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Friday, May 26, 2017

A Refutation Of Soul Sleep

  • Introduction:
          -Soul sleep is the belief that after a person dies, his or her soul "sleeps" until the resurrection and final judgment. According to this theology, the souls of people who are in the condition of bodily separation are unaware or unconscious of the things taking place around them. This perspective on the afterlife forms a sharp contrast to the biblical view of conscious life after death. Professing Christian denominations that uphold this position include the Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and the Christadelphians. In the Bible, the word "sleep" is used in relation to the word "death", for a corpse indeed appears to be sound asleep. A person's body is "sleeping" while his or her soul is in the location of his or her eternal destiny. 
          -We face judgment with God the moment we die (Hebrews 9:27). Hence, our fate is eternally sealed at them moment of physical death. While some people enter into the presence of God in the heavenly sanctuary above, those who were unfaithful to Him will end up in a state of eternal separation from God in the flames of hell (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10).     
          -There is a temporary heaven and hell that exists until the final resurrection (i.e. 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 1:18; 20:13-14). In the resurrection, each person's "sleeping" body will be "awakened" and transformed into a perfected, permanent body that will be possessed by each individual for all eternity. This is true for all people, whether they be sent to heaven or sentenced to eternal punishment in hell. All of the people who were accepted into heaven after judgment will be sent to the new heavens and earth (Revelation 21:1), whereas folks who were in Hades will be thrown into the lake of sulfur and fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
  • For believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23).
  • The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus clearly reveals to us that souls will not cease to be conscious in the afterlife (Luke 16:19-31).
  • The young disciple Stephan, who was being stoned to death for preaching the gospel, saw heaven's door opened right before his eyes and Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:54-59). He clearly went to heaven to be with the Lord after physical death.
  • Physically dead tribulational martyrs were fully conscious in heaven (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-17).
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ told the unrepentant thief on the cross that he would enter paradise that same day (Luke 23:39-43).
  • God took Enoch and Elisha into heaven, but they did not lose consciousness (Genesis 5:24; 2 Kings 2:11).
  • Moses and Elijah were spiritually conscious during the Transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17:1-9).
  • How could Jesus "preach to the spirits in prison", if they were supposed to be in a state of unconsciousness until the final resurrection and judgment (1 Peter 3:18-19)?
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ solemnly promised that the souls of believers would never die (John 11:20-26). Furthermore, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matthew 22:31-32).