Different Views About The End Of Days In Christianity
Christians generally agree on the ultimate destination of people and that trusting in Jesus sacrifice of His own perfect life is the only way to spend eternity with God.
The Bible makes the most important things clear in the Bible: What God is like, why we can trust Him, what Jesus has done for us and why that matters to every person on earth. These are the fundamentals on which Christians agree, because the Bible makes them very clear.
But some details about the afterlife remain unclear enough for Christians to hold differing beliefs about them. This does not mean they differ in their understanding of how you can know God personally.
So how do Christians reconcile themselves to believing in things that are not completely clear to them? Christians do not trust God because He always explains Himself but because they know He is good. God Himself is beyond the level of our understanding. But we can know Him and trust Him without completely understanding every aspect of His nature or the way He has designed this life and the next.
Because there is room for interpreting the Bible in different ways, Christians sometimes understand the afterlife with slight differences.
There is a whole branch of theological study called eschatology, which is the study of the end of time, life after death, and Jesus return.
The Bible talks about Jesus returning at some time in the future. Jesus return someday is a doctrine shared by all true Christians, and the Bible teaches it clearly.
Resurrection Of The Body
Heaven, however, as wonderful as it is, is not the final resting place for Gods people. He never meant it to be. The full effects of sin in this world have not been overcome as long as our bodies lie in the grave. God made the whole world, including our bodies, very good . The death of the body is part of the curse of original sin . It is not natural it is not the way things are meant to be. The last enemy to be defeated by God will be death itself, when the bodies of believers are raised up on the last day . Unbelievers also will be raised, though in bodies fitted for eternal punishment .
Gods people, in the fullness of the new creation, eat from the tree of life and live forever.
The resurrection is a physical reality. After his resurrection, Jesus ate food and could be touched . In his resurrection, he is the firstfruits of the future resurrection of all believers. This is another way of saying that Jesus has already entered into the state that all believers will enter into when he returns to usher in the fullness of the new creation. Because of our unbreakable union with Jesus in life and death , what is true of him will certainly be true of us as well: we will be raised up bodily . Our bodies will be spiritual , not in the sense of being non-physical, but in the sense of being wholly controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit.
How Dangerous Is The Immortal Soul Doctrine
Friends, please think heavily upon this question. I promise you that this doctrine is not just a “minor” issue.Believe it or not – this very false doctrine of Rome will be one of the greatest deceptions Satan uses during the time of the mark of the beast.Think about this: What major lie did Satan tell Eve in the Garden of Eden in the beginning?
Genesis 3:4 …’Then the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die.’
The very lie that Eve believed of Satan is now heavily accepted in the professing Christian world. This is the way Satan operates -with lying signs, wonders, miracles, and other various ungodly deceptions. In God’s Holy Word, we are actually warned that Satan ispreparing something HIGHLY deceptive to encourage the world’s accepting of the mark of the beast.
Revelation 18:23 …’The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and brideshall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for .’
Revelation 16:14 …’For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of thewhole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.’
Matthew 24:23,24 …’Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ DO NOT believe it. Forfalse christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.’
Ahh, but what about the souls crying out to God under the altar in Revelation?
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Under The Altar Revelation : 9
In Revelation 6:9ff John sees a group of souls underneath the altar. They had been murdered for the word of God and their testimony. They are distinguished from those on earth , and the altar motif identifies the locale as heaven .
If there are no souls in heaven, the imagery is baffling. See also the great multitude that is standing before the throne and before the Lamb . And, as noted earlier, elsewhere in the book of Revelation the tree of life, identified as being in Paradise is located in heaven .
As one scholar has observed, with reference to Pauls discussion of his heavenly journey fourteen years earlier :
Pauls reference to the vision given him early in his ministry, in which in one instance he says that he was caught up even to the third heaven, and in another that he was caught up into Paradise, II Cor. 12:2-4, shows that Paradise is to be identified with heaven .
