What does the Bible say about soul sleep?


Question:
What does the Bible say about soul sleep?

 

Answer:  When the Bible says a person is “sleeping” in relation to death (Luke 8:52; 1 Corinthians 15:6), it does not mean literal “sleep.” Sleeping is just a way to describe death because a dead body appears to be sleeping. The Bible tells us that the instant you die, you are taken to heaven or Hell based on whether you had received Christ as your Savior or not. For believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). For unbelievers, death means everlasting punishment in Hell (Luke 16:22-23). The concept of “soul sleep” is not a Biblical doctrine. The moment we die, we face the judgment of God (Hebrews 9:27). Until the resurrection, though, there is currently a temporary heaven “Paradise” (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4) and Hell “Hades” (Revelation 1:18; 20:13-14).

In a sense, a person’s body is “sleeping” while their soul is in Paradise or Hades. This body is then “awoken” and transformed into the eternal body a person will possess for eternity. These eternal bodies is what we possess for all of eternity, whether we are in heaven or Hell. Those who were in Paradise will be sent to the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 21:1). Those who were in Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15). These are the final, eternal destinations of all people - based entirely on whether a person had trusted Jesus Christ alone for the salvation of their sins.


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