end. Christians believe in life after death.A Christian funeral service reminds people that all life is given by God, and that God is also responsible for taking life away.
17Homework:Explain how Christians understand:a) Heavenb) Hellc) Purgatoryd) Soul2. “For a Christian whose earthly life is over: their life is changed, not ended.”Explain what this statement means.