Tuesday: The Immortality of the Soul

What do the following texts teach us about the “state of the dead”? What great protection can these texts give us against one of “the two great errors”? Eccles. 9:5-6; Eccles. 9:10; Ps. 115:17; Ps. 146:4; 1 Cor. 15:16-18; Dan. 12:2.


Image © Rolf Janssen Goodsalt.com

In recent decades much attention has been given to stories about people who have “died” — in that their hearts have stopped beating and they have stopped breathing — only to be revived and brought back to consciousness. In numerous cases, many of these people have told of incredible experiences of a conscious existence after they had supposedly “died”. Some talked about how they floated in the air and saw, from above, their own bodies below. Others reported floating out of their bodies and meeting a wonderful being filled with light and warmth and who espoused truths about kindness and love. Others recounted meeting and talking to dead relatives.

This phenomenon has become so common that it even has a scientific name, Near Death Experiences (NDEs). Though NDEs remain controversial, many Christians have used them as evidence for the immortality of the soul and the idea that, at death, the soul goes off to another realm of conscious existence.

But NDEs are, of course, another manifestation of one of “the two great errors”. As long as anyone believes that at death the soul goes on living in one form or another, that person is wide open to most occult or spiritualistic deceptions, deceptions that can easily promote the idea, either openly or by implication, that you don’t need Jesus. In fact, most of the people who had NDEs have said that the spiritual beings whom they met, or even their dead relatives, gave them comforting words about love, peace, and goodness but nothing about salvation in Christ, nothing about sin, and nothing about judgment to come — the most basic biblical views. One would think that, while supposedly getting a taste of the Christian afterlife, they should have gotten a taste of the most basic Christian teachings, as well. Yet, often what they’re told sounds much like New Age dogma, which could explain why many of these people come away less inclined toward Christianity than they were before having “died”.

As Christians, why must we stick to the Word of God, even when our senses tell us something different?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons