The above chart shows the possible views on the
soul after death. The Bible teaches that
salvation is eternal life, meaning with God in eternal
bliss never ceasing to exist. Those who are not saved inherit the "second
death." (Revelation 20:6) Physical death is separation of the soul from the
body. The second death is eternal separation of the soul from God throughout all
Immortality of the Soul
|On Bible Studies
Scriptural teaching on ghosts and the lake of
Early Church Fathers teaching on the Soul:
- Luke 16:19-31 - Rich man and Lazarus -
Jesus was teaching about a real Hades where unsaved people are
conscious. This was not a parable that, while
teaching a truth, was misleading people who take the story literally. Jesus would not deceive, lie, or allow anyone to continue to believe
- 1 Samuel 28:1- Saul contacts the ghost
of Samuel the prophet. Samuel asked why his sleep was disturbed (sleeping is a
term often used to mean physical death - Daniel 12:2) but Samuel explained about Saul's
present situation and prophesied about the future. The ghost of Samuel
obviously was aware of the things happening on earth.
- Revelation 20:10 - Devil thrown into
lake of fire where the beast and false prophet have been for 1000 years. All
three are there and will continue to be there forever. (The devil is a fallen
angel but the false prophet is human, so one can't argue that only angels have
an immortal soul)
- Revelation 20:14 - All other humans
that are not saved will be thrown into the lake of fire.
- The soul/spirit is created at birth and does
- Irenaeus Frag. 49 - 177 AD; Tertullian Treatise of the Soul 1.27.
- The soul continues to exist after death and is immortal
- Hippolytus RH 9.24 - 200AD; Clement of Alexandria Stromata 5.14 - 190 AD; Tertullian Marcion 2.8 -
200AD; Origen Against Celsus 3:22 - 240AD.
The Sadducees taught that at physical death you
cease to exist, much like atheists today. (Acts 23:8) The Seventh Day Adventists and a few other cults
try to focus on Scriptures about hell or whether the lake of fire is eternal or not.
This is an argument designed to confuse Christians. Here are some Scriptures
misinterpreted by cults:
- Matthew 10:28- God destroys body and
soul in hell.
Opposed to a king who only destroys your body (separates the soul from body)
God destroys body and soul (2nd death or separation of the soul from God).
- 1 Timothy 6:16 - God only has
God is the only being that has always existed and will always continue to
exist. There was a point in time where we did not exist, so in the truest
sense of the word God alone has immortality.
- Ecclesiastes - Dead men know nothing
and the soul goes back to God who gave it.
Ecclesiastes talks a bout the vanity of living a sinful life. The dead loose
everything, know nothing, and can't talk to loved ones normally, but as we see
in 1 Samuel 28 they do know what is going on.
- Matthew 25:46 - depart into eternal
Cults try to argue that eternal punishment is annihilation but everlasting
punishment would be not ceasing to exist. The verse contrasts eternal
punishment with eternal life so both have to be everlasting.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:9 - The "penalty of
eternal punishment" is defined as being "away from the presence of the Lord,"
not annihilation. Verses that use phrases like "perishing" or going to
"destruction" refer to the second death which is eternal punishment.
We have seen that the Bible and the early church teach the soul continues after
death in a conscious state awaiting the resurrection. Those condemned will then be
thrown in to the lake of fire for eternity. Souls will not cease to exist and
there will be no form of universalism.