Where Does the Soul Go at Death?

I hope that some of these references and Bible  passages will help to comfort and set as ease the minds of those who have worried or been concerned with this question. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us as we study together the answer to this question from one of my little flock.

Anne wrote:

Hi Jim!
I hope you all are doing good. I have a question for you; when a person dies, do they go right to heaven, or do they like sleep until the rapture, and if you have some scripture I can look up for it, I would really appreciate it.
God bless you,




Loved ones will weep o'er my silent face,
Dear ones will clasp me in sad embrace
Shadows and darkness will fill the place,
Five minutes after I die. 

Faces that sorrow I will not see,
Voices that murmur will not reach me;
But where, oh where will my spirit be?
Five minutes after I die. 

Here I have rested and roved and ravaged;
Here I have cherished and grown estranged
There, and then, it will be changed-
Five minutes after I die. 

Naught to repair the good I lack-
Fixed to the goal of my chosen track,
No room to repent, no turning back,
Five minutes after I die. 

Now, I can stifle convictions stirred;
Now, I can silence the Voice oft heard;
Then fulfillment of God's sure Word,
Five minutes after I die. 

Mated for aye with my chosen throng-
Long is eternity-- O so long!
Then woe is me if my soul be wrong
Five minutes after I die. 

Oh what a fool! Hard the word but true;
Passing the Saviour, with Hell in view,
Doing a thing I can never undo-
Five minutes after I die. 

