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3. Resurrection –answering the critics! Part One (revised)

Added: Tuesday, May 5th 2009 at 9:10am by richardericgunby
 
 
 

Resurrection –answering the critics!

copyright@2009

By Richard Eric Gunby

 

This writing is undertaken to present some answers to critics who have responded negatively to the doctrine of definite immortality.  I’m going to present five concise but major arguments in favor of definite immortality and, correspondingly, against what most of us have been taught all of our lives, i.e., the current church traditionalism concerning the nature of man –what man is really like, and what happens in death and afterwards.  All five of these mostintensely powerfully arguments, are, in essence, the repackaging of Biblical passages and related Scriptural teachings on this subject matter into an easy to access, specifically organized format.

 

This press for authoritative support, utilizing EXPLICITLY CLEAR, EMPHATICALLY LOGICAL, and STRAIGHT FORWARDLY, UNDENIABLY, SCRIPTURALLY SUSTAINED, analysis, presents exegetically informed conclusions.  In short it’s a highlight of what the Bible says, and doesn’t say.  The reader is urged to first fully interact with my two previous postings concerning this doctrine of definite immortality.  Resurrections Reflections and the subsequent, Reincarnation versus Resurrection, are the two articles appearing elsewhere at this same website.  Below are five foundational arguments supportive of my take on things:

 

 

 

  

 

1.      There is no Biblical teaching of ensoulment.  It’s not in there.  No where does the Bible set forth the doctrine, teaching, or exemplification of ensoulment, or incarnation, regarding man.  It’s simply not in there.  The Bible knows nothing of ensoulment.  It never ever teaches that God created a body and independently created a soul, and then put that soul into the body.  That is not a biblical understanding of the nature of man.  That is not an exegetical teaching of man’s creation.  “Soul” is not some “thing” separable from man.  Man is a living body-person, a unified-being, wholistic or singular in nature:  the nature of bodily existence.  Man is body, and the body’s projections:  mind, heart, soul, and spirit.  Kill the body, and the body stops projecting, hence the projections cease to be, to exist.  There is no soul existing apart (separate) from the living body.

 

2.     There is no Biblical teaching of man having any intrinsic, inherent, created immortality.  It’s not in there.  No where does the Bible set forth the doctrine, teaching, or exemplification of man being or possessing (as a matter of original creation) any immortality.  Not only is there no such thing as a free standing or self-separating at death objective soul, there is no such thing as an immortal soul.  All such constructions are mythology.  It’s not Biblical simply because it’s not inthe Bible.  The Scripture never uses the terminology immortal soul, or eternal soul, and never teaches anything about any kind of invisible self-sustained inner person.  That simply is not a biblical approach, concept, idea, or teaching, concerning the nature of man.

 

3.     There is no Biblical teaching of dividing man up, at, or in, death.  It’s not in there.  No where does the Bible set forth the doctrine, teaching, or exemplification of man dividing up at death and that only the body dies (as if body is something separate or separable from the person).  The Bible teaches that since the fall, man is mortal (mortal essentially means destined to die); the death principle is part of man’s fabric and being as a result of man’s sinning.  Man’s destiny isdeath.  The whole man lives; the whole man dies.  The Bible never teaches that man divides!  “Death” is of the person, and is synonymous with “body death” precisely because we are body-persons.  The person is not separable from body specifically because we are “body-persons.”  The person dies, the body dies.  The body dies, the person dies.  The death that man’s sin brought upon all mankind is the death of the whole body-person.  Now listen to this next statement very carefully; take time to let it sink in fully. 

 

 

Believe it or not, the Bible never ever teaches that life continues on after death (as in an automatic unbroken chain of existence).  Contrastingly, life does not go on, that’s what the Scripture teaches!

 

The idea that the person never dies is simply not a Biblical teaching.  It’s a satanic lie.  It is precisely because death means death, meaning that life comes to an end, a true and total ending, for that reason in particular, resurrection has such power, indeed miraculous power as the Biblical message (and act of God) that it is.

 

4.     There is no Biblical teaching of soul ascension.    It’s not in there.  No where does the Bible set forth the doctrine, teaching, or exemplification of soul ascension.  It’s simply not in there.  The Bible knows nothing of soul ascension (the notion that man has a soul that upon death goes to purgatory, heaven, or hell).  The Scripture never teaches that in, at, or after death, we immediately proceed to heaven and enter into the presence of Christ and are consciouslywith Him waiting for the rest of the redeemed dying to get there!  None of those beliefs or notions appear anywhere in the Bible.

