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Eternal and Everlasting

Posted by Walt Thompson on Sunday, 22 March 2015 in Health Smart 0 Comments

Eternal, Everlasting

These terms, eternal and everlasting, appear in a number of places in the Holy Bible. In all instances except when referring to God, they refer to the future. In no place do we read of any being except God as existing from everlasting (past)

Note: When referring to life, these terms, eternal and everlasting, involve a time element, but without a specified end point. Apart from life, these terms have no intelligible meaning. Only when life is involved do eternal and everlasting have application. It there is no life, time is meaningless. For time to be a factor there must be a life that may be affected by the time element.

The Bible describes God as existing from everlasting past to everlasting future. On the other hand, human life has a definite beginning. It does not exist from everlasting past, as the life of God does (Psalms 90:2; 103:17; Isaiah 63:16).

The bible tells us that death is as the unconsciousness of sleep for both believers and unbelievers. Following the resurrection, the faithful ones will awake from sleep to spend eternity with God. After the resurrection of the unbelieving, the second death will be accompanied by eternal death from which that will never be another resurrection. By implication then, time has also ended along with the life. Eternity and everlasting life end at that point for the person dying the second death.

Therefore, when the fires of hell have done their thing and all living things have been destroyed in what is described as the “second death,” time no longer has meaning and eternal and everlasting no longer apply.

When Sodom and Gomorrah burned themselves out, life ceased to exist for them--as for all who die the first death. Eternity for them will come to an end following the resurrection and the second death. (Genesis 18; Jude 7)

On the other hand, though death for the righteous followers of Jesus is the cessation of life until their resurrection at the return of Jesus, following that resurrection life will never end—is eternal.

Some argue that, “yes, this may be true for the physical body, but it does not apply to the soul.” This is a “cute” argument, but the above quote (and others in the Bible) clearly states that the fire that swept through Sodom and the cities of the plane destroyed the people. It makes no distinction between a body and a soul. Just as at the end of creation week God breathed life into the body of Adam, so at death that life ceases to exist.

In fact, the concept of a body and a soul is not a biblical concept at all. Rather, it is a carry-over of Satan’s lie to Adam and Eve in Eden in telling them that they would not die. While it is true that in many translations of the Bible erroneously interpret the original texts as some living thing that departs the body at the time of death, a careful study of the Bible confirms the creation account of a body coming alive by the breath of God breathed into it. There is no such thing as a living entity apart from the body. Modern Bible translators agree. Where the word, soul, is used in the Bible, both old and new Testaments, it refers to a living being, a person.

 

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