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Articles - Miscellanea

If A Man Dies Shall He Live Again

The words, “If a man dies, shall he live again” (Job 14:14) occur within the cycle of controversy with Zophar. Zophar, agreeing with Eliphaz and Bildad, claimed Job’s suffering was the result of Job sinning. Job replies to Zophar in chapters twelve, thirteen, and fourteen. The question of Job, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” is addressed to God.

The setting of Job 14:14.

Job 14:14-15, “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You” must be placed in its immediate context. [All Scripture references are from NKJV unless otherwise noted.] 

  • 14:1-6—the brevity and difficulties of life befall all men.
  • 14:7-12—the death of man is the end of mortal life, while man’s soul abides in Sheol[New Testament, hades].
  • 14:13-17—God will call man’s soul from Sheol [hades], raise, and change his mortal body (physical) to immortality.

The immediate context must be understood within the remote context of the book of Job and the entire Bible as a unit. The story of Job begins in happiness with Job’s life being described as “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (1:1).

God allowed Job’s faith to be tested by Satan. Satan insisted that Job’s blamelessness was due to God placing “a hedge around him” (1:9-12). Satan tested Job’s faith in four ways meaningful to all men.

  • Materially—Job lost all his possessions in one day (1:13-16).
  • Death—Job lost his seven sons, three daughters, and his servants 1:17-19).
  • Health—Job’s body was covered “with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (2:7-8).
  • Marital—Job’s helpmate, life’s companion, and mother of their ten children insisted that Job “curse God and die” (2:9-10).

Job was well-known and highly respected among all who dwelt in the East (1:3); subsequently, his three friends—Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar—came to “mourn and comfort him” (2:11). After their arrival they and Job were silent for “seven days and seven nights” (2:13). Job finally speaks from a heavy, grief-stricken heart, “his grief was very great” (2:13). His words pulsate with his apparent misery from both his body and soul. Job’s words portray a troubled heart. Why not? He expresses to his three friends, as well as to all readers, the possible innermost thoughts of a human heart in the tumult of despair. His grief, agony, and doubt are expressed without sin or wrongly accusing God (1:22).

  • Job wished he had never been born (3:3-10).
  • Job was bewildered as to why he suffered in life (3:11-19).
  • Job experienced both physical and mental bewilderment of his miseries (3:20-26).
  • Job could not understand why he should be the object of such intense affliction (3:17-18).

Job saw little hope for better days in his life; consequently, he raises the question, which was/is quite natural, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). His experience seemed to be against man living again. He observed that a fallen tree will sprout again (14:7-9). However, Job had never seen a man laid in a grave rise again (14:12). While Job longed for rest from his afflictions and the question of a man in the grave, he did not desire to remain there. At the same time, Job gives no hint of the doctrine of annihilation; i.e. the soul ceases to exist after physical death. He desired that God would call him from the grave. Job declares, “You shall call, and I will answer You” (14:15). This was Job’s hope! This is the context of Job 14:14, “If a man dies will he live again?” While Job’s inquiry is not answered convincingly until it is answered in the affirmative by Jesus, Job 14:14, as well as many other Old Testament texts, hint at the biblical concept of immortality. Job “was baring his soul. He was expressing what he felt . . . viewing his life on the side of the physical. Yet . . . there was a sudden recognition that he was more than dust . . . that dying meant giving up the spirit” (Morgan 42).

Immortality

When Job asked, “Behold man dies and is laid away; indeed he breathes his last where is he?” (14:10), he asked a question as old and as universal as life itself. It is as old as mankind whose life has always been interrupted by physical death with two exceptions: (1) “Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24, ESV) or “was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him” (Hebrews 11:5, ESV). (2) “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:2, 11).

While the question of immortality does not press on our mind at all hours, sooner or later, the question arises with all and demands a hearing and answer. As we gaze into the face our loved one in the casket or we visit their grave in the silent city of the dead, we cannot help thinking and asking, “where is he?”

While all men are faced with the question, “where is he?” as they lose a loved one, sadly they do not all give identical answers. When men reject biblical revelation they create false teaching. There are at least three answers given by men to the question, “where is he?”

