The Intermediate State

In biblical thought death consists of the separation of the soul from the body. At death the body ceases to be the home of the human spirit, and so begins to decay or ‘return to the dust’.  But the soul or spirit survives this crisis and lives on in a disembodied condition until the day of resurrection when Christ returns.  For this reason the period between death and resurrection is called by theologians ‘the intermediate state’ — not because it is a third alternative, intermediate between heaven and hell, but because it is a temporary state, intermediate between death and the resurrection.

—Dr. John R.W. Stott, Beyond the Divide