Eschatology & Death

Eschatology is the study of the last things: death, resurrection, Judgment Day, and the eternal states of heaven or hell.  It is a fascinating part of theology since we all desire to know what will happen at the end of our life.  This series of blogs on eschatology will start with death.

When God made Adam, He made him from the dust of the ground.  God then breathed into Adam, and he became a living soul.   Humans consist of a body and a soul–the body is the physical vessel for the soul, which can be explained as our mind, will, and emotions.  Everything that we know, want, and feel comprises our soul. 

If life is the joining of body and soul, then death can be defined as separation of the soul from the body.  But here’s the good news: Jesus rose from the dead and is the solution to this problem that faces all of us.  The final resurrection of all humans at Judgment Day  reverses this consequence of the Fall into sin. Yet how do we answer the question, where is the soul before Judgment Day?

Ecclesiastes 12:7 notes “the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” The body of those who have died are in the grave, or are cremated. But where is the soul? Simply said, the soul is either with God or not.

From our perspective of time and space, the souls of believers who have died are with God, in His presence. An example of this is Stephen in Acts 7:59, echoing Jesus’ words as He died: “While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:8 that “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

On the other hand, the souls of unbelievers are not with God.  They lack saving faith in Christ as Savior, so their soul is not with God.  While we still have breath, today is the day of salvation.  One day, all of us will die.  Will your soul be with God or not?

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