When the body dies, what happens to the spirit?

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.
Oct 9, 2018
1,633
1,020
113
Texas
#1
My wife's grandmother died recently, and there is now some debate between family members as to whether you go immediately to be with Christ of if you sleep until the resurrection.

After doing some Bible study, I want to say you go immediately to Christ, but I am honest enough to say I am biased in the matter, and could be reading my own desires into the scriptures.
 
Sep 14, 2019
81
17
8
#2
My wife's grandmother died recently, and there is now some debate between family members as to whether you go immediately to be with Christ of if you sleep until the resurrection.

After doing some Bible study, I want to say you go immediately to Christ, but I am honest enough to say I am biased in the matter, and could be reading my own desires into the scriptures.
The world is a big place. Not everybody goes to the same place when they leave their body. I believe there are two of us one for the flesh and one for the spirit. One of us dies and goes back to dust the other continues living at a place slightly higher (toward heaven) or slightly lower (toward death and hades) than where we were on earth when we die but those left behind cannot see us. These realms are earth like realms that have the same appearance as earth. Some of us continue living without even realizing at the outset that we died while others are resting until the resurrection. This means that our spirit has a multidimensional state of being. We can be at multiple locations at the same time. Part of the blessing about the great wedding banquet in the sky is that this is at a time and place where all these multidimensional roads meet and we will become aware of all of our experiences we had in these other places and these experiences will converge into a great reunion with all our loved ones. What an exciting time! Can't wait!
 
Jan 28, 2013
1,170
170
63
64
Walk trough the valley
#3
My wife's grandmother died recently, and there is now some debate between family members as to whether you go immediately to be with Christ of if you sleep until the resurrection.

After doing some Bible study, I want to say you go immediately to Christ, but I am honest enough to say I am biased in the matter, and could be reading my own desires into the scriptures.
There is much evidence on the internet of people who died and were sent back to testify. I have watched over a hundred. Now I am more interested in those who are in the First Resueeection. "Blesseed and Holy are those who have part in the first Resurrection."
Let me Know if you need help finding links to vidios of Christians who died and were sent back to testify. Also we are not all rewarded the same but receive according to our labour of Love. One thing you should take note of Jesus said that if we believed in Him we would never die, meaning "To be abscent from the body is to be present with the Lord." Present in Eternity with God is a big place. Everyone who experiences heaven has aome similarity and diferencces and the Judgment is diferent than we realise and according to our maturity in Love; becoming One Spirit with the Holy Spirit determines where we are in God: to have part in the first Resurrection.
 
Jul 8, 2018
3,128
358
83
#4
The world is a big place. Not everybody goes to the same place when they leave their body. I believe there are two of us one for the flesh and one for the spirit. One of us dies and goes back to dust the other continues living at a place slightly higher (toward heaven) or slightly lower (toward death and hades) than where we were on earth when we die but those left behind cannot see us. These realms are earth like realms that have the same appearance as earth. Some of us continue living without even realizing at the outset that we died while others are resting until the resurrection. This means that our spirit has a multidimensional state of being. We can be at multiple locations at the same time. Part of the blessing about the great wedding banquet in the sky is that this is at a time and place where all these multidimensional roads meet and we will become aware of all of our experiences we had in these other places and these experiences will converge into a great reunion with all our loved ones. What an exciting time! Can't wait!
Do you have scriptures that tell you all of this?
 
Jul 8, 2018
3,128
358
83
#5
My wife's grandmother died recently, and there is now some debate between family members as to whether you go immediately to be with Christ of if you sleep until the resurrection.

After doing some Bible study, I want to say you go immediately to Christ, but I am honest enough to say I am biased in the matter, and could be reading my own desires into the scriptures.
Ecc,12:7 - Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
 
Sep 14, 2019
81
17
8
#6
Do you have scriptures that tell you all of this?
some scripture and some personal experience. "flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit". "he who believes will never die". "God is love". Jesus appeared to the 500 at the same time. Jesus walked through walls when he reappeared on earth. The story of rich man who died and the angels carried him away. "I will be in the heart of the earth for 3 days"
 

DB7

Junior Member
Dec 29, 2014
283
132
43
#7
My wife's grandmother died recently, and there is now some debate between family members as to whether you go immediately to be with Christ of if you sleep until the resurrection.

