What happens to God’s people after they die?

1 Min Read

The moment we die, our soul and body separate. By “soul,” I mean whatever you think of when you say that you are alive. What does it mean that you are self-aware or to say you have self-consciousness? That is what the soul is, and that continues after death. So, your body dies, but your spirit or soul continues, and you wake up in heaven where Jesus’ body is right now. It is like a rent in space. You pass through it, and you are where the church triumphant are.

Traditional orthodox Reformed theology suggests that it is a bodiless existence in the intermediate state. Until Jesus comes again and our bodies are resurrected and reunited with our souls, it is a bodiless existence. I am not sure how to think of that. I am not sure how you are self-aware if you don’t actually have a physical brain or a nervous system. I do not have words to put that together.

There are those who suggest, including Reformed theologians, that there may be some kind of temporary body in the intermediate state. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul talks about it. He talks about his departure, and then he says, “But we have a tent . . . ” He is talking about some kind of physical entity in which we live out our glorious lives in heaven until we are reunited with a resurrected body.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Derek Thomas and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email ask@ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.