What’s the difference between the spirit and the soul? And what happens to the spirit and the soul when a person dies? You asked, the Bible answers.
Today we’ll be addressing questions regarding what happens to the soul, what happens to the spirit and to the body when a person dies? You know, dear friends there’s so many questions that are connected in one way or another to the curiosity of people pertaining to death and what happens when one dies.
So, let’s go to our first questions from Danielle and Jessie:
Danielle: What happens after a person passes away?
Brother Bob: Thank you Danielle for your question. You know, as I said, there’s a lot of questions that are connected to man’s curiosity about death, and the afterlife. Here’s another one that comes from Jessie:
Jessie: What is the Church’s view on the immortality of the soul?
Brother Bob: Thank you Danielle and Jessie for asking those intriguing questions. You know, actually, there are three things that happen according to the Bible. And these three things that happen, happen to the three parts that make up any person. First of all, what are the three parts of any individual? We begin turning to the pages of the scriptures for the answers we need, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 records the following:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[1 Thessalonians 5:23 New King James Version]
So, a whole person, or a person completely consists of the following three parts as we just read from the Holy Bible: the spirit, the soul and the body. So what happens to each of these three parts of a person? Let’s turn to Ecclesiastes 12:7 we go to the Bible once again for the response of the Lord and this is what is recorded there:
Then shall the dust [out of which God made man’s body] return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God Who gave it.
[Ecclesiastes 12:7 Amplified Bible]
So here, dear friends, the Bible teaches us what happens to two of the three parts. As mentioned here, the body returns to the dust out of which God made man’s body, and the spirit, or the “breath of life” as it is described in the book of Genesis, returns to God.
So that’s two. And what does God say will happen to the third part, which is the soul? And this is the part that people often get confused about or they often get it wrong. What happens to the soul? Will it live on? That’s what many people are saying, that’s what many people are teaching, that’s what many religions are teaching, that it lives on and goes to a place which they call a purgatory type kind of place for further cleansing or other such teachings that are very popular about the soul.
But we, here in the Church Of Christ, we’ll just ask the Bible. Will the soul live on and maybe become a ghostly entity, scaring people in the middle of the night? Which is also something that people believe in. And Hollywood has made many movies about that. So therefore dear friends, let’s go to the Bible for the Bible’s teaching and truth about this. Ezekiel 18:4 records the answer we’re looking for, it says:
“Behold, all souls are Mine;
The soul of the father
As well as the soul of the son is Mine;
The soul who sins shall die.
[Ezekiel 18:4 New King James Version]
One’s soul or “being” dies, dear friends, according to the Bible. What then does the Bible say about the mortality of the soul? The soul that sins dies.
Since the Bible says that the soul that sins dies, does the Bible then also teach us what happens next? Because people might think therefore, might be thinking that the soul’s death is only for a moment. What’s the teaching of God regarding the soul that dies? We continue going to the Bible for the answers, in the book of Psalm 119:25:
My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.
[Psalms 119:25 New King James Version]
Souls, dear friends then, after death, they die. And does it become a ghost and scare people in the middle of the night like Hollywood movies desribe? No, the Bible makes it very clear. The soul after death clings to the dust. The body returns to dust from whence it came. The soul clings to the dust. Any revival of such would be only in accordance to the word of God as taught to us here in the Bible.
So let’s continue looking at the Bible. Let’s continue asking the Bible some important additional questions about this. Such as, well: Whose soul dies and clings to the dust? Well we’ve read where the Bible said, it’s the soul that sins, that’s the soul that shall die.
But is it only their souls that will die, right? Whose soul dies? Maybe there’s those thinking that well their soul did not commit sin, they did not commit sin, so they will not die. There is something we’ve got to understand and accept. What is it? The Bible answers in the writings of Apostle Paul, Romans 5:
Sin came into the world because of what one man (Adam) did. And with sin came death. So this is why all people must die-because all people sinned.
[Romans 5:12 English Revised Version]
Dear friends, all people have sinned, therefore all souls will die and cling to the dust as we read. So that’s how the Bible described what will happen to those who die. Ok, let’s recap:
1. The body returns to dust, from whence it came
2. The spirit, or the “breath of life”, returns to God
3. The soul dies, and all souls die
But then, there are many who want more deeper information on this topic, so we turn to our next question which comes from Juan in Salinas, California. Let’s listen to what Juan asks:
Juan: After death, do we have a place to go?
Brother Bob: Thank you very much, Juan, for your question on this important topic we’re addressing today. And yes, the Bible does describe what will happen on the day of judgment, when we are all brought to life again as mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (New King James Version).
And where will we go after being brought back to life again on the day of judgment? Well, Juan, Matthew 25 records a Biblical response to your question, let’s take a look:
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
[Matthew 25: 31-34 New King James Version]
So, Juan, everyone will be gathered before the Lord on what the Bible also calls the Day of Judgment, and they will be sent either into the kingdom of the Lord. And what will happen to those, by the way, were called sheep, they were separated: the goats on the left, the sheep on the right. The sheep brought to the kingdom of the Lord. But then what will happen to those on the left? Do they also have a place to go? Absolutely yes. And the Lord mentions where they go in the same chapter, Matthew 25, let’s go ahead to verse 41:
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
[Matthew 25:41 New King James Version]
So dear friends they will be separated: the sheep from the goats. There’s no middle place which some call purgatory, it’s described as only two. What will be the place for the sheep, those on the right, what’s the Biblical description of the life of those on the right who will be brought into the kingdom of the Lord? Revelation 21, the Bible’s description of that place is recorded here in verses 1-4:
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
[Revelation 21:1-4 New King James Version]
And dear friends, how does the Bible describe the place for the goats on the left? Where will they go? The Bible describes their future as well, like this, also in the book of Revelation, this time chapter 14:10-11:
he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
[Revelation 14:10-11 New King James Version]
So Jessie, you asked what is the Church’s view on these matters? Well, the Church’s view is only that which is prescribed here, our view is always perfectly aligned with that of the Holy Bible.
It is thus so important for everyone that we be resurrected on the day our Lord Jesus Christ returns, when he comes to receive His church into the kingdom of our Father above. Be with us here inside the Church Of Christ on that day.
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