After doing some Bible study, I want to say you go immediately to Christ, but I am honest enough to say I am biased in the matter, and could be reading my own desires into the scriptures.
Hello LPDM, I believe that we sleep until the 2nd coming of Christ, known as Soul-Sleep. No one goes to a good or bad place during the interim between his 1st & 2nd coming, as no one is judged until Judgement Day and the books are opened.
1 Thess. 4:13-18 are the quintessential passages on this issue, it is as didactic and comprehensive, explicit and within context as it gets. Any one who believes in Soul-Awake, is always forced to defend their position with exclusively implicit passages. There are no didactic and explicit verses that are definitively in support of Soul-Awake. The parobole of Lazarus and the rich man is not eschatological, it's about the imminency of accepting Christ while the opportunity is there (no excuses), plus, the logistics that Jesus depicted of heaven are 200% implausible, clearly (there is no visibility or audibility between the two realms, etc..).
Of course, there are many more passages in support of Soul-Sleep, and if necessary, I will cite them also when asked.
Everything is in order with God, heaven is not being populated at a random pace as saints die in their turn.
You're grandmother-in-law is asleep as a spirit, waiting for Christ's return to be judged, as is my father.
 
Apr 10, 2019
333
149
43
#8
We go to be with the Lord right after we die:

2Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

At the resurrection our salvation is complete (body soul spirit) and we get a resurrection body.

As to what happens to the Spirit, it goes back to the Lord:

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
1,261
1,254
113
63
#9
Hello @Locoponydirtman, the entirety of the church/ALL of us (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Baptist, Lutheran, etc.) teach that God's saints are alive/awake during the "Intermediate State", IOW, while our bodies lie interred in death awaiting bodily resurrection at the end of the age, we go home to be with the Lord. We also teach that the doctrine of 'the sleep of the soul' is heresy.

Here are some of the Biblical reasons that explain why we all teach the same thing concerning this aspect of the Intermediate State.

Matthew 17
1 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.
2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.
7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.”
8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.


Luke 16
19 There was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day.
20 And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores,
21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.
22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.
23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.
26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.
27 And he said, Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house—
28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.
29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.
30 But he said, No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!
31 But he said to him, If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.


2 Corinthians 5
6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight—
8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.


Philippians 1
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.


Revelation 6
9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

~Deut
p.s. - Here are a few things to consider. If we/our souls become lifeless (like our bodies are) in death, then:

1. Why was an exception made for Moses? (Elijah never died as you may remember, rather, has was taken to Heaven directly on a chariot of fire)

2. What does the Apostle mean when he speaks of being "absent from the body" and "at home with the Lord"?

3. How could we possibly make "pleasing God" our "ambition" in death if our souls are not alive/conscious after we die?

4. How could the Apostle Paul think that dying (rather than continuing on in fruitful service here, to both God and the church) could be some kind of "gain", or that an unconscious death of the soul could in any way be "very much better" than living on would be?

5. Why is an exception made for the souls of the martyrs in Heaven? If they remained with their bodies in the ground, how are they found in Heaven crying out in a loud voice to the Lord?
 

DB7

Junior Member
Dec 29, 2014
283
132
43
#10
Hi again LPDM, you'll notice, like I said, of all the passages that Deuteronomy cited, not one was explicit or eschatological.
Matt 17, has nothing to do with the resurrection, it's about Jesus fulfilling the prophecies of both Moses & Elijah, as much as Samuel was raised from the dead temporarily to speak to Saul. Jesus was not talking about the end times here. Their appearance could have any significance about it, it was not proving that they were alive, this is easy for God. Don't forget, no one was allowed to enter heaven until Christ paid the price, and Christ had not paid the price yet, and was not seated at the right-hand of God!

I spoke about Luke in my first post, it's extremely ignorant to think that this is eschatological, ...it's not the subject matter, and heaven will not be as Jesus depicted in this allegory, it's not possible to have communication with the anguished.

Again, 2 Cor 5 and Phil. 1, are not speaking of the end times, they are expressions of speech, as much as Paul told the Corinthians that he is with them in spirit, and amongst them, even when he is absent.


But now LPDM, I will cite you verses that are pertinent and explicit to the topic at hand. There is no comparison to the ones that Deuteronomy cited, and it was extremely deficient and incompetent of him to overlook these very appropriate and didactic ones (sorry Deuteronomy, but it's true, very, very incompetent to disregard these blatant verses specifically on the subject matter)!
Plus LPDM, I only cited a few, there's many more about the end times and judgement day occurring at the final hour, and the usage of the term 'fallen asleep' always referring to death, never to animation and vivification.

