This thing is making its way into some of my Facebook friends’ timelines. In one morning, I’ve seen it three times. Since absolutely none of this made any sense to me from a former Christian point of view, I had to look up these verses in context. SURPRISE! This list is complete crap that doesn’t say any of what it thinks it says.
- Angels usher your soul to heaven – Luke 16:22
Here’s what that verse actually says:
The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.
This is one verse in the story of Lazarus the beggar (there are two Lazarus characters in the Bible) where the poor humble man was carried to Abraham’s side (not explicitly Heaven) while the rich, selfish man called out to Father Abraham from Hades. In my mind, this is not about an immediate life after death, but a tale of charity and kindness from those Who Have to Those Who Have Not.
- You immediately enter God’s presence – 2 Corinthians 5: 6-8
ummmm – no. That verse says absolutely nothing of the sort:
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
Sounds to me more like an admonition to not be of this world.
- You are conscious, in command of your thinking, feeling, speech and memories – Luke 16: 19-31
That’s stretching, but I’ll grant this for the sake of argument. However, it is clear that this is one of the parables that Jesus used in his teachings (see item 1) – not a description of life after death (side note: Luke 16:18, the verse immediately before this, has Jesus saying, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” So many cherries picked. Let’s make a pie.
- You participate in magnificent worship with angels and believers before the throne of God and Christ – Revelations 4-5
This is a really long piece of scripture that is part of John’s psychedelic trip into the end of the world. There is no mention at all of believers at God’s thrones. There are four creatures covered in eyes – a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle – 24 immortal elders, a lamb with seven horns and eyes, and “thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand” angels. But this is at the end of the world – not one minute after dying. And the end of world happens after all believers are resurrected from the dead – not right after dying.
- You are aware to some degree of activities and events on Earth – Revelations 6: 9-10
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?
Again, John’s fever dream of events at the end of the world and NOT what happens “one minute” after dying. And this doesn’t talk about generic believers. This is about, quite specifically “those who had been slain because of the word of God”.
- You will recognize and communicate with believers who preceded you to Heaven – Luke 9: 28-36
And why not wrap all of this up with one last verse that doesn’t say AT ALL what the title of this list says. This is a telling of Jesus’s final confab with Moses and Elijah, witnessed by Peter, John, and James as reported by… well – who knows who wrote this down. Certainly not anyone actually there. But, that aside, this – again – is not what a believer experiences one minute after dying. Hell, no one was even dead in this story (except Moses and Elijah)!
This may have been the most Bible study I’ve done in a long time, but I’m glad I did it. This list is “fake news”. None of what it purports to say is actually said. References are provided, but clearly the people who have been sharing this haven’t read the verses. They should. I provided links to the cited verses. Click on them. Read them. If you think I’m wrong, let me know here.
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