It all depends on who you trust for information. If you believe that the first human beings were created by GOD as stated in the Bible, then you know that according to the Bible nothing happens immediately after death. That's right, absolutely nothing. You remain in the grave until either the first or the second resurrection. According to the Bible, when a person dies, the thoughts cease and the breath of life returns to God. (Psalms 146:4) Neither heaven nor hell is an immediate experience after death. Even many religious people have not studied the Bible enough on their own to understand this.
However, if you don't believe that GOD is CREATOR, then you do not know, for sure, what will happen after death. Most every form of religion, not based upon Bible teaching, asserts that a part of every human being continues to live on after death; that we never really die. It is explained that the soul lives on. This in essence is immortality. Are human beings immortal ? Is there something inside human beings that is immortal ? Whether you believe in God or not, it may interest you to know that the devil has something to say about death and it is recorded in the Bible. According to him, and he was the first one to say so, you never really die. In the Bible, the first conversation about death was between Eve and the serpent. The serpent was being used as a medium of communication by the devil.
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (GENESIS 3:2-4) God had said that Adam and Eve would die if they ate fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil but the serpent had said they would not surely die. God's words indicated that they were mortal and the serpent's words suggested that they were immortal.
The Bible reveals the being who is represented by the serpent and the work that he does in this world. Here are the words of scripture - And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. (REVELATION 12:9)
Deceiveth the whole world ? Can the devil be trusted to tell the truth about death ? Evidently, some people mistakenly think so. Very many people believe that some part of every one still lives after death. Yes, maybe even you believe in the immortality of the soul.
WHAT IS A SOUL ? How did it come into existence ? Why not ask God the CREATOR ? Since the Bible is declared to be His word, let us look there for an answer. The word soul or souls is mentioned in the Bible 498 times. The Hebrew word for soul in the Old Testament is Nephesh. It means - a breathing creature. There are 2 exceptions - Job 30:15 and Isaiah 57:16. In Job 30:15, the Hebrew word from which the word soul is derived is Nediybah. It means nobility; as in reputation. In Isaiah 57:16, the word souls is derived from the Hebrew word Neshamah. It means - a puff. Not once does the word soul mean anything that separates from the body at death.
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 soul. (GENESIS 2:7) Here is the first occurrence of the word soul in the Bible and an explanation of what it is. The breath of life from God plus the dust of the ground equals a living soul. Man does not have a soul, man is a soul. Read it again. Man is a living soul. The breath of life from GOD breathed into man made him alive.
Still don't believe it ?
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul. (1 CORINTHIANS 15:45) In the New Testament the Greek word from which the word soul is derived is Psuche. It means breath.
The Bible also makes it plain that souls can die. Death and life are not the same thing."The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (EZEKIEL 18:20,4) According to the Bible there is no "spirit" or "immaterial essence" called a soul that leaves our body at death. Nothing separates from the body to go to heaven or hell.
If there is a part of any human being that cannot die, then that part of them is immortal. Yet, God has never suggested that we are immortal. Our heavenly FATHER and JESUS "Who only hath immortality... (1 TIMOTHY 6:16) will bestow immortality, as a gift upon those whose characters are like that of JESUS CHRIST when HE returns the second time. Because the human body is subject to a decaying process in death, it is referred to as being corruptible but God promises that this will not always be so.
"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, 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. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:53,54
Still someone may ask, BUT WHERE DO YOU GO AT DEATH ? Don't people come back as spirits and haunt houses after they die ? Does God allow some people to come back from the grave with messages to their loved ones ? Again, we return to the Bible for an answer. - [As] the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no [more]. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. JOB 7:9,10
What about the apparitions and ghosts or spirits that many people believe they have seen ? First of all, one needs to remember this and never forget it. God can work miracles but not all miracles are from God. It could appear that a person had returned from the grave but would God be the power behind the apparent miracle ? The word of God informs us that there is another source of miracles; miracles of deception. - For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Revelation 16:14) The spirits of devils can work miracles and it is not likely that it would be for the purpose of promoting the truth about death; when people die, they are dead.
DOES ONE STAY IN THE GRAVE FOREVER ? The grave is not the final destination for human beings according to JESUS. Here is what He says in the Bible - 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. (JOHN 5:28,29)
Notice that JESUS speaks about 2 resurrections. Those who have done good to others and to their own bodies and minds will be raised in the first resurrection. Those who have done evil to others and to their own bodies and minds will be raised in the 2nd resurrection. The 2nd resurrection will result in the death of those who have rejected the love of God and His offer to transform their characters in preparation for eternity in heaven. - Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power. (REVELATION 20:6) The first resurrection is the hope of every one who loves GOD and the foundation for faith in JESUS CHRIST.
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead ? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 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 in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:12-19
Here is something to think about. If the soul really did leave the body at death, then why would there be the need of even one let alone two resurrections ?
Yes, not only does a soul die but it goes into the grave at death. What man [is he that] liveth, and shall not see death ? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave ? (PSALMS 89:48) The grave has robbed many people of their loved ones ever since the first death on earth. This is why death is considered an enemy in the Bible. Yet death itself will not always be able to cause sorrow. The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death. (1 CORINTHIANS 15:26)
The Bible predicts the end of death. - And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (REVELATION 21:4) This time is yet future. Those who love GOD and have died are not yet gone to heaven and are not yet praising the LORD. - The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. PSALMS 115:17
While GOD loves everyone and will forgive anyone HE does not change our character against our will or without our cooperation. If it is going to be developed for heaven it must be developed throughout our lifetime and certainly before we die. Character is not changed by death or the resurrection.
Many religions teach many different things about life after death but only the Bible teaches what you have just read.