  • Annihilationism. While there are differences among the advocates of annihilationism; the annihilationist will answer, “Nowhere.” Annihilationism is built from the Latin word nihil meaning “nothing.” The basic emphasis is that the human soul, both good and bad, “will cease to exist after death” (Nicole 43). The annihilationist considers Matthew 10:28, “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” as conclusive evidence for their teaching. Matthew 10:28 does not teach that physical death is annihilation, nor does the text teach that physical death results in the death of man’s soul. McGarvey argues the annihilationist have overlooked “that this passage utterly refutes the doctrine that the soul dies with the body. Jesus says, ‘Fear not them who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul’;. . . . To destroy is not to annihilate, but to bring to ruin . . . when they are cast into hell” (93).
  • Soul-Sleeping or Psychopannychy. Those who advocate soul-sleeping teach that “the soul becomes unconscious at death [physical] and that it continues in that condition until the resurrection. . . . [having] no knowledge, consciousness or activity” (Boettner 108). A simple refutation of soul-sleeping is Luke 16:19-31, the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The souls of both were found in the hadean world. The following is a good summary and refutation of the false doctrine of soul-sleeping from Luke 16:19-31: “(1) both the wicked and righteous are conscious after death; (2) after death, some men are comforted, and other men are tormented; (3) after death, both wicked and righteous people remember events and persons from their earthly experience” (Warren, Immortality 52).
  • Immortality. This writer affirms that the Bible teaches that the soul of man, after the death of both good and evil men, continues to exist eternally. Immortality is defined variously: “[I]mmortality in the biblical sense is a condition in which the individual [soul] is not subject to death or to any influence which might lead to death” (Kerr 280-81). The immortality of the soul is “the conviction that after death man continues to exist in a conscious state of either bliss with Christ or misery in hell” (Schep 219-20). We prefer the following definition by the late Thomas B. Warren, “the soul of man does not die at the time of his physical death. . . . [M]an’s personality persists beyond the time of physical death. . . . [and] will continue to exist as a conscious personality separate from the physical body ” (Immortality 10).

In developing the biblical doctrine of immortality, we must consider the teaching of the entire Bible, as with any subject. Warren writes that it is necessary in our study to grasp the meaning of God, man, and the world. It involves at least theology (the doctrine of God), anthropology  (the doctrine of man), cosmology (the doctrine of the world), soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), harmartiology (the doctrine of sin), and eschatology  (the doctrine of last things. (“Summary” 23)

Theology (the doctrine of God). Gods is eternal; i.e. without beginning or end. To say that “God is eternal means that He is not bound by restrictions of time; His knowledge or consciousness is above time. . . . It is all now to God” (Cottrell 255). These comments are implied in the following descriptive phrases: God exists from “of old” (Psalm 55:19), “everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2), “God, our God forever and ever” (Psalm 48:14), “who is and who was and who is to come” (Revelation 1:4, 8; 4:8), et al.

God is self-existing. God is not dependent for His existence upon anything outside of Himself. God has no needs beyond Himself. His being is uncaused. He just exists; therefore, God stands in stark contrast with man whom He created, as well as, all other life. God is “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14). God is “incorruptible” (Romans 1:23) and “alone possesses immortality” (1 Timothy 6:16).” God is the eternal first cause, who Himself is uncaused and no-dependent” (Turner and Myers 36). He has “life within Himself” (John 5:26).

Cosmology (the doctrine of the world). God in reference to the world is both immanent in the world and yet transcends the world, but is concerned with the world (Warren, Atheists v-vi). The ultimate source of all that exists is God, the Creator (Genesis 1:1-31; Psalm 33:6, 9). God created the universe with purpose and planned all things in His Creation to be in accordance with His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:9-11; 3:11; 1 Timothy 1:9-11); therefore, we can conclude that the doctrine of Creation provides understanding of the purpose man and his immortality.

The universe was created “to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18) temporarily by man. This temporary habitation is described by Warren as the “vale of soul-making” i.e. “Man’s earthly life is a probationary period during which his fate in eternity is settled. . . . God created man for sonship (with himself) and, concomitantly for brotherhood (with his fellow-man” (Atheists 84, 96). God wants man to have sonship and brotherhood with Him through the work of His Son (John 3:16; Genesis 3:15; Romans 5:8-9; 12:1-2; et al.). Gibbons states, “It seems originally man was created with the potential to live indefinitely in this physical body” (1). Once man disobeyed God, he was separated from the Garden and faced physical death as promised by God (Genesis 2:17; 3:2-3).              

Genesis 4 opens with Adam and Eve begetting their first child, Cain. Adam and Eve came into existence by the creative (miraculous) power of God, but Cain (and all mankind since) came into existence as the result of the natural laws of procreation. If Adam and Eve “had never sinned, they would have continued to live without any fear of death” (Warren, “Summary” 22). Their removal from the Garden was to prevent them from taking “of the tree of life . . . and live forever” (Genesis 3:23, emp. added).

