When a person dies where does his soul go?
The only way to know the truth is to find the answers in
God's Word: the Bible. It is a road map leading to
I will concentrate especially on what happens when a
believer dies and briefly approach what happens when an
unbeliever dies, as we are limited in space.
First of all let us discover how we were made: Gen 2:7 "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." NIV Man was made perfect, but did
not come to life until the "breath of life" was breathed
At death, everything goes into reverse. Eccl 12:7 "and the
dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit
returns to God who gave it." NIV The body returns to the
earth, while the spirit returns to God. There are two
different entities that makes up a human being: his spirit
(sometimes called the soul, see the book of Revelation) and
his body. Each of these entities takes a different path at
death. One goes to the ground and the other goes to God.
God's Word tells us that our body is the house in which our
2 Cor 5:2-4 "Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with
our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will
not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan
and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but
to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is
mortal may be swallowed up by life." NIV
2 Peter 1:13 "I think it is right to refresh your memory as
long as I live in the tent of this body" NIV
Our body is just the dwelling place of our spirit. Just like
people's houses are just temporary places to live in, and
after a while they may move to another dwelling, so is the
case with our bodies. On earth it is our dwelling. When we
die we leave that dwelling behind and move on to our
What happens when we die then? Very simple, our bodies
return to dust, while our spirit goes to be with the Lord.
The apostle Paul tells us that he 2 Cor 5:8-9 "would prefer
to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." NIV
Ezekiel tells us who owns your soul and which ones will
suffer destruction: Ezek 18:4 4 "For every living soul
belongs to me, the father as well as the son-both alike
belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die."
Soul sleep is not Biblical (please refer
for more details on that topic). Paul never preached that
our soul or spirit would lay dormant when we die. On the
contrary he proclaims that he 2 Cor 5:8-9 " would prefer to
be away from the body and at home with the Lord." NIV He
even wrote: Phil 1:21-25 1 "For to me, to live is Christ and
to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this
will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I
do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart
and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more
necessary for you that I remain in the body." NIV
How can death be a gain if we lay there unconscious for
thousands of years? I AM SO GLAD Paul explained this under
the guidance of God's Holy Spirit, by showing us clearly
that when you die, you are with Christ. Hallelujah!
Under divine inspiration, Paul wrote 1 Thess 4:14 "We
believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe
that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep
in him." NIV How could Jesus bring with Him someone that is
unconscious in soul sleep? This text is clear that when we
die, we are with Jesus in heaven. When He returns as
promised in the gospel, He will take with Him all those who
are with him in heaven and they will be reunited with their
newly resurrected body. Jesus cannot bring the saints with
him unless they are already with Him.
It is not the soul that sleeps when we die, it is the body!
It is not the soul or spirit that decays and returns to
dust, it is the body! Our spirit returns to God. Jesus
Himself made sure we knew this fact when he uttered His last
words on the cross: Luke 23:46 "Father, into your hands I
commit my spirit." When He had said this, He breathed His
Stephen's last words (the first Christian martyr) were very
similar: Acts 7:59 While they were stoning him, Stephen
prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." NIV He was not
looking forward to an unconscious existence. He awaited the
immediate fellowship with His Lord and Saviour, Jesus
When someone we care for dies, we are sad and we do miss
that person. We must remember though that they are in a far
better place. They are with Jesus. If we could only see
heaven, we would never want to bring our loved ones back to
this rebellious planet. Death is not our final trip to
oblivion. It is a homecoming with our Heavenly loving
Father. No wonder that it is written in Ps 116:15 "Precious
in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." NIV
How can death be precious to God, if His children are
unconscious? It is precious because God's children are
joined to Him at death. Just like it is precious to loving
parents to have their children visit them once they grow up.
No wonder that the early Christians were signing songs of
praise to God while they were devoured by lions and hung on
crosses. They knew where they were going. They knew it was
just a question of minutes or hours before they would be
If your body is being ravaged by an incurable disease, look
up to heaven and look forward to be joined with Jesus.
