The destination of souls between death and resurrection

Question 144, from Robert S
What happens to your soul when you die? Do our souls leave our body, and stay in Hades? And when Jesus returns, then will the believers’ dead souls be taken to heaven first, and then the living join them?

There has been some debate about what happens to the soul in Christian theology over the centuries, partly because there has been a tendency to view the soul as almost like an ‘inhabitant’ of the body. This is an idea found more in Greek philosophy, which separates body and soul as two quite distinct entities. However, the Jewish view of human nature is much more ‘holistic’, in that body and soul are seen as indivisible, and it is that belief which appears to inform the New Testament emphasis on the resurrection being a physical, bodily event.

However, (more…)