Topic:  Immortality Type:   Articles Author: A. Allison Lewis

Immortality of the soul is the belief that the soul of man continues its existence apart from the body after physical death. This is what the Bible teaches, both in the Old and New Testaments. The Bible teaches that at death the soul leaves the body. The body we bury while the soul goes to one of two places, either to Heaven to be with the Lord OR to Hell.

That the independent and separate existence of the soul after death is taught in the Old Testament is proved by such statements as: the gathering of the patriarchs to their fathers. Jehovah calls Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob [see EXO 3:6, 15; LUK 12:26]. This assumes the continued existence of their souls long after their death and the burial of their bodies. Christ used this Old Testament statement to prove one of His points. He said in Luke 20:38 that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living–those who are conscious. Our Lord states that the future existence of the soul (of both the righteous and the wicked) is so clearly taught by Moses and the prophets, that if a man is not convinced by them, neither would he be convinced though one should rise from the dead [Luke 16:29].

The doctrine of the immortality is nowhere formally stated in the Bible but it is everywhere assumed. Most of the Old Testament is nonsense upon the supposition that the soul "dies" with the body, or ceases to exist, or even to enter some sort of "sleep". For example, David says, so pants my soul after thee, O God [PSA 42:1]. He could not possibly have uttered these words, if he had expected death to be the extinction of his consciousness. We may end this life but our soul will never cease. To save a being from sin whose consciousness ends with physical death is absurd. It is impossible to confine the covenant of God or His love, redemption and salvation or man’s trust in God to this short life of "seventy years." Such limitations empty them of their meaning and makes them absolutely worthless. The words of the apostle Paul certainly applies here: If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable [1CO 15:19]. When Jacob, on his death bed, said: I have waited for Your salvation, O Lord [GEN 49:18], he was not thinking of mere deliverance from physical and temporal trials and evils. What does a man care for these, in his dying hour. No, Jacob was looking forward to something much better than he had in his present Earthly life.

The religious experience shown in the Old Testament cannot be made intelligible upon the theory that the doctrine of immortality was unknown or disbelieved. The absolute trust in God, the unquestioning confidence in His goodness and truth, the implicit submission to His will, the fearless obedience to His commands whatever they might be, and the hopeful peace with which they met death and the untried future would have been impossible if they had not believed certainly in the immortality of their souls. In the New Testament we are plainly told that for the Christian to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord [2CO 5:8]. Jesus told the repentant thief who died on the cross beside Him that Today will you be with Me in paradise [LUK 23:43]. Your soul is going to continue conscious existence somewhere FOREVER. PREPARE NOW TO MEET YOUR MAKER.

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This Page Last Updated: 12/05/98 A. Allison Lewis