Monday, May 11, 2009

The soul doesn't leave the body at death

I think it’s safe to say that most Christians think that your soul leaves your body when you die. What I’m about to show you is that this is not biblical. The biblical afterlife is not the immortality of the soul but the resurrection of the body.

Second Corinthians 5:1-8 is put forward by Christians as proof of the immortality of the soul and thus the departure of the soul from the body at death. Yet in these verses Paul says that your present physical body (a flesh and blood “tent”, as he calls it) must be changed into an immortal, imperishable body (a resurrected “house”, as he calls it). Resurrection accomplishes this, says Paul, and nothing else.

2 Corinthians 5:1-8 For we know that if the earthly tent (skenos {pronounced skay'-nos} meaning tent or tabernacle) we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling (house) -- 3 if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord -- 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. (italics mine)

This quote, perhaps more than any other, is held up as proof of your immortal soul leaving your body and going to heaven when you die. Is that how you read it? Yes, Paul does write about being “in the body” and “away from the body.” Isn’t that proof that during your life your soul is “at home in the body,” but in death your soul is “away from the body”? And isn’t that proof that your soul leaves your body at death? Not in the least on both accounts. Take a closer look.

First, where is the word soul in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8? It’s not there. If an interpretation tells me that these verses are about the immortality of the soul, and the word soul is not in those verses, then I feel pretty suspicious up front.

Second, why would Paul abandon the resurrection of the body in this one passage while holding to it everywhere else? For Paul, the resurrection of the body from the dead is key. If there is not resurrection, Paul says, then our faith is for nothing and we have no hope. (1 Corinthians 15, especially verses 14 and 19)

So, you might ask: If Paul isn’t saying that your soul leaves your body at death, then what might he be saying?

Your flesh-and-blood body (your present natural body) is an earthly tent (skenos), says Paul in verses 1-4. The destruction of the tent is death (verse 1). But we will have a heavenly house, says Paul; the flesh-and-blood physical tent will be transformed into a proper eternal home. The house will be better than the tent we have now. The tent is mortal. The result of death is that what is mortal will be swallowed up by Life (verse 4)—becoming immortal. So we have nothing to worry about, he claims. The dead tent is swallowed up by Life when raised as an eternal home. Read 1-4 again:

2 Corinthians 5:1-4 For we know that if the earthly tent (our mortal bodies) we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God (our immortal bodies), a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling -- 3 if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (bold italics mine)

Paul is talking about resurrection, as always, when he speaks of the afterlife. Yes, 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 is used more than any other to argue for the immortality of the soul. And I understand why. It can easily be misconstrued. It says to be “at home in the body” is to be “away from the Lord,” and the reverse: “to be away from the body” is to “be at home with the Lord.” But again, forget immortality of the soul. It’s not there. It’s a pagan philosophy that has poisoned the Christian resurrection well.

NET Colossians 2:8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

I can show you definitively that Paul is talking about resurrection. Let me inserts phrases in brackets from elsewhere in Paul’s teaching to clarify Paul’s meaning in verses 6-8:

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the [flesh-and-blood natural] body [here and now in this earthly tent] we are away from the Lord [until the resurrection when our physical bodies are changed into spiritual bodies like his, not a mere tent but an eternal house, and we will be like him and see him face to face] -- 7 for we walk by faith [right now in the earthly tent], not by sight. 8 Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the [flesh-and-blood natural] body [only a tent] and at home with the Lord [in the house that is our spiritual body in the resurrection of the dead, a body like his].

We’re not leaving our bodies at death, according to Paul. Our dead, defeated tents are transformed into living, victorious houses on the day of resurrection. Our mortal bodies become immortal bodies. Our perishable bodies become imperishable bodies. Our bodies will be like Jesus’ body. We’ll have spiritual bodies. We’ll be with him and see him for the first time as he is, Paul insists.

NET 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror indirectly,* but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known.

*NET Notes (1 Co 13:12): Corinth was well known in the ancient world for producing some of the finest bronze mirrors available. Paul's point in this analogy, then, is not that our current understanding and relationship with God is distorted (as if the mirror reflected poorly), but rather that it is "indirect," (i.e., the nature of looking in a mirror) compared to the relationship we will enjoy with him in the future when we see him "face to face" (cf. G. D. Fee, First Corinthians [NICNT], 648).

The pagan idea of the immortality of the soul is entirely different and entirely incompatible with the Bible’s promised resurrection. It comes from Greek mythology and philosophy. It’s Plato’s calling card.