Would it not be best, therefore, to speak of Hades as a state of disembodied souls prior to the resurrection Paradise depicting the state of the righteous in the heavenly realm, though as yet without their new bodies?
This view is consistent with the ample evidence of a celestial reward at the point of death. As Prof. Erickson has expressed it:
Origin Of The Teaching Of An Immortal Soul
It was, in fact, Satan who lied to Eve, telling her that if she ate the fruit of the tree she would not die: Then the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil .
It was, in fact, Satan who lied to Eve, telling her that if she ate the fruit of the tree she would not die.In deceiving Eve, Satan attempted to diminish Gods authority by claiming that defiance of His instruction would not result in death, but that she, like God, would have the ability to decide what is right and wrong. Satan also implied that she, like God, would not die. In other words, Satan introduced the concept of the immortal soul.
Satans deception has become the standard teaching of Christianity, borrowed from the beliefs of ancient pagans. The online edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia states:
Egypt affords at a very early date the most abundant evidence of an extremely vivid and intense belief in a future life. Offerings of provisions of all sorts to the spirits of the departed, elaborate funeral ceremonies, and the wonderfully skillful mummification of the bodies of the deceased, all bear witness to the strength of the Egyptians convictions of the reality of the next life .
The same article also says that in the fourth century B.C. the Greek philosopher Plato popularized the teaching of the immortality of the soul:
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Death Of The Spirit?Testimony Of ScriptureAdam
Made For Eternity
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of humans yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end .
Implies Continual Life
and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it .
Existence Of A Place Of The Dead
The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you – all those who were leaders in the world it makes them rise from their thrones – all those who were kings over the nations .
Enoch And Elijah
Enoch walked with God then he was no more, because God took him away .
As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven .
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” .
Abraham, Isaac, And Jacob
But about the resurrection of the dead – have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living .
amwasJudgmentSoul Cannot Die
Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell .
Souls Under AltarSecond DeathTransfiguration
When Does The Spirit Leave The Body
Question from a reader:
What are your thoughts on when the spirit leaves the body? With modern day technology, many people can be resuscitated and kept alive artificially. How does a Christian answer the skeptic who says this proves the spirit doesnt go to Heaven or a misguided Christian who says this proves soul sleep?
Answer from Randy Alcorn:
I believe the spirit leaves the body when true death happens, and that true death isnt the same as he hasnt been responsive for months or we cant detect brainwaves.
I cant prove this of course, just as no one can prove their viewpoint since we cant demonstrate when the spirit leaves the body even though we can often subjectively know for certain when it has happened.
I talk about that in In Light of Eternity when I tell the story of entering the room after my mom had died and being overwhelmed with the sense of her absence, even though shed barely moved or responded for a few months. The difference wasnt in response, but in the fact that the glory had departed. She had been in that room every day I had visited her and now was obviously and dramatically gone.
My key text is Hebrews 9:27, Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God . Obviously it was spoken in a day where giving food and drink and medicines to a person who would otherwise die was about the extent of the intervention, and there was no way to continue someones breathing by artificial means .
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Spirits With God
Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it .
and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect .
And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise’ .
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed, we shall not be found naked. . . We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord .
For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better .
Be With Jesus
Father, I desire that those also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory, which You have given Me because you loved Me before the foundation of the world .
And he , being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’. . . And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit’ .
Not Place Of Final RewardConsciousWith GodLive TogetherRest And BlessednessActivityHolinessEmphasis On Final StateSummary
What Really Happens At Death
5, 6. What does the Bible teach about the condition of the dead?
5 What happens at death is no mystery to Jehovah, the Creator of the brain. He knows the truth, and in his Word, the Bible, he explains the condition of the dead. Its clear teaching is this: When a person dies, he ceases to exist. Death is the opposite of life. The dead do not see or hear or think. Not even one part of us survives the death of the body. We do not possess an immortal soul or spirit. *
Where did the flame go?
