Why Humans are not Born Immortal.


There are churches around - including Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and many other Sunday keeping ones - that teach that humans are born as immortal beings. In other words, they already process eternal life.

Just logic alone would tell us that this does not make sense (we are not "born" as spirit beings - just physical beings - at our birth), and the original Bible makes that clear as well.

Once Satan has deceived a church or group into thinking that they already possess eternal life, then that destroys all human efforts to show God that they would like to have it. God will not force it on anyone. As I understand it, if you do not demonstrate that you would like to have eternal life, and would use it in a correct way, then you just don't get it.

If that is the case - that we are not born immortal - then why do men teach others that man is born with an eternal soul?

Each will have to answer the question for themselves, but my guess is that it comes down to a couple of points. First, they teach it because that is what they were taught. In other words, it is a tradition for that particular church. Or second, men desperately want to feel that their soul/spirit is immortal, so men teach that to draw people to themselves or their group.

Logic.

Around the world, many men, women, and especially children, suffer greatly every day - either at the hands of others, through sickness, or by the droughts, floods and fires of nature.  Is that our lot for eternity?  Not a very good prospect. If we are being "born immortal", then it brings no help in this life.

When we look around us, every living creature - including mankind - dies. Certainly our bodies are not immortal.

Man gets around this by saying that it is our "soul" that is eternal, not our bodies. - but proof for that concept is hard to come by. Those teaching that man is immortal have to ignore some very clear Scriptures on one hand, and twist unclear Scriptures on the other hand.

The reason we are not born immortal.  

As I see it - God is creating a family (Isa 45:11,12). The children that the fathers and mothers bring into the world actually belong to God.  He "knits together" each one in the womb (Jer 1:5, Job 10:11).

A big factor that shows that it is God that is putting our babies together - supported and sustained by the mother in the womb - is that every normal baby is ready to be born on a set day (or a day either side). Notice I said "ready" - babies can be born before or after their ready date, for all sorts of reasons. If it were purely up to the mothers, the time for their baby in the womb to get ready to be born would vary widely. Only God can control time, and He gets them ready on time every time for every normal baby.

As soon as an egg is fertilized, He starts making plans for where His potential child will fit into His family. He has even made plans for a child that would not be born for another 300 years in the case of Cyrus. However, it must be stressed, that just because a child is born, there is no guarantee that it will end up  a spirit being in the God family. It first must demonstrate a desire to overcome its human nature. Or, to put it another way, only those who show (by keeping God's Commandments in the spirit) that they desire eternal life rather than the brief pleasures of sin promoted by Satan, will be given it.

Like all human parents, God wants loving obedient children.

God is fair. Each person will have the plan of God  explained to them - the good news we call the Gospel. If people do not get the chance to understand why they have been born before they die, they will be resurrected at the end of the millennium and have it explained to them then. They will also see the benefits of living in a world that has applied the Ten Commandments to every aspect of life for 1000 years. 

However, if any human rejects God's standards, then they are not suitable to be part of God's family, and will be destroyed in the Lake of Fire. God wants supportive, happy children. If you can't/don't want to be that, then you are better off out of the way, so you don't spoil it for others.

We are born mortal, so that we can be destroyed forever if we reject the conditions we must meet before God will offer us eternal life.

Rev 20:15 NET.  If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire.

Now, let us look at it all in greater detail.

We are God's children.

The world has lost sight of the fact that God wants us to have children for His reasons - not just for our own satisfaction. Right from the beginning, God said to Adam and Eve -

Gen 1:28 NET.  God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply!  .... "

This instruction was repeated to Noah, after the flood.

Gen 9:1 NET.  Then God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

We should never lose sight of the fact that God created the first man Adam, and the first woman Eve.

He did that for a reason.

Isa 45:11-12 NET.  This is what the LORD says,
    the Holy One of Israel, the one who formed him,
    concerning things to come:
    "How dare you question me about my children!
    How dare you tell me what to do with the work of my own hands!  (12)  I made the earth,
    I created the people who live on it.
    It was me — my hands stretched out the sky,
    I give orders to all the heavenly lights.

Our children are also God's children. The adults and children of this world, are collectively God's children.

Jer 31:20 NET.  Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children.
    They are the children I take delight in.
    For even though I must often rebuke them,
    I still remember them with fondness.
    So I am deeply moved with pity for them
    and will surely have compassion on them.
    I, the LORD, affirm it!

God calls Israel His first-born (EX 4:22), but all later-born people are God's children as well.

1Jn 3:1 NET.  See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God's children — and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know him.

1Jn 3:10 NET.  By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed: Everyone who does not practice righteousness — the one who does not love his fellow Christian — is not of God.

We do not automatically end up "God's children". If we get side-tracked by the short term "enjoyment" of Satan's lies, if we get sucked into a life of sin, then we are called "children of the devil".

Joh 5:28-29 NET.  "Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice  (29)  and will come out — the ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation.


We are told we are not immortal.

While there is no specific statement in the Bible along the lines of  "man is born immortal", there are statements that both man's body and soul can die - and therefore are not immortal.

Mat 10:28 NET.  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Christ is confirming that God the Father is able to eliminate both our body and soul. Our bodies are our physical component, or soul is our spiritual component - the spirit of man which is given at birth. It lifts our minds above the level of animals (if we use it correctly) and contains all the details that would be needed for our resurrection. If our soul is destroyed, then there will be no resurrection. Man is not immortal.

