What Will Happen When You Die?
Updated: Mar 14
You Are Made Up of Three Parts
The Bible teaches us that every man, woman, boy, and girl is made up of three parts. Those three parts are known as spirit, soul, and body. This can be seen in 1Thessalonians 5:23, where the Bible says, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The body is the part that can be seen by others. It is the shell in which you live.
When we speak of your spirit, we are not speaking of the Holy Spirit also known as the Spirit of God. Your spirit is the part of you that communicates with God. Prior to salvation, this spirit is dead and must be made alive.
Your soul is the real you. It is the part of you that goes on to exist in eternity. It is your decision maker.
What Is Death?
Many have tried to define the events surrounding death, but the Bible gives us two circumstances that truly define death. First of all, the Bible tells us that death is connected to the departure of the soul.
“And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died)…” (Genesis 35:18).
The second event that the Bible connects to death is the departure of the spirit.
“Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age” (Genesis 25:8).
With this in mind, we can affirm that death occurs when your soul and spirit leave your body.
What Happens to the Saved?
Up to this point, we have merely laid the groundwork in order to explain what happens to a person when he or she dies.
The body of a saved man may be laid to rest in a number of ways, but eventually his body gives way to “corruption,” i.e., (it rots, or decomposes).
According to Ecclesiastes 3:21, the spirit of man goes upward at the point of death. Ecclesiastes 12:7 further explains this by saying, “the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” With these Scriptures it is easy to see that the spirit of man leaves the body at the point of death and goes to God.
The soul of man is the part of man that will dwell in one of two places at death. It is the part of man that makes a decision either to trust Christ as Saviour or to reject Him. As such, it should not surprise us that the apostle Paul said of his soul, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2Corinthians 5:8). The Bible also declares that it is the soul of man that is saved (1Peter 1:9).
What Happens to the Lost?
Now that we have seen what happens to a saved person at death, we will turn our attention to what happens to the lost at death. By lost, we mean any person who has not placed his faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus and called upon Him as his Saviour.
Like the saved, the body of a lost person may be laid to rest in a variety of ways, but the body will yield itself to corruption.
It may surprise you, but the Bible actually teaches that the spirit of a lost person also returns to God who gave it. The Bible tells us that the Lord is “The God of the spirits of all flesh” (Numbers 16:22; Numbers 27:16). Now do not let this ease your fears. The spirit of man is his communicator with God. The fact that the spirit of man will not go to hell with his soul means that man will have absolutely no way to communicate with God from hell. What a horrible thought that you could be in hell and have no way to communicate with the Lord!
As we alluded to above, the soul of a lost person will spend an eternity in hell and the lake of fire. This truth can be plainly seen in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. The Bible tells us that the rich man died, and was buried, and “in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments” (Luke 16:23). Hell is a place of unquenchable fire. It is a place where your soul will spend eternity in great torment and with no hope of calling upon God for deliverance.
A Plea to the Lost
If you have not trusted Christ as your Saviour, your soul could be in hell before you finish this tract. The good news is that you do not have to go to hell. The Lord Jesus Christ came to this world with an offer of salvation to all who would trust in His death, burial, and resurrection as the payment for their sins. He said, “I am come that they might have life” (John 10:10). He came to give you life, but He will not force that on you. The choice is yours.
Will you repent, and call upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save you? Do it now! This could be your last breath.