Death, and the State of the Soul after Death
a. The different forms of expression by which death is described in the Scriptures.
Departure out of this world. 2 Timothy 4:6
Going the way of all the earth. Joshua 23:14
Gathered to one's fathers. Judges 2:10
Gathered to one's people. Deuteronomy 32:50
Dissolving the earthly house of this tabernacle. 2 Corinthians 5:1
Returning to the dust. Ecclesiastes 12:7
Sleep. John 11:11
Giving up the ghost. Acts 5:10
Absent from the body and present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
Sleeping in Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:14, Ecclesiastes 12:7
b. The relation of death to sin.
The entire penalty of the law, including all the spiritual, physical, and eternal penal consequences of sin, is called death in the Scripture. Genesis 2:17, Romans 5:12
This included natural death. Romans 5:13, 14
When Christ bore the penalty of the law, it was necessary for Him to die. Hebrews 9:22
c. Why do the justified die?
It is made necessary from the present constitution of the body, while it is to both body and soul the gateway of heaven. The sting and fear of death are taken away. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, Hebrews 2:15
They die "in the Lord" Revelation 14:13
and shall at last be completely delivered from its power. 1 Corinthians 15:26
d. Immateriality of the soul. Its continual existence after death.
The entire range of human experience fails to make us acquainted with a single instance of the annihilation of matter. Material "bodies", or chemically compounded, constantly come into existence and in turn pass away, yet never through annihilation but simply from the dissolution of that relation which these parts had temporarily sustained to each other. Spirit, however, is essentially simple and single, and therefore incapable of that dissolution of parts to which material bodies are subject. We infer, therefore, that spirits are immortal, since they cannot be subject to that only form of death of which we have any knowledge.
e. Argument derived from its imperfect development in this world.
In every department of organized life every individual creature, in its normal state, tends to grow toward condition of complete development, which is the perfection of its kind. Every human being, however, is conscious that in this life he never attains that completeness which the Creator contemplated in the ideal of His type. He has faculties undeveloped, capacities unfulfilled, natural desires unsatisfied. He knows that he was designed to be much more than he is and to fill a much higher sphere.
f. Argument derived from the distributive justice of God.
It is a judgment of reason, and a fundamental Bible doctrine that moral good is associated with happiness, and moral evil with misery, by the unchangeable nature and purpose of God. But history establishes the fact that this life is not a state of retribution, here wickedness is often associated with prosperity, moral excellence with sorrow. We hence conclude that there is a future state where everything inconsistent with the justice of God shall be adjusted.
See Psalm 73:1-28
g. Conscience points to a future state.
Conscience is the voice of God in the soul, witnessing to our sinfulness, God's essential justice. The characteristic testimony of the human conscience has always been in accordance with the word of God, that, "after death comes the judgment."
h. Confirmed by the general consent of mankind.
This has been the universal faith of all men, of all nations, and in all ages. Universal consent, like every universal effect, must be referred to an equally universal cause, and this consent, uniform among men differing in every other possible respect, can be referred to no common origin other than the constitution of man's common nature, which is the testimony of his Maker.
i. The Old Testament teaches the same distinction between body and soul that is taught in the New Testament. Genesis 1:26, 27, 2:7, Ecclesiastes 12:7
j. Our Saviour's argument. Luke 20:37, 38
k. Old Testament passages implying a state of blessedness after death. Numbers 23:10, Job 19:26, 27, Psalm 16:9-11, 17:15, 49:14, 15, 73:24-26, Isaiah 25:8, 26:19, Daniel 12:2, 3, 13, Hosea 13:14
l. Teaching of the New Testament. Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, Philippians 1:23, 24, Luke 16:23, 24, Jude 1:5-7
The Resurrection
a. The Greek word is "anastasis", which signifies "a raising up."
It is used Scripture to designate the future general raising, by the power of God, of the bodies of all men from the sleep of death.
b. Old Testament passages. Job 19:25-27, Psalm 49:15, Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:1-3
c. New Testament passages. Matthew 27:52, 53, John 5:28, 29, 6:39, Acts 2:25-34, 13:34, Romans 8:11, 22, 23, 1 Corinthians 15:1-58, Philippians 3:20, 21, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
d. The body to rise again. Philippians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 15:53, 54, John 5:28, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, 1 Corinthians 6:15, John 20:27
e. The nature of the resurrection body.
