There are many Bible verses about death found throughout the Scriptures. What does the Bible teach us about the nature of dying and the afterlife?
We have focused on those passages that convey the most meaning for either individual study or sermon preparation. These quotes about death explore the very nature of death, what happens after someone dies, and the relationship that death has with this life.
There are enough significant verses here to get you started in understanding what God has to say about death.
If you are looking specifically for scripture for funeral readings or obituaries, please see these Bible Verses for Funerals.
Scripture About Death
“And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
“When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.”
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned””
“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.”
“If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come.”
“For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
“For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”
“They are dead, they will not live; they are shades, they will not arise; to that end you have visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them.”
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
“and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
“Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, ”
“As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.”
“When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.”
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
“The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Rejoice! Check out these 50 inspirational bible verse pictures →
What do these bible verses teach us about death?
These death Bible verses really stress the finality of death and how our ability to act in this world ceases once we pass on to the other side. Whatever we are going to do in this world, we need to do now before we die. The quotes about dying make it clear that death came to all of us because of the sin of Adam and that when we die, our body will return to the dust from which we were made.
The passages further stress that we came into the world naked without anything and that we will leave the same way.
Though death of the body is final, it is not the end of hope in the afterlife. One verse about death above tells us there is a judgment sometime after death. And we are told in the Bible that Christians will be with the Lord upon death and that we will have the promise of eternal life.
Add a Bible Verse or Comment
Resentment kills a fool Job 5:2
Gracious Jesus, it’s been entirely too hot in our city this summer, and I’ve been registering that complaint entirely too many times… so much, that I can now see how my complaining has been morphing into resenting. It came to a head yesterday when I walked out my front door yesterday for a jog, only to find myself cursing the humidity, temperature… even the sun.
I came back inside and inaugurated a thirty minute pout. That’s when you convicted me… that’s when you let me know the weather’s not the only thing I’ve been resenting lately.
I resent having to explain and repeat myself. Why can’t everybody instantly intuit what I’m thinking? I resent grocery stores running out of my favorite cereal. Who does their stocking, anyway? I resent gossips, so much that I gossip to others about their gossip. I resent change and transition. Why can’t everything stay the same, or at least disrupt my plans and “grove” minimally?
I resent resentful people. Why can’t they stop their whining and be more content with what they have? I resent roads that are always being repaired… drivers that delay moving four seconds after the red light turns green… birds that do their business on my windshield. I resent good grass dying and crab grass thriving… I especially resent that people I love suffer too much too soon in life. It just doesn’t seem right or fair.
Jesus, my resentment will either kill me as a fool, or drive me to you for life. I choose the second option. Forgive me for fertilizing a spirit of entitlement. Forgive me for not pulling up the roots of bitterness sooner. Forgive me for being better at resenting than repenting of late. Forgive me for demanding life in the “not yet” before the “already” is over. Forgive me for preaching the gospel to others, but not to myself. Forgive me for telling others of the sufficiency of your grace, while looking for some other balm for myself.
I make no excuses or promises. Today, right now, I simply collapse upon you afresh as my wisdom… my righteousness… my holiness… and my redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). I praise you that I’m not feeling condemnation, for there is none. I praise you that I am feeling conviction, for there is plenty. So very Amen, I pray, in your patient and loving name.
Does the Bible say we should pray to the dead? Is it okay or is it sin?
Prayer is essentially talking to God, but in a deeply reverential and respectful manner. It’s like a one on one conversation where we lay our prayer requests before God and trust Him to do whatsoever He wills. Praying in faith, we are not necessarily guarantying something will happen, but having faith in God Who works all things, good or bad, for our ultimate best (Rom 8:28). When someone said to me a few years ago, “God spoke to me about you and told me that you need to study prophecy,” I thought, “Hey, would God need an intermediator to try and tell me something?” If I wanted to talk to a friend, I wouldn’t call his friend and have him call my friend. The point is that God speaks to us in His written Word, the Bible. He may use others as a means to speak to us but we must use caution and discernment when it’s from others and then place it against Scripture. Praying is vital because it’s our sole means of communication to our Creator God Who holds “all things possible” in His mighty, sovereign hands. You can trust Him with an unknown future because He’s been there and back. Read the ending (or beginning?) of the account (Rev 22).