 

5.     There is no Biblical teaching whatsoever at all acting as warrant for, or serving to justify any theory of, the separation into different parts orstages, of the salvation event.  (We are speaking here of salvation in the actual practical rubber meets the road sense, that which takes place in the resurrection of the redeemed unto life).  This argument is a little more complicated to follow; please bear with me.  The Biblical doctrine is that the elect are saved in the resurrection, for all intents and purposes, all together, and at once.  Also, the elect are brought into the presence of Christ, all together, all at once.  That’s what the Bible teaches.  Current church traditionalists (in counter distinction to those biblical truths) say that salvation (i.e., its impartation) is divided up.  Their view goes like this:  disembodied souls are made perfect individually, right now, following upon the believer’s death; and said believers as disembodied perfected souls, individually enter into conscious presence and fellowship with Christ in heaven immediately after death.  Also, they teach each person is judged immediately after death.  Now, you must understand that the Bible teaches almost nothing of what traditionalists hold to in this subject area.  The Scriptures teach:

 

 

There will be a day upon which everyone will be judged

 

We will all be made perfect at the same juncture or event on the day of resurrection

 

And we all will enter into the presence of Christ Jesus together, corporately, in the glorification event

 

 

 Jesus really will save His people, and altogether, too!  The redemption that Jesus accomplished and applied is of the whole man, the whole body-person, and it is the whole man (in the applying of redemption to the elect in this life) that is imputed righteousness, resurrection, and immortality in one and the same event, regeneration.  So, we all get it all, so to speak, now, via imputation (a legal reckoning or accounting).  Thus too, in the resurrection, it is the whole man who experiences these three things as an imparted or infused reality, and this is a three-pronged something which occurs essentially simultaneously.  The Bible details that in the resurrection/transformation event we will receive imparted righteousness, resurrection, and immortality, all at once.  This most assuredly argues against there being any validity in or of the supposed biblical doctrine of an intermediary or interim conscious disembodied soul life in heaven, said souls living thereawaiting the day of consummation.

 

 

Bottom line:  You cannot separate

 

infused righteousness,

actual resurrection and man’s

transformation into incorruptibility (immortality realized)

 

Righteousness –Resurrection –Immortality

 

…as they are all three part and parcel of one and the same event.  They are the same event as in this fashion:

 

If I shoot you in the chest at point blank range with a 50 caliber cartridge, many things take place that are differing aspects of that one and the same event.  First, you start bleeding profusely.   Second, you stop being able to draw breath.  Third, your heart is either gone or it stops beating.  And fourth, of course, you die.  None of these can be separated from the action of being shot.  They are all togetherpart and parcel (results or outcomes) of the same event.  In like manner, being made alive again, righteous, and immortal are outcomes of the resurrection and transformation event (all three together form salvation realized); they cannot be separated one from the other; they all three dovetail in together.  Another way of saying it is, that they all three combined, constitute man being perfected into the image of Christ, and that is salvation.  Correspondingly, the Bible never sets forth soul ascension as the believer’s hope.  There is no teaching or even simple recognition, as in acknowledgement, of soul ascension as that which we should hope for.  None.  It’s not in there!  Rather, the hope of every true believer, that which we are suppose to believe in as the very culmination of the salvation work of God, as it were, that which is the focus and end game, so to speak, is the clear Biblical message of the resurrection of the redeemed unto life eternal; thus taught Jesus.  It is this all important resurrection/transformation event that the Bible unflinchingly presents as our true and only hope.  Currentchurch traditionalism virtually negates and sets itself in opposition to or against this most highly central and significant Biblical message:  the Biblical message of the resurrection/transformation event –scripturally set forth as our true focus of faith and hope.  Definite immortality is nothing more and nothing less than a systematized formulation of the biblical doctrine of resurrection.

 

 

 

 

 

*****

 

What is the upshot of this entire discussion?  The answer to that question is simply this:

 

We have been lied to, all of our lives.

 

The Bible never presents the central question of Biblical witness as being,

 

“When you die, are you going to heaven or hell?”

 

Rather, the Scripture proclaims this question,

 

(continued in part two)

 

 

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