What does the Bible say about immortality? We'll take a thorough look at what God does have to say in His Word about humans having an immortal soul – and then take a brief look at what that means for our spiritual future.
Last Sabbath, in the first part of this sermon series on the Doctrine of the Immortal Soul, we took a look at the common belief in some type of immortality in virtually all religions around the world. We covered how Greek philosophy wove its way into Christianity. We also took a brief look at some of the scriptures used to support the belief in immortality and then took a brief look at refutations for those same scriptures. How does what the Bible really has to say about immortality, affect us now? Are we, as the Apostle Paul wrote, most miserable because we know Satan’s lies but have nothing really to replace them? No, the opposite is the case. We have incredible understanding of what does await mankind after this physical existence. We understand the purpose of life and what God truly expects of us. How does what the Bible really has to say about immortality, affect us now? Is it really important as long as we are “good Christians”?
Today we are going to finish up that review with a more thorough look at what God does have to say in His Word about humans having an immortal soul – and then take a brief look at what that means for our spiritual future. In the first Sermon I touch on scriptures concerning immortality – but when we talk about immortality, we are more directly talking about resurrection. Let’ begin today by reviewing a couple of important verses from the first part of this sermon. Romans 6:23 – wages of sin are death. Genesis 2:7 – a living soul Job 14:13-17 – will a man live again? How can we then obtain eternal life? What is the path then, so that God will resurrect us? What does the Bible really have to say about resurrection? Resurrection – only God grants life First and foremost, we have the opportunity of being resurrected because of Christ’s sacrifice. I Corinthians 15:12-20 Christ...has become the firstfruits of those that slept. Hold a marker here, we will be back to the verse in a little bit) Hebrews 6:1-2 – doctrine of resurrection Here is listed a few doctrines leading to perfection for true Christians. The Bible is very clear that individuals will be resurrected. We will see more of these verses later. Where you and I should disagree with other Christians is the matter of why there will be a resurrection, and what that resurrection will be like.
The world sees immortality as universal and unconditional. God’s Word says something completely different. John 5:26 – the Father has life in Himself God is able to resurrect because He has life in Himself. This is the reason why God can create both physically and spiritually. If God has the power to create life, it stands to reason that He can restore life. Psalm 68:20 – God owns the boundary of death 1 Timothy 1:17 – the immortal, eternal King Christ was presented with an interesting “case study” regarding resurrection by the Sadducees in Matthew 22. (set the stage – they set up a false argument) Matt. 22:23-33 – God is the God of the living We read 1 Corinthians 15 earlier that spoke of Christ being the firstfruit. By the very use of that word, firstfruit, it expresses that there is more to come. John 3:16 – whoever believes in Christ should not perish 5:21-29 – the Father raises the dead Romans 8:10-13 – life to mortal bodies Acts 17:18-33 – Mars Hill/resurrection Paul preached something they had never heard of before – resurrection, not immortality. Paul was instructing them here that it required God to be raised. These Greeks believed that immortality was a given. Eternal life a future gift Romans 6:23 – gift of God – life thru Christ Romans 5:8-10 – saved by His life Baptism necessary Is God obligated then to give all eternal life, immortality if all simply accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? Acts 2:29-39 – in order to receive immortality we must first be baptized so we can begin to take on God’s character. 1 Peter 3:21 – baptism a type of resurrection Ephesians 1:12-14 – the earnest of our inheritance Reward is not eternal life Luke 14:12-14 – we will be rewarded for our works. (the parable of the pounds in Matthew 25) 1 Timothy 6:13-19 – store up a good foundation Use riches for good – eternal life is given because of righteous character. Ephesians 2:2-10 – not thru our works Thru God’s works so we can inherit eternal life.
1 Corinthians 3:12-14 – each man’s work manifest (Luke 4:4 live by every Word of God) All will be resurrected Acts 24:15 – resurrection of both un and righteous Ezekiel 37:1-14 – Israel will be given God’s Holy Spirit so they will finally understand what it was God expected of them. 1 Corinthians 15:21 – in Christ all are made alive John 5:28-29 – all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice. God gave us this temporary, mortal life to prepare us for eternal life. Genesis 1:27 – God created mankind in His image – to be like Him in character and action. In that sense Satan was right in that God does want us to be Gods – but what Satan lied about in Gen. 3 was that it requires we be like God, not that we can be our own types of god. Now, tied to this discussion of the doctrine of the immortal soul versus resurrection from the dead, is a greater discussion of what the Bible teaches about the purpose and process of resurrection. That discussion will be covered in a future message. Let’s look at one final Scripture as I conclude this message today. 1 John 3:8 – He will destroy the works of Satan The lie that Satan sold in the Garden of Eden set in motion a world system based on Satan’s philosophies – competition, strife, envy, murder, hatred, jealousy, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies and false religion. These are the works of Satan, and Christ will destroy what this world is currently based on, when He returns to set up God’s true government.
There is so much more to say on this doctrine of resurrection. We have briefly covered aspects of all of mankind having an opportunity to know God’s way of life. We have briefly covered how baptism is part of the doctrine of resurrection, of works necessary as part of our calling, how our reward is different from eternal life and that all who have ever lived and died will be resurrected. Each and every one of these points could be a Sermon in and by themselves. Understanding God’s perspective on giving humans eternal life – allowing them to be resurrected and be given immortality – impacts virtually all other true Christian doctrines. Repentance, Baptism, the Holy Days, the Kingdom of God, and more all hang on a true understanding of whether we have an immortal soul. The conclusion of the whole matter is this: God made us physical so that we would not live forever if we chose the wrong type of character. There is no life inherent in us, and Satan’s lie to Eve and the rest of humanity will be finally and completely exposed. However, if we yield to God, grow in reflecting His character, practice Godly works, then He will give to us immortal life – to be as He and Jesus Christ are. Then we will then have life in us. Then we will be spirit and part of the God family and be able to be God as God is God. That is the truth concerning an immortal soul and our human potential.