When I say “Corporate Prayer,” I mean the collective prayers of the saints. This can be done in church, Bible study, Sunday school, at home through a prayer chain, or even at designated times. When the first century church heard that the apostles had been imprisoned and given lashes, they didn’t pray for it stop; rather, they prayed, “Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29). Notice that they didn’t pray for better circumstances or to ask for the imprisonments and beatings to stop. They desired that God grant them “all boldness” so as to glorify the name of the “holy servant Jesus.” To the frustration of the persecutors, their persecution seemed to spread the gospel instead of stopping it. When the religious leaders told them to keep silent about Jesus, the Apostle Peter insisted, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-10). Were they lamenting their treatment? No! They “all were praising God for what had happened” (Acts 4:21b). We cannot underestimate the effectual prayers of many saints as with the primitive church and “when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
Praying to the Father
In the so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” which is really a template or a specific order in which we pray, and we can see a great outline for us to use. The disciples never came up to Jesus to ask Him, “Lord, teach us how to heal, teach us how to multiply bread,” or even, “Lord, teach us how to preach” or “Walk on water.” The only recorded time that I have found where they asked Jesus to teach them something was when they saw “Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “’Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1). They must have known and seen His prayer life and His intimate relationship with the Father and they wanted that. They had seen a similar prayer life in John’s disciples and in Jesus, more so. Jesus then gives them the starting point in saying, “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come” (Luke 11:2). Jesus gives no other option to Whom we must pray and that is the Father, through Jesus’ name (John 14:13-14; Matt 18:19) as He is our High Priest and Mediator (Heb 9:15; Heb 12:24).
Should we pray for the Dead?
The Bible never mentions praying for the dead but often, there are serious warnings about trying to communicate with the dead, realizing that praying for the dead is not praying to the dead. I understand that but the only verses that mention the dead are warnings to not communicate to them, as in Deuteronomy 18:10-11 “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead.” The prayers of the rich man in hell shows that his families prayers are useless now as Abraham says he can’t go back to warn them because if the impassable gap between the “bosom of Abraham” and hades. The Bible teaches that right after death there is a judgment (Heb 9:27) and a person must be brought to repentance and faith in Christ before He returns or before they die. After that, like the rich man, you can’t come back. Neither can the prayers of every saint on earth save his soul now. That appointment is over!
I noticed in much of the New Testament church that they never prayed for the apostles to be freed from prison, they never prayed for the beatings to stop, and they never prayed to keep them from persecution. They simply prayed to have more boldness, but they never once prayed for someone that was dead, either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, therefore praying for the dead does nothing for the dead (Heb 9:27). Why not pray for the living that they might be saved?
Related reading for you: Can People Communicate with the Dead?
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Enjoy reading and share 48 famous quotes about Prayer And Death with everyone.
“Being a hangman requires you to take someone else’s life based on someone else’s judgment, and carry it out on someone else’s schedule. The job does not provide the same satisfaction that an ordinary murderer gets from smashing a skull. It robs them of the fulfillment of plunging a knife into someone’s throat. In the world of capital punishment, the prisoner’s crimes have been sanitized by years of sitting on death row. By then, the execution is a cold and impersonal affair. There is prayer, a noose, and a few last words. The prisoner then experiences a sudden rush of blood to the head. At the end of it all, you have a broken neck and a dead body swinging from the end of a rope. That is it. You don’t get to manhandle them with your own hands. That’s why the brutes you mention will never be hired. So you see, Vaida, this is not a job for a murderer. It is a job for a humanitarian.”
— Taona Dumisani Chiveneko
“To every Old World belief, habit, or tradition, there was and still is a technological alternative. To prayer, the alternative is penicillin; to family roots, the alternative is mobility; to reading, the alternative is television; to restraint, the alternative is immediate gratification; to sin, the alternative is psychotherapy; to political ideology, the alternative is popular appeal established through scientific polling. There is even an alternative to the painful riddle of death, as Freud called it. The riddle may be postponed through longer life, and then perhaps solved altogether by cryogenics.”
— Neil Postman
“There is no better mirror in which to see your need than simply the Ten Commandments, in which you will find what you lack and what you should seek. If, therefore, you find in yourself a weak faith, small hope and little love toward God; and that you do not praise and honor God, but love your own honor and fame, think much of the favor of men, do not gladly hear mass and sermon, are indolent in prayer, in which things every one has faults, then you shall think more of these faults than of all bodily harm to goods, honor and life, and believe that they are worse than death and all mortal sickness. These you shall earnestly before God, lament and ask for help, and with all confidence expect help, and believe that you are heard and shall obtain help and mercy.”
