Bible Question:

I heard a teacher say that our soul or spirit, during our life on earth, is at the right hand of God. Never heard that before. Is this true?

Bible Answer:

Scripture treats the soul and spirit differently. They are not the same thing.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (NASB) Hebrews 4:12

Body, Soul and Spirit

In the book of Hebrews we find that every man, woman, and child has a body, soul, and spirit.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NASB) 1 Thess. 5:23

Since scripture names each one individually, this means they are not the same. It appears that the soul is our personality (Luke 19:12; Acts 3:2; 3 John 2) and the spirit is our eternal life force – the real person.

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” (NASB) Luke 12:19

Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, “Father, save Me from this hour”? But for this purpose I came to this hour. (NASB) John 12:27

And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. (NASB) Acts 4:32

If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (NASB) Romans 8:10

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God . . . (NASB) Rom. 8:16

I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (NASB) 1 Cor. 5:5

Right Hand of God

Scripture never says or implies that our soul or spirit is at the right hand of God. In fact, 2 Corinthians tells us that we are not present with the Lord until we die. This means that our spirit is not at the right hand of God. If our spirit was at the right hand of God, then we would be present with the Lord.

Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord (NASB) 2 Cor. 5:6


Scripture teaches that our spirit and soul are not in God’s presence. Christians are looking forward to being with God for eternity. This will start with either their death or the rapture.