• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Featured Are we created eternal?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Johnny4ChristJesus, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

    +816
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Does the Orthodox Church believe that the soul is created eternal or that one becomes eternal when the spirit is added?

    Does the Orthodox Church believe in the Lake of Fire or do they think that is representative of God forcing Himself on those who don't want Him? I wasn't sure how to interpret that part of what you shared.

    Thank you for sharing.
     
  2. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

    +816
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Love the verses, disagree with the conclusion.
     
  3. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

    +816
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    But, what if we never got the death gene? What if death meant that humans who don't come to Christ have the same "death sentence" as satan--who also is an eternal being?

    I understand the unique way you described God's hand in directly creating Adam and Eve. But doesn't God tell Jeremiah "before I formed you in your mother's womb, I knew you"? A sentiment echoed by the psalmist in #139.
     
  4. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

    +2,479
    United States
    Melkite Catholic
    Private
    US-Others
    We were never created as eternal beings.

    The very word "eternal" means "outside of time"--itself a creation--and that is a quality only of God Himself.
     
  5. Invalidusername

    Invalidusername Well-Known Member

    +575
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    US-Republican
    Yes.
     
  6. Bladerunner

    Bladerunner Member Supporter

    241
    +37
    United States
    Christian
    Married

    We are created beings that have a mortal Body (container) and a eternal Soul. This can best be explained as a SD memory card. The card is the container and the memory is within it. Yet, the memory is without bounds as the container is. If you weight the SD (empty of files) and then weight the SD card (Full of Files), they would be identical. The files like your soul are not part of the container.

    The Rich Man and Lazarus is a true story that Jesus told us. It is NOT a parable as parables never have proper names in them.

    There are two places your souls will go when you die. Heaven or Hell with the Rich man. Lazarus was in Abram's(Abraham's) Bosom. Later the name is changed to Paradise by Jesus. (i.e. Jesus Promises the thief on the cross that He will be with Him today in Paradise.)

    The Rich Man is in Hell awaiting the Great Throne Judgement. Notice that He is conscious, had all his senses (i.e. hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, thinking, speaking, etc). So it will be in the Lake of Fire which will be the final destination for those that are not found in the book of life,.

    From Old Testament times, those who died, and had lived a good life trying to follow the law as given them by GOD, went to paradise.

    WHile this was the Grace of GOD that allowed them to go there, it is not the same as the Grace of Jesus we have open to all today.

    When Jesus died, His soul also went to Abram's bosom where he preached to those on the other side of the gulf (hell) for three days.

    When He left, He removed all the captives in Abraham's Bosom (paradise) and carried them to heaven. There they are in paradise and await their Bodies to be resurrected.

    Their Soul and resurrected Body will then be translated into immortal bodies, the same as Jesus has. (1 Jo 3:2..
    "Dear friends, we are already God's children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.")

    Heaven or Hell. It is a choice one has to make before they die. If they do not make that choice before they die. if they are of knowing age, their eternal resting place will be the Lake of FIre (hell) and If they are younger than the Knowing age, well they will have eternal life.

    See my signature: The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4) will allow you to live an eternity in Heaven with Jesus Christ.

    What is your choice. You only got to your death to make that choice. How sure are you, that you will not die within the next 24 hours or less? Don't put this off, your should know where your soul will be going.

    Blade
     
  7. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

    +4,757
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    God is eternal and all knowing... Him knowing somebody before they were born doesn't mean they held conversations, it can simply mean He exists outside of time and can know somebody before they ever became a person because time is of no effect... He sees the end from the beginning.

    Personally, I don't believe in spiritual death. I think Adam was supposed to live forever and that when he sinned, entropy begin to kick in... he began to decay, he could get disease, die. The idea though that he was spiritually dead doesn't resonate with me because God made covenants with people after that, called them His people, even David, "the apple of mine eye" God said of Him. :) And David wrote begging God not to remove His holy Spirit from him... something we think is a NT only thing. So... I just see some things different brother.

    Blessings.
     
  8. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

    +1,341
    Christian
    Private
    Using John 3:16 as our guide only true belief results in eternal life.
     
  9. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

    +816
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    I agree with you that the rich man was in Hades (Sheol), not Gehenna, Lake of Fire. My point was that after physical death, even unbelievers don't appear to be "dead," they still retain a conscious awareness according to the story. They can still feel discomfort, according to the story.

