Original Research

Existence beyond death? Encouraging those who face death

Dirk G. van der Merwe
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 54, No 1 | a2599 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v54i1.2599 | © 2020 Dirk G. van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 January 2020 | Published: 13 August 2020

About the author(s)

Dirk G. van der Merwe, Department of New Testament, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Modern medical technology has transformed the way people live and the way they die. Today, in some instances the process of dying takes longer, due to more advanced medical treatment and therefore requires more sophisticated care than before. This contributes to the fact that terminally ill people are wrestling with the reality of death. This article endeavours to investigate the phenomenon of death from a biblical perspective and specifically attempts to answer questions such as ‘What is death?’, ‘Is there an intermediate state?’, and ‘What is “heaven” like?’ The article is written in such a way that it equips therapists with biblical information which can clearly be communicated to terminally ill Christian believers to assist them in coping with their trauma and uncertainties; it also intends to remove the sting of death and obtain more clarity on an existence beyond death.


terminal illness; uncertainty; encourage; death; intermediate state; consciousness; new earth.


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