1. It is to be spiritual. 1 Corinthians 15:44
2. Like Christ's body. Philippians 3:21
3. Glorious, powerful, and incorruptible. 1 Corinthians 15:54
4. It shall never die. Revelation 21:4
5. Never to be given in marriage. Matthew 22:30
f. The resurrection of Christ secures and illustrates that of His people.
1. Because His resurrection seals and consummates His redemptive power, and the redemption of our bodies. Romans 3:23
2. Because of our federal and vital union with Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22, 1 Thessalonians 4:14
3. Because of His Spirit who dwells in us Romans 8:11
making our bodies His members 1 Corinthians 6:15
4. Because Christ by covenant is Lord both of the living and the dead. Romans 14:9
This same vital union causes the resurrection of the believer to be similar to, as well as consequent upon, that of Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:49, Philippians 3:21, 1 John 3:2
The Second Advent and the General Judgment
a. The meaning of the expression, "the coming" or "the day of the Lord," as used in both the Old and New Testaments.
1. For any special manifestation of God's presence. Isaiah 13:6, Jeremiah 46:10, John 14:18, 23
2. By way of eminence.
a. In the Old Testament, for the coming of Christ in the flesh, and the abrogation of the Jewish economy. Malachi 3:2, 4:5
b. In the New Testament, for the second and final coming of Christ.
b. The several terms referring to this last great event are--
1. His "revelation." 1 Corinthians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:7, 13, 4:13
2. "Presence," "coming." Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39, 1 Corinthians 15:23, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 3:13, 4:15, 5:23, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-9, James 5:7, 8, 2 Peter 1:16, 3:4, 12, 1 John 2:28
3. "Appearing," "manifestation." 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 1 Timothy 6:14, 2 Timothy 4:1, 8, Titus 2:13
4. "The day of the Lord," or a similar expression. John 6:39-54, Romans 2:5, 1 Corinthians 1:8, Philippians 1:6, 10, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, 2 Timothy 1:12, 18, 2 Peter 2:9, 3:10, 12, Jude 1:6, Revelation 6:17
Christ is called "the coming One" with reference to both advents. Matthew 21:9, Luke 7:19, 20, 19:38, John 3:31, Revelation 1:4, 4:8
c. Evidence that a literal, personal advent of Christ still future is taught in the Bible.
1. The analogy of the first advent.
2. The coming itself, its manner and purpose, are alike defined. Matthew 16:27, 24:30, 25:31, 26:64, Mark 8:38, Luke 21:27
3. The apostles understood these predictions to relate to a literal advent of Christ in person. Acts 1:11, 3:19-21, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 11:26, 15:23, Hebrews 9:28, 10:37
d. The exact time declared to be unknown. Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32, Luke 12:40, Acts 1:6, 7, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, 2 Peter 3:3, 4, 10, Revelation 16:15
e. The Judge of the world.
This will be Jesus Christ, in His official character as mediator, in both natures, as the God-man. This is evident,--
1. Because as judge He is called
the ", Son of man", Matthew 25:31, 32
and the ",Son of man", Matthew 25:31, 32
and ",the man ordained by God", Acts 17:31
2. Because it pertains to Him as mediator to complete and publicly manifest the salvation of His people and the overthrow of His enemies, together with the glorious righteousness of His work in both respects. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, Revelation 1:7
f. The subjects of the judgment.
1. The whole race of man. The dead will be raised, and the living changed simultaneously. Matthew 25:31-46, 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, Revelation 20:11-15
2. All evil angels. 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6
Good angels appearing as attendants and ministers. Matthew 13:41, 42
g. The moral effect of the Scripture teaching as to Christ's second advent.