Remember what Jesus said in Matt 10:28 "Do not be afraid of
those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be
afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in
hell." NIV There is nothing to be afraid of when facing
death. Your dreams will finally come true and you will be
with Jesus. You will see Jesus and be with Him, because you
have met Him and knew Him while you were on this planet.
Jesus words are true!
He said about His Heavenly Father Matt 22:32 "…I am the God
of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is
not the God of the dead but of the living." NIV
And John 11:26 "whoever lives and believes in me will never
As well as John 8:51 "I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps
my word, he will never see death." NIV
How can these promises be true if we proclaim that when die
we are unconscious! God is not to be mocked. He is the God
of the living and Jesus promised we would never die. How?
Our physical body may die, but our spirit lives on to be
with Jesus in heaven!
Jesus explains this promise clearly in And John 11:25-26 "I
am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will
live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in
me will never die. Do you believe this?" NIV
Our bodies may die, but our spirit will never die.
Hallelujah! God is so good!
But what about those who never believed in Jesus and who
rejected His call? Will they be in heaven as well?
No, they won't. Their future is bleak and without hope. Read
for example: Luke 16:19-26
"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine
linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a
beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to
eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came
and licked his sores. "The time came when the beggar died
and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man
also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment,
he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his
side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me
and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and
cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But
Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you
received your good things, while Lazarus received bad
things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has
been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you
cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'" NIV
(Read more about this at
(P.S. This parable by Jesus unlike other parables, is an
account of an actual event. Rule of Study for Parables: If a
parable mentions no actual names like "The Prodigal Son,"
then it is allegorical in nature. If proper names are used,
we must take it as being an account of a literal event!)
Jude 5-7 "Though you already know all this, I want to remind
you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but
later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels
who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned
their own home-these he has kept in darkness, bound with
everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a
similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns
gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They
serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of
eternal fire." NIV (Note the present tense)
Job 27:19-20 "He lies down wealthy, but will do so no
more; when he opens his eyes, all is gone. 20 Terrors
overtake him like a flood." NIV
(P.S. Can it be any more clear? The sinner lies down and his
body appears to sleep, but he instantly opens his eyes and
realizes he is no longer in the body and physically existing
in this world. Immediately terrors take hold of him.)
For the believer, death is a welcome sign to heaven. But for
the unbeliever the thought of death is terrifying. No
wonder. They are waiting in hell for their final
consequences of sin. (This is a whole other answer to be
Are you saved my friend? If you answer, "I hope so", you are
not. The Bible is explicit! 2 Cor 1:21-22 "He anointed us,
set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our
hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." NIV and
Eph 1:13-14 "And you also were included in Christ when you
heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the
promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our
inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's
possession-to the praise of his glory." NIV If you know
Jesus and His Spirit dwells in you, you will have no doubt
of your salvation.
It isn't too late yet! You can change your destination by
answering God's altar call (see
http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html ) Will
you invite Him into your heart?
This is a question coming from a heart that is prepared
to meet the Lord after our sojourn in this world. I also
pray that the following answers would further enhance your
walk with the Lord and that you would be a witness for Him
till he comes.
Like the word ‘spirit, the word ‘soul’ has a variety of
meanings in English. There is some variety also in the
usages of the original words from which ‘soul has been
translated. In the Hebrew of the Old Testament the word is
nephesh. In the Greek of the New Testament the word is
I Thessalonians 5:23 say: May God himself, the God of peace,
sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit,
soul and body by kept blameless at the coming of our Lord
Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul,
firms and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the
curtain where Jesus, who went before us has entered on our
behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to their
authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an
account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a
burden for that would be of no advantage to you”
I Peter 1:8-9 “Though you have not seen him, you love him:
and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him
and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for
you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of
I Peter 2:11-12 “Dear Friends, I urge you, as aliens, and
stranger in this world, to abstain from sinful desires,
which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the
pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may
see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us”
III 2 “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health
and that all may go well with you, even as your souls is
getting along well”.
I have attempted to get you references that have to do with
the Spirit of a man and that of the soul. The two are
independent of each other even though they work in harmony.
