The Bible is clear that there are two possible destinations for every human soul following physical death: heaven or hell (Matthew 25:34, 41, 46; Luke 16:22–23). Only the righteous inherit eternal life, and the only way to be declared righteous before God is through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3:16–18; Romans 10:9). The souls of the righteous go directly into the presence of God (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23).
For those who do not receive Jesus Christ as Savior, death means everlasting punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:8–9). This punishment is described in a variety of ways: a lake of fire (Luke 16:24; Revelation 20:14–15), outer darkness (Matthew 8:12), and a prison (1 Peter 3:19), for example. This place of punishment is eternal (
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