And don't forget LPDM, our faith lies in the fact that Jesus was the first-born from the dead, as proof the God will do the same for us. If people are already being raised, the faith and hope has already been realised. This is the significance of the title first-born (and only born from the dead).

1 Thess. 4:13-17
4:13. Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 15. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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. 16. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.


1 Co. 15:1-6
15:1. Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4. that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5. and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.


1 Co. 15:16-20
15:16. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.


1 Co. 15:22-23
15:22. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.


1 Co. 15:50-54
15:50. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- 52. in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."


John 5:25-29
5:25. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. 28. "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29. and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.

Acts 13:34-37
13:34. The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: " 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.' 35. So it is stated elsewhere: " 'You will not let your Holy One see decay.' 36. "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. 37. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
 

DB7

Junior Member
Dec 29, 2014
283
132
43
#11
some scripture and some personal experience. "flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit". "he who believes will never die". "God is love". Jesus appeared to the 500 at the same time. Jesus walked through walls when he reappeared on earth. The story of rich man who died and the angels carried him away. "I will be in the heart of the earth for 3 days"
You didn't quote one scripture pertaining to eschatology? Are you completely unaware of any in the Bible?
 
Dec 1, 2019
22
5
3
#12
My wife's grandmother died recently, and there is now some debate between family members as to whether you go immediately to be with Christ of if you sleep until the resurrection.

After doing some Bible study, I want to say you go immediately to Christ, but I am honest enough to say I am biased in the matter, and could be reading my own desires into the scriptures.
in Enoch it’s written I have seen the place of where the son of of man sleeps unto judgement day
And in revelations the saints are under the alter crying out to the Lord for Judgement
🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
1,261
1,254
113
63
#13
..our faith lies in the fact that Jesus was the first-born from the dead, as proof the God will do the same for us. If people are already being raised, the faith and hope has already been realised. This is the significance of the title first-born (and only born from the dead).
Hello DB7, no one was resurrected "BODILY" before the Lord Jesus was, but it didn't take very long for that to occur.

Matthew 27
52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

We (our souls) are awake and with the Lord during the Intermediate State, while our bodies lie interred in the ground, awaiting the end of the age and our bodily resurrection at that time.

Again, while there are a couple of cults that teach soul sleep (like the JW's), this has always been considered a heresy by the Christian church as a whole (as I indicated in my last post).

~Deut
 
Oct 11, 2013
13,555
1,323
113
64
#14
My wife's grandmother died recently, and there is now some debate between family members as to whether you go immediately to be with Christ of if you sleep until the resurrection.

After doing some Bible study, I want to say you go immediately to Christ, but I am honest enough to say I am biased in the matter, and could be reading my own desires into the scriptures.
The lie that satan told Eve in the Garden was that you will not die if you eat the fruit. God said the wages of sin is death. God is immortal we are mortal. When we die our breath of life goes back to God and we are dead until the resurrection because we are mortals. You want to be in the first resurrection when Jesus comes. Please don't believe satan's lie because until Jesus comes and gives us immortality we are still mortals and we die and sleep in the ground until resurrected.
 

DB7

Junior Member
Dec 29, 2014
283
132
43
#15
Hello DB7, no one was resurrected "BODILY" before the Lord Jesus was, but it didn't take very long for that to occur.

Matthew 27
52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

We (our souls) are awake and with the Lord during the Intermediate State, while our bodies lie interred in the ground, awaiting the end of the age and our bodily resurrection at that time.

Again, while there are a couple of cults that teach soul sleep (like the JW's), this has always been considered a heresy by the Christian church as a whole (as I indicated in my last post).

~Deut
But again, Deuteronomy, when Jesus died, and that event occurred when the OT saints walked around, Jesus remained in the grave for 3 days, and walked on earth for another 40 before he ascended into heaven, sat on his throne to the right-hand side of God, and made the way available for the saints to enter heaven. So that phenomenon that occurred, was only a testimony that Jesus was the Messiah, the OT saints went back to their graves afterwards (in my opinion), but either way, it doesn't say that they ascended anywhere but simply appeared to many on earth. In other words, they did not ascend into heaven as again, for 43 days Christ was not even in heaven yet.

