Do people move from one life to another at death?


By BibleAsk Team

What Happens at Death?

Do people move from one life to another right when they die? There are over 10 individuals mentioned in the Bible who were raised from the dead. None of these individuals ever talked about what they saw in heaven or hell. The reason for that is that while the Bible supports that there will be eternal life, it does not teach that as soon as people die, they immediately move from one life to another (heaven or hell).

Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about the state of the dead:

A soul is a living being. At creation, two things combine to form a soul, dust and the breath of life. Until these two things combine, a soul does not exist. “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). Body (dust) + breath (or spirit) = life (soul) So, the soul is the conscious life which resulted when God added the breath or spirit to the body.

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). Body (dust) – breath (or spirit) = death (no soul). The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life and nothing more.

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). In the Bible, except in allegorical usage, the soul does not go in and out of the body; neither does it have an independent existence outside of the body.

Those who have died sleep unconsciously in their graves (John 11:11-14) till the Lord raises them up at the Resurrection Day at the end of time (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) to receive their rewards and punishments at the Judgement.

Rewards (heaven) and punishments (hell) are given only at the Resurrection and not at death. Jesus affirmed this truth saying, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27). Only at His appearing that people may expect to receive their rewards (2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 22:12).

For a Bible study of the State of the Dead, check:

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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