If I am flinging a fortune away,
If I am wasting salvation's day,
"Just is my sentence", my soul shall say,
Five minutes after I die. 

~~~ Taken from an vintage tract by Pilgrim Tract Society ~~~


This section (18, 19, 20) was borrowed from Cobblestone Ministries.

18. His coming for the Saints will mean a blessed re-union with our loved ones, who have gone before, and with all the Saints. It is therefore called "the comforting hope." Apart from the coming of the Lord for His Saints there is no ray of hope in Scripture of meeting our departed ones again. But when He comes for His Saints, those who died in Christ will be raised in incorruption; we, the living ones, will be changed. All will take place by the mighty power of God, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Together with them we shall be caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

19. The New Testament teaches that there will be a judgment-seat of Christ. There the hidden things of our lives as to service, Christian living, Christian sacrifice and suffering, will be brought to light. Rewards and crowns will be bestowed upon those who were faithful. Others will be ashamed before Him in His presence and will be crownless, though saved as by fire. Then the Apostle Paul and all the Apostles and martyrs will receive their crowns in that day (2 Tim. 4:8). The blessed hope becomes therefore a great incentive to holy living and untiring, self-sacrificing service.

20. With His coming the Church will be glorified and share with Him His glory and His kingdom. He will present the Church to Himself "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27). Every individual believer will see Him as He is and will be like Him. Every believer will receive an eternal body, like unto His own glorious body. His prayer is answered "Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory." His glory will be our glory. With Him we shall be priests and kings, and reign with Him for a thousand years in His Kingdom over the earth. With Him the Church shall judge the world and shall judge Angels.

Borrowed from Cobblestone Road Ministries


  Mathew's Henry's Commentary on;

Read 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

The bible says that when Christ returns He will bring THEM. Who are the them referred to here? It is all the saints who have died in Christ. Let see what Mathew Henry has to say here in Thessalonians and below as found in Corinthians;

Verse 13-18 - Here is comfort for the relations and friends of those who die in the Lord. Grief for the death of friends is lawful; we may weep for our own loss, though it may be their gain. Christianity does not forbid, and grace does not do away, our natural affections. Yet we must not be excessive in our sorrows; this is too much like those who have no hope of a better life. Death is an unknown thing, and we know little about the state after death; yet the doctrines of the resurrection and the second coming of Christ, are a remedy against the fear of death, and undue sorrow for the death of our Christian friends; and of these doctrines we have full assurance. It will be some happiness that all the saints shall meet, and remain together for ever; but the principal happiness of heaven is to be with the Lord, to see him, live with him, and enjoy him for ever. We should support one another in times sorrow; not deaden one another's spirits, or weaken one another's hands. And this may be done by the many lessons to be learned from the resurrection of the dead, and the second coming of Christ. What! comfort a man by telling him he is going to appear before the judgment-seat of God! Who can feel comfort from those words? That man alone with whose spirit the Spirit of God bears witness that his sins are blotted out, and the thoughts of whose heart are purified by the Holy Spirit, so that he can love God, and worthily magnify his name. We are not in a safe state unless it is thus with us, or we are desiring to be so.


Read 1st Corinthians 15:35-50

Verse 35-50 -

1. How are the dead raised up? that is, by what means? How can they be raised?
2. As to the bodies which shall rise. Will it be with the like shape, and form, and stature, and members, and qualities? The former objection is that of those who opposed the doctrine, the latter of curious doubters. To the first the answer is, This was to be brought about by Divine power; that power which all may see does somewhat like it, year after year, in the death and revival of the corn. It is foolish to question the Almighty power of God to raise the dead, when we see it every day quickening and reviving things that are dead. To the second inquiry; The grain undergoes a great change; and so will the dead, when they rise and live again. The seed dies, though a part of it springs into new life, though how it is we cannot fully understand. The works of creation and providence daily teach us to be humble, as well as to admire the Creator's wisdom and goodness.

There is a great variety among other bodies, as there is among plants. There is a variety of glory among heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly state; and there will be a variety of glories among them. Burying the dead, is like committing seed to the earth, that it may spring out of it again. Nothing is more loathsome than a dead body. But believers shall at the resurrection have bodies, made fit to be for ever united with spirits made perfect. To God all things are possible. He is the Author and Source of spiritual life and holiness, unto all his people, by the supply of his Holy Spirit to the soul; and he will also quicken and change the body by his Spirit. The dead in Christ shall not only rise, but shall rise thus gloriously changed. The bodies of the saints, when they rise again, will be changed. They will be then glorious and spiritual bodies, fitted to the heavenly world and state, where they are ever afterwards to dwell. The human body in its present form, and with its wants and weaknesses, cannot enter or enjoy the kingdom of God. Then let us not sow to the flesh, of which we can only reap corruption. And the body follows the state of the soul. He, therefore, who neglects the life of the soul, casts away his present good; he who refuses to live to God, squanders all he has.


Read 1st Corinthians 15:51-58

Verse 51-58 - All the saints should not die, but all would be changed. In the gospel, many truths, before hidden in mystery, are made known. Death never shall appear in the regions to which our Lord will bear his risen saints. Therefore let us seek the full assurance of faith and hope, that in the midst of pain, and in the prospect of death, we may think calmly on the horrors of the tomb; assured that our bodies will there sleep, and in the mean time our souls will be present with the Redeemer.

Sin gives death all its hurtful power. The sting of death is sin; but Christ, by dying, has taken out this sting; he has made atonement for sin, he has obtained remission of it. The strength of sin is the law. None can answer its demands, endure its curse, or do away his own transgressions. Hence terror and anguish. And hence death is terrible to the unbelieving and the impenitent. Death may seize a believer, but it cannot hold him in its power. How many springs of joy to the saints, and of thanksgiving to God, are opened by the death and resurrection, the sufferings and conquests of the Redeemer!

In verse58, we have an exhortation, that believers should be stedfast, firm in the faith of that gospel which the apostle preached, and they received. Also, to be unmovable in their hope and expectation of this great privilege, of being raised incorruptible and immortal. And to abound in the work of the Lord, always doing the Lord's service, and obeying the Lord's commands. May Christ give us faith, and increase our faith, that we may not only be safe, but joyful and triumphant.


And in conclusion I believe these verses and commentary will pretty well sum it all up; I believe when we draw our last breath here the next one is in the presence of the Lord. Our soul is carried by the Holy Spirit who has kept it sealed from the time we accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour and were born again and carries it from this body immediately to heaven.  What seems to confuse folks is that the Bible refers to not only physical bodies but spiritual bodies as well and these two get mixed up in the minds of some when death is referred to…

II Corinthians 5: 5, 8

5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst 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 confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on these verses.

Verse 1-8 - The believer not only is well assured by faith that there is another and a happy life after this is ended, but he has good hope, through grace, of heaven as a dwelling-place, a resting-place, a hiding-place. In our Father's house there are many mansions, whose Builder and Maker is God. The happiness of the future state is what God has prepared for those that love him: everlasting habitations, not like the earthly tabernacles, the poor cottages of clay, in which our souls now dwell; that are mouldering and decaying, whose foundations are in the dust. The body of flesh is a heavy burden, the calamities of life are a heavy load.

But believers groan, being burdened with a body of sin, and because of the many corruptions remaining and raging within them. Death will strip us of the clothing of flesh, and all the comforts of life, as well as end all our troubles here below. But believing souls shall be clothed with garments of praise, with robes of righteousness and glory. The present graces and comforts of the Spirit are earnests of everlasting grace and comfort. And though God is with us here, by his Spirit, and in his ordinances, yet we are not with him as we hope to be.

Faith is for this world, and sight is for the other world. It is our duty, and it will be our interest, to walk by faith, till we live by sight. This shows clearly the happiness to be enjoyed by the souls of believers when absent from the body, and where Jesus makes known his glorious presence. We are related to the body and to the Lord; each claims a part in us. But how much more powerfully the Lord pleads for having the soul of the believer closely united with himself! Thou art one of the souls I have loved and chosen; one of those given to me. What is death, as an object of fear, compared with being absent from the Lord!

Now the question is; Where will you spend eternity?

While you are still alive, you still have a choice. Once you die, there are no second chances from the grave.

Death is inevitable for all of us. Have you considered your

eternal future? Do you know where you are going if you die tonight?

Have you received Jesus Christ as your Savior? Are your sins forgiven? Are you trusting in Him to save you?



You will spend eternity in either Heaven or in the Lake of Fire.

Jesus loved each and every one of us so much that He died for our sins. God's Only Begotten Son died for us. He paid a high price to redeem us.

Luke 19:10 says:  "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Whether you receive Jesus as your Savior or not determines your eternal destiny.

Jesus said it very plainly in

John 3:16-18:
"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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Revelation 20:15 says:
"And whosoever was not
found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

Tomorrow is promised to no man!
If you died tonight, where would you go?
Do you know?
Where will you spend eternity?

Once again I Thank YOU for visiting with me... If you don't know my Jesus as your personal Saviour but would like to, why not, in your own words, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, acknowledge that you believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, suffered and gave his life on that old cross, shedding His pure blood as the ultimate sacrifice for you, and that on the third day arose from the grave and is on the right hand of God the Father in heaven both now and forever more. And then ask Jesus to come into your heart and save your soul, writing your name in the Lambs Book of Life.. If you have accepted Jesus today, that means that your are saved and born again. You have been adopted into the family of God just like me... I am then not only your friend but your brother in Christ. Please write and let me know of that decision so that I might pray and rejoice with you

May the Lord bless you as we grow in truth and wisdom,


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Disclaimer: I lay no claim to any of the material used in reference of Mathew Henry's Commentary
or from Cobblestone Road Ministries. They were placed here for educational and learning purposes
only and were not altered in any way...

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This page was made by Jim Keeling Ministries on July 10, 2006