In the pagan philosophy of immortality of the soul . . .

1. the human body is bad and the soul is good
2. the good soul is imprisoned in the bad human body
3. the good soul escapes the bad human body at death
4. the soul’s destiny is a cycle of reincarnations

In Christian Scripture . . .

1. the human body is made by God and is not evil
2. the human body is not separable from the soul
3. the human body is not a prison for the soul which must be escaped
4. the whole person is made alive, each person once and uniquely, with body and soul together forever via resurrection from the dead in Christ Jesus on the last day

The following text is often paired with 2 Corinthians 5 to argue for the immortality of the soul:

Philippians 1:21-24 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.

Paul is talking about resurrection here too, not his soul leaving his body. Now, Paul says, we live in the flesh of a physical body—a temporary tent. We depart via death and resurrection to be with Christ in a spiritual body—an eternal house. By “remain in the flesh” he means remain in the tent that is our flesh-and-blood natural bodies while mortals. To depart and be with Christ is the preferable choice (to be in face-to-face immortality with the Lord at the resurrection), but Paul puts the needs of the church first and tells them that they need him in the tent for a little longer. His service to them is not finished.

There is nothing in 2 Corinthians 5 or Philippians 1 about the immortality of the soul or the soul leaving the body. Both chapters are referring, as Paul does consistently throughout his letters, to resurrection of the whole person.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him (Jesus) in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

1 Corinthians 15:12-13 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised;

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22 for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.

Second Peter 1:13-15 is also noted as support for immortality of the soul.
2 Peter 1:13-15 I think it right, as long as I am in this body* to refresh your memory, 14 since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. (italics mine)

*skenoma {pronounced skay'-no-mah} meaning tent or tabernacle (but is translated here as body)

Don’t miss Peter’s use of the word, “this.” “. . . as long as I am in THIS body (tent) . . .” He’s not suggesting that his soul is detachable. He’s talking about “this” old body being changed into the next body, a new body, the tent become a house. He’s talking about the resurrection of his body after his “departure,” meaning his death.

Arguably more than any other verses, 1 Corinthians 5:1-8, Philippians 1:21-24, and 2 Peter 1:13-15 are used by Christians to defend the immortality of the soul. This is indefensible. Christians believe in the resurrection of the body on the last day, as our most commonly recited creed of faith professes. The Apostles’ Creed, a listing of the essentials of biblical apostolic teaching, says nothing about the soul leaving the body at death. But it does say this:

“I believe in . . . the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen."

For more on the Apostle Paul see my blogs The Apostle Paul Never Converted to Christianity, Paul Didn't Go to Heaven, and Porneia.


Unknown said...

Hey Gary, what's your take on 2 Cor. 12:2-3. Just wondering. I'm all with you on what you are saying. Thanks for your great posts!
- Dave

bertgary said...

David, thanks for the encouragement and the question. I know a David Wilson in Mississippi; but not you, right? My answer, after rereading it, its too long. Should I post it as a blog?

Paul’s experience was a vision or revelation of the Lord and heaven, by his own words.

2 Corinthians 12:1-7 It is necessary to boast; nothing is to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3 And I know that such a person -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows -- 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat.

Paul unassumingly claims to have no idea whether what happened to him was in his mind’s eye or if he was taken bodily to the third heaven or Paradise. In other words, the vision or revelation was so real that he’s not sure if it was internal or external. That fact alone makes his experience superior to the boasting Corinthians, he claims.

I know that this is one of the verses quoted by the “disembodied-soul-going-to-heaven” crowd. But this verse isn’t support for Plato’s bodiless soul. It's not there. Paul isn’t talking about the immortality of the soul. He’s not talking about his soul leaving his body. He didn’t mean to write, “I don’t know whether I went to heaven bodily or as a disembodied soul.” That’s just wrong, though that’s the way it’s usually read. Paul’s a Christian. Christians believe in the resurrection of the body.

Paul is saying that he had an experience of heaven. He calls it a vision and a revelation. The experience was so vivid, however, that he admits he doesn’t know for sure whether it was an inner vision (a mental panorama) or an actual visit (a physical panorama). These are the two options Paul presents.

