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Jesus Christ Is Coming Back Soon

7th-Day Advent Bible Ministry Church

Can The Living Save The Dead?


Can the dead speak with the living relatives? Can the living talk with the dead? Does the dead go to heaven at death? Can we who are alive help someone who is dead become saved? These are vital questions and the Bible will give us the answers to avoid confusion amongst believers.

There is a certain belief amongst Bible believers that the living can help save the dead person who died with unrepentant sins.In our attempt to give the answers to those questions above, meanwhile it is important that we first understand what happens when a person dies.

1. What happens when a person dies?

When a person dies, the body returns to the earth, and the breath of life goes back to God who gave it. Scripture says in Ecclesiates 12:7 – “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

2. Does a dead person know anything after being dead?

The dead person will return to dust and know nothing. Scripture says in Ecclesiastes 9:6 – “Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.”

The dead person knows nothing because the dead body is rotten and gone back to dust where it came from. It is the breath (SPIRIT) of God that went back to HIM who gave it in the first place to Adam and Eve.

Isaiah 38;18 says, "For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth."

Psalm 146:2-4 says,"While I live, will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish."

The Bible does not teach immortality of the soul. The soul that sinneth, it shall die – Ezekiel 18:4, 20.

3. Can we who are alive be able to save a loved one who is already dead with unrepentant sins?

The answer is “NO!” … Why? It is because the Bible says so. The wages of sin is eternal death – Romans 6:23. The soul that sinneth, it shall die – Ezekiel 18:20. Sin is an individual thing. Salvation is an individual thing also. No one is a sinner because of Adam’s sin. And no one is going to be saved by anyone. Everyone is given the opportunity to live for or against Christ while they are still living. While being alive, if a person does not repent; why should he be given another chance to be saved without repentance in the grave? That doctrine on, the dead can be saved by those relatives who are alive will embrace a doctrine of salvation in sin by the dead who do not repent – 2 Peter 3:9. How can a dead person in ashes who cannot even repent at the grave, be saved by someone alive praying or doing something in his or her behalf? Actually, that would be salvation by works for one to save someone like that. .

Anyone who dies, and is a sinner, he or she will remain a sinner. But the one who repents before death, will be resurrected when Christ comes again – 1 Thessalonians 4:16.   

4. Do the dead go to heaven after death?

The answer is “No!” They remain in the grave until Jesus Christ returns to take the righteous to heaven. Jesus made the promise in John 14:1-3 that He is coming back again. When Christ returns, He will resurrect the righteous who are dead and take them to heaven with the righteous who are still living. This is the time the wicked are separated from the righteous – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.  

Many believed that the dead go to heaven after death. If they do, then, it will contradict the doctrine of the resurrection and the second coming of Christ – John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 1:7.

5. What would be the evil consequences of the belief that a dead person can be saved by the relatives who are alive?

(1) The dead sinner can be saved by someone else who is alive.

(ii) Sin is not an individual thing – it is universal

(iii) Salvation is not an individual thing – it is universal

(iv) Sin can be excused while one is alive, knowing that if he or she is dead, he or she can be saved by someone who is alive.

(v) It teaches “Universal Salvation” – Everyone can be saved into heaven.

(vi) In this case, we only need one person to be alive to pray for the dead and they will all be saved.

(vii) Man does not have to live a godly, holy, blameless, sinless life on earth because whosoever is alive can pray for those that are dead.

(viii) It is embracing the doctrine of salvation by works. One can be saved by another person.

Actually, if the dead can be saved by those alive, then we might as well enjoy life in sin and let others who are alive after us do the work of saving the dead. Why bother serving God? The last of our relatives on earth can do the job of saving all of us who are already dead.

I pray that God will give us wisdom to understand His Word, and we are to live His Word like Christ did on earth – 1 John 2:3-6.