QUESTION : WHERE WILL THE SOUL OF MAN GO TO AFTER DEATH?
The above was one of the numerous questions I was asked in a forum where I was invited to discuss an unrelated topic. To my limited understanding from biblical perspectives, the following should to a large extent satisfy the enquiry :
After death, the soul of man will go to Hades [greek] or Sheol [hebrew]-Psalm 16: 10. The Hades or Sheol has two “milieu” or atmospheres, namely Paradise or Abraham’s Bosom where the saved ones transit, and Hell where the unsaved ones also transit.
Those iin Paradise will be raptured at the Lord’s second coming while the unsaved will remain in the hellish state for another 1,000 years after the Rapture to subsequently appear before the Great White Throne Judgment. Thereafter the entire Hades with Hell within it, will be consigned to be consumed in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20: 14). In essence, Hell is real but not everlasting while Lake of Fire is also real and everlasting [Revelation 20: 10, 15].
2.0 I want to also highlight that believers at death will not immediately ascend to heaven as generally misunderstood. In John 3: 13, our Lord Himself, the Omniscient, clarified that no-one had yet been to heaven except He alone.
Therefore all the righteous ones from the time of Adam as Enoch, Job, Noah, Daniel, etc have not yet ascended to heaven but all are in Abraham’s bosom, awaiting the trumpet sound. By the way, if they had already gone ahead to heaven, would they return back to Hades to be raptured and then to go through the Judgment Seat of Christ-Romans 14: 12 and later return back to heaven the second time? What wasteful superfluity of ‘astronautic’ journeys!
But scriptures are clear that they are in heavenly state in Abraham’s bosom. Paul had a revelation of both the Paradise of God [Revelation 2: 7; 2 Corinthians 12: 2] and the Paradise of Abraham’s bosom [Luke 16: 23; 2 Corinthians 12: 4]
3.0 In Psalms 16 :10 in KJV, David was quoted to have declared “For thou [God] wilt not leave my soul in hell……”. For crying out loud! Can one imagine how David, a man after God’s heart, the sweet psalmist of Israel and its greatest king, would have got to Hell in the first place. NIV rendered : “..because you will not abandon me to the ‘grave’…” just as Good News Bible.
Many other reliable Bible versions give various rendering for the Hebrew word “Sheol” such as : A region of the dead; Depths; Underworld; Depth of death; World of the dead; Place of the dead; The world below; Death; The nether world; The unseen state; Place of the departed spirits; Exceeding depth of affliction; A lower world; The realm of the dead; Symbol of an abysmal death of affliction; The dark abode of the gathered dead; Power of the infernal region; State of disembodied existence; etc.
The numerous alternative renderings knocked the bottom out of ‘hell’ in Psalm 16: 10. Brethren, may we receive abundant grace to live life that would transit in Paradise of Abraham’s bosom and culminate in the ultimate the New Jerusalem, the Paradise of God, in which is the Tree of Life-[ Revelation 2: 7 ]. Shalom!