The end of life

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Key terms | Key themes | Key Quotes | Sample Questions | Extra Revision Materials on this topic

Key Terms

* Heaven

* Hell

* Purgatory

* Resurrection

* Reincarnation

* Forgiveness

* Penance

* Sin

* Judgement

* Funeral

* Requiem Mass

* Eulogy/Homily

Key Themes

You will need to know about the following areas:

  • The Christian Understanding of Body and Soul: Christians believe that when people die, their body and soul, which thus far in life are inseparable, separate and remain separate.  The body disintegrates whilst the soul goes to heaven, hell, Sheol or purgatory.  The body is mortal, whereas the soul is immortal and eternal – it never stops existing.  Christians believe that the resurrection of Jesus proves that they will be resurrected when Jesus comes back to Judge the world (for more on this, see no. 3).
  • Christians and the Afterlife: The gospels say that the body of Jesus was brought back to life after he died, but his body wasn’t the same – he could do things like pass through doors!  There are two main viewpoints as to what happens after death (because we are still mentioning that not all Christians believe that same thing):  (I) Protestants believe that when people die they stay in the grave (Sheol) until Jesus (God) returns to judge them.  At this point they will either go to heaven if they believe in Jesus Christ, or go to hell if they do not; (II) Roman Catholics believe that after death good Christians go straight to heaven, whereas not-do-good Christians go to purgatory.  This is a place where people can pray for the deceased and gain the soul a place in heaven.  You will also need to know about heaven and hell and roughly what the Bible says.
  • God the Judge of the World:  Christians believe that you can only go to heaven if you believe that Jesus Christ died to forgive you of your sins – this is the only way to get in; therefore it makes sense that Jesus judges souls at the end of the world and decides whether they go to heaven or they go to hell.  On you can find out about the story of the ‘Sheep and the Goats’.  Sheep are people who go to heaven whereas goats are people that go to hell.  See also John 3:16 and John 20:31.
  • Christian Funerals:  For this you are expected to know what happens in a Christian funeral – this can easily be found on google.  You need to know about the format, content and symbolism of an Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Non-Conformist and Anglican (Church of England) funeral.  As has been mentioned already, this is easy to find if you go to and then select ‘advanced search’ to the right of the google slogan.

Key Quotes

  • ‘So God created man in his own image…’ (Genesis 1:27)
  • ‘the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.’ (Gen 2:7)
  • ‘If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.’ (1 Corinthians 15: 42-44)
  • ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ (start of all Christian funerals)
  • ‘I am the way the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’
  • ‘In my Father’s house there are many rooms…’ (John 14:2)


If there are any problems or you have a question, email us at PJC (Mr Chester), EAT (Miss Taplin) or PJW (Mr Winter) ‘…’  Good luck!

  Other Revision Materials Death and the After-life Revision Guidance Detailed notes on the topic Death and the After-life Wordsearch Mind Map Example