Dust in the wind…

We’ve all heard that phrase, May God have mercy on your immortal soul!, and, as Christians, we accept it without any critical thought. The implications of this statement are twofold.

  1. that we possess a soul
  2. that it is immortal

But what does the bible tell us. Let’s turn to Genesis and the creation of mankind. God has created all the creepy crawlies and cattle and fish and now He turns His attention to the grand purpose of this creative activity, Let Us make man in our image. So God takes some dirt and forms man and then breathes into his nostrils the breath of life and, man BECAME a living soul. Notice that he did not receive a soul, immortal or otherwise.

Now it could be fairly said that he became an immortal soul, and assuming that he was made to live forever this would be true. However, after sinning and the pronouncement of impending death, he would then properly be referred to as a mortal soul. A soul can die. As in Adam all die….

There is another verse in Genesis that tells us quite frankly what we are and what happens to us when we die. You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground – for you were taken out of it; for you are dust, and you will return to dust. We did not come from heaven. We are not spirit. The body returns to the dust and the spirit returns to God who gave it.  So we exist then as dust brought to life by the gift of spirit which is from God. So when we die WE do not go to heaven, (or the other place if you believe in that), because we are not FROM heaven. We return to the dust from where we came and the life giving spirit returns to God from whence it came.

Christians have bought into the lie by which the Devil enticed Eve. You shall not surely die! We have come to believe that when we die we’re not dead, we merely move to a different location where death is redefined to mean quality of existence rather than actual condition. So if you’re in heaven you’re fine but if you end up in a blast furnace you will wish you were actually dead. Location, location, location!

If you think about it you will realize that if we are immortal souls then the bible wastes a good amount of space talking about resurrection. Christ Jesus Himself spoke of resurrection and the power required to accomplish such a feat. Paul says that He was, proclaimed with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead. John says in Revelation, But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years was done. This verse is nonsense if you believe that we are alive when we die but makes perfect sense when you come to accept that when we die we return to that which we are, dirt, and only live again as a result of resurrection. This is why Paul calls the resurrection our great hope.

So what happens when we die? Well we have to look at it from 2 different perspectives. From our perspective when someone dies they are dead. You hear people standing at a coffin saying, That’s not really uncle Bernie, it’s just his body. No. That IS uncle Bernie and in a few hours he’s going to be under ground. He has paid the penalty for sin. He’s dead. But what’s going on from uncle Bernie’s point of view? Well we need to borrow a little from Dr. Einstein’s theory of relativity. When we sleep we experience no passage of time. Without any reference, i.e. the sun, moon or a timepiece, we would have no idea how long we were out. So since uncle Bernie is not aware of any passage of time it’s very possible that to him it would be a seamless transition from dying to resurrection and standing before God.

Christians have been duped by the world around us into thinking that death is a beautiful thing. We go straight into the arms of Jesus and start our life part 2. No. Death is horrible. Death is final apart from resurrection. That is why the non believer has no hope. That is why they have made up this fantasy of an eternal soul that looks down on us after they die. They are trying to get around the finality of death. Let’s throw off this lie and embrace the truth. Death is death. BUT…. because of the resurrection of Christ it is NOT  the end. God has the power to not only bring us back from the dead but give us spiritual bodies like Christ‘s and we will then put on immortality and never die.