    Jesus said with regards to the goats: "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matt 25:41)

    Jesus said: "4I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after you have been killed, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!" (Luke 12:4-5) AND

    "27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:27-28)

    If satan is also an eternal being and satan is tormented day and night for ever and ever, is it not also possible that is the "2nd death" state for everything else that is thrown in there. If destroy simply means destruction AND if the rich man was miserable in Hades, wouldn't it be a rescue for those who chose to be enemies of God, if they were simply destroyed? Yet, the Bible considers the lake of fire (second death) to be tormenting day and night for the devil, according to Rev 20:10. If it was simply for complete and utter annihilation, how does satan not get destroyed? And, why would whatever consciousness we have cease to exist if satan's doesn't?

    Sorry, my focus really wasn't on this part of the topic. I am really focused on whether there is some conscious form that all retain beyond physical death that was created to never die. My purpose is to better understand God's rescue mission; but what happens with the unrescued during the process is very important to that understanding for me.
     
  10. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

    +816
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    With regard to your first paragraph, I agree. The only point I was making was that God creates the person within the body, even if the outer flesh shell is just hand-me-down and not originally created, like He did with Adam and Eve. I probably wouldn't have contemplated that, if you had not said what you said. So thank you!

    With regard to your second point: This is what I'm trying to get to the bottom of. I feel a really strong pull to gain understanding in this area. The rescue mission takes on a much different understanding for me, if we are created to be eternal in essence and therefore none will truly cease to exist. Could it be that our soul is eternal (lives beyond death, not built to ever cease to exist). Maybe we were only born a two-part person (body and soul) and when we are born again, we become a three-part person?
     
  11. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

    +816
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    I agree. I am not trying to undermine Scripture, I am trying to get a better understanding of God's rescue operation.

    Yes, in John 3:16 promises true believers eternal life. Jesus defined eternal life in John 17:3: "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent." Paul appears to confirm this in 1 Cor 13:12: "For now we see through a glass, dimly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then I shall know even as also I am known."

    But, the fact remains that Jesus told the story of the rich man in Hades, which suggests that is something that is conscious after death--even for those who are not born again. That something can be cast into the same lake of fire as satan, the beast, the false prophet, the devil's angels, death and hades--which seems to be a "hotel California" for everything--you can enter, but can't leave.

    Jesus also pitted the eternal life of the sheep against the eternal punishment of the goats in Matthew 25:34, 41,46. Those whose names weren't written in the Lamb's Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire which is the second death where at least satan will be tormented forever and ever (or ages of ages). Is this where Romans 5 comes in?
     
  12. Invalidusername

    Invalidusername Well-Known Member

    +575
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    US-Republican
    Johnny hell is called the 2nd death because there is nothing in hell that is life. It's all torment, sin, evil, and destruction.

    Death is not referring to being "unconscious" or "nothingness". It is referring to destruction of the soul via eternal torment.

    Now you understand why the cross was so important and why Jesus died so we wouldn't have to suffer.
     
  13. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

    +816
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    The information you took the time to share is certainly useful. Thank you. I don't agree many of your conclusions. It seems you have a theology that is constraining your conclusions and thus forcing you to change the meaning of Scriptures to fit your theology instead of constraining your theology within the Scriptures.
     
  14. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

    +816
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    That is what I have believed and taught. But, what I have been trying to examine is whether we never lost our eternal essence. It brings the rescue mission into better focus for me.
     
  15. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

    +4,757
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    We're in agreement (not that we have to be) but I am not sure I like, "hand me down." In Genesis it said of Adam and Eve, "the two shall become one." We have always taken that to mean, "the two unique persons are now one life together." And, as husband and wife, that is probably true. But perhaps there is a secondary meaning to the line, God does do that sometimes! :) And that meaning would be our children. Have you ever looked at a child and saw the dad, plain as day? But then somebody else looks at the same child and sees mom plain as day. The two became one... a little bit of each combined to make a single person.

    If that perspective has any truth to it... then it isn't a hand me down shell but a creation of the husband and wife together. Besides, that "shell" has unique DNA which means it can't be a hand-me-down anyway. :)

    I personally don't go there. If you read, what is it, Genesis 2:7? it states that God took the body, breathed into it and "then it became a living soul." When reading the Hebrew (which I can do) there is no question that the soul is what one "becomes" when the body and breath/life come together. If you read the Greek (which I don't do) we end up with 3 distinct parts that seem to have been around a while. I have had Greek and Hebrew scholars show me that the Greek was trying to reveal the Hebraic thought and that it really isn't "three" like the English would suggest when we read it... but I don't know the Greek well enough to try to explain it. Bottom line is God took the Adam's body, breathed into it the breath of life and then it "became" a living soul or in Hebrew, nefesh.