Anthropology (the doctrine of man). God created man in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7). Man is the apex of all Creation and the only being created in God’s image and likeness. God’s creation of man involves his physical (body) and his personality, as well as, his spirituality. In his creation man has been given free will to obey (serve) or to disobey (not serve) God. The following syllogism sets forth the immortality of man’s soul (spirit) based on the creation of man.

Major Premise: If God created man’s soul (spirit) immortal, then man’s soul (spirit) continues to exist eternally after physical death.

Minor Premise: God created man’s soul (spirit) immortal.

Conclusion: Therefore, man’s soul (spirit) continues to exist eternally after physical death.
Man’s body was made from the dust of the ground and God “breathed into his [man’s] nostrils the breath of life (spirit); and man became a living being (soul)” (Genesis 2:7). “The dust (body) returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

Among the many things these texts emphasize, besides the origin of human life, is that human life is sacred and precious above all other life. However, man created in God’s image and likeness does not mean man is divine. “Man is not divine, but wholly created; both body and spirit [soul] are created beings” (Cottrell 57). Man’s creation in God’s image and likeness implies man’s total dependency upon God; therefore, he is a creature with meaning. The questions, “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, and “Where am I going?” are most important. Remove God as the Creator and man has no answers to these and other questions.

The phrases, “in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26-27) have “great importance to the present investigation” (Warren, Immortality 108) in relation to Job’s question on immortality, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (14:14). The phrases “in Our image” and “Our likeness” refer “to something other than that constituent element of man which is physical” (Warren, Immortality 109). Clark writes, “God is the fountain whence the spirit issued; hence the stream must resemble the spring which produced it” (38).

God the Creator is worthy of worship. Man, made in God’s image and likeness, is to worship God. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11). The angelic being in John’s vision cried “with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’” (Revelation 14:7). “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before our Lord and Maker. For He is our God” (Psalm 95:6-7a).

God created man with a body and soul (spirit). In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 man is described as “spirit, soul, and body.” Coffman suggests these words refer to “man, like his Creator, is a trinity” (72). However, man is never described elsewhere in the Bible as a triune-being. In light of the Bible’s use of the “outward man” and “the inner man” (2 Corinthians 4:16), we contend the terms “spirit, soul, and body” in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 are used to describe “the entire man” (Kelcy 123). A similar expression is found in Matthew 22:37 where Jesus commands men to love God with all his heart, soul, and mind; i.e. the totality of his being.

Harmartiology (the doctrine of sin). “Sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17). Man sins when he “knows to do good and does not do it” (James 4:17). When God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, man was accountable to God. Consequently, man, in his freewill, could either choose to serve (obey) God or not to serve (disobey) God. With the freedom of choice, man could choose to eat (disobey) or not eat (obey) of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). This evidences that God created man with the freedom and capacity to sin or not to sin—intellectually, morally, and spiritually—(Warren, “Summary,” 21). When the serpent tempted Eve to sin and she influenced Adam to do likewise (Genesis 3:1-8; 1 Timothy 2:13-15), they disobeyed God (Genesis 3:7) and impugned God’s integrity (Genesis 3:5). This resulted in their being banished (separated) from the Garden (Genesis 3:16-24) and incurring various punishments for their sin that remain with the human race through time.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God punished Eve with pain and travail in childbirth (Genesis 3:16) and punished Adam with tilling and working the ground for food until he dies (Genesis 3:17-19). As the result of their sin, God banished (separated) them from the Garden of Eden “lest he . . . take . . . of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (Genesis 3:22, emp. added). In emphasizing the horribleness of sin, God expelled man from the Garden of Eden and from the tree of life. God placed cherubims at the Garden’s entrance (Genesis 3:24) to prevent them man from returning to the tree of life.

Death was to befall Adam and Eve “in the day” (Genesis 2:17) they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is not to be understood they would immediately drop dead. The words mean that when man fell the reign of death would begin in human experience (Romans 5:12-21). These texts deal with both physical and spiritual death. Sin brings death to the soul (Ezekiel 18:4) requiring man again be made “alive to God” (Romans 6:11).

Since the consequence of man’s sin involves both physical death and spiritual death, the phrase, “you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17) means that man became mortal and continues to be mortal until he finally dies. Clark writes: “This we find literally accomplished; every moment of man’s life may be considered as an act of dying, til soul and body are separated” (38). This is a reference to James 2:26, “the body without the spirit is dead.”

