Just Let Your Soul Glow  

Pastor David John of Impact Metro Detroit talks about the soul.  


When the casket closes one final time and is lowered into the ground, the tears still warm as they fall down the faces of bereaved loved ones, while a common saying is heard during that sobering time.  

“Rest in peace.”  

While that expression is heartfelt and meaningful to the ears of those who hear it, what does it really mean?  

Where does the soul go after one dies?  

While there are many different answers, the Michigan Chronicle touched on a few responses from local spiritual leaders who shared their insight into their thoughts on the afterlife.   

In Buddhism, the thought is that life and death are a continuum, with the belief that consciousness (the spirit) continues after a person dies and may be reborn.   

Superstar Tina Turner, a longtime Buddhist, told hbr.org that when she began practicing decades ago it helped her with facing challenges.  

“I realized that my hardships could give me a mission—a purpose,” she said in the article. “I saw that by overcoming my obstacles, I could build indestructible happiness and inspire others to do the same.”  

In the Islam faith, Muslims believe that life and death are following Allah’s will and that each person’s death has a predetermined time frame. After death, one enters the Hereafter, the final destination.  

Ice Cube, who converted to Islam in the early 1990s, said in previous interviews when asked about his faith talked about what it is all about.   

“I mean, what I call myself is a natural Muslim because it’s just me and God.”    

The majority of Hindus think that people experience a cycle of death and rebirth known as samsara. An individual’s atman (soul) is reborn after death in a different body. Some people think that rebirth occurs immediately after death, while others think that an atman might exist in other worlds, according to reports.  

Benny J Tillman, the first African American president of a major Hindu-based organization, Vedic Friends Association, told indiacurrents.com that the key Hindu/Vedic philosophy is the idea that people are not these material bodies but that they are eternal spiritual beings, temporarily inhabiting these material bodies.   

“So, whether we identify as an African American, Hindu American, Asian American, white American, or an American of color, we are all spiritual beings equal in the eyes of the Supreme Lord,” he said in the article.    

Judaism does not particularly hold a fundamental belief in life after death. Jews believe that how they live their lives on Earth is more significant than any potential afterlife.  

Singer Lenny Kravitz, who identifies as a Christian in a religious sense who is culturally Jewish, said in other reports, “Through choice … I’m also a Jew, it’s all the same to me”.    

In Christianity, Christians believe that there is only one voyage through this world, and it finishes with death. By God’s grace, this life may be lived in accordance with God and His promise of resurrection after death in the certain hope of heaven through faith and repentance.  

Pastor David John of Impact Metro Detroit told the Michigan Chronicle that he had an immediate death in his family with the passing of his father last April, and that it’s one thing to preach about life and death but it’s another to experience it.  

“What the scripture says about the soul living on or the afterlife and that kind of thing it’s really interesting,” he said of the highly-debated subject. “Even in Jesus’ time … there’s a group of Jews [the Sadducees] that challenges … if there is such a thing as the soul living after death and Jesus’s response to them actually really encouraged me and gave me hopes about my dad.”  

John said that he was comforted by the fact that God presented himself as alive and being the God of those in the past and present among other things with the takeaway being that there is an afterlife where the soul goes in either one of two places: Heaven or Hell.  

“I just think that’s really cool if we have any confidence in Jesus [it is] that…the soul lives on after and that those of us that are righteous that we can look forward to the best kind of life after this one’s over,” he said, adding that Hell is not being present with God. “That’s how the Bible describes death itself and…I think people choose to reject them.”  

He added that living right for God to escape Hell is a “bad motivation” for becoming a Christian.  

“It’s just my experience with that,” he said of the figurative carrot on the end of the stick. “Knowing the right thing to do and being motivated to do the right thing for the right reasons is…way better.”   


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