Jesus’s parable of the talents ends with this dreadful judgment against the one who failed to invest in eternity: “Cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25:30). Our undying souls confirm our accountability to the One who has given them to us (Matt. 10:28). Scripture mentions no post-mortem opportunity for an unconverted person to be made right with God.
When a person dies, it is clear to everyone that a vital aspect of the deceased’s life has ended. But is it possible for a life to truly be over at death? And if not, what will happen to the “me” that outlives death?
The Bible gives us answers—not the kind of answers meant to indulge all our curiosities, but answers sufficient to warn against living aimlessly and adopting the shortsighted worldview of the materialist: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (1 Cor. 15:32).
Death Cannot Destroy Souls
Not surprisingly, people of almost every worldview expect some kind of life after death. Few people can look at a dead body and conclude that the person’s life has been completely extinguished. We sense that life so real, so precious, and interconnected cannot simply cease when the body fails. This very expectation of life after death seems to testify to the continued existence of the soul. In Solomon’s words, God “has put eternity in [our] hearts” (Eccl. 3:11). We sense eternity. We yearn for it. Our lives are terribly abridged without it.
In Jesus’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31), Jesus confirms that the soul will outlive the body of the dead. The death of the body does not kill the soul; the value of a human is not spent simply because their body decays (Matt. 10:28–31).