Where do people go when they die?

According to the Bible, when people die, they go to be with the Lord if they are Christians (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23), and they go to a place of punishment if they are not (Matt. 25:46; 2 Pet. 2:9). There are only two options in the afterlife: salvation and damnation. As bleak and as narrow as this answer might seem, it's what the Bible teaches us. Salvation would mean going in the presence of the Lord, and damnation would mean suffering outside the presence of the Lord (2 Thess. 1:9). But, generally speaking, those who are Christians go to heaven and those who are not go to hell.

  • Matt. 25:46, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
  • John 5:29, “and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”
  • 2 Thess. 1:9, “And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
  • Heb. 9:27, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.”
  • 2 Pet. 2:9, “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,”

The Bible tells us that there is no other name under heaven by which a man may be saved other than the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). So, if they do not hear the gospel of Christ and if they do not receive Christ, they cannot be saved.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.