Salvation 2.0: Part 2.5: Immortality

grace5The NT plainly teaches that humans/souls are mortal by nature but may become immortal by the will of God.

(Rom 2:7 ESV) to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;

(1Co 15:54 ESV) When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

In fact, to receive eternal life is to receive the gift of immortality. The damned, therefore, remain mortal.

God alone is by nature immortal —

(Rom 1:23 ESV)  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

(1Ti 6:15-16 ESV)  15 which he will display at the proper time — he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,  16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. 

So we are born mortal, subject to permanent death, but God can give us eternal life, that is, immortality.

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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35 Responses to Salvation 2.0: Part 2.5: Immortality

  1. Richard constant says:

    I would also like you to deal with Genesis chapter 5 verses 22 through 24.
    and Enoch’S relationship to death

  2. Richard constant says:

    Again there seems to be an eternal judgment.
    look upon the Scripture but I think it says where the living and the dead will be raised.
    So you’re going to have to deal with Enoch and where did he go because reconciliation hasn’t happened yet.
    Enoch did sin but sin is not imputed where there is no LAW.
    God is not arbitrary.
    I am still not convinced with dr. moOs interpretation (Translation) of 3:25 B Romans.

  3. Richard constant says:

    By the way good morning J

  4. Richard constant says:

    And the reason f or this is because I still hold in 26 B Romans 3.
    Mind you I hope I do all of this by context.
    there’s no reason to change the subjectIve gender… that’s found in 3:21-22…
    which I consider to be a disclosure of the faithfulness of God which is the topic of the chapter. or the righteousness of God the intrinsic righteousness of God.
    Which is expressed through the faithfulness of the Son [Messiah) and expressed by us, by having the same type (Faith) which would which would make 26 B That GOD would BE the just and the justifier of the one who is the FAITH OF Jesus. Paul still giving glory to the Father through the SON by the Spirit.
    verse 27 then drops right into place.
    There’s no reason to put in faith in Jesus.
    I see other than a predisposition of justification by faith….
    oh well good morning Jay have a nice day something to think about.

  5. Richard constant says:

    From my post at 6:27 this morning.
    If I follow you correctly.
    Enoch is an impossibility.

  6. Richard constant says:

    Just as a note Ch 3 verse 27 falls back on the beginning chapter 3:1-8 and which is predicated by Ch1:16-17 then 27-31 then Paul’s Through the Spirit dovetails seamlessly into chapter 4

    no I think all of mine are first so nobody will get confused today.
    I think that’s a true statement J sorta kinda…
    😉

  7. laymond says:

    “So we are born mortal, subject to permanent death, but God can give us eternal life, that is, immortality.”

    I believe that is the gospel, the good news brought by Jesus , the servant of God. (God alone is by nature immortal )

  8. Richard constant says:

    my post at 6:59 a.m. ..

    26 B should be that” He (FATHER) might be the Just and the Justifier Of the One ( believer) Who is Of The faith Of Jesus.

    I seem to remember reading a Greek interlinear Translation when I was about 25 or 26, that put it that way.

    which means that the only way to have correct faith is to emulate the SON’s Faith, “the author and perfecter of faith”, because of the gospel fulfilled, for purpose of the body of Christ. giving glory to God through that same type of faithfulness which is trusting obedience ( exhibited by the Messiah) being realized and actualized. Through the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-8. because of the gifts that are given through the Spirit in anticipation Of giving glory to God through the body.
    ROM 12:1-2

  9. Richard constant says:

    Also above as a PS
    I should have for obedience Romans 1 verses one through six.
    Also i speaking to the author and perfecter of faith.
    That would be Galatians 3 vs 15 and 16.
    Sorry about that I just don’t get to View a whole lot on the small screen

  10. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Richard C —

    Enoch is puzzling but hardly a major contradiction.