1. If he had a vision, the vision was inside him, internal, in the body—that is, within himself, within his mind’s eye.

2. If he had an actual visit to heaven, the visit was a reality external to him, a reality outside of his body.

In a nutshell, there are two ways this “trip” could have happened, says Paul. The problem is that the vision was so crystal-clear that it could have been an actual physical journey. That’s his point. He’s trying to show the Corinthians that it’s futile to compare revelations and visions, to rank people by how flashy their visions and revelations were. Paul is telling them they can’t win because they can’t top this: His vision of heaven was as real as his waking consciousness—so real, he says, that it was the same as being there bodily.

Let me make my point once more. Whether in the body (an internal vision or revelation) or out of the body (an actual physical experience), Paul honestly doesn’t know. BUT, he calls it a vision or revelation. That suggest that he believes it was internal.

Paul's experience had nothing whatsoever to do with what is called today “out of body experiences” (OBEs), "near death experiences" (NDE), or the soul escaping the body at death. Paul’s soul leaving his body wasn’t an option he considered.


Near Death Experiences said...

The Resurrection is through a spiritual body. 1 Cor. 15:50 says "that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God" and in 15:42-44 we are told that the body is raised a "spiritual body."

We also find evidence in research of near death experiences that it is our spiritual body that leaves the body.

bertgary said...

Reply to NDE:

With no introductions it's hard to tell who you are or where you're coming from.

I've written extensively on 1 Cor 15. What is your point in quoting it?

Who is "we"? Do you belong to a team or group of NDE researchers?

As a researcher, I assume you are aware that while you claim that you have evidence that an NDE is the spiritual body leaving the mortal body, you give zero evidence, and I can't imagine what such evidence would look like.

Matt said...

Jesus said to the thief on the cross, "Today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). A simple but quick refutation of what you're saying.

Matt said...

However, I would certainly agree with you in what you are saying about a bodily resurrection. Job 19:26 - "And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God." When Christ comes again, our bodies and souls will be re-united and made new, and "we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2).

bertgary said...

Matt, not at all. Of course I took this saying of Jesus from the cross into consideration when I wrote Heaven for Skeptics. It was a "major player" in my attempt to explain the real biblical afterlife.

I concluded that the today of your death is the day of your resurrection, "resurrection day" being what I presume Jesus means by his colorful term, Paradise.

Moses and Elijah, not ghosts but glorified men according to Scripture, visited Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. If resurrection of the body is the only biblical afterlife (and it is), and if these two OT prophets were resurrected men, then where and when did they come from. The only "logical" answer, if you can call resurrection logical, is that they are from the future resurrection of the dead.

Therefore, Jesus was telling the criminal that he would experience---with no wait---the future resurrection of the dead TODAY.

Again, the Bible insists that the resurrection is the dead is future and bodily and upon death there is no waiting period or place.

There are many cool implications here. And this may raise more questions for you. If you want to continue the conversation, I'm interested.

While I have to disagree with your conclusion, Matt, I do appreciate your comment.


Matt said...

Thanks for the quick and detailed response! I wasn't expecting that. :)

However, I do think your explanation is a bit of a stretched interpretation. Jesus said, "Today". He didn't say, "today" in your experience. Furthermore, what you're saying would imply, then, that Jesus' "today" was not equal to the thief's "today". I'm glad you are aware of the text, however.

I agree with the thrust of your exegesis of the following passages (2 Cor 5:1-4), and with your quoting of the following passages (Romans 6:5, 1 Cor. 13:12, 1 Cor. 15:12-13, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22), that they refer to a bodily resurrection (cf. as well, 1 John 3:2, Job 19:26). However, I disagree with your interpretation of the other passages. Yes, the bodily resurrection IS the great and final fulfillment of these passages. But that does not negate the fact that these passages speak of an intermediate state, 'absent from the body, but present with the Lord.' But I sense you won't be swayed by my argument, as you've already gone into some depth on these already. :)

With respect to Elijah and Moses, first of all, Elijah never died and so did not need a bodily resurrection. He was taken up to heaven in a glory cloud. However, Moses certainly did die and was buried (Deut. 34:5-6). So, I would agree with your comment that his bodily presence was a fore-taste of the final resurrection day.

But there are many other passages, as well. In contrasting the Old Testament worship with New Testament worship, and proclaiming the beauty of the worship that Christ has obtained for us through His blood, the author of Hebrews mentions the 'spirits of just men made perfect' (Heb. 12:23). Rev. 6:9-10 speaks of the SOULS of those who have been slain crying out to the Lord, "How long, O Lord?" (clearly a reference to the coming Judgment / Resurrection day). In Matt. 10:28, Jesus makes a clear distinction between the body and soul, and makes a point off that difference. (These are the passages that come to mind with a study of the topic.) Here is a question for you: is there a difference between the body and the soul? What is that difference? You seem to almost treat them as identical. (Incidentally, I agree with 1, 3, and 4 of your four points on what the "Christian Scripture" teaches about the body and soul.)

