From: James Smith
The brilliant Jewish atheist Hitchens died recently from esophageal cancer. Here no longer, where then is he? He thought himself a mammal destined for nothingness. It was an opinion he held impossible to prove. I have an opinion as to his whereabouts – also unprovable. It follows.
Hitchens rests with all dead humans. From Adam and Eve through Noah, Nimrod, Abraham, Peter, Mary, Judas, Paul, Joan of Arc, Luther, all the Popes, Lincoln, Hitler, the Kennedys, Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden and all in the cemeteries we drive by, they are all in the same place.
The dead do not now live somewhere. They are dead. Death is a return. “...until you return to the ground, for from it were you taken. For soil you are, and to soil you shall return” (Gen. 3:19). Ecclesiastes 12:7: “And the spirit, it returns to the One, Elohim, Who gave it.”
A body without spirit is a corpse. When spirit joins a body it becomes a living soul. The soul is our consciousness including sensation. When we die we become unconscious. Soul, or idiomatically, a soul goes to the unperceived – from where it came. The unperceived is called scheol or Hades. All souls go to Hades. One might say souls disappear. For all readers who flinch at the idea that Jesus is torturing dead unbelievers, read farther.
Every human will be raised, 1 Cor. 15:23: “...each in his own class...” Christ was the first. The THIRD category to be raised will be certain Jews, the bride of Christ. They will carry the good news throughout the earth with Jesus reigning in Jerusalem. It will be a firm rule with many consequences for misbehaving nations. This will fulfill the Old and New Testament accounts. Those Jews who believed the message of the prophets, Peter and Christ will participate.
The SECOND category to be raised will be Christ’s body. Eph. 2:6: “...and rouses us together and seats us together among the celestials...” If one will put on a warm coat and go out in the back yard on a clear night and then look up, the field of operation for the body can be seen. It will carry the truth of God to those territories above. Php.:3:20: “...for our realm is inherent in the heavens...” Those who believe the message of Paul, much different from that of Christ, will participate.
The above activities may go on for thousands or millions of years. It is not stated in Scripture. Fast forward: At the end of the final (5th) age, Hitchens will be raised. He will at that time see and understand the reality of God. His sorrow for things believed and done will be great. He will have missed maybe millions of years of consciousness during interesting times.
Christ died for Hitchens. His sins are gone. The price has been paid. Hitchens will be profoundly grateful to God. This thankfulness will bring unending love and fidelity toward God and His Son. Is this not what God had planned from the beginning? A voluntary decision by a risen Hitchens to serve God. What a wonderful outcome. How much better that, than God having to torture him for eternity?