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The Contender
Con (against)
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The Bible does not tell that at death, a person goes to Heaven or Hell

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,253 times Debate No: 55405
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




I will be arguing that the Bible, for Christians, does not say that when you die, you go to Heaven, Hell, Purgatory or any other example of limbo.
The Con will argue that the Bible does say that when you die you go to Heaven, Hell, etc.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Arguments (no rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals, Conclusions

Also, the debate is impossible to accept. Comment if you are interested in taking the Con side of the debate, and I will select someone to go for it.


I accept the debate and await a reply.
Debate Round No. 1


Before starting my arguments, I would first off like to thank 64bithuman for accepting the debate, and I pray that it be
a good, fair one, and that the Holy Spirit falls upon each of us with each word we type, and every paragraph we read;
that there might be clear understanding and that there is a fluent interpretation of the Scripture- for myself, and for

So, to begin a conversation about death, it must first be clear as to where we came from, and how we got here in the first place!

Genesis 2:7 says,

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

All on that Biblical 6th day of creation, we are told that God created man Himself, from the dust of the ground in the beginning.

Now keep that thought in your mind, and remember that God made us from the dirt of the ground, because we come back to it!

Ecclesiastes 12:7,

"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

Read the context of Ecclesiastes 12, and you will see that it is most certainly talking about death.

The body turns to dust again, and the spirit goes back to God, who gave it. The spirit of every person who dies--whether righteous or wicked--returns to God at death.

And what is the spirit?

James 2:26,

"The body without the spirit [breath, in some translations] is dead.."

and Job 27:3,

"All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils"

This spirit that the Scripture tells us about, is the breath of life. Nowhere in all of God's book does the "spirit" have any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. It is the "breath of life" and nothing more.

So, Genesis 2:7 tells us we were formed from dirt and given the breath of life, and from there,

" became a living soul." (as stated in Genesis 2:7 above.)

But what is a soul?

Genesis 2:7 tells us the a soul is a living being! A soul is always a combination of the two things: body plus breath.

A soul cannot exist unless body and breath are combined. God's Word teaches that we are souls.

So then, if souls are living, do they ever die?

Ezekiel 18:20.

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die..."

and Revelation 16:3,

"...Every living soul died in the sea."

According to God's Word, souls do die!
We are souls, and souls die. Man is mortal (Job 4:17). Only God is immortal (1 Timothy 6:15, 16).
The concept of an undying, immortal soul goes against the Bible, which teaches that souls are subject to death.

But do good people go to Heaven when they die?

John 5:28-29,

"...All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth."

and Acts 2:29-34,

"David ... is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day."
"For David is not ascended into the heavens."

also Job 17:13,

"If I wait, the grave is mine house..."

Scripture tells us, that no, people do not go either to heaven or hell at death. They go to their graves to await the resurrection day!

And how much does someone know or comprehend after death?

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, 10,

"The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 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."
"There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

Psalms 115:11,

"The dead praise not the Lord..."

God says that the dead know nothing at all!

Some might even use the evidence of "ghosts" to claim that the dead still live, and talk, and are aware of what we are doing.

Let's look at Job 14:12, 21 first.

"So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep."
"His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them."

So despite popular belief, the dead cannot contact the living, nor do they know what the living are doing. They are dead. Their thoughts have perished (Psalms 146:4).

The Bible says clearly and blatantly that the dead are dead, they know nothing, and they lie in the grave "asleep", waiting for Christ's second return. They are not in Heaven, or Hell, or Purgatory, or any such Limbo.

I encourage each of the readers of this debate, to go and read John 11:11-14 right now.

This is the brief conversation Jesus has with his disciple regarding Lazarus' death, in which Jesus speaks of death as sleep.

Job 14:12,

"So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more."

and 2 Peter 3:10,

"The day of the Lord will come ... in the which the heavens shall pass away."

The dead will sleep until the great day of the Lord at the end of the world. In death, humans are totally unconscious with no activity or knowledge of any kind.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17,

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

This verse from 1 Thessalonians tells us exactly what happens to the "sleeping" dead at Christ's second return.
The dead in Christ shall rise first!

If the dead in Christ were already in Heaven, then why would the Scripture tell us that they are going to rise up?

There would be no purpose in a resurrection if people were taken to heaven at death!


Thank you pro, like Abe Lincoln said “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right”.

The bible quite clearly says that upon death, a soul is either damned to Hell or sent to Paradise. I believe that both of these places are not be the final Paradise or the Final Hell, which would both give purpose to the Resurrection, and allow for the Hell described here:

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment”
- 2 Peter 2

It is quite clear by this verse that there is a Hellish waiting room, if you want to call it that, where one waits for Final Judgement.

Another Example:

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”
- Rev. 20:14-15

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
- Rev. 21:8

Revelation is a very difficult book, but it would appear that this death takes place after the first:
Matthew Henry Commentary for Rev. 21:8 : “They must die another death after their natural death; the agonies and terrors of the first death will consign them over to the far greater terrors and agonies of eternal death

If the second death leads to Eternal Hell, the first death must lead somewhere. It is only logical, and thankfully for us, 2 Peter 2 just says it.

