Post Number: 63
|Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 5:20 am: || |
I know this can be a touchy subject, and I do not believe it is a salvation issue, I believe trying to save my own hide is a very poor motivator, my salvation is assured, I want to be more like my King and THAT is my motivation..... However, currently I lean more toward annihilation. I'm pretty sure this may be something I have in common with the SDA, as well as the JWs.
I see some evidence for both in the Scriptures, and I haven't prayed on it at length because there've always been more pressing issues, but I would mostly like to see any evidence that we have an immortal soul.
I'm currently of the mindset that we have a mortal soul, and only God is eternal. We've been blessed with a mortal existence, as heirs, as children of God, we can be with Him eternally like in Psalm 82, with the alternative "But you will die like men"
Also in multiple locations in the Scripture it says things like all men are like grass, ya know, we sprout up for a time, take in the sun and the rain, then wither and are no more.
I just have a hard time fathoming God using a part of His eternal nature to have us be tortured forever, as a recently repentant atheist I took the verse about death and hell being cast into the lake of fire and this is the second death, and I arrived at the same conclusion certain groups with certain reputations have arrived at.
I was just wondering what the views are on this, not spoiling for a debate because I don't find it debate-worthy. But this is a part of the way I reconcile the nature of God. We will surely die if we are not re-united with Him, unlike what satan said in Genesis.
I did also find the idea that some people, like the very wicked, burning up a little more slowly in the lake of fire, somehow just.
So, yes. Mortal soul? Immortal soul? Annihilation(ceasing to be)? Eternal torment(forever aware and separated from God in some fashion)?
Post Number: 45
|Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 9:01 am: || |
You might want to read through the recent thread in the Members Only section titled "Non-Adventist Christain Doctrine." This very issue was discussed at length...
Post Number: 156
|Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 11:15 am: || |
That is a good place to look, but the conversation really ran the gamut. I actually asked the same question about Biblical proof for the concept of the immortal soul, but I never really got an answer, so I think it is worthwhile to have a more focused discussion here. I, for one, am eager to see people's responses.
Post Number: 19
|Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 5:19 pm: || |
The pastor @ the Lutheran church I attend told me it's eternal punishment because the lost will be eternally aware of their separation of our Lord and Saviour.
Post Number: 64
|Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 6:55 pm: || |
Wow, yes, it looks like I missed a lively discussion on the topic.
My whole question was all from me except for the wicked burning a little slower, I picked that up from the wife's cultural heritage
Post Number: 13725
|Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 11:34 pm: || |
Jesus is the One who taught the most about hell of anyone in the Bible. He is the One who said the righteous go to eternal life, and the wicked go to eternal (exactly the same word) punishment (Matt. 25:46).
"Dying" is never defined in Scripture as ceasing to exist. It is, rather, a separation of one's spirit from one's body, as Jesus said just before He died, "Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit" (Lk 23:46). The parable of Lazarus and the rich man describes the spirits of the unrighteous and the righteous being in different places separated by a great gulf.
It's important to remember that we are not saved or lost on the basis of sin but on the basis of belief or unbelief. Jesus said that the work of God is to believe in Him whom He has sent (Jn 6:29). Those who believe have eternal life; those who refuse to believe, do not.
Jesus paid the price for sin. We either remain dead in our sin, having no part in His ransom because we refuse to believe, or we are brought to spiritual life by His Spirit when we believe. Eternal life is the consequence of placing our faith in God the Son. Refusing to believe Him has to be of equal but opposite "weight": eternal death, or remaining spiritually dead (as we already are when we are born and before we believe), separated from the life of God.
Hell is the place prepared fro the devil and his angels, and those who refuse to believe also go there. It is never described as a place of annihilation. Moreover, Rev. 20 describes the wicked dead being resurrected (that is a term defined in 1 Cor 15 and demonstrated by the Lord Jesus, and it always means a person's spirit rejoining an eternal body). The wicked are resurrected for hell.
Interestingly, Jesus said in John 5:28-29:
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
Post Number: 66
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 1:25 am: || |
You know, some people in the 1st and 2nd centuries were teaching annihilation for the unsaved. (I'm not offering this as proof either way, just that the idea isn't as new agey as it sounds), I believe it was Origin who back in the day went a step further and claimed that people in hell would eventually be reconciled to God, and hell would be emptied.
