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 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×– wages of sin are death. Genesis 2:7 Genesis 2:7And 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.
American King James Version×– a living soul Job 14:13-17 Job 14:13-17  O that you would hide me in the grave, that you would keep me secret, until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!  If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.  You shall call, and I will answer you: you will have a desire to the work of your hands.  For now you number my steps: do you not watch over my sin?  My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and you sew up my iniquity.
American King James Version×– 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 Hebrews 6:1-2  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
American King James Version×– 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 John 5:26For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;
American King James Version×– 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. Psalms 68:20 Psalms 68:20He that is our God is the God of salvation; and to GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.
American King James Version×– God owns the boundary of death 1 Timothy 1:17 1 Timothy 1:17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
American King James Version×– 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) Matthew 22:23-33 Matthew 22:23-33  The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,  Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed to his brother.  Now there were with us seven brothers: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife to his brother:  Likewise the second also, and the third, to the seventh.  And last of all the woman died also.  Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.  Jesus answered and said to them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.  For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.  But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying,  I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
American King James Version×– 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 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×– whoever believes in Christ should not perish 5:21-29 – the Father raises the dead Romans 8:10-13 Romans 8:10-13  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.  Therefore, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.
American King James Version×– life to mortal bodies Acts 17:18-33 Acts 17:18-33  Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seems to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached to them Jesus, and the resurrection.  And they took him, and brought him to Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof you speak, is?  For you bring certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.  (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)  Then Paul stood in the middle of Mars' hill, and said, You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious.  For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, him declare I to you.  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things;  And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.  For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like to gold, or silver, or stone, graven by are and man's device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent:  Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.  And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear you again of this matter.  So Paul departed from among them.
American King James Version×– 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 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×– gift of God – life thru Christ Romans 5:8-10 Romans 5:8-10  But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
American King James Version×– 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 Acts 2:29-39  Men and brothers, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us to this day.  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;  He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.  This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,  Until I make your foes your footstool.  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what shall we do?  Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
American King James Version×– in order to receive immortality we must first be baptized so we can begin to take on God’s character. 1 Peter 3:21 1 Peter 3:21The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×– baptism a type of resurrection Ephesians 1:12-14 Ephesians 1:12-14  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
American King James Version×– the earnest of our inheritance Reward is not eternal life Luke 14:12-14 Luke 14:12-14  Then said he also to him that bade him, When you make a dinner or a supper, call not your friends, nor your brothers, neither your kinsmen, nor your rich neighbors; lest they also bid you again, and a recompense be made you.  But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:  And you shall be blessed; for they cannot recompense you: for you shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
American King James Version×– we will be rewarded for our works. (the parable of the pounds in Matthew 25) 1 Timothy 6:13-19 1 Timothy 6:13-19  I give you charge in the sight of God, who vivifies all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;  That you keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;  Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach to; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy;  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
American King James Version×– store up a good foundation Use riches for good – eternal life is given because of righteous character. Ephesians 2:2-10 Ephesians 2:2-10  Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us,  Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;)  And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
American King James Version×– not thru our works Thru God’s works so we can inherit eternal life.
1 Corinthians 3:12-14 1 Corinthians 3:12-14  Now if any man build on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
 If any man's work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
American King James Version×– each man’s work manifest (Luke 4:4 Luke 4:4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
American King James Version×live by every Word of God) All will be resurrected Acts 24:15 Acts 24:15And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
American King James Version×– resurrection of both un and righteous Ezekiel 37:1-14 Ezekiel 37:1-14  The hand of the LORD was on me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the middle of the valley which was full of bones,  And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, see, they were very dry.  And he said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, you know.  Again he said to me, Prophesy on these bones, and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.  Thus said the Lord GOD to these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live:  And I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.  So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.  And when I beheld, see, the sinews and the flesh came up on them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.  Then said he to me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus said the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up on their feet, an exceeding great army.  Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.  Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.  And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,  And shall put my spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall you know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, said the LORD.
American King James Version×– Israel will be given God’s Holy Spirit so they will finally understand what it was God expected of them. 1 Corinthians 15:21 1 Corinthians 15:21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
American King James Version×– in Christ all are made alive John 5:28-29 John 5:28-29  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.
American King James Version×– 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 Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
American King James Version×– 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 1 John 3:8He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
American King James Version×– 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.