Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell

At the end of human life, everyone will experience death, judgement, and eternity in either Heaven or Hell. These are known as the four last things. The study of these last things is called eschatology.

Death is not the end of a person’s existence but it is the soul leaving the body. The body remains on Earth while the immortal soul goes before God to be judged.

The particular judgement takes place immediately after death and determines the destination of the soul. Judgement is based on whether or not the person died in a state of grace and whether they were in friendship with God.

Those who are judged worthy will spend eternity in the joy and peace of Heaven, face to face with God with the saints and the angels. Those who need to be purified of the effects of sin and attachment to earthly desires will experience Purgatory before going to Heaven.

Anyone who lived in a manner that excluded God from their lives will spend eternity in Hell, a self-imposed separation from God.

At the general judgement at the end of time, the resurrected body will be reunited with the soul to spend eternity in either Heaven or Hell.

The four last things at the end of life on Earth:

After death, humans continue to exist forever in Heaven or Hell:

To rise with Christ, we must die with Christ: we must “be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” In that “departure” which is death the soul is separated from the body. It will be reunited with the body on the day of resurrection of the dead.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1005

Our destination is based on friendship with God:

Judged on love at the end of our lives:

After death, judgement determines reward or punishment:

“When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.”

Luke 16:22-25

Our destiny is eternal:

When the form of this world has passed away, those who have welcomed God into their lives and have sincerely opened themselves to his love, at least at the moment of death, will enjoy that fullness of communion with God which is the goal of human life. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “this perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity — this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed — is called ‘Heaven’. Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfilment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness”

Pope John Paul II, General Audience, July 21, 1999

Heaven and Hell are real:

Purgatory is not a last thing:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Hungry enough to give up everything and be Catholic:

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