Why Do People Have to Die? What Will Happen to Me When I Die?

Here this week is author Kathryn Slattery! Her book, If I Could Ask God Anything, is a unique kid-friendly book jam-packed with clear, fresh answers to important questions about God, faith, prayer, and Christianity in language that children can understand. Kathryn has been so nice to answer some of the most popular questions for us right here on the blog!

In light of the recent events that have taken place in Newtown, CT, Kitty would like to provide helpful answers to some tough questions your kids may be asking. Today, she is answering some tough ones about death:

Why Do People Have to Die? What Will Happen to Me When I Die? When I Die, Will I Become an Angel with a Halo and Wings?

Oh, my. What very big questions!

For human beings, death is part of the natural order of things. This is because all earthly living things, including our human bodies, are mortal. The word mortal means subject to death.

It helps to remember that death, in its way, is as natural a part of life as birth. The Bible says that for every person there is “a time to be born and a time to die.” (Ecclesiastes 3:2). Still, no one wants to die. Death is sad for the people left behind. Because it is so mysterious, death can be scary.

Thanks to Jesus, you don’t have to be sad or scared about death. Because Jesus died for your sins and was raised from the dead, God promises that when your body dies, your soul will go on living forever in heaven (John 3:16).

Why would God promise such a wonderful thing?

Because God loves you. (1 John 3:1)

It helps to remember that death, in some ways, is a lot like birth.

How can this be?

Picture an unborn baby, all snug and warm in his mother’s womb. For an unborn baby, the thought of being born might be pretty scary.

If the baby could talk, he might say, “What?! Leave my safe, warm world that I love and know so well – a world that I’ve spent my whole life in – for some place I know nothing about? No way!

The unborn baby might be sad and scared. Maybe even angry. He might even have the mistaken idea that what was about to happen to him wasn’t birth, but death. After all, everything he ever knew about life was about to end.

Think how difficult it would be to try to explain to the unborn baby how wonderful life is here on earth? How could you ever describe the brilliant colors of a rainbow? How could you even begin to explain the taste of a chocolate ice-cream cone with sprinkles … the smell of fresh-baked cinnamon bread … the sound of laughter … the fuzzy warmth of a puppy … the happy excitement of Christmas Eve … the way it feels to wake up on your birthday morning?

When your body dies, your soul will begin a brand-new life in a wonderful new world called heaven. Heaven is a world that we, like an unborn baby, can barely begin to imagine (1Corinthians 2:9)!

This is very good news!

The idea that when people die they become angels with halos and wings has been made popular through books and movies and cartoons, but it is not in the Bible.

Human beings and angels are both created by God. But human beings and angels are two very different kinds of creatures. Human beings have mortal bodies that die, and eternal souls that live forever. Angels are eternal spiritual beings. They do not have bodies that die. Angels are already living with God in heaven.

Human beings do not become angels when their bodies die. Human beings get new bodies that will never die, and join God’s holy angels in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:42; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Peter 1:23).

What fun heaven will be!

If I Could Ask God Anything

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