— Martin Luther
“One truth, then, is that Christ is always being remade in the image of man, which means that his reality is always being deformed to fit human needs, or what humans perceive to be their needs. A deeper truth, though, one that scripture suggests when it speaks of the eternal Word being made specific flesh, is that there is no permutation of humanity in which Christ is not present. If every Bible is lost, if every church crumbles to dust, if the last believer in the last prayer opens her eyes and lets it all finally go, Christ will appear on this earth as calmly and casually as he appeared to the disciples walking to Emmaus after his death, who did not recognize this man to whom they had pledged their very lives; this man whom they had seen beaten, crucified, abandoned by God; this man who, after walking the dusty road with them, after sharing an ordinary meal and discussing the scriptures, had to vanish once more in order to make them see.”
— Christian Wiman
“Boast of Quietness
Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors.
The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside.
Sure of my life and death, I observe the ambitious
and would like to understand them.
Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air.
Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack.
They speak of humanity.
My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.
They speak of homeland.
My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword,
the willow grove’s visible prayer as evening falls.
Time is living me.
More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude.
They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow.
My name is someone and anyone.
I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away
he doesn’t expect to arrive.”
— Jorge Luis Borges
“Time flies, knells call, life passes, so hear my prayer.
Birth is nothing but death begun, so hear my prayer.
Death is speechless, so hear my speech.
This is Jake, who served his ka and his tet. Say true.
May the forgiving glance of S’mana heal his heart. Say please.
May the arms of Gan raise him from the darkness of this earth. Say please.
Surround him, Gan , with light.
Fill him, Chloe, with strength.
If he is thirsty, give him water in the clearing.
If he is hungry, give him food in the clearing.
May his life on this earth and the pain of his passing become as a dream to his waking soul, and let his eyes fall upon every lovely sight; let him find the friends that were lost to him, and let every one whose name he calls call his in return.
This is Jake, who lived well, loved his own, and died as ka would have it.
Each man owes a death. This is Jake. Give him peace.”
— Stephen King
“Then all the winds of Heaven ran to join hands and bend a shoulder, to bring down to me the sound of a noble hymn that was heavy with the perfume of Time That Has Gone.
The glittering multitudes were singing most mightily, and my heart was in blood to hear a Voice that I knew.
The Men of the Valley were marching again.
My Fathers were singing up there.
Loud, triumphant, the anthem rose, and I knew, in some deep place within, that in the royal music was a prayer to lift up my spirit, to be of good cheer, to keep the faith, that Death was only an end to the things that are made of clay, and to fight, without heed of wounds, all that brings death to the Spirit, with Glory to the Eternal Father, forever, Amen.”
— Richard Llewellyn
“A dying man asked a dying man for eternal life; a man without possessions asked a poor man for a Kingdom; a thief at the door of death asked to die like a thief and steal Paradise. One would have thought a saint would have been the first soul purchased over the counter of Calvary by the red coins of Redemption, but in the Divine plan it was a thief who was the escort of the King of kings into Paradise. If Our Lord had come merely as a teacher, the thief would never have asked for forgiveness. But since the thief’s request touched the reason of His coming to earth, namely, to save souls, the thief heard the immediate answer:
‘I promise thee, this day thou shalt be
With Me in Paradise’
It was the thief’s last prayer, perhaps even his first. He knocked once, sought once, asked once, dared everything, and found everything. When even the disciples were doubting and only one was present at the Cross, the thief owned and acknowledged Him as Saviour.”
— Fulton J. Sheen
“Obstinate are the trammels, but my heart aches when I try to break them. Freedom is all I want, but to hope for it I feel ashamed. I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee, and that thou art my best friend, but I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel that fills my room.
The shroud that covers me is a shroud of dust and death; I hate it, yet hug it in love. My debts are large, my failures great, my shame secret and heavy; yet when I come to ask for my good, I quake in fear lest my prayer be granted.”
— Rabindranath Tagore
“Great Light, Mover of all that is moving and at rest, be my Journey and my far Destination, be my Want and my Fulfilling, be my Sowing and my Reaping, be my glad Song and my stark Silence. Be my Sword and my strong Shield, be my Lantern and my dark Night, be my everlasting Strength and my piteous Weakness. Be my Greeting and my parting Prayer, be my bright Vision and my Blindness, be my Joy and my sharp Grief, be my sad Death and my sure Resurrection!”
— Stephen R. Lawhead
“If you’ve never had a God-sized dream that scared you half to death, then you haven’t really come to life. If you’ve never been overwhelmed by the impossibility of your plans, then your God is too small. If your vision isn’t perplexingly impossible, then you need to expand the radiuses of your prayer circles.”
— Mark Batterson
“God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. The lips that uttered them may be closed to death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God’s heart is set on them and prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; they outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.”
— Edward McKendree Bounds
Prayer And Death Quotes Pictures
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