What happens when we die?

hplantin's picture

What happens when we die?

"Sooner or later all of us must face up to death. Energetic adolescents ignore it, and their middle-aged parents often pursue illusions of perpetual youth. But the elderly and terminally ill know better. Nothing in life is as certain as death. And we all wonder what happens when our friends and loved ones die." So begins John Cooper in a Calvin Seminary Forum article. Cooper goes on to talk about the most common Christian view, that we exist with Christ, apart from the body until the resurrection. Then he discusses some questions and challenges to this view. Do souls survive apart from the body? Is there even such a thing as a metaphysical soul separable from the body or is that just Greek Platonism? What about near-death experiences?

Read on for a fascinating discussion.

What are your thoughts?

noprem's picture

Genesis 2:7

"And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man BECAME a living soul."
KJV He did not HAVE a soul, he WAS a soul. The Hebrew word, transliterated, is "nephesh".

Other bibles are the same; those that don't use "soul" have "being" or "creature". The point is that Adam was created as a body; God breathed life into him ("spirit" equals "breath", not "soul" as many believe); the living Adam was the complete package.
When the breath leaves a living creature it dies- complete. Ps 146:3 "His spirit goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, In that day have his thoughts perished." The Hebrew word for spirit, transliterated, is "ruwach".

For that reason Ec 9:5,10 are relevant, sensible, and truthful:
"For the living know that they die, and the dead know not anything, and there is no more to them a reward, for their remembrance hath been forgotten ... All that thy hand findeth to do, with thy power do, for there is no work, and device, and knowledge, and wisdom in Sheol whither thou art going."

And most of us here understand why we die- we're sinners. Thus Eze 18:4 says correctly
"Lo, all the SOULS are Mine, As the SOUL of the father, So also the SOUL of the son -- they are Mine, The SOUL that is sinning -- it doth die."

Joshua chap. 10 (KJV and others) has the same happening to Israel's opposers in the promised land.

Therefore where we go at death is, simply, into 'the ground of dust'- just like our noted forefather: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return."

These scriptural facts answer also the questions about the resurrection: If we are dead in the ground then the resurrection is meanigful and welcome. If the key part of us- the "immortal soul" is still alive and in or going to heaven, then what need of a physical body? (1 Cor 15:35 et seq.) In all the 1500-some pages of a typical Bible I find no mention of the phrase "immortal soul"; I will appreciate someone citing it for me if I have missed it.