    >> Regarding spiritual or physical death. God is a God of life and when He completed His work He called it all "good." Decay, disease and death are not only not good, they are not part of the original plan, they are the result of sin as the wages of sin is death.

    Beyond what I said about God being in covenant with people before messiah as being proof it isn't a spiritual death, we also have all of creation as an example. You see, Adam was given dominion over creation and when he fell it wasn't just him that was cursed, all of his dominion was cursed. That is why, in Romans 8:22 I believe, it says that "all of creation groans as it awaits its redemption." Creation, i.e. the universe, didn't do anything to deserve death but because it was Adam's domain, it received it. But not a spiritual death... a physical one and we can prove it in science. Entropy, the 2nd law of thermodynamics says that everything in the universe is slowly dying. Not a spiritual death, a physical one and we can see it and test it and thus prove it.

    So, messiah comes and reverses the curse of sin and death and when he returns he will apply what he earned the right to apply. He defeated death, it has lost it's sting because we now have the promise of a resurrection, but we still die. Once he returns, death will be no more... therefore and again, this is all dealing with a physical death, not a spiritual one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  16. dqhall

    dqhall Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,322
    Christian
    Single
    I think the boy who was "thrown" into the fire probably had epilepsy as I have seen someone go into a seizure before. People blamed neurological disorders on demons. Saying, "Jesus cast the demon out of him." is the same as saying, "God healed him."

    As for eternity. I was born of the flesh. My grandparents died. Their parents before them died. I cannot think my flesh is imperishable.

    Jesus taught, "Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Matthew 6:24 (ASV)

    If someone is serving God and Christ, the person will be saved. If someone helps a servant of God, that person will be remembered favorably by God. Sometimes good things happen to good people. Persecutions are not from God.
     
  17. Lazarus Short

    Lazarus Short Well-Known Member

    +674
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Did you ever notice in the Revelation that just before the judgments in Chapter 20, the Devil is taken out of the way (twice!) before Judgment is rendered? It's like the prosecutor's chair will be empty, and I praise God for that!
     
  18. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    +2,580
    Canada
    Baptist
    Married
    CA-Conservatives
    Your soul. Here are some notes on the soul that I made in response to the idea that "nephesh" (Hebrew for "soul") only refers to an animating life force, not a living soul that departs the body upon death.

    In the OT the soul (nephesh) of man is said to be sad (Deut. 28:65), grieved (Job 30:25), in pain (Ps. 13:2), distressed (Gen. 42:21), bitter (Job 3:20), troubled (Ps. 6:3), and cheered (Ps. 86:4). Apparently, man's soul can experience a wide range of emotions, which confounds the notion that “nephesh” refers merely to an animating force. Along with referring to man as a living being, "nephesh" appears also to refer to the "inner man" within the human being. This is consistent with verses like:

    2 Kings 4:27
    27 ...And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her...

    and,

    "Psalms 42:6
    6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me...

    and,

    Psalms 43:5
    5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted within me?...

    In the New Testament we read:

    Matthew 10:28
    28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    This verse makes a clear distinction between the physical body and the soul and teaches that it is possible to kill the body without killing the soul.

    Revelation 6:9-10
    9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
    10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"


    The souls crying out from under the altar are the souls of those who have been slain. Again, this indicates that the soul can exist independently of the body in a conscious state.

    Luke 23:46-47
    46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' "Having said this, He breathed His last.
    47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this was a righteous Man!"


    The word "spirit" here is translated from the Greek word "pneuma," which has a variety of meanings in Scripture: wind, breath, life-spirit, soul, the spirit as part of the human personality, the spirit of God, the spirit of Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Context rules out most of these meanings. It doesn't make sense for Jesus to commend his "wind" or "breath" to the Father. It doesn't make any better sense for Jesus to be committing "the spirit of God" or the "Holy Spirit" to the Father. From a plain reading of the passage it is clear Jesus is committing his immaterial human soul or spirit to the Father.