    We know from the Transfiguration that Moses and Elijah were with God prior to the crucifixion. Sins weren’t “rolled forward” (a phrase not found in the Bible) but rather the effect of the crucifixion traveled back in time — easily done because God lives outside of time.

    Therefore, Enoch’s sins were forgiven during his life, just as were the sins forgiven by Jesus during his ministry and before his crucifixion.

  11. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    RC —

    Regarding Enoch, I would speculate that he passed from life in his age directly to the general resurrection, where he was saved at the Last Judgment. In other words, his fate was like the fate of those who will be living when Jesus returns. He did not die, but he was transformed from perishable to imperishable, by God’s grace and Spirit.

  12. Richard constant says:

    You
    don’t really expect me to buy that as an answer do you son I’m sitting here, just finished lunch laughing. come on J you can do better than that.
    makes it pretty tough when you don’t have a paradise to go to doesn’t Jay.
    that reminds me of what I say on a big construction project that I might be working on, I and carry a clipboard look important if anyone ask me anything like what are you doing today rich, I just say I’m wondering around.
    🙂

  13. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Rich C,

    “Paradise” in the Bible has as its root word the word for “garden.” The post-resurrection world is described in Rev 21-22 as having the tree of life from the Garden of Eden, as well as rivers like the Garden of Eden. I think the NT use of “Paradise” refers to the new heavens and new earth.

    Jewish legends taught that Sheol/Hades had a temporary blessed location for the faithful dead — borrowing heavily from Greek teaching. The problem is that there is no need for judgment if we’re already divided between a happy and a sad holding tank pending the Second Coming. I mean, if you’re in the hot place sitting next to Hitler, you pretty much know your eternal fate — and Judgment Day will be no surprise.

    These Jewish legends crept into Christian thought even though they don’t really make good sense — and are quite unnecessary given that God is provably outside of time. For a being existing outside time, there is simply no need for a temporary holding tank called “Paradise” or “Tartarus” to store “souls” pending Judgment Day — and what an odd setting these make for!

    A tract was written 100 years ago called “Where are the dead?” proposed a holding tank theory for the dead — with some support from uninspired Jewish legendary material and Greek mythology. I don’t buy it, even though the tract has been treated as near-scripture since then.

    But I’ll happily still call you “brother” and will not draw lines of fellowship over it. And when we both reach the heavenly gates together without having to wait for thousands of years for the general resurrection and the Second Coming, you’ll see me and laugh, knowing I was right.

    Or I guess we could meet in a pre-heaven waiting room. But that doctrine reminds me too much of my ophthalmologist’s office. I just hope God has new magazines and something on TV other than The View.

  14. Richard constant says:

    hey do you remember Solomon’s Temple.
    There was not a saw or a hammer to be used inside the temple structure everything was pre cut everything had to dovetail.
    And I told you Homer hailey told me one time.
    you don’t cut a little piece of doctrine off here and you don’t hammer on little piece of doctrine there to make your theology workout.
    Jay that’s exactly what you’re doing.
    And when you do that J just like any other building that you put together it’s gotta be plum straight and square.
    Jesus is the cornerstone.
    God is not arbitrary there are no special circumstances even the Son was cursed
    you don’t have a sound foundation to build on. like it or not that’s true and you know it.
    now it might be pretty good J but that’s compared to what

