Q. I’ve been reading your Q&As on what happens to the body and spirit at time of death. Can you also tell me what happens to the soul?
A. Although the spirit and the soul are sometimes thought to be the same, according to the Bible they are different. Hebrews 4:12 says the word of God penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit. But both appear to be eternal, where our earthly body is not, being subject to death.
Some scholars believe that the human soul consists of a person’s mind, will, and emotion. If that’s true, then the soul is also where our sin nature resides. In the rapture our old corruptible self will be made incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:53). To me this means that in addition to receiving a new eternal body, our soul also will be restored. We will be made new.
When that happens, we’ll finally have the full riches of complete understanding of the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). Only our Godly emotions of peace, joy, love, etc will remain. The ungodly emotions, the ones that currently prompt us to sin, will be gone.
God’s purpose for us is that we be conformed to the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29). Not that we’ll all look like He looks, but that we’ll all be like He is.
And John said we will be like Him because we’ll see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). All this will happen when our soul is restored.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:1-3).