Different churches believe different things about what happens to our Spirit when our body dies. Some churches believe upon death that our soul enters purgatory until such time as it’s purified of sin, others believe that our soul sleeps until Jesus comes and still others believe that our soul ascends to heaven, as Jesus’ did.
I looked up a few texts to start this study going. I used to believe that our soul slept in or near our graves when we died. The text below talks about when Jesus dies on the cross and giving up his ghost. In verse 52 it talked about the “bodies of saints which slept”, arising out of graves and going out into the holy city and appearing to many.
50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The other texts that goes with this belief are in 1 Thessalonians at the end of verse 16…”and the dead in Christ shall rise first:,” if the dead in Christ aren’t with him already, where are they? It seems to indicate they are asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
So here’s the other camp, those that believe we’ll be resurrected when we die. Verse 14 is the one that said it all and changed my mind about the camp I’m in now. “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.“
1 Corinthians 15:12-14
12Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
What do you think? I’d love to hear you comments (even just to see if they work) or write me at: email@example.com