Death is tragic, and the questions are always the same. What happens when you die? Where do you go? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? The good news is that the Bible provides answers to these important questions.
Death is an unconscious state (a “sleep”): Seventh Day Adventists believe that death is like an unconscious "sleep"; a period in which the breath of life (not a living soul) returns to God, while the body remains in the grave until the ressurection. At death, all consciousness ends. The dead person does not know anything and does not do anything (Eccl. 9:5, 6, 10). Jesus and the apostles (as well as writers in the Old Testament) frequently referred to death as sleep (e.g., Matt. 9:24; Mark 5:39; John 11:11-14; 1 Cor. 15:51,52; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Peter 3:4; Dan. 12:2; Job 14:10-12; Ps. 13:3). The image of sleep emphasizes that death is not the end, but is rather an unconscious state prior to the resurrection (note in this regard the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11:11-14, 23-25, 43).
The saved will be resurrected at Jesus’ second coming: At Jesus’ second coming those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will be resurrected to life. We are told: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven …, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess. 4:16). Then those believers who are still alive will be “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (verse 17). These words were written to encourage every believer. God gives eternal life to the saved: God offers the gift of eternal life to all who believe in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Rom. 6:23). At the second coming of Jesus the saved will be transformed and will “put on” immortality. “For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (1 Cor. 15:52, 53).
When Christ returns to the earth he will awaken all. Those who believe in him will go to be with God in heaven, while those who did not accept him will face the Judgement. For a Seventh Day Adventist death is not something to be afraid of but is part of God’s plan. The church minister or lay group leader may come and offer support to the person who is dying as well as their family.
Funerals are a great emotional time for individuals and families. The Victory Seventh-day Adventist Church is available to offer counsel and assist in planning for your loved ones funeral, free of cost. If needed our fellowship hall and kitchen can be made available for a repast. Usage of these resources must fall within the guidelines of the Seventh-day Adventist Organization's principles, beliefs and standards, and the policies and procedures of the Victory Seventh-day Adventist Church. These details can be obtained from our Church Use Policy Manual available .
The funeral service usually includes sacred music, prayer, a reading of the obituary, a reading from Scripture, presentation of tributes by friends and family choosen by you, a short sermon and a benediction. Following the benediction, the minister will lead the casket to the hearse and from there to the grave site. We will additionally, when requested, provide a brief graveside service