But I suspect that you have also looked at these verses as well, so I don't think we'll get anywhere. However, it appears to me as if you're reacting quite strongly against Greek gnostic notions (which is good!), and that's how you end up how you do. You're reacting against a spirit-only heaven, a harps-in-the-cloud picture. Good! However, be careful that in your reaction you do not over-react and depart from the plain teaching of Scripture (or so I argue). Once again, the future hope of the bodily resurrection, when soul and body will be united forever to possess eternal life and fellowship with God, does not negate our souls' presence with God after death.

Matt said...

I meant to say above that the passages I quoted were ones made withOUT much study of the topic, not with.

My email address is also provided on my blog (where your posts are).

Bill Krulish said...

A friend just sent me a link to this very old post. Pardon my LATE comment. I want to chime in on the Luke 23:43 "Today" passage. One thing to remember is that the original language did not have punctuation marks. "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (ESV) could also EASILY be translated "Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise."

The comma is not in the origin language, so either way could be valid. I would say that the weight of scripture would point to the second version.

bertgary said...

Yeah, thanks Bill Krulish, I get that, that if you move the comma over one word, the meaning changes, for sure. "Today" would not be referring to when they would be in Paradise, but to when Jesus is making this declaration: Today, I am telling you the truth: You will be with me in paradise (at some unspecified future date).

This change, however, has no precedent in Jesus’ other “truly I tell you” sayings. I still think that Jesus was telling the man that “today”—-the day of their crucifixions-—they would be together in paradise, as it is universally translated into English.

Man, we should be doing these comments at the end of one of the other blogs that more directly wrestles with this issue. I wish you would check out "Where Is My Grandmother?" and comment over there:

vic said...

And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.

And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah and the soul of the child came into him again and he revived.

And Elijah took the child and brought him down out of the chamber into the house and delivered him unto his mother.

Also note Luke 19 both died the rich man and was at peace one was in torment.

we are not to fear not man who can just kill the body, but we are to fear God who can destroy both body and soul in hell.

the word of God is quick and powerful dividing asunder of bone and morrow and soul and spirit

bertgary said...


The 1 Kings verses feature the Hebrew word nephesh. The KJV translation as "soul" is misleading and unfortunate. Most translate it simply as "life." Ancient Hebrews did not believe in an afterlife at all, much less souls leaving bodies, but their pagan neighbors did, as did the ancient Greeks, as do too many modern Christians. To the Hebrews, a living person is alive and has life (nephesh).

"The Rich Man and Lazarus" is a playful parable lampooning greed, not an afterlife description.

Jesus' warning to "fear him who can destroy both soul (psuche) and body in Gehenna" is a warning of the danger posed to your life by your family ("enemies in your own home"). The Greek word psuche is roughly equivalent to the Hebrew nephesh meaning life-breath-mind. Gehenna is a valley south of Jerusalem where garbage burned, sewage poured, and corpses were dumped, the perfect metaphor for the living death possible when families turn on their own.

Hebrews 4:12 is about God knowing us through and through, penetrating our flesh and muscle and life and breath and bone, deep down inside, right down to the heart, not meaning the heart muscle literally, but the heart muscle representing the very core of our beings, who we are deep down inside, our essential natures. This verse is not an afterlife description, and it does not depict souls leaving bodies. On the contrary, the point is that we humans cannot see the human heart hidden behind flesh and bone, and neither can we see a person's soul/life/essence, but God can see both.

vic said...

The Rich man and Lazarus.

In some ways Luke 16:19-31 does appear to be a parable, but for many reasons, it can be shown that it is not.

The definition of a parable: Greek: "παραβολή/parabole is based on the Greek word, παραβάλλω, paraballo, "to throw or lay beside, to compare. "παραβολή or parable means to place something beside something else for the purpose of comparison. A Biblical parable uses a story from ordinary, every day events and objects that the intended audience is familiar with, then Jesus, explains or clarifies an unknown or misunderstood spiritual or Biblical truth by comparing it to what is known. The question is then, what is the unknown or misunderstood spiritual or Biblical truth in the story of Lazarus and the rich man? The spiritual truth of Luke 16:19-31, has or needs nothing to be "thrown beside" or compared to. Unlike the parables of the sower, lost coins, lost sheep which Jesus had to explain to be understood.