When a person is born again, the make-up of that fellow: the
Spirit, body and souls are affected. No wonder the Bible
affirms that we should not be unequally yoked with
unbelievers – II 5:17. They cannot corrupt our spirit, soul
and body! Those who are not yet born again are living in a
system that is corrupted: the body if fed with all kinds of
ungodly things such as sexual immorality, drinking of
alcohol cigarette smoking, piercing, unholy dedications to
idols, movement to places that don’t glorify God.
The spirit and soul of a born again believer however lives
in harmony with the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit of God
that gets a man born again. As a matter of fact, once the
Spirit of a man is affected by the Word of God because faith
comes by hearing and hearing by the Word – Romans 10:17, the
soul is automatically affected. The soul is therefore fed
with things that noble. Things that are loaded with it good
reports. God’s Holy Spirit will then be directing such an
Christians are living the life of Christ. This is because
God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in
Spirit and in truth – John 4:24. Once a man is born again,
his spirit along with his soul change. The quest for ungodly
things will cease. Such a person would avoid music that
affects the soul that is ungodly. There would quest (hunger)
from that individual who has experienced rebirth of nurture
his spirit and soul with the Word of God.
Man, however, is a spirit. He has a threefold nature: He is
a spirit; he possesses a soul; and he lives in a body. Death
is not the end for man, because he is an eternal spirit.
YOUR SOUL IS IMPORTANT
James 1:21 “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and
superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the
engrafted word, which is able to save your soul.
If your souls has not destination, which is heaven, James
would not have emphasized in the above passage that you
should something about it.
Even if your spirit is born again and has the Holy Spirit
abiding within, if you mind (soul) isn’t renewed (or as
James said, the soul saved) with the Word, then the mind
(which has been educated through the body and the physical
senses) will side in with the body against your spirit to
keep you away from getting to maturity and thereby go to
Friend, what are you dongs with your life? Are you saved? Do
you know that the unrighteous would not inherit the Kingdom
“Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what
he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature from
that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to
please the Spirit from the Spirit will reap eternal life”
You are blessed!
Rev Debo Adeyemo
Prior to the ascension of Christ Jesus to heaven 40 days
after His resurrection, the immaterial side (the soul and
spirit) of all who died went to a place known as Hades in
the New Testament, or Sheol in the Old Testament (Luke
16:19-31). At that time, there were two areas in Hades. One
area (Abraham's Bosom: Paradise) was where people of faith
in the one true and eternal God, and those who had died
having never reached the age of accountability (a point in
one's life whereby they are held accountable for sin before
God), went. They were awaiting Christ Jesus' victory over
sin and death on the cross of Calvary as the Lamb of God
which taketh away the sin of the world (Luke 16:22; 1 Peter
4:6). The other area is where the unrighteous dead reside.
When Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after His
resurrection, He took those who were held captive in
Abraham's Bosom (the righteous dead) to heaven with Him
(Ephesians 4:8). Paradise is now in heaven (2 Corinthians
At the present time, the immaterial side (the soul and
spirit) of those who die, those who have turned to God in
repentance through faith in Christ Jesus, and those who have
died having never reached the age of accountability, go to
be with the Lord in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:7). At a future
date in time, their body (a glorified body which will never
grow old get sick or die) will be resurrected and their
body, soul and spirit will once more be reunited (1
The immaterial side (the soul and spirit) of those who die
at this time having reached the age of accountability, yet
having never turned to God in repentance through faith in
Christ Jesus, go to Hades (the area of the unrighteous
dead). They (along with all of the unrighteous dead
throughout time) await the resurrection of their bodies, at
which time, their bodies, souls, and spirits will once more
reunited. At that time, each will all stand before Christ
Jesus in judgment of their sin, and their degree of
punishment for all eternity, in the lake of fire, will be
determined (Revelation 20:11-15).
http://www.biblepath.com (Answers to questions
from a Biblical perspective)
Some people or sect belief in purgatory, some hold to the
belief that the soul goes nowhere but as a Christian, I
believe the soul goes to paradise. Jesus told one of the
thieves on the cross that confessed him today, you will be
with me in paradise – Luke 23:39-43. Therefore, any soul
that confesses Jesus as his/her personal saviour will be
with Christ. The soul that believes in Jesus will go to
heaven but the soul that refuses Jesus will go to hell fire
– John 3:18.