    Acts 7:59
    59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

    If spirit means the life-force within Stephen that ceases to exist when the body dies, then Stephen's request here makes no sense. If this is the meaning of spirit, there is nothing for God to receive. Clearly, Stephen believed his spirit would survive the death of his body and be received by God.

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
    13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
    15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive
    and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
    16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
    17 Then we who are alive
    and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

    "...the term "sleep" is always applied in Scripture to the body alone, since in death the body takes on the appearance of one who is asleep. But the term soul sleep is never found in Scripture. And no where does the Scripture state that the soul ever passes into a state of unconsciousness." - Reasoning from the Scriptures with Jehovah's Witnesses, pg. 314.

    Who is God bringing with Him on the Day of Resurrection? Those who "sleep in Jesus." That is, the souls of those whose bodies are "sleeping" in the grave and are about to be resurrected. And when the Lord shouts with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, those bodies that are "dead in Christ" rise first, reunited with the souls of those whom God has brought with Him. Again, we see here that the soul survives the death of the body and goes on to dwell with God.

    Luke 20:37-38
    37 But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord 'the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'
    38 For
    He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him."

    As Jesus points out here, Moses believed that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not dead and gone, but living because God is "not the God of the dead but of the living." Jesus here directly refutes the belief of the Sadducees, which was that the soul died with the body. And he was not merely asserting that God was God over those to be later resurrected.

    "Though the dead seem to us to be completely non-existent, they are actually living as far as God is concerned. Note that the tense of the word "live" is not future (which might suggest only that these dead will live at the time of their resurrection) but present, teaching us that they are living now. This holds true not only for the patriarchs but for all who have died. To suggest, now, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are nonexistent between death and the resurrection violates the thrust of these words, and implies that God is, with respect to these patriarchs, for a long period of time the God of the dead rather than the God of the living." - Reasoning from the Scriptures with Jehovah's Witnesses, pg. 316.

    Philippians 1:21-23
    21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
    22 But if
    I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.
    23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ,
    which is far better.

    How could being dead and thus non-existent be "gain" to Paul? Clearly, he did not think the "gain" of which he was speaking was the extinction of his soul with the death of his body, but the departure of his soul from his body to be with Christ. And Paul is not speaking here of a future resurrection. The aorist infinitive ("to live") is linked by a single article with a present infinitive ("to be with Christ"). Thus the infinitives belong together.

    "The single article ties the two infinitives together, so that the actions depicted by the two infinitives are to be considered two aspects of the same thing, or two sides of the same coin." - Reasoning from the Scriptures with Jehovah's Witnesses, pg. 317.

    2 Corinthians 5:6-8
    6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
    7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
    8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.


    The structure of these verses in the Greek communicates very clearly that Paul understood that dying (being absent from the body) meant being present with the Lord. And the word "with" in Greek suggests very close face-to-face fellowship or intimate relationship.
     
  19. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

    +1,341
    Christian
    Private
    Jesus spoke a lot in anachronisms and in parables. I would say the rich man and lazarus is a parable and not based on literal images of hades and this mysterious abode of Abraham. The account is not there to show us what the afterlife looks like and if you think this than you've missed the point. The account shows what most would consider the unlikely candidate to be considered Abraham's kin, embraced as a true son of Abraham, where the rich man, who would consider it his cradle right and inheritance to be called a son of Abraham was rejected. The appending doom and gloom show the permanence and seriousness of the separation and contrasts it with that of the true children of Abraham

    I don't see this account giving us any concrete information as to what the afterlife looks. If it were Paul he wouldn't even speak of Abraham and instead it would be Jesus Lazarus meets. These jewish ideals and details shows us not an litteral picture of the afterlife but rather a contextualized picture, specific to an audience who desires to be embraced by Abraham as a son. The account also foreshadows Christ's resurrection at the end when Jesus throws in "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." In all of Christ's accounts the meanings may have been difficult to understand as to what they point to but the devices in the accounts were always simple and easy to identify with. We can comprehend what what fire feels like but can be possibly understand the depth of separation and darkness that those outside of Christ endure? Can it even be described? With the rich man and lazarus he is using images that's going to be intimately identifiable to his audience but I don't see this as snapshots of litteral images of hell.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  20. Rubiks

    Rubiks armchair linguist

    +1,976
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Incorrect. When we look at the pre-New Testament usages of "second death," (as in the Rabbinical literature, the term isn't used until the intertestamental period) It consistently refers strictly to eschatological annihilation.
     
Loading...