IN the present
state of public sentiment, if you say "No" to this
question, you are supposed to favour the common belief that man
is immortal, and exists in death as much as in life. If you say "Yes" you
are supposed to deny all religious beliefs.
is a ground on which neither one answer nor the other would express
the absolute truth. It is the middle ground resulting from the
acceptance of the Bible as the only teacher in the case. The
believer of the Bible holds that man is mortal, and that, in
the death state, he has ceased to exist for the time being, but
that a future life will be brought about by the resurrection
of those who are rendered responsible by knowledge of the Gospel
at the return of Christ to the earth. Consequently, these believers
could only answer the question by saying, "In some cases
death ends all, and in some it does not; but in all cases, death
is death while it lasts".
ends all in some cases.
am as a man that hath no strength: free among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest
no more" (Psa. 88:4-5). "The army and the power,
they (Chaldeans) shall lie down together; they shall not
rise: they are extinct" (Isa. 43:14-17). "They
shall be as though they had not been" (Obad. 16). "Like
sheep, they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them" (Psa.
does not end all in other cases.
shall redeem my soul from the power of the grave; for he
shall receive me" (Psa.49:15). "Though ... worms
destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job
19:26). "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the
earth shall awake" (Dan. 12:2). "He will swallow
up death in victory" (Isa. 25:8). "The righteous
hath hope in his death" (Prov. 14:32).
death is death in all cases while it lasts, because --
Man is a creature of the dust, and not an immaterial
entity dwelling in a body.
first man is of the earth, earthy (1 Cor. 15:47). "God
formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7). "He
knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust" (Psa.
103:14). "I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord,
who am but dust and ashes" (Gen. 18:27).
one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and
so death passed upon all men" (Rom. 5:12). "The
wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). "By man came
death ... In Adam all die" (1 Cor. 15:21, 22). "The
sentence of death in ourselves" (2 Cor. 1:9). ".
. . This corruptible . . . this mortal" (1 Cor. 15:53,
death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave, who
shall give thee thanks?" (Psa. 6:5). "The grave
cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that
go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth"(Isa.
38:18). "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his
earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psa.
146:4). "The dead know not anything ... their love,
their hatred, and their envy is now perished" (Eccl.
9:5, 6). "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge,
nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest" (Eccl.
The righteous dead have not entered upon their reward,
and if there is no resurrection of the dead, they are
perished for ever.
all died in faith, not having received the promises but
having seen them afar off" (Heb. 11:13). God gave Abraham "none
inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on:
yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession
. . . " (Acts. 7: 5). "These all, having obtained
a good report through faith, received not the promise: God
having provided some better thing for us, that they without
us should not be made perfect" (Heb. 11:40). "Glorified
together" (Rom. 8:17). ". . . The time of the
dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest
give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints,
and them that fear thy name, small and great" (Rev.
11:18). "If Christ be not raised ... then they which
are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (1 Cor. 15:17-18). "What
advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?" (1 Cor. 15:32).
a few passages of Scripture that seem to teach the view, which
used to be commonly held, that man lives in death, and passes
into a state of happiness or misery (in heaven or hell) according
to the tenor of his present life; but a close examination will
show that they do not teach this in reality, but only because
of the preconception already in the mind in favour of the Greek
philosophical doctrine of the "immortality of the soul." The
passages in question are all discussed in detail in other publications,
and shown to be in harmony with the Bible doctrine of the mortal
nature of man.