  15. Richard constant says:

    Or Lexus commercials
    I’m not speaking about anything other than specifically before the resurrection J we all know what happens after after after the resurrection that’s simple…
    I don’t agree with Moo on 25 B Romans the third chapter. and I put that up top and the reason why.
    I have questions why is Hades even mentioned why does Jesus say to the thief you will be with me today in paradise.
    those are good questions that I would like to have answered and you should be able to answer them.
    I understand God lives outside of time.
    If I’m not mistaken Peter calls it the nether gloom I don’t know what that means either.
    I’m pretty sure of one thing though that the paradise of God.
    how does Abraham’s bosom in the poor man and the rich man make any sense at all.
    I can understand it as a hyperbole.
    there just seems to me to be too many parts of doctrine at this point in time that you’re cutting off I’d expect you to tell me if I was doing it.
    That’s what brothers are for.
    and what I would be wondering at this point because I don’t have the tools or the ability to study like you do but right now I’m reading some more I’m NT Wright concerning this I think.
    Romans chapter 3 25 B.
    what is Jesus talking about to the thief.
    What does it mean and aCts the second chapter about the 37th verse.
    the answer is there Jay its JeusT rightly dividing it and putting it together as best we can
    hey just cuz I told you that I got a big kick out of that answer which I did I mean I was out eating lunch and people were staring at me.
    I mean jay it doesn’t happen too often that you
    Happen to be at that point of a losS for words.
    I mean J you have to admit that was funny that picture was to me…
    but then J I’ve learned not to take myself very seriously.
    I’ve been wrong too many times so I’ll just throw it out on the wall and see if it sticks..
    And I expect to get shot down,
    we didn’t get here we didn’t get here today by not making mistakes my friend.
    albeit it’s serious fun

  16. Richard constant says:

    Here’s one for you J
    I’m sure that it will be greatly appreciated hahahahaha

    “if the glove don’t fit you can’t convicte.”

    now if that’s not a true statement I’ve never heard one.

  17. Richard constant says:

    okay I’ll stop everybody self-effacing humor has its limits. but not mine J I know I’m living in a cartoon world and my world won’t start until the day I put off of this tabernacle

  18. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Rich C,

    I’m busy watching the eclipse and away from my resources.

    Hades in NT means what Sheol means in OT. There is no exact Greek or Hebrew equivalent.

    In English Sheol means either the grave or the realm of the dead. Normally it is neither just the good or just the bad.

    In parable of Lazarus and the rich man the rich man is in Hades, but in torment. That is he is dead and in torment. Where he is otherwise is just not said.

    According to the highly speculative tract Where Are the Dead? Hades is a waiting room or two but this is not the meaning of Sheol in the OT. Rather this is a concept taken from a blend of Jewish and Greek legends.

  19. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Rich C,

    Regarding the thief being with Jesus in Paradise, there is no direct definition of Paradise in scripture. The word refers to a garden.

    I think it’s an allusion to the new heaven and new earth as Eden renewed. If so Jesus is promising the thief that he’ll go to the general resurrection immediately by bypassing time — which I think is true of all of us who are saved.

  20. Richard constant says:

    Transfiguration Moses and Elijah being with God…
    you might want to rethink that with you that one just doesn’t work
    And I can give you a lot of reasons for that…
    give me that blatantly not right.
    I don’t know who we are you know the wE that you say that Know

  21. Richard constant says:

    Thanks J any more information you can throw out that would be cool.
    How come up with something good..
    maybe you’ll get a laugh or two out of that one.
    somebody told me the next one’s (solar eclipse) going to be in about 18 years or something and I said well that’s going to be post rich
    🙂 yeah I turn 68 about to October 28th so I’m a little older than you kid

  22. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    RIch C,

    Do you mean Rom 3:26?

    26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ro 3:26.

    I ask because I’m not finding where you comment particularly on Moo’s translation of 3:25. I’m not sure where you comment on 3:26 unless you’re referring to your comment of 6:59 am today. You say nothing about Moo’s take in that comment, however.

    Moo is a Calvinist, and does not follow Wright at all.

    Personally, as suggested by the NET Bible translator notes, I think “just” should be translated “righteous” because for the entire chapter the subject has been righteousness — and it’s the same word.

    You may prefer the NET Bible translation —

    3:26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.

    Or I think I prefer

    3:26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be [righteous] and the [one who declares righteous] the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.

    Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible, (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Ro 3:26.

    That is, the problem is how to be both just and to forgive. The problem is how God can be true to his covenant promises now that the Jews have rebelled and so are in Exile and the Gentiles aren’t part of the covenant community.

