Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and of the Resurrection of the Dead

  1. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and undergo corruption [decomposition and destruction].1 However, their souls (which neither die nor sleep [cease living or existing, or become unconscious]) which have an immortal subsistence [life or existence], immediately return to God who gave them.2 The souls of the righteous are then made perfect in holiness and are received into paradise where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God, in light and glory,3 waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. The souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved for the judgement of the great day.4 The Scripture acknowledges [recognizes] no other place besides these two for souls separated from their bodies.

1 Gen 3.19; Acts 13.36 2 Ecc 12.7 3 Lk 23.43; 2Cor 5.1, 6, 8; Phil 1.23; Heb 12.23 4 Jude 6-7; 1Pt 3.19; Lk 16.23-24

  1. At the last day those saints who are found alive shall not sleep [die] but be changed.5 Furthermore, all the dead shall be raised up with the very same bodies, and none other [not different bodies],6 although with different qualities.7 These bodies shall be united again to their souls forever.

5 1Cor 15.51-52; 1Thes 4.17 6 Jb 19.26-27 7 1Cor 15.42-43

  1. The bodies of the unjust shall be raised by the power of Christ to dishonour. The bodies of the just shall be raised by his Spirit to honour, and be made conformable [similar, alike in form and character] to his own glorious body.8

8 Acts 24.15; Jn 5.28-29; Phil 3.21