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?

beemanlee's picture

RE: "immortal soul"

Brother Doug,

From reading you first two paragraphs, I believe you do have The Hebrew Understanding concerning Biblical Precepts and Concepts of The soul of G-d's Created Creature after Adam's Seed.

However, "the immortal soul" is more of a Greek idea and word usage for the soul and body of mankind, which has it's roots in Plato's Dualism, The Platonism of the soul and mind is not found within The Hebrew understanding of G-d's Word. Secondly; It is not Jewish! When we Seek out The Scriptures for The Truth, we will always find what we are looking for! Platonism will not be found written in The Hebrew Bible or The LXX.

Our Understanding of Biblical Hebrew is very important to have in our study of G-d's Word, The Bible. With out this Hebrew Understanding, our knowledge is then lacking and we miss The Hebrew Concept of where our physical life comes from and where it is taken at physical death. This can also be applied to our Spiritual soul, which also comes from G-d and is changed because we have received G-d's Grace and now Seek G-d's Ways in life and in death.

Understanding The Hebrew meaning, does help us see and know what is the truthful ideas and biblical concepts found within G-d's Word. As G-d Speaks to our heart, He will apply His Grace which then enables our inner man, our soul to turn our heart from rebelling from G-d to Seeking Him and repenting of our sin. G-d in turn then gives us more Grace and we are then able to completely Trust G-d for our Salvation from our sin and we turn from our rebellion.

Now about The Breath of G-d, The Ruach HaKodesh of G-d or G-d Breathed, this is that part of us which comes directly from G-d and it is part of our soul after repentance and turning unto G-d's Ways of living in life. G-d then gives Spiritual life to our physical body and living soul, which is taken from the dust of The Earth and formed into G-d's image within our mothers womb. G-d then gives life to His Created Creatures by breathing into their nostrils The Breath of Life.

Our physical life is G-d Breathed. G-d is Spiritual and Eternal and He gives Physical Life to our bodies "eternal soul". To you, this point may be contended with differently, but that may yet be resolved.

The problem with most Christian Teaching is it has mixed Greek dualism and the Hebrew Orthodox Understanding together. We must renounce The Greek and follow what is found in G-d's Original Word.

Hebrew understanding points out that G-d is The Giver and The Taker of our physical life and Spiritual soul. All life belongs to Him and is not ours. We were Created for His purpose alone and that is to Worship G-d in Spirit and in Truth.

You also point out that Adam as being nephesh, another Hebrew understanding about His Created Creature, mankind, a living soul.

Now about your last question;

The Scripture teaches us that the soul of man can "be away from the body and present with The L-rd", from 2 Corinthians 5:8, from The King James Bible,

V8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with The L-rd.

This verse is pointing to a "no lapse" between the death of a Believer in The Christ and being in The Personal Presence of Yeshua/Jesus in Heaven. In fact this whole Chapter 5, is about Reconciliation and Assurance of The Resurrection with G-d.

Your verse from Ecclesiastes 9:5,10 is not about The G-dly, but it is about the evil and the madness that is in the heart of mankind, they are dead.

But when the Hope of the living is focused on G-d, "meaningfulness and fulfillment" are found in a life lived in Faithfulness and Integrity towards G-d and others.

Is this not also what Yeshua/Jesus pointed out in His Teachings: To love G-d and Love your Neighbor as you also love yourself, Yeshua's answer; The Shema and The Greatest Commandments, from Mark 12:29-31, The NAS Bible,

V29 "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The L-rd our G-d is One L-rd;
V30 and you shall love The L-rd your G-d with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
V31 "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

Paul from Acts 23:6-8, point to this same understanding of The Resurrection.

From Romans 8:38-39, The New American Standard Bible,

V38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

V39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of G-d, which is in Christ Jesus our L-rd.

So not even death can separate us from Messiah/Christ!

Oh death where is thy victory? Oh Grave! where is thy sting?

Something to think about.