    The solution to both: salvation by faith! Why does that work? Because of the faithfulness of Jesus — which is also the faithfulness/righteousness of God himself. God honors his promise to Abraham by forgiving those with faith/faithfulness by the power of the cross. The Messiah accomplished what Israel could not. He carried the sins of the nations. He submitted to the powers and principalities and let them kill him. He became a light to the nations. And he was resurrected by God, demonstrating that God is God over all, the Most High God, greater than the power of death and the Roman and Greek gods, and that true power is found in submission and suffering.

  23. Richard constant says:

    J go over to John Mark HICks Site.
    Read suffering and meaning of the Christ Event. 1st Peter 4 :1 through 6
    pop over there real fast. Read That
    call him up on the phone and put him on the spot I know he’s a good dancer but you are to be able to nail the shoes of his down…
    I mean haven’t you ever watch TMZ.
    And the guy comes on at the end and says what.
    I’m A Lawyer.
    go get him Jay you can do it…

  24. Richard constant says:

    Hey Jay I’m going to read your last post tonight and I’ll reply to that tomorrow morning I’m I’m getting a little bit tired but I’ve been up since about 3:30 in the morning and I’m getting tired it’s so and when I get tired I don’t want to think because it won’t do any good and I got nothing good going on in my head is just tired I mean that’s just what is big kid okay let’s see yeah I just looked at the clock it’s 8 o’clock I hope you don’t mind J this the first time that we really got into it and it’s really really really cool but read. I read that on John Mark that has to do with what we’ve been talking about sorta kinda

  25. Richard constant says:

    Well I can’t stand to have that done to me so I’m going to finish what moo said was in 25 B. now I’m going to paraphrase.
    That’s Romans 3 that he passed over the this was to show God’s righteousness because in his divine forbearance he passed over the sins previously committed
    I should have known it was one of those flat world in Calvinist
    😉

  26. Richard constant says:

    and where you’re translating 26 B that hE at this present time he might be the just and the justifier of the one who is Of the faith of Jesus…
    this is the one that I prefer which is the literal translation for a transliteration

    and above I put all the reasons why

  27. Richard constant says:

    the post time for that was 659 and 737
    also 11:54 and 11:45 if you put all those together might say something god help me he laughing said to himself…

  28. buckeyechuck says:

    Jay, I’ve been a silent follower through this series, because I’m trying to soak it in and stretch my mind which isn’t an easy thing to do. I believe I can grasp the abstract concept that God’s view of life, death and eternity isn’t anything like what we have tried to “figure out.” I can see the concept that Noah will have spent no more “time” in death than those who remain alive at the final coming of Jesus at the end of this age. What I hear you saying is that at everyone’s death, they (kind of like in Monopoly) pass directly to “Go” and arrive at judgment simultaneously together with everyone else who ever lived in history. Thus, outside the “time” continuum. Therefore, the idea of a “place” called Paradise or Torment where the dead congregate waiting the final judgment would have had no bearing in Scripture.

    My struggle with this concept, other than it is different than the teaching of the church for millennia is that because Jesus’ Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus has been used to build that belief. I understand that it isn’t a literal description of “where” the Rich Man and Lazarus were located. But why would Jesus use such an illustration built on a false concept? Also the thief on the Cross that was told by Jesus who answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” If there is no Paradise, where was Jesus taking the thief on the cross? Did they jump outside the continuum of time and pass directly to the judgment? Luke 23:43. Can we find Scripture that equate Paradise with Heaven?

    Other references to Jesus “standing at the right hand of God” is used at the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7:55. Was Jesus looking back from the future (time)? It’s surely easy for me to see why scholars throughout time have believed in an intermediary spiritual “place” where the dead remain for judgment.