6 After Solomon observed that the living know that they will die, he wrote: But the dead know nothing at all. He then enlarged on that basic truth by saying that the dead can neither love nor hate and that there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave. Similarly, Psalm 146:4 says that when a man dies, his thoughts perish. We are mortal and do not survive the death of our body. The life we enjoy is like the flame of a candle. When the flame is put out, it does not go anywhere. It is simply gone.
The Immortal Soul Doctrine
Already we see the scriptures greatly contradicting what is taught today. What is typically preached today is that when a person dies,they immediately go straight to their everlasting dwelling – Heaven or “hell” . Based on whatwe’ve already learned here, that theory doesn’t add up very well with scripture, now does it?
For quite some time, professing Christians have been instructed to believe that all people are judged when they die, and immediatelygo “up” or “down”. Is this Biblically sound though?
Question: What would be the point of the Great White Throne Judgment at the very end if all peoplehave already been judged?
Do the scriptures actually say that all righteous people instantly “go to Heaven” when they die?
John 5:28,29 …’Do not marvel at this for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear Hisvoice and come forth-those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection ofcondemnation.’
Acts 2:29,34 …’Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried,and his tomb is with us to this day … For David did not ascend into the heavens.’
Job 14:10-12 …’But man dies and is laid away Indeed he breathes his last And where is he? As water disappears from thesea, And a river becomes parched and dries up, So man lies down and DOES NOT rise. Till the heavens are no more, They will not awake Nor beroused from their sleep.’
Not Ascended Unto The Father John : 17
When Mary Magdalene took hold of Jesus on the morning of the resurrection, the Lord, with a kindly admonition, said:
Stop clinging to me for I am not yet ascended unto the Father… .
Some reason in this fashion: Jesus had not been to the Father, who is in heaven he had been to Hades , thus the two states are entirely separate.
The logic is faulty. It does not take into consideration other passages. And it fails to consider the immediate context of the Saviors declaration.
First, at the point of his death Christ cried with a loud voice: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit… . Did he? At this time? Or was that association only realized forty days later?
That certainly is not the most natural interpretation. The present tense, middle voice form of the verb suggests he was handing over,giving, or entrusting his spirit to the Father for his care at this time .
At the moment when He is about to lose self-consciousness, and when the possession of His spirit escapes from Him, He confides it as a deposit to his Father . The Father received the Spirit of Jesus .
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The Bible Also Reveals That Hades Has Two Sectionscomfort And Torment
Footnote 1 on Matthew 12:40 continues to point out from Luke 16:19-31 that there are two sections of Hades:
Hades, equal to Sheol in the Old Testamenthas two sections, the section of torment and the section of comfort . The section of comfort is Paradise, where the Lord went with the saved thief after they died on the cross . Hence, heart of the earth, lower parts of the earth, Hades, and Paradise are synonymous terms, referring to the place where the Lord stayed for three days and three nights after His death and before His resurrection.
That’s An Insightful Question It Leads To Showing That Human Beings Do Not Have An Immortal Soul As The Bible States Man Is A Soul And The Soul That Sins Will Die
God gives human beings a spirit that, not conscious of itself, works in concert with the human brain to form the human mind, giving us the ability to understand language, writing, math, and the like. Paul explains: “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” .
To answer the question, we can turn to the book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon wrote that when we die, “the spirit will return to God who gave it” . So at death, one’s spirit returns to God, while the body on earth decays or is destroyed. God keeps our spirit with Him until the time we are resurrected. He will then place our spirit in our refashioned risen body, the spirit apparently acting as a permanent record of what we areincluding our memories and personalityso that our individuality is retained.
One example of people being restored to life with the same individual identities is the second resurrection, which is a resurrection to physical life for all who never had a chance to hear or understand God’s truth. God through the prophet Ezekiel tells of the resurrection of one group of people, Israel: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you and you shall live” .
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