Soul Sleep

This is the mistaken belief that after a person dies, their soul ‘sleeps’ until the resurrection and final judgment. However, the Bible indicates there is a separation of the physical body and soul. The body is ‘sleeping’ in decay and at the resurrection is ‘awakened’ and transformed into an everlasting body that a person will have for eternity, either in heaven or hell (1 Cor 15:52). At the time of death the believer’s soul is transferred to be ‘present with the Lord’ in a temporary heaven (referred to as paradise) so is ‘absent from the body’ (Lk 23:43; 2 Cor 5:6-8, 12:4; Phil 1:23). Ultimately, after the resurrection and judgement (for how we have lived as believers) we will enter the new heaven and earth (Rev 21:1). Similarly, the souls of the unsaved go to a temporary hell, referred as Hades (Lk 16:22-26). It is clear that neither in paradise or hell are people sleeping but conscious of their surroundings. After the resurrection and judgement (for not having a saving faith in Jesus) they will be doomed to the Lake of Fire which is eternal damnation (Rev 20:11-15). Our eternal destiny is decided before we die, there is no second chance after death (Mt 25:46; Jn 3:36).

See also: body/soul/spirit, death, eternal damnation, eternal life, heaven, paradise.