Eze 18:4 NET.  Indeed! All lives are mine — the life of the father as well as the life of the son is mine. The one who sins will die.

This does not sound like "living forever". It is worth reading the whole of chapter 18 - God spells it out that the person who persists with sin is the one who dies. If we sin - then see our sin and repent - then that sin is forgiven and forgotten by God, and we can be given eternal life.

Mat 25:46 NET.  And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Don't get confused by these words. The punishment is eternal - lasting forever - not that people are punished forever. Those who wrongly promote the "immortal soul" concept, also promote the incorrect concept of everlasting punishment in hell.

If we select a physical life of living in sin, then we will not be offered eternal life. Our body and soul are burnt up in the Lake of Fire, and that is the end of the matter. It is our choice in how we try to live that makes the difference.

The error goes way back.

The concept that man can live forever, goes right back to the Garden of Eden.

Gen 3:4-5 NET.  The serpent said to the woman, "Surely you will not die,  (5)  for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil."

There are articles on the Internet that show it was not really a "serpent" speaking, but a being holding a high office - one that Eve would naturally respect. But he lied.

He lied about dying - Adam and Eve both died - and he lied about just knowing good and evil would somehow make a human be like God.

Joh 8:44 NET.  You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

It was obviously known in NT times that Satan was lying to Eve.

2Co 11:3 NET.  But I am afraid that just as the serpent [Strong - "an artful malicious person"]  deceived Eve by his treachery, your minds may be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

So - people today who tell others that they are "Immortal" (or will not die) are really following the beliefs that Satan first told Eve - that just the knowledge of right and wrong (which we have today) will give eternal life. The reality is, we have to resist the urge to take "shortcuts", and against all opposition, do things according to God's law. The law of love. The law that puts the needs of others before our own needs (1 Cor 13:1-13, 1 John 3:16-18).

What happens at death?

The Bible makes some statements about what happens after our death.

Those who promote the false idea that we have an immortal soul, say that we (or at least our "souls") continue to live and can see everything that is going on with those they left behind. This is a common misunderstanding and is expressed many times on the TV news services when people are being interviewed after someone has died.

Ecc 9:10 NET.  Whatever you find to do with your hands,
    do it with all your might,
    because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave,
    the place where you will eventually go.

This understanding expressed by the wise King Solomon, shows that while we have life, we are to use it well, because once we die there is nothing more we can do.

Ecc 9:5 NET.  For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything;
    they have no further reward — and even the memory of them disappears.

The dead are not seeing anything that is happening on earth.

Joh 9:4 NET.  We must perform the deeds of the one who sent me [God] as long as it is daytime [we have life]. Night [death] is coming when no one can work.

Death is a bit like going into a deep sleep with no dreams - we are aware of nothing going on around us.

Joh 11:11-14 NET.  After he said this, he added, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. But I am going there to awaken him."  (12)  Then the disciples replied, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."  (13)  (Now Jesus had been talking about his death, but they thought he had been talking about real sleep.)  (14)  Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died,

We can almost use "sleep" and "death" interchangeably - the condition of both is the same in the sense that we are not aware of what is going on in the world around us, whether we are asleep or dead.

Job 14:10-12 NET.  But man dies and is powerless;
    he expires —  and where is he?  (11)  As water disappears from the sea,
    or a river drains away and dries up,  (12)  so man lies down and does not rise;
    until the heavens are no more,
    they will not awake
    nor arise from their sleep.

David was depressed with all the troubles in his life, so he made the point to God that He should preserve him, because He would get no praise from him if he died.

Psa 88:4-5 NET.  They treat me like those who descend into the grave.
    I am like a helpless man,  (5)  adrift among the dead,
    like corpses lying in the grave,
    whom you remember no more,
    and who are cut off from your power.

Death is not life in a different form.

Death brings our life to a grinding halt until our resurrection.

Isa 26:19 NET.  Your dead will come back to life;
    your corpses will rise up.
    Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground!
    For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew,
    and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.

Rev 20:12-13 NET.  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then books were opened, and another book was opened — the book of life. So the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds.  (13)  The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each one was judged according to his deeds.


However, the resurrection - or better put - resurrections are another topic covered elsewhere. The thing we do need to understand though - is that there is no resurrection until God and Christ come down to the earth. Until then the dead wait - and know nothing of what is happening after they died.

The Bible makes it clear, when it talks about what happens at our death, that we do not have immortality.


Summary.

Satan started the lie that "surely you will not die", but men like the idea so much that they continue to promote it.

There is much more evidence in the Bible to show that we are given physical life so we can overcome and prove to God that we would appreciate eternal life should He give it.

Rom 6:23 NET.  For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


2Co 9:15 NET.  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Eph 2:8 NET.  For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God;

We do not have eternal life just because we go through a physical birth. We can not "earn" it, or do anything to "force" God to give it to us. It comes as a gift - or it just does not come.


Understanding that we are not immortal, gives us a lot more incentive to show God that we would like to be part of His spiritual family - and be changed from a physical being to a spirit being that DOES HAVE immortality.





Bob Orchard Feb 2013

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