Immortality

[Bible Standard, No. 1, October, 1877, p6.]

Andrew Carmichael has well said: ”It cannot be too often repeated: If there he an immortal soul, there is no resurrection; and if there be any resurrection there is no immortal soul.”

Dr. Muller says: ”The Christian faith in immortality is indissolubly connected with the promise of a future resurrection of the dead.”

Adam Clarke says: “The doctrine of the resurrection appears to have been thought of much more consequence among the primitive Christians than it is now. …. There is not a doctrine in the gospel upon which more stress is laid; and there is not a doctrine in the present system of preaching which is treated with more neglect.”

These words are eminently, true; and it is proper for us to inquire into the cause of this marked change. We have seen that Christ and the apostles make the resurrection the most prominent doctrine of the New Testament. One eminent author declares that not less than one verse in every thirty in the New Testament has reference to this doctrine.

Why then is it treated with such neglect in the popular pulpits of the present day? Is it because modern preachers are wiser than Paul and Peter and John, or is it because they neglect to preach the Gospel, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men?”

The New Testament teaches that man is mortal, and that eternal life is a “gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Modern theology teaches that man is immortal, and that as a consequence he has eternal life in himself. The New Testament does not teach the immortality of the soul; but modem theology declares that “the immortality of the soul is a fundamental doctrine of revealed religion.”

The New Testament teaches the resurrection of dead men; modem theology, of dead bodies. These marked contrasts exhibit the reason why the doctrine of the resurrection is treated with such neglect in the present system of preaching.

Of the primitive faithful, it is written “These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb. 11:39, 40.) The time is fast approaching when this promise shall be fulfilled. Then shall the patriarchs honor their Redeemer; then shall Job, with all the pure in heart, see God; then shall David awake and be satisfied; then shall Isaiah give the shout of victory over death and hades; then shall Daniel awake to everlasting life; then shall Paul, with all those who love the appearing of Christ, receive the gift of eternal life.

This is the doctrine of the Bible.

– The Doctrine of Immortality – J. H. Whitmore.

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