    Now the permanence of “eternal death” that never ends (traditional Hellfire) and “eternal life” that never ends (Heaven) is a different item. I’m trying to keep my mind wrapped around multiple topics under discussion here because I do see them as independent from one another. My feeble mind is struggling. Also, the beginning of life with the soul, the spirit and the body is confusing, but I’m still listening. I’m not convinced that anyone’s “existence” can be anything other than eternal from before birth. Psalm 139:13 says that “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Was that only David that this would be true? Or, is it not even descriptive of reality and simply poetry? If this is not human life, what type of life would it be? I find it very hard to grasp that human life and the soul and spirit are only present at or even after birth. This also causes significant me significant doubt regarding the annihilationist theory that the spirit ceases to exist for the damned after judgment.

    Still listening.

  29. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Buckeye Chuck asked,

    If there is no Paradise, where was Jesus taking the thief on the cross?

    Never said that there is no such place. Rather, “Paradise” refers, I believe, to the new heavens and new earth of Rev 21-22 and Isa 65-66.

    Here are the key “Paradise” verses —

    (Luke 23:43 ESV) And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

    (2 Cor 12:3 ESV) And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—

    (Rev 2:7 ESV) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

    In all three, “Paradise” is the same Greek word. It’s where saved people go when they die. It’s where Jesus is. And it’s where the tree of life is found.

    The root of the word means “garden,” and so it suggests a return to Eden.

    All of these point to the new heavens and earth following the general resurrection. The time problems are nicely solved by recognizing God is outside of our time — as time is part of the fabric of the creation — provably by the general theory of relativity and the many proofs thereof. But many Christian scholars reached this conclusion long before Einstein.

    I should add —

    (Rev 22:2 ESV) through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    (Rev 22:14 ESV) Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.

    The tree of life exists in paradise and in the new heavens and new earth.

    QED

    It could be argued that the Tree of Life is in the New Jerusalem — which is heaven, which is where Paul met the resurrected Jesus. If so, it all fits together rather nicely.

    Now, that interpretation might have the thief on the cross in the NJ before the general resurrection or passing beyond time directly to the NJ while merged with the earth. Either is possible.

    The NT is not consistent about the fate of the dead between now the general resurrection. Sometimes the dead are said to sleep. It is hinted that the dead may be in heaven, in the New Jerusalem, awaiting the general resurrection. But the GR picture the saved coming out of their graves –which is quite different from descending to earth in the NJ.

    I think the NT indulges both images because there is truth in both that is not easily conveyed in a single metaphor. I mean, to the living, the dead seem to sleep. But the living want to think of the dead as already judged, saved, and with God. Which is true — but perhaps true only because of the outside-time thing.

    In reality, the resurrection passages speak of the dead coming out their graves — as though they’d been asleep — but we know that their bodies will have long ago disintegrated and disappeared. And the image is powerful and true in that God will give the dead in Christ transformed bodies to join him in the new heavens and new earth.

    I mean, consider —

    (1 Cor 15:50–52 ESV) 50 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

    (1 Th 4:15-16 ESV) 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

    These passages plainly say the dead will rise from their graves — not descend from heaven. Dan 12 concurs. So what do we do with these passages — which are entirely orthodox. I mean, we read them in funerals every day — but we don’t notice that they tell a different story from the idea of a heavenly waiting room pending the Second Coming. You really can’t insist on both.

    I can plausibly interpret the ‘waiting room’ passages to refer to the “skip to Judgment Day” scenarios. I can’t make the rising from the grave passages fit with a waiting room interpretation.

  30. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Buckeye Chuck asked,

    Other references to Jesus “standing at the right hand of God” is used at the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7:55.

    More importantly (to me), Paul met Jesus in Paradise. But who says the dead in Christ must travel the same path as the resurrected Jesus? Jesus ascended to heaven — bodily — to be with God pending the Second Coming. That doesn’t mean that the dead in Christ do the same. Their resurrection comes much later.

