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Chapter 31: After Death and the Resurrection

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Chapter 31
THE STATE OF PEOPLE AFTER DEATH
AND THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD

31.1 After death the bodies of people return to dust and undergo decomposition,1 but their souls (which neither die nor sleep for they are immortal in essence) immediately return to God who gave them.2 The souls of the righteous are then made perfect in holiness, they are received into paradise where they are with Christ and look on the face of God in light and glory, and wait for the full redemption of their bodies.3 The souls of the wicked are cast into Hell, where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved for judgment on the great day [of judgment].4 For souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges no other place than these two.

(1) Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Acts 13:36; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:22
(2) Genesis 2:7; James 2:26; Matthew 10:28; Ecclesiastes 12:7
(3) Psalms 23:6; 1 Kings 8:27-49; Isaiah 63:15; 66:1; Luke 23:43; Acts 1:9-11; 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8;12:2-4; Ephesians 4:10; Philippians 1:21-23; Hebrews 1:3; 4:14-15; 6:20; 8:1; 9:24; 12:23; Revelation 6:9-11; 14:13; 20:4-6
(4) Luke 16:22-26; Acts 1:25; 1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:9

31.2 On the last day, those believers who are still alive will not die, but will be changed.1 All the dead will be raised up2 with their own bodies3 (although these will have different qualities)4 that will be united again to their souls for ever.5

(1) 1 Corinthians 15:50-53; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:17
(2) Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15
(3) Job 19:26-27; John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15:35-38,42-44
(4) 1 Corinthians 15:42-44,52-54
(5) Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46

31.3 By the power of Christ the bodies of the unrighteous will be raised to dishonor.1 By His Spirit2 the bodies of the righteous will be raised to honor,3 for they will be transformed to be like His own glorious body.4

(1) Daniel 12:2, John 5:28-29
(2) Romans 8:1,11; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Galatians 6:8
(3) 1 Corinthians 15:42-49
(4) Romans 8:17,29-30; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23,48-49; Philippians 3:21; Colossians 1:18; 3:4; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:5