Rev. 21 is all about “A New Heaven and a New Earth”. So, we can use this logic to approach the ideas of Heaven and the Judgement’s Heaven.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away..."
- Rev. 21:1

“He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”
- Rev. 21:6-7

It’s pretty much black and white. There will be “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away”.

The first heaven is described here from Jesus’ own mouth, when he is going to die, he reassures a believer hanging on a cross next to him:

“Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.””
- Luke 23:43

He says today. Not at judgement.

“No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
- John 3:13

Thank you Pro, I await your reply.
Debate Round No. 2


2nd Peter 2:4 is not always interpreted the correct way, while it states,

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment”

I would like to suggest that Peter describes hell here, as a place of "darkness". And for the evil angels, Earth is their hell.

Revelation 12:9-12 tells about when God threw evil angels to thie earth, and Rev. 20 says that they will remain there until the day of judgement.

2nd Peter 2:9,

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."

There is not one single soul in hellfire today. The Bible says that God reserves, or holds back, the wicked until the day of judgment to be punished.

"So shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire."
Matthew 13:40-42.

"The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
John 12:48.

Sinners will be cast into hellfire at the great judgment day at the end of the world--not when they die. God would not punish a person in fire until his case was tried and decided in court at the end of the world. Nor would God burn a murderer who died 5,000 years ago 5,000 years longer than one who dies and deserves punishment for the same sin today.

"The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
John 5:28, 29.

"The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction." "Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb."
Job 21:30,32.

The Bible is specific. Both the wicked and the righteous who have died are in their graves "sleeping" until the resurrection day.

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Revelation 21:8.

The wicked die the second death in hellfire. If the wicked lived forever being tortured in hell, they would be immortal. But this is impossible, because the Bible says God "only hath immortality." 1 Timothy 6:16. When Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, an angel was posted to guard the tree of life so that sinners would not eat of the tree and "live for ever." Genesis 3:22-24. The teaching that sinners are immortal in hell originated with Satan and is completely untrue. God prevented this when sin entered this earth by guarding the tree of life.

Bible Clear - Wicked Obliterated
The Bible says the wicked suffer "death" (Romans 6:23), will suffer "destruction" (Job 21:30), "shall perish" (Psalms 37:20), will "burn" up (Malachi 4:1), "shall be destroyed together" (Psalms 37:38), will "consume away" (Psalms 37:20), "shall be cut off" (Psalms 37:9), "shall be slain" (Psalms 62:3). God will "destroy" them (Psalms 145:20), and "fire shall devour them" (Psalms 21:9). Note that all of these references make it clear that the wicked die and are destroyed. They do not live forever in misery.

"So shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man ... shall cast them into a furnace of fire."
Matthew 13:40-42.

"They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."

Revelation 20:9.

"The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner."

Proverbs 11:31.

At the end of the world, God Himself will kindle hellfire. As the holy city comes down from God out of heaven (Revelation 21:2), the wicked attempt to capture it. At that time, God will rain down fire from heaven upon the earth, and it will devour the wicked. This fire is Bible hellfire.

"Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it." Isaiah 47:14.

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth." "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Revelation 21:1, 4.

Yes, indeed, the Bible specifically teaches that hellfire will go out and that there will not be left "a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it." The Bible also teaches that in God's new kingdom all "former things" will be passed away. Hell, being one of the former things, is included, so we have God's promise that it will be abolished.

If God tortured His enemies in a fiery horror chamber throughout eternity, He would be more vicious and heartless than men have ever been in the worst of war atrocities. An eternal hell of torment would be hell for God also, who loves even the vilest sinner.

"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
Matthew 25:41.

"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Revelation 20:15.

"For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be." "The enemies of the Lord ... shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away."
Psalms 37:10, 20.

God's purpose is that hell will destroy the devil and all sin and sinners and make the world safe for eternity. One sinner, if left on this planet, would be a deadly virus forever threatening the universe. It is God's plan to isolate sin and blot it out of existence for all time.

Eternal Hell Would Perpetuate Sin
An eternal hell of torment would perpetuate sin and make its eradication impossible. An eternal hell of torment is not part of God's great plan at all. Such a horrible theory is slander against the holy name of a loving God. The devil delights to see our loving Creator pictured as such a monstrous tyrant, and he alone can benefit from such teachings.

Eternal Hell a Man-made Theory
The "eternal hell of torment" theory originated not from the Bible, but from misguided people who were (perhaps inadvertently) led of the devil. And, incidentally, no one will be in heaven because he feared hell. People are saved because they love and obey Christ.

"He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time."
Nahum 1:9.

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 65:17.

"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." Revelation 21:3, 4.

After hellfire goes out, God will create a new earth and restore it to His people with all the beauties and glories of Eden before sin entered. The horrors of sin and the past will be forgotten. Pain, death, tragedy, woe, tears, sickness, disappointment, sorrow, and all sin will be banished forever.

