Solomon said, "The day of death is better than the day of birth." And what of our birth?
"We were born into other men's homes,
raised in their schools of thought,
victims of their sins,
and subjected to their gods.
We are like a child,
pregnant from rape
who has never known
the caress of a true love.
Until we get beyond all this
we can't even find the starting line."
---James M. Rohde
The Holy Scripture never says that death determines destiny, rather it is determined by God Who cannot die. It does not anywhere have anything written saying God loves you until you die. Nothing says our death stops God's works.
Something Jesus did say was, "who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." (in John 11:25-26, CLV) He could've used an adjective to indicate He was referring merely to "spiritual" life and death; but, He didn't! Don't add words to explain away what He said. Meditate on it. In that place He also indicated victory over death by going on to say, "And, everyone living and believing into Me, should by no means be dying into the eon. Are you believing this?"
After Jesus died on the cross Peter says He preached to the spirits in prison that had been disobedient in the days of Noah. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient (no longer disobedient means their prison was working), when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." (1 Pet 3:18-20, AV) It is definitely taught by God's own word that: "For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Pet 4:6, AV)
In the book of Jonah in the Bible it says after Jonah died and went to hell he prayed and God saved him. Men made up the idea that God loves you until you die. The gospel is "Christ died for our sins" and the Bible did not add "so we could have a chance to accept Him." That others would benefit from faith in the gospel we do what we can to get them to believe. (cf., 2 Cor 5:18-20 AV)
The verse fragment, "...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment..." (Heb 9:27, AV) is what people use to supposedly back up the idea that once you die it's too late to come to faith. Whatever it means, it certainly does not in any way say such a thing and it doesn't seem possible to make it even infer it. This passage is in the midst of the following larger quote giving it a context: "...yet now, once, at the conclusion of the eons, for the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice, is He manifest. And, in as much as it is reserved to the men to be dying once, yet after this a judging, thus Christ also, being offered once for the bearing of the sins of many, will be seen a second time, by those awaiting Him, apart from sin, for salvation, through faith." (Heb 9:26B-28, CLV) In the context, which I quoted, Christ is presented as our judgment for sin.
An interesting cross reference here is, "For he that is dead is freed from sin." (Rom 6:7, AV) The word "freed" isn't in the original. It has "justified," which means to be declared right as a result of a judicial investigation. The judgment for sin according to the Bible is death. This corresponds with rendering Heb 9:27, "With this the judgment..." which may be justified by pointing out the Greek word meta in this phrase is translated with 346 times compared to after only 95 times by the Authorized Version.
Some say I believe in a second chance. I tell them I don't believe in a first chance. God isn't doing this by chance. It's not just a clever rebuttal. "...according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." (Eph 1:10, AV) "God is working together the all..." is the beginning of Rom 8:28. Wouldn't someone even by chance, that is, by accident choose the right way if it was up to us? Scripture says, "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Rom 3:12, AV) This is because all are under "the law of sin unto death" from which Christ makes us free. Do you realize the promise to not be hurt of the second death is to the Overcomer? (cf., Rev 2:11) I think there is suffering beyond this life. A lot of Christians are going to be very surprised. There is no two ways about it, some through the fire, some escaping it. God says everyone's work shall be tried by fire. Our God is a consuming fire. Fire is not an attribute of His wrath, but an aspect of His nature. He leads as a pillar of fire. He speaks out of the fire. Our Father is fire. We are flames of living fire. Everyone must be salted with fire, Jesus said. He also says, "Neither shall there be any more pain." (Rev 21:4, AV) To know that God is like this should flood our hearts with joy! But men's traditions have set aside this and many other things written. I believe in every word, even every letter of Scripture, including each of the various things that translators have pasted the word hell over. I have searched various nooks and crannies of the word, going over some of it with the proverbial fine tooth comb, and compared it to what men have said. Which would you have me choose to believe?
Salvation is from the law of both sin and death by the higher law of life in Christ producing both righteousness and victory over death. "...for the spirit's law of life in Christ Jesus frees you from the law of sin and death. " (Rom 8:2, CLV) Salvation is partaking of the Divine nature, being conformed to the image and likeness of God, spirit, soul and body, not merely a better location in death, however true that may be too. Nothing in the Bible says God's saving work is limited to this life, or that it ceases when somebody dies. All it takes to prove this wrong is to quote a verse that says something like that. We ought to meditate on what is instead written that is clear and easy to understand:
"For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Peter 4:6 AV)