All I know is as an atheist with a chip on my shoulder, eternal torment defined some big mean ole unapproachable god concept in the sky, but as a reformed atheist Jesus' love and a very approachable and romanticized Arthurian concept of a Good King(Only God is good! ) defines Almighty God to my heart. I've never been afraid of hell, then or now, in the classic sense. But I am afraid of disappointing a loving Father, and I revere Him a lot, and am deathly afraid of misleading anyone created in His image(any human). I would need some special revelation to ever preach fire and brimstone beyond verbatim quotes of the imagery Jesus' preached, weeping and gnashing of teeth. But even then, God spoke to me with this supernatural love, I cannot fathom fire and brimstone having a saving impact on a person like the love of God had on me. (My mom assures me that many are saved because of fire and brimstone sermons)
Something just seems off about SELF as a motivation, saving my own hide. and the hell so many believe to exist is a very Dante/Milton and RCC inspired fiction. A former archangel depicted with red skin and a bifurcated tail, rewarded with a KINGDOM to rule forever... wuhh?
Post Number: 1217
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 4:31 am: || |
The best book I've read on this topic is "Erasing Hell" by Francis Chan. It's an easy read that highly (and objectively) values what the Bible says and the sovereignty of God. I think it was published about a year ago.
Post Number: 71
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 5:17 am: || |
Raven, yes I read a bit of it from an interview, we have two of his books, crazy love and forgotten god.
From the topics Chan writes about and from some of the expressions he uses, he strangely reminds me of someone I spoke with about all these topics at an online ministry about 7 years ago, very crazy if it was really him, but hey the world does seem a small place some times, and I expect we'll know these sorts of things when we are with Christ Jesus forever.
Post Number: 1695
|Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 5:41 pm: || |
As a clarification, Christians don't believe the human spirit or soul is "immortal" in the same sense that God is immortal. Only God is immortal in the full sense of the word. Only God is self existent. Only God has life in and of Himself. All other life flows from God and is sustained by Him. So the human spirit is not inherently immortal. It is really a question of whether or not God continues to sustain His creation in the intermediate and eternal states or whether he chooses to snuff some out of existence.
Consider this for a moment. Lucifer and his angels are spirits. As far as we can tell, there is no plan of salvation for the angels and they have been actuated in their choice forever. And yet, God has not chosen to snuff those spirits out of existence, but has sustained their continued existence through the ages. There is no strong biblical indication that God will ever snuff those spirit beings out of existence. If this is true, why would we assume that God will snuff human spirits out of existence at some point? What biblical evidence is there that God ever snuffs out any of his created beings?
So I think the Christian position on an "immortal" spirit (meaning "will not cease to exist" and used in a limited way with caveats) really depends on the fact that the Bible never teaches that God will snuff some out and in several places seems to indicate an ongoing conscious experience in both the intermediate and eternal state.
But you're right, you won't find a particular text in the Bible that specifically calls the human spirit "immortal". That doesn't mean it is or isn't sustained in eternity, but you have to dig a bit and determine where the preponderance of the biblical evidence lies. So to summarize, the subject doesn't really hinge on whether or not the spirit is immortal (it's not in the ultimate sense), but on whether a sovereign God continues to sustain us in our choice or snuffs us out for it.
Post Number: 172
|Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 8:53 pm: || |
Thanks for your explanation. I always find your posts and articles helpful.
Post Number: 93
|Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 9:26 pm: || |
Chris, thanks for your input, but you might be surprised to find that some Christians do believe in an immortal soul... This is assuming you mean anyone who identifies as Christian, and not "true Christian" or somesuch... In fact this is one of the things that have made me wonder about the topic... the "Afterlife" of the spiritists, and some of the doctrines creeping in.
Your explanation is interesting, it sounds like you've studied this subject at some length.
Post Number: 13730
|Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 12:21 am: || |
Colossians, people use "immortal soul" without thinking about the details Chris explained above. They simply mean, when they say it, that they do not go out of existence.
Post Number: 1697
|Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 9:38 am: || |
Right Colleen. That's exactly what I was trying to say....only more concise and clear. :-)