Busting Bible Myths – 2 You may be very surprised to hear that the idea that people go to heaven when they die is not found in the Bible. The concept of an immortal soul – something spiritual within us that lives on after our body has died – is an ancient one. It pervades all major world religions in one form or another. Films, books, TV shows from all cultures consistently present the notion of living on after death. Yet the very phrase “immortal soul” is nowhere to be found in the Bible. What we ARE told is that in the beginning, God created man “from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2 v7, NKJV) It is like an equation: dust + breath of life = living being. Take away the “breath of life”, or destroy the “dust”, and there is no longer a living being. There is nothing. The breath of life is God’s life-giving power that sustains all living things; it is not unique to the person. Furthermore, God told man that one day, because he was sinful, he would die. He made it clear what this meant: that he would “return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return”. (Genesis 3 v19) He said nothing at all about living on in a spiritual form; about coming to live with him in heaven – or even going down to “hell” to be tormented: just that he would cease to exist. Ecclesiastes 9 v5-10 states: “…the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward… there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” The hope that the Bible offers is to be raised from the oblivion of the grave, as if woken out of sleep, at the resurrection when the Lord Jesus returns to the earth. He described the dead as “sleeping” and had the power to wake them up again. Crucially, if we want to be woken from death, we must believe on him: to live by the truth about who he was, what he achieved and what he will do in the future. He came that “…whoever believes on him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John 3 v16) pershore.bible pershore-christadelphians.org

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