And, no one is judged before Judgement day, so that if we're with the Lord after we've died, as you say, it means that we already know our judgement, ...unless you think that Hitler's with Jesus now too in the meantime, while waiting to go to hell?

And again D, you're getting petty with your choice of verses, after everything that I said about didactic and explicit passages, here you are again bickering over ambiguous verses. ..and you call me the heretic?
I ask, who do you think God will consider the better exegete here, who was more responsible and reasonable with his word, and followed better hermeneutical practices?
 
Nov 26, 2019
383
107
43
#16
Hey, thanks for asking this. I was going to make a thread on this. I've been on both sides, one being where we go to heaven or hell upon death, and the other being that you're neither in heaven nor hell and simply cease to exist. That latter seems sillier only because we are first spirit and flesh second, so how can we cease to exist if the spirit doesn't die? Idk
 

DB7

Junior Member
Dec 29, 2014
283
132
43
#17
in Enoch it’s written I have seen the place of where the son of of man sleeps unto judgement day
And in revelations the saints are under the alter crying out to the Lord for Judgement
🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️
Enoch is pseudopigraphical, end of story.
And the saints under the altar is figurative and implicit (the point is about the justice of God), But figurative in the same way that Abel spoke to God from the earth, crying for vengeance ('your brother's blood cries out to me').
 
Jul 18, 2017
9,606
3,254
113
#18
After doing some Bible study, I want to say you go immediately to Christ, but I am honest enough to say I am biased in the matter, and could be reading my own desires into the scriptures.
The Bible is very clear. Those who are in Christ go IMMEDIATELY to be with Christ. Those who are not go to Hades.
 
Jun 11, 2018
1,261
1,254
113
63
#19
...you're getting petty with your choice of verses, after everything that I said about didactic and explicit passages, here you are again bickering over ambiguous verses. ..and you call me the heretic?
I ask, who do you think God will consider the better exegete here, who was more responsible and reasonable with his word, and followed better hermeneutical practices?
Hello again DB7, I stated what I believe, so I think it best that we agree to disagree at this point about the sleep of the soul (in part, at least, because I don't believe that anyone's salvation rests upon getting that particular doctrine right or not).

That said, the verses/passages that you posited for us have little to nothing to do with the Intermediate State and what happens during that time to the souls (not the bodies) of believers. And while I certainly disagree with your interpretation of the verses that I posited for us in my first post above (verses/passages that support a conscious, Intermediate State of the soul), here again, I will agree to disagree, principally because I don't believe that there is a compelling reason to continue the discussion.

Finally, if you are asking me who the better exegete is, you and/or the theologians from a couple of cults, or the theologians from the whole of the historic Christian Church (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, etc.), I've already told you where I stand in regard to that .. with the Church.

~Deut
p.s. - As you know, the church, as a whole, bickers and argues endlessly about a great many things, but when the ENTIRE Christian Church stops bickering and stands as ~one~ (w/o any variation of belief) concerning a particular doctrine, I would think it prudent, for any who disagree with us, to take the time to go back and consider, or consider again, why we continue to believe & teach what we do.
.
 
Jul 18, 2017
9,606
3,254
113
#20
As to what happens to the Spirit, it goes back to the Lord:
I agree with what you have said.

However, that should be *spirit* in lower case, and a more appropriate translation (which is perfectly valid) would be *breath*. So what the writer was saying if that the breath of life returns to God, while the body turns to dust (not dust and ashes as mistakenly believed).

However that passage is not giving us insight into the immaterial portion of man -- the soul and spirit (which are always joined together, yet distinct from each other, and with distinct functions).

The New Testament is very clear (and the death of Stephen is a perfect example) that the saints go directly to be with Christ upon death. The unsaved go to Hades. AND SOUL SLEEP IS A FALSE DOCTRINE WHICH ORIGINATED WITH THE CULTS.

Prior to the resurrection of Christ, all the OT saints went to Abraham's Bosom in Hades (which is in the lower parts of the earth, or the heart of the earth, or the core of the earth). When Christ rose from the dead "He led captivity captive") and took all the OT saints from Hades to the New Jerusalem (wherein is Paradise). On the day of Pentecost it is my belief that these saints also received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and were thereby perfected. Therefore they are called *the spirits of just men made perfect* (Heb 12:22-24).