Sin Will Not Rise Again
God promises that sin will never rise again. His people will be filled with perfect peace, love, joy, and contentment. Their lives of complete happiness will be far more glorious and thrilling than mere words could ever describe. The real tragedy of hell is in missing heaven. A person who fails to enter this magnificent kingdom has made the saddest choice of a lifetime.

Also, on the Con's statement about Luke 23:43, one is left to ask: Didn't the thief on the cross go to paradise with Christ when He died?

No. In fact, on Sunday morning Jesus said to Mary, "I am not yet ascended to my Father." John 20:17. This shows that Christ did not go to heaven at death. Also note that the punctuation of the Bible is not inspired, but was added by men. The comma in Luke 23:43 should be placed after the words "to day" rather than before, so the passage should read, "Verily I say unto thee to day, shalt thou be with me in paradise." Or, "I'm telling you today--when it seems that I can save no one, when I myself am being crucified as a criminal--I give you the assurance today that you will be with me in paradise." Christ's kingdom is set up at His second coming (Matthew 25:31), and all the righteous of all ages will enter it at that time (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) and not at death.


Thank you Pro, I’ll present my rebuttals.

I’ll dispute your claims about 2 Peter, and I’ll cite the Greek. The Greek term stems from the word Tartarus. Tartarus, in Greek myth, is a kind of torture pit where damned souls are sent to be tortured after death. It is the Greek hell, in opposite to Elysium, the Greek heaven.
There are folks in hellfire today. There is no “second chance”. Once you are damned, you are damned. Even you say “The Bible says that God reserves, or holds back, the wicked until the Day of Judgment to be punished”. Where are they held? Where are the believers held?
Final Judgement happens because of Christ’s return. It is not only to Judge the sinners. Most of your quoted verses are simply reinstating my points. You are only judged finally on Judgement day, hence the title, when the rest of the living believers and sinners are scooped up and judged. Those who have been waiting in Hell will be counted and damned finally – “the second death”.
As for your dispute of Luke 23:43, I you are incorrect. He says “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Why would he assure a man, dying, that he would be with him today in Heaven? The Greek text reads like this “And he said to him, truly to you, I say, today with me you will be in Paradise” (Comma’s in the correct places).
John 20:17 in full "Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”
This verse is nowhere near as black and white as you say it is. It is more likely that Jesus was referring to that exact instance, as in, he is saying, I’m not a resident of earth anymore, I’m a resident of heaven. He’s making it clear that the “best part” of the resurrection is not being returned to earth, but rather that he gets to go to heaven.
“Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.”
- Luke 23:46
It would also appear that Jesus, when he died, gave up his spirit to God. Why would he say this? These are important words, after all, most folks there probably thought they would be his last.
“While he (Jesus) was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.”
- Luke 24:51
That verse just says it. He was taken up to heaven.
Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
- 2 Kings 2
And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
- Acts 7:59
Stephen proclaimed that when he died.
“Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
- John 11:24-26
Eternal Hell is a punishment. It is not like Earth. It is the final resting place of those who did not believe. It does not “perpetuate sin”. It isn’t therapy. It’s Hell. Once you are in Hell, you are in Hell. You are not destroyed. You are punished.
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life”
- Matthew 25:56
Debate Round No. 3


CentristX forfeited this round.


Well, Pro has forfetied, so I'll just put a bunch of verses:

When he (Jesus) had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
- Luke 24:50-51

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment”
- 2 Peter 2

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away..."
- Rev. 21:1

“Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
- Luke 23:43

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life”
- Matthew 25:56

Thank You
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by 64bithuman 7 years ago
That's amazing. You should almost be excused just because you were at a funeral. Hah!
Posted by CentristX 7 years ago
To 64bithuman,
Ironically enough, I wasn't able to post my 4th round argument on time, ironically enough, because I was at a funeral. My apologies.
Posted by Sagey 7 years ago
BTW: I don't like having those whose debates I judge as friends, since I want my votes to stay unbiased.
Too many ppl on DDO suddenly pop up in my friendship request list, because they want my vote in their debates.
I have to cut a few out because of this.
Posted by Sagey 7 years ago
This should be an interesting debate??
Posted by CentristX 7 years ago
@NNEye, I will be arguing that there is no afterlife, yes, and that the Bible does not tell of such, but rather blatantly states that there is not an afterlife.
Posted by 64bithuman 7 years ago
I'll gladly debate the Con side.
Posted by NNEye 7 years ago
Are you arguing that the Bible does not teach about any kind of afterlife met upon death or just "heaven" and "hell?" If you are arguing for the former (no such afterlife), then you will be destroyed in this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sagey 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate gives the reason I left Christianity, as the Bible is extremely contradictory in all things, including death. It appears that none of the writers cared what others had written and simply made their own minds up, thus contradicting others. Con only had to demonstrate one passage that could not be successfully re-interpreted by Pro as waiting around in limbo for judgement and did just that. Pro also gave Con a conduct point by missing the posting period for the final statement.

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