THE SOUL AT DEATH
A. We are keenly aware of the reality of death
1. I am sure that we have had friends and loved ones who have ceased to have life in the
2. Hebrews 9:27
B. The body is said to be “mortal””(Rom. 8:11)
1. The word “mortal” means that it is subject to death, or dying is in its nature.
2. However, such is not said concerning the soul … 2 Corinthians 4:16
3. Thus man has a duel nature – of body and soul
4. Daniel speaks of his spirit as being distinct from his body when he wrote, “My spirit was grieved in the midst of my body” (Dan. 7:15).
C. I am sure that we are all interested in knowing what happens to the soul at death, and until the end of time.
1. These questions we propose to answer this morning
2. What is the condition of the soul at the point of death?
A. The Soul at Death is in a DEPARTED CONDITION
1. Men of the ancient past have pondered the state of the soul at death … Job 14:10
a. Job knew without question where the body went at death
b. Job was asking where the spirit of man went at death
2. Defining “death” will help us to understand the answer
a. “Death” comes from a Greek word that means a separation of the soul from the body by which the life on earth is ended.
b. Several scriptures describes death in this manner
1) Genesis 35:18
2) James 2:26
3) 2 Corinthians 5:8
B. The Soul at Death is in a CONSCIOUS CONDITION
1. There are those who contend that the soul at death is unconscious or asleep
a. However, the word “sleep” in reference to death refers to the restful state of the body – not the soul
1) The death of the body is described as a “sleep”
2) Daniel 12:2
3) John 11:11, 14
b. The soul or the spirit continues in consciousness
1) This is seen in the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk. 16:19-31)
2) God is a SPIRIT, and does not have to depend on a physical body for his existence (Jn. 4:24)
3) Likewise, the SPIRIT of man does not need a physical body to be alive.
2. The dead are ALIVE in the departed realm
a. Matthew 22:31-32
b. Luke 20:38
C. The Soul at Death is in a FIXED CONDITION
1. It is important to realize our destiny at death is fixed by the deeds of the body
a. 2 Corinthians 5:10
b. John 12:48
c. Hebrews 5:9
2. God has never promised us a second chance
a. Luke 16:26
b. Neither is the soul kept in some limbo, unfeeling condition while waiting for the judgment.
3. There are blessings and consequences for conduct that are reserved before the judgment day.
a. This is true in this life
1) The righteous are saved and enjoy God’s fellowship and have hope of heaven
2) The wicked are condemned and live without the hope of heaven.
b. In the departed life, it is also true that there are blessings and consequences of sin before the Judgment
1) The rich man was tormented because of sin … Luke 16:22-24
2) Lazarus was comforted because of righteousness
a) Luke 16:25
b) Revelation 14:13
3) In Hades, the soul is in the environment for which has prepared himself.
4. In the judgment, the soul and the resurrected body will receive its just due
a. Hebrews 9:27
b. John 5:28-29
5. In view of the value of the human soul, it behooves us to prepare our soul for death
a. Matthew 16:26
b. If you were going to take a test for a driver’s license, you would want to prepare yourself by studying all you could about the law and driving regulations
c. If you were going to take a test for a civil service job, you would want to study the subject matter upon which you are to be tested.
d. Likewise, since you realize your soul will exist after death, you should want to learn what to do to get ready for that event.
D. The Soul at Death is in a HEAVENLY CONDITION
1. Some believe the souls of the righteous go immediately to heaven, and the souls of the wicked go immediately to hell – at the point of death.
2. But the Bible teaches that a soul at death goes to HADES or SHEOL
a. This is seen when looking at the account of Lazarus and the rich man (Lk. 16:19-31)
1) Lazarus … Abraham’s bosom
2) Rich man … torment
b. We also see that HADES will not be abandoned until after the judgment day (Rev. 20:13-14).
3. HADES is obviously in the heavenly realm (rather than earthly), so to be in HADES is to be in a heavenly condition, but not in God’s immediate presence.
E. The Soul at Death is in a PERSONAL CONDITION
1. By personal, I simply mean “identifiable,” as to their personality and conduct in life
a. Moses and Elijah were identifiable (Mt 17:1-5)
b. Lazarus and the rich man were identifiable (Lk. 16)
c. Certain Christian martyrs were identifiable with their martyrdom (Rev. 6:9-11)
2. But someone might say, If we keep our identities after death how can we be happy in heaven if we know of a loved one who will not be there?
a. We may have loved ones now who are not right with God, and this brings us grief, but we are still able to enjoy the fellowship that we enjoy with the Lord now
b. If we can be happy now in spite of the fact that loved ones are lost, we will be able to enjoy heaven if loved ones are lost.
c. Notice Psalm 16:11
F. The Soul at Death is in a INCOMPLETE CONDITION
1. At death the soul and the body are separated (Jam. 2:26)
a. The soul is unclothed without the body … 2 Corinthians 5:1-4
b. The Christian yearns for the resurrection of the dead
1) 1 Corinthians 15:50-54
2) Philippians 3:10-11
2. Since death is a separation of the soul and body, the resurrection will be a reuniting of the soul to a more glorious body … Philippians 3:20-21
A. In what state is your soul in at this very moment?
B. If you are putting off obeying the Lord – you are taking a chance of experiencing the greatest loss ever
C. If your death should come today, how would you stand before God?
Park Heights church of Christ
P. O. Box 107
1300 East Boynton Street
Hamilton, Texas 76531
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”