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What Happens at Death (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Introductory Thoughts

Man is made up of three parts: spirit, soul, and body. Death takes place when the soul (Genesis 35:18) and the spirit (Genesis 25:8) leave the body. This event happens to everyone regardless of the individual’s spiritual state at death. Saved or lost, a person’s spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 3:21; Ecclesiastes 12:7). However, the soul’s destination is based upon whether or not a person has trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour during this life. There exists no midpoint between earth and heaven (or hell) to purge one’s sins, including places invented by religions to do so. For a saved person, the Bible declares that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Unfortunately for the lost, this same outcome is not true. Following death, the Bible reveals that the lost man’s soul immediately goes to hell (Luke 16:23).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): If you are sad over a saved persons death, read Ecclesiastes 7:1. Why does the Bible say that the day of death is better than the day of ones birth? The persons troubles are over. If saved, the individual is with God (Philippians 1:21, 23). The sadness experienced at someones death is really for ourselves because we miss our loved one. Our saved loved one is happy and would not choose to return to earth.
  • (For everyone): Why is it important to pray for the salvation of loved ones before they die? How can we also use times of illness and serious injury to remind our loved ones of their need to be saved?
  • Why should scriptural knowledge of death help us in the departure of saved loved ones? How should it sober us in the departure of lost loved ones?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Pray for your loved ones who may be lost.
  • Thank God that death only temporarily separates the saved.