Rising from Death
223 We are created so that our inner self cannot die. We can believe in and love God, so we can be united with God through faith and love. To be united with God is to live forever.
224 Every person who is born has this inner self. Our outer self enables us to put what we believe and love into action. Our inner self is our spirit, and our outer self is our body.
Our outer self, or body, is made for productive action in the material world. We put it aside when we die. Our inner self, or spirit, is made for productive action in the spiritual world. It does not die. This inner self becomes a good spirit or ange l, if we have been a good person in the world, but it becomes a harmful spirit if we have been harmful in the world.
225 When we are in the spiritual world after our body dies, we have a human shape just as we did before in the material world. We can see, hear, talk, and touch things just as we did in the world. We have every ability to think, want, and do things th at we did in the world. In short, every single bit of us is still a person, except that we are no longer clothed in the crude body we had in the world. We leave that behind when we die, and we never go back to it.
226 This continued life is what rising from death means. Because people misunderstood the Bible, they believed we would not rise from death until the Last Judgment, when the entire visible world would disappear. Since sense-oriented people believe the ir body is what is alive, they think that if our body did not come back to life, we would be finished.
227 Our life after death is one of love and the faith that comes from it. So whatever our love and faith were like when we lived in the world, that is the kind of life we will have forever. If we loved ourselves and material things more than anything else, our life is hell. If we loved God more than anything else, and other people as much as ourselves, our life is heaven. If our life is heaven, we have faith, but not if our life is hell.
A life of heaven is eternal life, but a life of hell is spiritual death.
228 The Bible teaches that we live after death. For example: "God is not a God of dead people, but of living people" (Matthew 22:31). Lazarus was carried up to heaven when he died, but the rich man was thrown down into hell (Luke 16: 22 ff.). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are there (Matthew 8:11; 22: 31-32; Luke 20: 37-38). Jesus said to the robber, "Today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43).