Sunday, May 24, 2009

What Happens When You Die? - What Does Scripture Say?

Benjamin Franklin said two things are certain in life:
Death and Taxes! All of us know Uncle Sam has become the most grievous and money grubbing uncle none would hope for! The other certainty; death, comes along sooner or later, expected or unexpected.

People believe many disparate things about the afterlife. Some say we immediately go to heaven or hell, others need additional time to "work things out" so they go to purgatory or get stuck somehow in limbo. Some say we reincarnate and start life over, others say we wander around as lost spirits trying to find our way to the "light". The living may initiate a seance to communicate with a dead relative asking how things are "beyond the veil"!

Did you know (and this will surprise some Christians) the Bible doesn't speak of any of these things concerning the afterlife!?! All of the aforementioned ideas are pagan in nature, born out of desperation to know what happens when we die. When the Bible does mention these things it speaks of the above ideas as false ideas.

So ... from the biblical perspective; let's talk about how we got here, what the definition of a "soul" is, and the reasons why one shouldn't want to talk with dead.

Gen. 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

... man is made up of two parts; dust from the ground and the breath of God.

When a person dies;

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

... the body returns to dust and the "spirit" returns to God.

What is this "spirit?

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Job 27:3 All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;

Nowhere in the Bible does it say this spirit has feelings, wisdom, or life after a person dies. Taken in correct context, this "spirit" is the "breath of life" - nothing more.

What about the "soul"?

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

... the two combine; the dust and the breath of God to form a living soul, a person. We, who are alive, are all living souls - people! In fact, when you search and read about souls in the Bible it's always talking about people! - "so many" souls died, "this number" of souls entered the ark and survived, etc ... people!

OK, then what happens to "souls" when we die?

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

John 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
John 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Ecclesiastes 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Ecclesiastes 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
... Ecclesiastes 10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Psalm 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.

... it's quite evident we're dead!

But what about contacting a dead person somehow?

Job 14:12 So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, They will not awake Nor be roused from their sleep. (this "sleep" is referring to death, in context)

The dead are dead; the breath of God has returned to God. The concept of an immortal soul is a pagan myth. Only God can give you life. Only God can resurrect you at the Second Coming, otherwise you are believing the lie of Satan.

But what about Lazarus?

Which Lazarus? The one in the parable or Jesus' friend?

The Parable is in the book of Luke

Luke 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

A Parable is a story, a story intended to teach a lesson. A better question concerns Jesus' friend Lazarus.

John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

Lazarus was actually dead and then raised by Jesus!

Question: Now, was Lazarus in heaven or hell while waiting for Jesus to return to Bethany? Why, neither of course. He was dead, knowing nothing.

Another good question: Who are you really talking to when you try to talk with the dead?

Here's a sobering thought. When Lucifer and his Angels lost the battle in heaven where we're they "confined" to?

Why ... Earth of course!

The Observer

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