  31. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Buckeye Chuck asked,

    I’m not convinced that anyone’s “existence” can be anything other than eternal from before birth. Psalm 139:13 says that “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Was that only David that this would be true? Or, is it not even descriptive of reality and simply poetry? If this is not human life, what type of life would it be? I find it very hard to grasp that human life and the soul and spirit are only present at or even after birth.

    I see nothing in the Psalm you quoted that suggests God makes us into eternal beings in the womb. Only that he makes us.

    I’ve not said that we aren’t human in the womb. I said we are souls whenever we become human. There is biblical support for the notion that life begins with our first breath. Doesn’t mean it’s so. Means there’s an argument for it — and we should respect that fact. (We must not treat those who disagree with us on biblical grounds as foolish or bad. In fact, Gen refers to Adam and Eve becoming “souls” when God gave them “breath” or “spirit” —

    (Gen 2:7 ESV) then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath [or spirit] of life, and the man became a living creature [soul].

    THose who argue that this applies to birth are not idiots. The verse says what it says. What it doesn’t say is that man’s body was of no importance to God prior to becoming a “soul” or “person” — that is, alive.

    More importantly, if we eliminate the notion of possessing an immortal soul, then Gen 2:7 no longer means that the person gains an immortal soul and becomes human. Rather, the verse simply says that Adam was not alive. God breathed breath/spirit into him, and then he was alive (a soul).

    That is not necessarily analogous to birth, as a pile of dust formed into a man who is not breathing is unambiguously dead. Not just not a “soul” but not alive at all. Whereas birth is a very different process, and the first human plainly was not formed by the same process as later humans.

    Thus, while Gen 2:7 says what it says, and I respect the argument, I think the argument is wrong due to having false assumptions about what is a “soul” in Jewish/Christian thought.

    When you work your way through it all, I think the anti-abortion argument is stronger as the “immortal soul” concept works to favor the pro-abortion side.

    I then argued that even without breath ( =spirit), the scriptures place value of the body, both pre-birth and post-death. Indeed, the incarnation and the resurrection as a bodily resurrection demonstrate the value God places on the human body.

    All the traditional anti-abortion verses remain on the books. The argument that cannot be legitimately made is that humans are given a “soul” by God when they are conceived or when they are born or anytime at all, because humans are souls, they don’t possess souls.

    Humans are not innately immortal before or after birth — but humans are of immense value to God before and after birth.

    The idea that it’s only wrong to abort a fetus if the fetus has a soul is simply wrong. It’s arguing about the wrong thing. The Bible doesn’t address when humans receive souls because they ARE souls, they don’t receive souls.

    Rather, what matters is when do we become of value of God? And the traditional verses that speak of God’s interest in us pre-birth speak much more powerfully if the “soul” language is gone and we just talk about what God does and doesn’t value.

  32. buckeyechuck says:

    Jay, I can never out debate you. Your debate skills, being an attorney, are top notch and far exceed my skills. But, I’m not trying out out debate you. I am thankful that you have provided such a valuable place for many to learn new truths. I’m trying to learn and grasp some new concepts and I would like to think that I represent the thoughts of others who are coming from where I am on these issues. I do appreciate your patience with me and my comments.

    I do see some discrepancies and conclusions I question. I’m not an accomplished Bible scholar. I’m more of just a regular guy trying to figure it all out. And I’m still listening.

    Unquestionably there are multiple texts that speak of the new heaven and the new earth as you have correctly pointed out. But, what doesn’t seem clear to me is that it MUST be THIS earth. It seems to me just as reasonable to think that it may refer to a symbolic new heaven and new earth. I recognize the possibility that this earth could also become the new earth if that is God’s plan. I also don’t question the meaning of the words that refer to the Garden. But, couldn’t the Garden refer to the restoration to God’s perfection as the Garden was, but not necessarily THE Garden physically located somewhere in Mesopotamia?

