All People Go to Hell
When a person dies (whether righteous or wicked) the body goes into corruption and ceases to exist (I Corinthians 15:42). The soul itself is not destroyed, but is kept in a safe place by God ready to be placed in another new and perfect body when the resurrection of the body occurs at Christís second advent. At the resurrection the spirit is once again sent into this renewed body that has the soul placed within it and then it is once again made alive.
This can easily be made understandable by modern electrical inventions that are quite common with us today. Since each of our bodies is made of flesh (that is, material matter) it can be compared to a cassette tape recorder that is made up of material matter. The soul on the other hand is like the cassette tape itself which has a material body to it and a plastic tape that has an iron oxide on it that can capture magnetic (compared to "electrical") impulses that are embossed on the magnetic tape itself. The spirit, though, is that life giving energy that comes from God. It is like the electricity that makes the cassette tape recorder "come to life," and then the cassette tape itself with all of the magnetic features on it (our experiences of life, memory, emotions, etc.) is placed into the recorder and the electric current is turned on (that is like the spirit being renewed). Then we have a proper device that can render service to us, whether to give us music or for audio purposes.
The human body is the same way. It is made up of three parts: the body (material matter), the soul (material matter plus magnetic impulses) and the spirit (which is like electrical current) (I Thessalonians 5:23). At death, the body returns to the earth and decays, the soul (the cassette tape) is placed in an inactive and dormant state in its protective housing until the second advent of Christ, and the spirit that kept the body alive returns to God who gave it (Luke 23:46). But, later, in the resurrection at the second advent, each Christian will be given a new body made of spiritual substance, which will have the soul (the "cassette tape" itself) place back inside the renewed brain, and then God will energize the body and soul combination with the spirit (which is like electrical current) and we will live again. It is just that simple.
Now, if one takes away any one of these three constituents that presently makes up a human being, that person will die and be totally unconscious until the three factors are once more combined and energized. At the present, all the "souls" (that is, the "cassette tapes") of Mary, the apostles and all the righteous dead are housed in an area known to God. They are not in any body, nor is the spirit energizing them. The so-called "magnetic impulses" that make up their temperaments, emotions, memories, etc. are in a dormant state. But when the second advent occurs those "souls" (along with our "souls") will be placed inside a brand new material body for each of us and then the spirit will be sent back to reactivate our lives. When we awake from the dead, at the resurrection, it will seem to us that we have never ceased living, whereas in fact some hundreds and even thousands of years have past in the interval between our deaths and resurrections.
That is why the apostle Paul knew that the moment he died, as far as his consciousness was concerned, he would be in the presence of Christ immediately, though he realized that it could very well be two thousand years in the future before the actual event would take place (Philippians 1:21-23). And when Christ told the thief on the tree of crucifixion that he would be in paradise with Christ that very day (Luke 23:43), that was true as far as his consciousness was concerned, but not in a chronological way. Indeed, Christ was not in paradise that very day in the first place Ė he was placed in the tomb, and not in a glorified existence [For our present legal status in Christ, see Question Eighty-One].
Once the principle of the resurrection of the dead to take place at Christís second advent is understood, then all matters concerning the state of the dead, rewards after death, and what the resurrection is all about can be thoroughly comprehended. The reason I spend so much time on the one subject is because 95% of Christians misunderstand it.
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