In man’s life-long, horrible struggle with sin, God gives man a ray of hope. Speaking to the serpent, God said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15). We will develop this ray of hope in the following section.

Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation). Man’s basic problem with God is sin which has made man the object of God’s wrath. God’s work of salvation solves the problem of God’s wrath for man. With the entrance of sin into the human race, God’s holy nature requires that He execute His wrath upon the sinner, while, at the same time, His attribute of love shows His desire to embrace sinners when they repent (cf. Luke 13:3, 5) with divine forgiveness. This is the true picture and meaning of God’s nature, Calvary, and man’s salvation (redemption). God promised in His ray of hope for man when He said to the serpent, “you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15). This is a divine promise and prediction of Calvary.

A good commentary on God’s wrath and love in relation to man’s sin is: “[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, because of His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26).

The apostle Peter stated that God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The apostle Paul declared, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, emp. added). Jesus, the ray of hope for fallen man (Genesis 3:15), came to earth in the likeness of sinful flesh (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14) to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10; Matthew 1:21; Romans 5:8-9).

Jesus was victorious over Satan, sin, and death in man’s behalf. Jesus became flesh (John 1:14) and lived in the likeness of man without sinning (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21), “committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22), and “in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5). He was the sinless Lamb of God who removed man’s sins (cf. John 1:29)! Through His death on Calvary’s cross Jesus brought salvation (redemption) to men setting them free from the penalty of sin. God’s grace offers salvation to all men (Titus 2:11-12). The offer of salvation to all men is made possible through His blood (Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:8-9; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5); therefore Calvary (atonement) is an essential element in man’s salvation!

In the salvation of man, Jesus’ work was not finished when He died on the cross of Calvary. Though He cried out from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30), He was referring to His ministry of revealing God and His message of salvation (redemption)  to man (John 1:18; 3:16; 14:7-9; Acts 4:12). Vitally related to man’s salvation is the resurrection of Jesus! The resurrection of Jesus from the dead cannot be redefined to mean anything other than a literal, historical, and bodily event. This is what God promised in his ray of hope in Genesis 3:15, “He [Christ] shall bruise your [Satan] head.” This is a prophecy of the literal, historical, and bodily resurrection of Jesus.

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead resulted in defeat for Satan who “had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14). When His body was raised from the tomb (Luke 24:6) and His soul from hades (Acts 2:31), “death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9), nor over those who live in Christ (cf. Ephesians 1:6-13). He possesses the “keys of hades and death” (Revelation 1:18), signifying His power of these domains. His resurrection is described as “first fruits” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23), which serves as a guarantee that we too will be raised. The resurrection of Jesus is the basis of our faith (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) and apologetically serves our hope (1 Peter 3:15) in that “God . . . has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

With Jesus’ resurrection, God makes available to the sinning man an opportunity to reverse the condition of death imposed upon him by his sins. The opportunity enables and empowers us to be restored to life again (John 10:10; 6:63; 14:6; 1 John 4:9-10) and have the promise of “hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2). 2 Timothy 1:10 teaches that Jesus, “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” The text explains that man’s soul dies because of sin but does not die the same identical death as man’s body (Warren, Immortality 235). The soul is eternal (immortal) and stands in contrast to the physical body (mortality) which dies, decomposes, and decays.

Our physical body is in a constant state of change, medical science verifies that the body of those who have lived to a ripe old age have changed many times; however,

[O]ur conscious personality [and the soul] must be distinct from matter. . . . [I]ts persistence during this course of years . . . affords the strongest reason for believing that it will continue to persist after their [body’s] dissolution. . . . [O]ur consciousness respecting the reality of our moral nature. . . proves that there is something within us distinct and wholly different in character, from the particles of matter which compose our bodies. . . . Death [physical], therefore, cannot be the termination of man’s existence. (Row 296-300).

No wonder Paul wrote: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

The nature of the penalty of man’s sins can be summarized in one word: death! Inspiration records, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23; Genesis 2:15-17). This includes physical death because of Adam’s sin and or sin, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). “[T]he body is dead because of sin” (Romans 8:12); the soul (spirit) separates from the body at death (James 2:26). However, included is spiritual death or separation from God because of our sins (Isaiah 59:1-2; Ephesians 2:1, 5; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).