    I’ve been through course work from the Sunset School of Preaching written by Jim McGuiggan, Richard Rogers and others. It was written in the 1970s but that doesn’t invalidate it. Their interpretation of the apocalyptic language in Daniel and Revelation lead to a conclusion where from chapter 4 through 22, it speaks primarily of the end of the Roman Empire AND the glorification of the church on this present earth (some extremely brief summarization there). This message was critical for the 1st Century church to encourage them that they would not only endure severe times and trials at the hands of the Roman Caesars, but would rule even though these events which were the end of their civilization as they knew it was about to occur.

    You said that we need to feel that we are home now. That does seem somewhat in agreement with the idea that the church IS the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven because the church is simply that glorious in God’s view. As you read Rev 21, it certainly does describe God’s view of the church. We are now a part of this church. It has been glorified now, but will be even more glorified at the final coming of Jesus. From that perspective, it’s an easy conclusion that the new earth and the new Jerusalem are symbolic of the glorious church, present and future.

    There are many who are convinced in the Pre-millenial doctrines where Jesus will reign on the earth from David’s throne in Jerusalem for 1,000 years before the final judgment. Even our national foreign policy has been shaped from this view regarding Israel. We have to be on their side because when Armageddon occurs, we must be on the right side in that event. I find this belief to be completely incorrect and not from Scripture. Rather, this teaching makes an incorrect literal interpretation of figurative and symbolic language in Revelation.

    The term itself “end of the world” can simply mean the end of the world as we know it. It seems that was the case in Rev. 7:14 regarding those who had come out of the great tribulation.

    Scripture speaks of fire burning the earth. 2 Peter 3:10 says, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”

    This language seems just as plausible to to be literal to me as the new earth being a restored and resurrected physical earth, the 3rd rock from our Sun. Yet, it is possible that God could restore it even after it’s burning destruction, much like occurred with the earth after the Flood. I do want to be in that Holy City wherever it might be located. I also believe we can have different understandings of how it is and still all be residents. It seems reasonable to me that we will have a resurrected body that we can’t comprehend and NT writers’ description can’t do it justice. It also seems reasonable that the new heaven, the new earth and the New Jerusalem could be much the same.

  33. Larry Cheek says:

    Jay,
    So this human is a soul, all humans are a soul, the body and the soul is together forever, you know like immortal. These body and souls sometimes are obedient to God and sometimes are not. The soul is not separated from the body by any action that the body performs. Sin by a human does not separate the human and his soul.
    The communication here is not paying attention to the message in creation and thereafter.
    Translations differ somewhat on what man was identified as after God breathed life into him. Some use the term, “became a living soul” others, “became a living creature”. Well scriptures all down through time repeatedly identify man as having a soul or being a soul. I do not remember many references later in scripture referring to man as just a living creature. Living creature is a common expression referring to the creation other than man which are not souls.
    Now for the problem I see, God had warned man of death if he disobeyed. Man did disobey. We then see a record of him being removed from the presence of the Tree of Life, with an explanation that if he then ate of that tree he would live forever. Therefore, man cannot live forever, he will die. This is the physical death of humans. If this was what God had reference to while giving man instructions about eating from the tree, and this is the only death recorded in early scripture, how can we be commanded to be born again when we have not experienced death. The body of this human who has died could not perform a repentance and have faith in God to be restored to a living soul. Oh but did the soul die at the death of the body? If it did not die as the body died would it not be immortal? Or if the death of the body does not cause the soul to die what can. Don’t we read that all souls of dead bodies will be reunited with their bodies to stand in judgement? The soul won’t be there without the body and the body will not be in the judgement without the soul. The soul can live without the body but the body will never live without the soul.
    This is the only verse in ESV that contain these two words.
    Eph 2:1 ESV And you were (dead) in the trespasses and (sins)

    But, the Gospel Message is offering again immortal life to a soul (which is also a body) to mankind who is (dead in sins). The soul is not dead and neither is the body, otherwise the body could not obey the message of the Gospel.

