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Immortality of the Soul

Does the Bible teach Immortality of the Soul?

More often than not when we hear people discussing death and the afterlife most are convinced that when we die we go to heaven or hell. I wonder if anyone has considered what our function would be once we arrive in heaven. Will we sit on a cloud and play the harp? Will we worship God all day? Will we build new houses in heaven? If we took a closer look at the scriptures we may actually find the answer to our questions.

immortality of the soul

If you have a bible please turn to John 11 verses 1 – 44. You will note that Jesus resurrected Lazarus after he had been dead for 4 days ( verse 39). The bible writer John did not record any after-life experience in heaven as Lazarus did not declare to anyone that he had been in heaven. Surely if Lazarus had been in heaven he would have been eager to share his experience with his friends and family? Also consider this, why would Jesus have brought Lazarus back from heaven if he was enjoying all the facilities heaven has to offer? Surely that would have been a selfish act on the part of Jesus if he took his friend away from a life of heavenly bliss?

According to the scriptures the vast majority of humans will be resurrected on earth. John 5 verse 28-29 ‘’ Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice’’, and come out–those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.’’ There is no mention here of heaven or hell. The dead are simply in their graves ( memorial tombs) and they will hear his voice and come out. Can it not get any more clearer than this?


I was tempted to make that caption: DEATH IS LIKE SLEEP, but that would be Scripturally inaccurate, as nowhere do the Scriptures state that death is “like” sleep, but rather that death IS SLEEP. God prepared Moses for death with the following:

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, you shall sleep [Heb: shakab—to lie down, to rest, to sleep, to decease] with your fathers…” (Deut. 31:16).

David said:

“Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death (Psalm 13:3).

When Lazarus was dead (John 11:14), Jesus said:

“Our friend Lazarus sleeps: but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep”(John 11:11).

immortality of the soul

The Hebrew Scriptures state plainly that, rather than possess immortality, the soul can and does die. “The soul [ nephesh ] who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, Ezekiel 18:20).

The Old Testament describes the dead as going to sheol, translated into English as “hell,” “pit” or “grave.” Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 describes sheol as a place of unconsciousness: “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished …”

The most powerful words come from Jesus Himself: “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:40).

In conclusion we know that right from the very beginning of creation and after man sinned against God, Adam was told that he would go back to the ground from where he came. By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3 v 19

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