LIFE, DEATH AND THE RESURRECTION #1: “TO BE OR NOT TO BE”
The following was the first part of an insert provided with Warren’s videos. It will provide an outline for those who wish to study the videos.
WELCOME to a video series which asks and answers the great human questions: What is death? What follows? Is there a life greater than death? How do we find it? What if we do not? Our answers are based on the Bible, centred upon Jesus Christ. Why? Because Jesus, and only Jesus, has conquered death: Revelation 1:17-18,1 Corinthians 15:3-4. When it comes to death, the Bible offers, neither make-believe nor cynicism, but stern realism (Genesis 3:19) and genuine hope (1 Corinthians 15:22).
DEATH – AND RESURRECTION
What is death? Scientifically, the irreversible loss of breathing, blood pressure, body temperature, heart-beat and brain function: the end of active, conscious existence. Is death complete? What of near-death experiences? By definition, they happen before death and tell us nothing about what comes after death. Is there an immortal soul or spirit in human nature which survives death in a personal or conscious way? Spiritism says yes: but the Bible rejects spiritism (Deuteronomy 18:10-11). Much traditional Hindu, Buddhist and Christian teaching says yes: but the great Christian creeds do not. Traditional Western ideas of an immortal human soul go back, not to the Bible, but to the Greek philosopher Plato (c428-c348 B.C.). The Biblical view: “God alone is immortal” (1 Timothy 6:16). Human beings die in the same way animals die: completely (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20, Genesis 3:19,1 Corinthians 15:47, Psalm 146:3-4). It is wrong to trust in our own nature (Genesis 3:4-5).
The answer to death is not in us, but in God and Jesus, His Son (John 5:25-29). Human beings are by nature mortal. The dead know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Death is real. But there is an answer even to death. Immortality can only be obtained as a new gift of God, through Jesus Christ, by resurrection (1 Cor 15:20-22). Resurrection wil occur when Christ returns in person to complete God’s purpose (ICor 15:23). All will be raised, but only those who belong to Christ will receive immortality (1 Cor 15:3-4, John 5:25-29).
What of those whom God finally rejects?
THE DESTINY OF THOSE GOD FINALLY REJECTS
The lost will be finally destroyed, along with all evil (Romans 6:23, 2 Peter 3:13). Not all will be saved. This view, universalism”, is contradicted by Jesus Himself (Matthew 7:13). But neither will anyone suffer in hell forever. God is just (Psalm 98:7-8)! “Both soul and body” will be “destroyed” (Matthew 10:28), will die (Ezek 18:4, Rom 1:32, Rev 20:14-15), will be brought to an end (Obadiah 16), after facing God’s justice (Ps 145:17,20). And then even “death will be no more” (Revelation 21:4) and God will be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
SUMMARY OF CONDITIONAL IMMORTALITY
- When human beings die, the whole person dies. Human nature is mortal, not divine.
- God, however, offers to all the gift of immortal life, through Jesus Christ, by resurrection, at His return. We must receive God and His gift by faith-commitment.
- Those who reject God, God will judge and completely destroy.