Christians ought thereby to be comforted when in sorrow, and always stimulated to duty. Philippians 3:20, Colossians 3:4, 5, James 5:7, 1 John 3:2, 3
Their duty also to love, watch, wait for, and hasten to, the coming of their Lord. Luke 12:35-37, 1 Corinthians 1:7, 8, Philippians 3:20, 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10, 2 Timothy 4:8, 2 Peter 3:12, Revelation 22:20
Unbelievers should be filled with fearful apprehension, and should come to immediate repentance. Mark 13:35, 37, 2 Peter 3:9, 10, Jude 1:14, 15
Heaven and Hell
a. New Testament usage of the words. "Heaven" used chiefly in three senses--
1. The upper air where the birds fly. Matthew 8:20, 24:30
2. The region in which the stars reside. Acts 7:42, Hebrews 11:12
3. The abode of Christ's human nature, the scene of the special manifestation of divine glory, and of the eternal blessedness of the saints. Hebrews 9:24, 1 Peter 3:22
Sometimes called the "third heaven." 2 Corinthians 12:2
The phrases "new heaven" and "new earth," in contrast with "first heaven" and "first earth," refer to some unexplained change by which God will revolutionise our portion of the physical universe, cleansing it from the stain of sin and qualifying it to be the abode of blessedness.
b. Terms used to designate the future blessedness of the saints.
1. Literal terms--
Life, eternal life. Matthew 7:14, 19:16, 29, 25:46
Glory, the glory of God, an eternal weight of glory. Romans 2:7, 10, 5:2, 2 Corinthians 4:17
Peace. Romans 2:10
Salvation, and eternal salvation. Hebrews 5:7
2. Figurative terms--
Paradise. Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:4, Revelation 2:7
Heavenly Jerusalem. Galatians 4:26, Revelation 3:12
Kingdom of heaven, heavenly kingdom, eternal kingdom, kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:34, 2 Timothy 4:18, 2 Peter 1:11
Eternal inheritance. 1 Peter 1:4, Hebrews 9:15
The blessed are said to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
to be in Abraham', s bosom Luke 16:22, Matthew 8:11
to be in Abraham',s bosom Luke 16:22, Matthew 8:11
to reign with Christ 2 Timothy 2:11, 12
to enjoy a Sabbath of rest Hebrews 4:10, 11
c. Heaven as a place
The Scriptures represent heaven as a definite place as well as a state of blessedness. John 17:24, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, Revelation 5:6
d. Wherein does the blessedness of heaven consist as far as revealed?
1. In perfect deliverance from sin and all its evil consequences, physical, moral, and social. Revelation 7:16, 17, 21:4, 27
2. In the perfection of our nature. 1 Corinthians 13:9-12, 15:45-49, 1 John 3:2
3. In the sight of our Redeemer, communion with His person, and fellowship in all His glory and blessedness, and through Him with saints and angels. John 17:24, 1 John 1:3, Revelation 3:21, 21:3-5
4. In that "beatific vision of God" which, consisting in the ever increasingly clear discovery of the divine excellence lovingly apprehended, transforms the soul into the same image, from glory to glory. Matthew 5:8, 2 Corinthians 3:18
e. The principal terms, literal and figurative, which are applied in Scripture to the future condition of the reprobate.
As a "place" it is literally designated by Gehenna Matthew 5:22, 29, 30
and by the phrase "place of torment." Luke 16:28
As a "condition" of suffering, it is literally designated by the phrases "wrath of God" Romans 2:5
and "second death." Revelation 21:8
Figurative terms--
"Everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," Matthew 25:41
"Hell, where their worm dies not and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:48
"The lake which burns with fire and brimstone." Revelation 21:8
"The pit of the abyss." Revelation 9:2
The dreadful nature of this abode of the wicked is implied in such expressions as "outer darkness," the place where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth" Matthew 8:12, 22:13
"I am in anguish in this flame" Luke 16:24
"unquenchable fire" Luke 3:17
"Furnace of fire" Matthew 13:42
"blackness of darkness" Jude 1:13
torment "with fire and brimstone" Revelation 14:10
"the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever." Revelation 14:11
f. The teaching of the Scriptures as to the nature of future punishments.
1. These sufferings will consist--
a. In the loss of all good.
b. In all the natural consequences of unrestrained sin, judicial abandonment, utter alienation from God, and the society of the lost. 2 Thessalonians 1:9
c. In the positive infliction of torment, God's wrath abiding upon those who do not believe. John 3:36
2. The Scriptures also establish the facts that these sufferings must be--
a. Dreadful in degree.
b. Endless in duration.
c. Proportioned to the deserts of the subject. Matthew 10:15, Luke 12:47, 48
",For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life", John 3:16