Rev Israel Adeoye
We have to understand what the soul consists of. The soul
is made up of the mind, will and emotions. This is where we
make our decision to accept Jesus as Lord or reject Him. We
choose to serve God and obey His Word through our mind, will
and emotions. We have to submit our souls to Him. When we
die, our souls will go to one of two places: Heaven or Hell.
It is up to us where we spend eternity.
Jesus said in John 10:10 "The thief cometh not but for to
steal, kill and destroy. But I am come that you might have
life and have it more abundantly." I John 3:8 says "For this
cause was the Son of God manifested that He might destroy
the works of the devil." Jesus also said in John 3:16 "For
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have
everlasting life." We can die two ways: physically and
The Bible says that the "wages of sin is death but the
gift og God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Sin leads to death physically and spiritually. Spiritual
death is separation from God. When people die and go to
hell, they are eternally separated from God. When people die
and go to heaven, they are experiencing everlasting life
because the Source of life (Jesus) lives in heaven. Jesus
said in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth and the life; no
man cometh unto the Father but by me." Jesus is the ONLY way
to get to the Father and He is the ONLY way that your soul
can make it into heaven.
If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior,
please answer the Savior's Call and accept Him. Otherwise,
your soul will end up in hell. God bless you.
It is his soul that goes to Heaven or hell, whichever the
case may be. Our earthly bodies are nothing more than
housing for our souls. Our bodies are not what goes to be
with the Lord. When our souls return to the Lord, we are
given perfect and heavenly bodies. None of us will truly
know what these are until in the Lord's time He takes us
home with Him.
It came about as her soul was departing (for she died),
For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet
from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light
of the living. (Psalm 56:13)
What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul
from the power of Sheol? Selah. (Psalm 89:48)
let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of
his way will save his soul from death and will cover a
multitude of sins. (James 5:20)
These are just a few scriptures pointing to the fact that it
is the soul that goes to Heaven or Hell and not the
body!......The body is nothing! We will not look the same
whatsoever in Heaven. We can't even begin to fathom what the
Lord has us look like. Nobody knows this until that time
when we join Him. MAY ALL BE BLESSED!
In response to the question "Where does the soul go upon
death?". Jesus told the thief on the cross "today, you will
be with Me in paradise." I've always held on to that as a
promise that the soul would go to be with Jesus whether it
be a holding place or directly to heaven. Of course, this
would be the soul of the believer. The soul of the
unbeliever would enter eternal damnation (hell).
This word from Jesus settles the question of where a
persons soul will spend eternity
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my
word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting
life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed
from death unto life.
a picture of heaven and of hell
Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and
was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man
also died, and was buried;
Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in
torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his
SAVED FROM THE PENALTY OF DEATH-HELL
James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner
from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and
shall hide a multitude of sins.
A PERSON CAN LOSE THEIR SOUL
Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain
the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are
not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able
to destroy both soul and body in hell.
HUMAN SOULS OF THE UNSAVED THAT WERE IN HELL ARE DELIVERED
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in
it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in
them: and they were judged every man according to their
Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake
of fire. This is the second death.
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the
book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Man doesn't have a soul. He is the soul e.g. his body
formed by Jesus from the dust and the breath of life from
God breathed into his nostrils created a living soul. Hence
when a person dies, the body is separated from the breath of
life. The body returns to the ground and the breath of life
returns to God who gave it to man.
The soul is the combination of the body and breath of life
Furthermore, all animals are living souls as well until they
too die. Their bodies return to the dust and breath of life
returns to God.
So the soul doesn't go anywhere.
Well our souls goes to heaven with Jesus if we are saved
by hid grace and if not the our soul goes to hell so I hope
all who reads this is saved by his grace and ready to meet