Our Nature after Death Depends on the Kind of Life We Led in the World

ANY Christian knows from the Word that our life is still with us after death, since it says in many places that we will be judged according to our deeds and works and rewarded accordingly. Further, anyone who thinks on the basis of what is good and from real truth cannot help but see that people who live well enter heaven and people who live evil lives enter hell. However, people who are intent on evil do not want to believe that their state after death depends on their life in the world. They think rather, especially when their health begins to fail, that heaven is granted to all on the basis of mercy alone no matter how people have lived, and that this depends on a faith that they keep separate from life.

It does say in many places in the Word that we will be judged and requited according to our deeds and works. I should like to cite a few passages here.

The Human-born One is to come in the glory of the Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his or her works. (Matthew 16:17 [16:27])

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Truly, says the spirit, so that they may rest from their labors, their works follow them. (Revelation 14:11 [14:13])

I will give to all according to their works. (Revelation 2:23)

I saw the dead, small and great, standing in the presence of God, and books were opened, and the dead were judged according to what was written in the books, according to their works; the sea gave up those who had died in it, and death and hell gave up the people who were in them, and they were all judged according to their works. (Revelation 20:13, 15 [20:12, 13])

See, I am coming; and my reward is with me, and I will give to all according to their works. (Revelation 22:12)

Everyone who hears my words and does them I will compare to a prudent person, but everyone who hears my words and does not do them is like a foolish person. (Matthew 7:24, 26)

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in the heavens. Many people will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied through your name, and through your name cast out demons, and in your name done many powerful deeds?” But then I will confess to them, “I do not recognize you. Get away from me, workers of iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22, 23)

Then you will begin to say, “We have eaten in your presence and drunk, and you have taught in our streets.” But he will say, “I tell you, I do not recognize you, workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:25–27)

I will repay them according to their work, and according to the deeds of their hands. (Jeremiah 25:14)

Jehovah, whose eyes are open upon all our paths, to give to us all I will visit upon their ways and repay them their works. (Hosea 4:9)

Jehovah deals with us according to our ways and according to our works. (Zechariah 1:6)

Where the Lord is predicting the Last Judgment, he recounts only deeds, and [says] that the people who have done good works will enter eternal life, and that the people who have done evil works will enter damnation (Matthew 25:32–46). There are many other passages as well that deal with our salvation and damnation.

We can see that our outward life consists of our works and deeds, and that the quality of our inner life is manifested through them.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 470, 471

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