History of Afterlife in Different Religions Christianity Part 2

About the views on life after death and the afterlife and history of the beliefs in the Christian religion.

THE AFTERLIFE IN DIFFERENT RELIGIONS

CHRISTIANITY

On the day of the Last Judgment, four angels standing at Earth's four corners (the points of the compass) will sound trumpets to initiate cataclysmic events. Christ will descend from Heaven in triumph to judge all people and nations in the presence of one another. (The Immediate Judgment is private.) Then the dead bodies will rise from their tombs in a glorified state and be reunited with their departed souls. The throne of judgment will be set, and Christ, robed in white and assisted by the archangel Michael, will separate the saved from the damned, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. The Elect among the faithful (those who suffered martryrdom on Earth for Christ) will act as cojudges. Christ will have a great book in which details of each life are recorded; He will have another book (the Book of Life) in which the names of the saved are already written down. Archangel Michael may at this time perform a ritual weighing of each person's good and evil actions on a huge balance scale.

Now the damned souls are cast back into Hell to suffer eternal torment in indestructible physical bodies which can feel more intense pain than could their spiritual selves. Or alternatively, they may undergo complete annihilation. Satan, too, will be cast into fire and brimstone, his oppression of humans forever terminated. Now a new Heaven and a new Earth will appear. The saved will take their places amid joy and feasting in the Kingdom of God. Their state will be one of eternal beatitude, as they sing hymns of praise to God everlastingly. The Earth itself will be transformed into a paradise, without sorrow, pain, or death. In its midst will be a transfigured city, the New Jerusalem. There will be no more nations, no more war; the lion and the lamb will lie down together.

In another version, at some time prior to the Last Judgment the faithful will reign on Earth for a thousand years (the millennium) with Christ at his Second Coming. At this time only Christians will be resurrected (i.e., reunited with their bodies) to share in the reign. Afterward there will be a time of universal strife on Earth until Satan is thrown permanently into a lake of fire preparatory to the final resurrection of all the dead and the Last Judgment.

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