    There is something which has been left out of this discussion. Jesus identifies it.
    Joh 3:3-8 ESV Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (4) Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (5) Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (8) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    No one can be reborn of a physical birth. If the Spirit in a man had not died the term born again would not be applicable. If a man’s first encounter with the Spirit was while obeying the Gospel then this would be the first birth not a replacement birth (something had to exist to be redone).
    When did a human first acquire the Spirit? Is it recorded? Did Adam and Eve have this Spirit prior to their sin? If they did not have it will they need it for their place in the the Kingdom. Christ plainly stated the Spirit is a requirement.
    Humans at birth and until they disobey God’s instructions are not accountable, but at the point of sin they die (their Spirit that is) and without that they cannot enter the Kingdom. Thus the need to be born again.

  34. John F says:

    Ex 21:22-25 “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. NKJV
    Ex 21:22-25

    22 “If men fight and hit a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, but there is no serious injury, he will surely be punished in accordance with what the woman’s husband demands of him, and he will pay what the court decides. 23 But if there is serious injury, then you will give a life for a life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
    (from The NET Bible®, Copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C., Dallas, Texas, http://www.bible.org. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
    \Exodus 21:18-32

    Verse 22-25. If men strove and thrust against a woman with child, who had come near or between them for the purpose of making peace, so that her children come out (come into the world), and no injury was done either to the woman or the child that was born,

    (Note: The words y­laadeyhaa w­yaats­°uw are rendered by the LXX kai’ exe’lthee to’ paidi’on autee’s mee’ exeikonisme’non and the corresponding clause yih­yeh°aacown w­°im by
    ea’n de’ exeikonisme’non ee’ ; consequently the translators have understood the words as meaning that the fruit, the premature birth of which was caused by the blow, if not yet developed into a human form, was not to be regarded as in any sense a human being, so that the giver of the blow was only required to pay a pecuniary compensation-as Philo expresses it, “on account of the injury done to the woman, and because he prevented nature, which forms and shapes a man into the most beautiful being, from bringing him forth alive.” But the arbitrary character of this explanation is apparent at once; for yeled only denotes a child, as a fully developed human being, and not the fruit of the womb before it has assumed a human form.

    In a manner no less arbitrary °aacown has been rendered by Onkelos and the Rabbins
    mowtaa°, death, and the clause is made to refer to the death of the mother alone, in opposition to the penal sentence in vv. 23, 24, which not only demands life for life, but eye for eye, etc., and therefore presupposes not death alone, but injury done to particular members. The omission of
    laah, also, apparently renders it impracticable to refer the words to injury done to the woman alone.) a pecuniary compensation was to be paid, such as the husband of the woman laid upon him, and he was to give it bip­liliym by (by an appeal to) arbitrators. A fine is imposed, because even if no injury had been done to the woman and the fruit of her womb, such a blow might have endangered life. (For yaatsaa° to go out of the womb, see Gen 25:25-26.) The plural
    y­laadeyhaa is employed for the purpose of speaking indefinitely, because there might possibly be more than one child in the womb. “But if injury occur (to the mother or the child), thou shalt give soul for soul, eye for eye,…wound for wound:” thus perfect retribution was to be made.
    (from Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)

    The passage above seems to give credence to the value of life before birth. When does God imbue the body with a spiritual nature? Are any of us wise enough to know? Does “breath of life” have to be an oxygen/co2 mix or is the oxygen given thru the mother sufficient to qualify as breath of life? — It certainly would seem to be from the unborn child’s viewpoint.

  35. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    John F,

    Sorry that your Hebrew fonts didn’t translate well to the Internet. I have the same problem sometimes.

    If I have time and energy, I’ll try to post a post or two on abortion in light of what I’m trying to explain regarding souls and spirits. The result, to me, is that the case against abortion actually becomes stronger, but I only managed to figure that out by answering questions here. Thanks to everyone for pushing me to answer hard questions.

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