Is the soul immortal?

I have for the longest time thought that our souls were immortal. But I’ve just read that our souls are not immortal unless you are a believer in Jesus (which I am, and have been since about 1995). Thus, only believers in Jesus have immortal souls.

The belief put forward is that unbelievers souls are not immortal, and will be destroyed with Satan and his cohorts at the end of time.

There seem to be many scriptures that confirm that our souls are not immortal unless you have accepted Jesus Christ as LORD AND SAVIOUR.

Please help to settle this confusion.

Many thanks, Derrick


@Derrick Great question :slight_smile: The first thing I would note is that the immortality of the soul is not a central Christian doctrine, so there is no issue having different opinions on the matter. To me, it seems that God alone is inherently immortal and that our immortality is dependent entirely upon Him. So if we reject Him, then it is rational to me that we could cease to exist. However, very intelligent Christians have thought otherwise. You may find some of the following threads instructive if you read through the various responses.

1 Timothy 6:15-16 - which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.


I am also in limbo regarding this question. However my question which I would like to be helped with is, when is the immortality the believer is promised in Christ granted? Is it at the moment of their coming to faith in the Lord or upon their death? And again, does the believer experience immortality upon at the moment of their death or just go into a state of unconsciousness and await to experience immortality at the coming of the Lord Jesus?

1 Like

@SamuelPaul That question I can answer :slight_smile: The idea that we cease to exist or go into a state of unconsciousness until the resurrection is called “soul sleep” and does not match what we are taught in Scripture. Jesus told the thief on the cross “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43) and Paul said that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8).

Also, I believe Scripture is clear that we have eternal life at the time of salvation, when the Spirit of God makes us a new creation. The Bible says we have been raised up - past tense - and that our life is now hidden in Christ with God.

2 Cor 5:17 - If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…

Colossians 3:1-3 - Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Ephesians 2:4-7 - But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

“And again, does the believer experience immortality upon at the moment of their death or just go into a state of unconsciousness and await to experience immortality at the coming of the Lord Jesus?”
The above question is a great and controversial question. Maybe I can shed some light on the subject. A moral or stand I take with any doctrinal belief is this, “If it is not written in the Word Of God then it is not.” And I try to always use scripture to answer any questions about Doctrine.
The fact of the matter is that there is not one single place in all of the Bible that says we go to heaven as soon as we die. Many folks quote “Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it”. As proof that we go to heaven as soon as we die. However a closer look at the word “spirit” in that verse will tell you that the word “spirit” is talking about the word “breath” . What is the first thing we do when we are born?? We take in our first breath. What is the last thing we do when we die?? We breath out our last breath. The word “spirit” in Ecc 12:7 is talking about the of the “Breath of Life” that God gives to us the minute we are removed from our mothers womb. Therefore the word spirit in Ecc 12:7 is not talking about our soul which never returns back to God. Because if the souls does return back to God His word would say so and our souls would never be able to exist separately from God for an eternity.
Next folks always quote, “2 Cor 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” However when folks quote"TO BE ABSENT FROM THE BODY IS TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD" they are quoting from only half of the verse, and leaving out the words “WE ARE CONFIDENT, I SAY AND WILLING RATHER”. With no insult intended here the fact of the matter is that any time a half verse is quoted it is not quoted in its intended context and the proper interpretation of the verse has been changed or skewed and corrupted. When the full text/verse is taken into account we see that this verse does not say that when we die we go straight to heaven at all. In 2 Cor. 5:8 Paul is saying that he is “WILLINGLY RATHER” to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord, and so am I quit frankly. If I had a choice right now I would willingly rather be absent from my body and present with my Lord.

Luk 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
In Luke 23:43 Christ tells the thief that he will be with Christ “In Paradise” on that very day Christ made the statement to the thief. Here we have to consider what happened to Christ on the same day He told the thief that he would be in paradise with Christ. On that day Christ died on the Cross and He did not go straight to heaven. He first descended “Down Into the Lower Reaches of the Earth”
Eph 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended First into the lower parts of the earth? Christ was very clear that the thief was going to be with Christ in Paradise on the very day that both the thief and Christ died on the cross. Since Christ stayed in Paradise for 3 days and ascended from the grave after those three days. Where is the Paradise that Christ was talking about??? The answer can only be that the Paradise that Christ went too and the thief was with Christ in that Paradise means that the Paradise Christ was talking about was and still is “In The Lower Parts Of the Earth”.
1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in uncorruption:
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on uncorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Here is some food for thought. If every believer who has died in Christ for the past 2000 years is already in heaven when Christ comes back to raise us from the grave, who is Christ going to raise from the grave??? If we all go to heaven as soon as we die, all of the graves will be empty when Christ returns. No body, and no souls. Are we going to leave heaven, return to the grave and put back on mortality and corruption so Christ can raise us again from the grave so we can again put off corruption and mortality and become uncorrupted and put back on immortality??? I think not. I can speak more on this subject I have already spoken a mouth full.
I believe that our immortality only come after our mortal death. Because we have not yet crossed the finish line until we have endured to the end of our life and we are no longer corrupted with the sinful nature we were born with.

1 Like

To offer the other side of this question - Daniel 12:2 says, “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

In Matthew 25:46, Jesus says, “these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.”

I would say that the breath of God which imparts His image, even if broken, still makes every human soul necessarily eternal. The question is, will that eternal condition be in connection with its Source, or will it be forsaken?

Great observations and you quoted a couple of very interesting scriptures. Daniel 12:2 is proof that saved folks do in fact go to sleep when they die and do not go to heaven right away. Only after we are raised from the grave do we get to go to heaven. All of chapter 12 is about what is going to happen in the end times and I have long preached that only those who have died in Christ will rise from the grave when Christ comes back and Daniel 12:2 says without question that some of those raised from the grave will not be receiving eternal life but will suffer everlasting shame and contempt. We can never loose our salvation but we can give it away by making the wrong choices and walking away from God after we have given ourselves over to God. Which would means that if we walk away from God after knowing Him it would be walking away with intimate knowledge of God and our decision would be with knowledge and purpose, not in ignorance. If this is not the case then who are those who will raise from the grave with the saved at the return of Christ?
So now I have a bit of confusion because you are right. One scripture say that there will be eternal suffering for those who offend and another scripture that tells us that those not found written in the Lambs book of life are cast into the lake of fire and that will be the second death. After the body rotted away in the first death what is left to die in the second death??? Best I can tell only the soul is left.

1 Like