Do people go to heaven when they die?


By BibleAsk Team

What does the Bible say happens after death?

The Bible teaches that the righteous doesn’t go to be with God when he dies but remains in his grave waiting to be resurrected at the Resurrection Day. The Bible resembles death as a state of “sleep” (John 11:11-14; Psalms 13:3; Acts 7:60; Job 14:12; Daniel 12:2).  The dead one sleeps until the great day of the Lord at the end of the world. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25).

The dead sleep unconsciously in their graves (John 11:11-14) till the Lord raises them up (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). There is no reference in all of the Bible that the “spirit” has any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. In death, humans are totally unconscious with no activity or knowledge of any kind. A person: returns to dust (Psalms 104:29), knows nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), possesses no mental powers (Psalms 146:4), has nothing to do with anything on earth (Ecclesiastes 9:6), does not live (2 Kings 20:1), waits in the grave (Job 17:13), and continues not (Job 14:1, 2) until the Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).

There would be no purpose in a resurrection if people were taken to heaven or hell at death. If a saved individual dies, the next conscious thought he has is to be with God (2 Corinthians 5:8). The Bible states, “David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day… David is not ascended into the heavens” (Acts 2:29,34). Although David is a righteous man he is not in heaven yet. David died 3 thousand years ago – for him it will seem like one second and he’ll be resurrected and caught up to heaven when Jesus comes.

Where does the soul go after death according to Bible?

At death, only the breath of life (power of life) goes back to God. Our soul (personality, character) remains dormant in the grave. A soul is a living being. At Creation, two things combine to make a soul, dust and the breath of life. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). Until these two things combine, a soul does not exist.

At death, these two components separate. The body returns to dust, and the breath returns to God. The soul goes nowhere it simply ceases to exist. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life and nothing more.

According to the Bible, the words “spirit” and “breath” are the same: “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3). The spirit is found in the nostrils where the breath is. So, the spirit that returns to God when a person dies is the breath of life, not a disembodied soul.

Man Is Mortal

The concept of an undying, immortal soul goes against the Bible, which teaches that souls are subject to death (Ezekiel 18:20). Man is mortal (Job 4:17). Only God is immortal (1 Timothy 6:15, 16). Only at the Resurrection, people will be given immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51–53).

For more on the state of the dead check the following link:

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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