Our condition of spiritual death can be replaced with spiritual life. “But God . . . loved us even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive . . . raised us up together . . . in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6). In man’s obedience to the gospel, God’s power to save (Romans 1:16-17), we pass “from death to life” (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14). To benefit from God’s offer of salvation (redemption), we must firmly “believe in your [our] heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you [we] will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

The Roman letter teaches that when a sinner responds to God’s command of baptism, he interacts with the saving power of Jesus’ death (atonement). When he rises from the waters of baptism, he interacts with Jesus’ resurrection “that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4; cf. Colossians 2:12; Romans 12:1-2). Our baptism “saves us . . . through the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). Indeed, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). The Bible emphasizes the importance of the literal, historical, bodily resurrection of Jesus.

Eschatology (the doctrine of last things). The doctrine of last things involves a number of events which occur at the second coming of Jesus (Hebrews 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 2 Peter 3:1-9). He will raise all the dead (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15), destroy the earth (2 Peter 3:10-14), destroy man’s last enemy, death (1 Corinthians 15:26), and preside at judgment of all men (Acts 17:30-31; Revelation 20:11-20) distributing their reward and punishment resurrection of all dead (Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:11-20), et al.

Immortality is the biblical doctrine that the soul of men, whether good or evil, lives on after physical death, either (1) in glory with God in the eternal state of heaven (Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 21:1-70; or (2) in punishment in the eternal state of hell with Satan and his angels (Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:11-20). At the second coming of Christ all who experienced physical death and all who are living must be prepared for their eternal state of heaven by being changed in a “twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52-53) to live immortally in eternity.

1 Corinthians 15:35-58 teaches that the physical bodies in the graves will be raised so as to prepare for the eternal state. 1 Corinthians 15:35 asks two questions: (1) How are the dead raised up?” and (2) “[W]ith what body do they come?”

To answer the first question, Jesus said they would hear His voice and come forth (John 5:28-29). His resurrection serves as a guarantee of our resurrection; i.e. He is the “first fruits” from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

The second question is answered in 1 Corinthians 15:36-58.
You do not sow that body that shall be, . . . . But God gives it a body as He pleases, . . . . The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. . . . However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. . . . Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. . . . [T]hen shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” . . . But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (emp. added)

The Scriptures affirm a literal, physical, bodily resurrection of both “the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15; cf. John 5:28-29). To argue for any other resurrection, such as a spiritual resurrection, contradicts the biblical doctrine of the literal, physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus. He is the “first fruits” from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23), implying that those who are raised are raised exactly as He was raised. The Scripture states in 1 Corinthians 15:52 that the physical body of the dead will be raised literal and will be changed in a “twinkling of an eye”  “put[ting] on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53); i.e. “the state of not being subject to decay/dissolution/ interruption, incorruptibility, immortality” (Danker 155).

Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:10 that Jesus “has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” This describes the work of Jesus as our Savior. Because of His life and work, Jesus abolished death but “not in the sense that he saves mankind from dying but that he destroyed the hold of death over man. He showed by his own death and resurrection that death is not the final state. His resurrection is the guarantee of our own” (Roberts 75).

Man experiencing physical death can pass through the valley of shadows (Psalm 23:4) due to the fact that Jesus in abolishing death (Hebrews 2:14) “brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10). The word light means to make something known; therefore, man’s freed will allows him either to accept and receive the offer of life or to reject life. This is done “by the facts and teaching of the gospel the meaning of life and the fact of immortality—that the soul does not die at death—became known” (Roberts 75). The word immortality means “imperishable” in 1 Corinthians 15:52-53. “If anything were needed to make, life everlasting, this word do it” (Ward 153).

Job asked, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). Our Lord answered Job in 2 Timothy 1:10. The exact nature of the everlasting body is unknown; however, we have the promise of John, “Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

 

Works Cited

Boettner, Loraine. Immortality. 1956. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1958.

Coffman, James Burton. A Commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, & Philemon. Austin: Firm Foundation, 1978.

Cottrell, Jack. What the Bible Says About: God the Creator, Ruler, Redeemer, God Most High. Joplin: College, 2012.

Danker, Frederick William. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature. 1957. Chicago: CUP, 2000.

Gibbons, James E. “Life, Death and Life Hereafter.” The Sword and Staff. Volume 50, Number 4 2012 (1, 5-8, 1012).

Kelcy, Raymond. The Letters of Paul to the Thessalonians. Austin: Sweet, 1968.

Kerr, David W. “Immortality.” Baker’s Dictionary of Theology. Ed. Everett F. Harrision. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1960.

McGarvey, John W. Matthew and Mark. 1875. Delight: Gospel Light, reprint.

Morgan, G. Campbell. The Answers of Jesus to Job. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973.

Nicole, Roger. “Annihilationism.” Baker’s Dictionary of Theology. Ed. Everett F. Harrison. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1960.

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