If you believe that when you die you immediately go to hell, you believe what the Roman Church teaches. In Roman Catholicism, the soul is judged to go to heaven or hell immediately after death, a belief also held by most Protestants. In Catholicism some temporarily stay in purgatory to be purified for heaven but they are raised up in their spirit when they die. In Eastern Orthodoxy, the soul waits in the abode of the dead until the resurrection of the dead, the saved resting in light and the damned suffering in darkness. This Eastern Orthodox picture of particular judgment is similar to the 1st-century Jewish and early Christian concept that the dead either "rest in peace" in the Bosom of Abraham or suffer in Hades.
Genesis 2:7. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." A living soul is spirit, soul and body which cannot be separated.
Genesis 3:19. "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou returnest unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Where do you go when you die? To the grave.
2 Samuel 7:12 "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom." Soul sleep.
1 Kings 2:10. "So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David." Soul sleep.
1 Kings 11:43. "And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father." Soul sleep.
Job 14:10-12. "But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep."
Psalms 6:5. "For in death there is no remembrance of thee:in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Doesn't sound like the person's spirit is in heaven yet.
Psalms 146:3-4. "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." No thinking till the day of resurrection.
Ecclesiastes 9:4-6,10. "For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing [....] Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished [...] Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." When you die there is no activity at all.
Isaiah 26:19. "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." Resurrection takes place together. "Yet we have this assurance: Those who belong to God will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For God's light of life will fall like dew on his people in the place of the dead!" (NLT).
Daniel 12:2 "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Together were are raised.
Daniel 12:13 "But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." When does this occur? At the end of days. "As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you." (NLT)
Matthew 9:24-27. "He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose." She wasn't up in heaven, but asleep, waiting to be resurrected.
Matthew 27:51-55. "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose." How could they be in heaven before their bodies arose?
Luke 8:52, 53. "Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. 'Stop wailing,' Jesus said. 'She is not dead but asleep.' They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead." Jesus testifies they are not in heaven, but asleep.
John 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven."
John 5:28-30. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Those in the grave don't hear his voice yet because they have not been resurrected yet.
John 6:39. "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." Still no indication that man is in heaven yet.
John 6:40. "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 12:48. "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." How can you be in heaven without being judged at the Judgment Seat?
John 11:11-14. "These things said he [Jesus]: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead." That would be very strange language if he is in heaven yet Jesus goes to wake him out of his sleep.
John 14:3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also." That would be weird if Jesus comes again to receive them if they are already in heaven before He returns.
John 20:17. "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." Why didn't Jesus say "...and where the dead in spirit have been raised"?
Acts 2:29. "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day." Still David has not been raised.
Acts 2:34. "For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand". Not even David, a man after God's own heart, has his soul and spirit raised to heaven yet.
Acts 7:59-62. "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep." Receiving his spirit is not taking it up to heaven, but Stephen relinquishing control for God to put his soul and spirit in the good side of Hades and await the day of resurrection, for he has fallen asleep now.
Acts 13:36. "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption." Still no verses for raised up spirits at death. That belongs in the movies.
1 Corinthians 15:16-50. "For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished [....] If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die. […] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: [....] And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." Absolutely no mention of people going to heaven in their spirit before the day of resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:51, 52. "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." This is a particular moment in time at the last trumpet.
2 Corinthians 4:7-5:4. "For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake [....] Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you [....] For which cause we faint not [...] While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." We can't come up before the high priest naked.
James 2:26. "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." We are living souls with a spirit and a body. We are resting when the body is not in contact with the spirit.
Ephesians 5:14. "...for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: 'Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'" There is no light until resurrection, not before.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." I am comforted nobody is in heaven yet and we will be resurrected together. Sounds fair don't you think?
Hebrews 9:27. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment". Shouldn't a person be in their full garb before Judgment-Seat?
1 Timothy 6:16. "who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen." If people are in heaven now in the spirit they possibly could see God, but this verse says they can't.
2 Timothy 4:7-8. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." This judgment is going to occur "that day" and "all them" at "his appearing"; not before!
2 Peter 3:4. "[...]for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." They still sleep even at the time of writing of 2 Peter.
Revelation 20:4-5. "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection." How can the "rest of the dead" (the unsaved) be in Hell will simultaneously waiting to be resurrected at the end of the 1000 years?
Luke 23:43. "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." The placement of the comma, however, not indicated in the Greek, can totally alter the meaning of this text. Hence: "I say unto thee today, you shall be with Me in paradise." Where did Jesus go this day? To Hades or Paradise below. The repentant thief's spirit did not go to Paradise above.
Revelation 6:9-11.“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” (ESV) Under the altar is in Hades. Their white robes received could indicate the beginning of when first rapture occurs right before the 7th seal is broken which brings about the 7 trumpets of the Tribulation.
1 Peter 3:18-20. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." These spirits can include both angels and to men who don't have their bodies yet so they are resurrected yet as living souls.
Philippians 1:21-25. "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith." To be with Christ doesn't specify when after going to sleep.
2 Corinthians 5:1-10. "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." Absent from the Lord, again, doesn't specify being with the Lord at the moment of death if we are resurrected together at the last day. We are with the Lord when? When Judgment Seat starts.
Luke 16:19-31. "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Since they don't have their resurrected bodies yet, "finger" and "tongue" are figurative. They may have temporarily given this experience to convey this foretaste of heaven and hell.
Matthew 22:23-33. "The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine." Jesus is talking about what happens after resurrection, but no mention of human beings being in heaven before resurrection. Purely fanciful notion! Nonetheless wrong, and consequently dangerous for those who have spirit communications with evil spirits posing and loved ones. Necromancy is strictly forbidden. That God is God of the living only specifies His intention to resurrect and not reign for eternity with dead people.
Ecclesiastes 12:5-7. "Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit (literally "wind") shall return unto God who gave it." (This verse is also not believed by many modern scholars to refer to an immortal soul.) This simply means the life of the person which is in the spirit is given up for God's control which is in Hades to wait till the day of resurrection. Man' can't be separated from one of his three components of spirit, soul and body; if he is, he is at rest.
Genesis 35:18. "And it came to pass, as her soul (nephesh) was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin." (This verse was used until Gesenius' time [c. 1850] as a proof that nephesh could also mean the immaterial part of man that survives after the death of the body. However, since the time of Brown, Driver and Briggs [c. 1900], this opinion has been abandoned among the scholars, as it evident by a comparison of the modern Hebrew lexicons and the modern Bible translations, which render nephesh as "breath" or "life". That is why the New Bible Dictionary states: "Usually the nepheš is regarded as departing at death (e.g. Gn. 35:18), but the word is never used for the spirit of the dead". The current scholarly opinion of the verse is reflected by the comments of The KJV Bible Commentary: "The phrase as her soul was in departing does not indicate that the soul was considered a separate entity from the body, with an existence of its own, but only that the life was departing".)