All parables, are ordinary, every day, realistic events and objects that could be readily understood. The only every day, ordinary event in Luke 16:19-31, is Lazarus and the rich man living their respective lives then dying. After that Jesus describes events after death, which nobody in Jesus’ immediate audience, or anyone who has lived since, could possibly have any knowledge of.

Everyone understands from human experience the parables of the sower, a widow losing coins, a man planting a field, etc! The view, that Luke 16:19-31 is a parable, miserably fails. The entire scene in the "grave" is totally outside the realm of human experience. And if this is a parable, then it is the ONLY one in the Bible where Jesus based his teaching on something totally unknown to his audience.

The fact that Lazarus is actually named gives strong evidence this is a true story. In none of the legitimate parables did Jesus ever give specific names. Although the story begins with "there was a certain..." this phrase alone does not indicate that it was a parable.

Further very strong evidence that Luke 16 is not a parable, is that an actual historical person is named, Abraham. The rich man addresses him as, “father Abraham.” Jesus could legitimately use the ordinary, everyday actions of anonymous men, widows, shepherds, absent landowners, etc., to clarify or illustrate Biblical truths. Throughout history people have lost and found sheep and coins, farmers have sown seed, sons have squandered their father’s money and returned home in shame, etc. But, since Jesus did not identify the story as a parable, make any other disclaimer, or ever explain the story to his disciples, if Abraham was not in that specific place, and did not speak the specific words Jesus quotes, then Jesus was lying. Jesus is not a liar.

Even conceding arguendo Luke 16:19- 31, might be a parable, it really makes no difference. Those who assert that it is a parable are still wrong! Without exception all legitimate parables are based upon REAL ordinary, every day events, NOT myths, legends, or the unknown. Some religious groups, JWs, etc. argue that the story of Lazarus and the rich man is an old Jewish myth or fable, or even a pagan Greek fable. Since Jesus condemned the extra-biblical teachings of the Pharisees, on many occasions, Matt 5:22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44, 11:22,24; Luke 6:27, 10:12., etc., he certainly would not violate his own principles and scripture as expressed by the apostle Paul in Titus 1:14

Tit 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth

bertgary said...

g, we don't agree about much, it seems, and I am uncertain that this will help, but should you want some of my thoughts on the Lazarus parable, here's a link to my article published in PTM:

vic said...

9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (note how death and hell delivered up the dead that were in them)

See also second peter 2 which write's of angels caste down to hell and the the wicked reserved. verse 4 For God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into the chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgement.

bertgary said...

g, I'm not thrilled about your pasting verses here with no personal comment or explanation, and I don't know what these verses have to do with this blog entry. Let's stay on topic, and let's paste less and comment more, OK?

However, should you be interested, I have written here about the lake of fire and about the subject of hell:

Lake of Fire Defined:

Hell Defined 1:

Hell Defined 2:

Names in the Book of Life:

vic said...

allow me to explain why I posted revelation 20

I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there is a place call hell mentioned several time's through out the bible . This is the place where the wicked dead soul are reserved until final Judgement at the white throne of God. One day hell will give up the dead in it, Only to be cast into the lake of fire one woe leading to another.

2)Has Jesus made hell he is qualified to teach on it! he also knows the state of a man spirit/soul while in hell tormented, where the worms dieth not and the fire is not quenched.

I cannot explain all the finer detail's about tongue's water and fingers of Luke 19 . But there IS A PUNISHMENT FOR SINNER'S and the knowledge of that is good enough for me.

And if you are wise? you like my self will teach people to repent, live free from sin so that they and we, can escape hell & the lake of fire's eternal destruction and torment.

By the way I read your article about Lazarus and the certain rich man, What I saw was fiction, speculation, and a article out of context, most definitely not inspired, It wasn't rightly divided or based on the apostle teaching from scriptures. Sorry but not for me!

But due respect to you for replying although you don't agree (god bless you and may he open the spirit of your understanding to stick with the old fashion gospel way rapture, resurrection, living free from sin, repentance, faith towards God, heaven, hell fire and eternal Judgement. It was good for Paul and Silas and it's good enough for me.

bertgary said...

g, are you saying goodbye? I hope not.

I note that you reference hell frequently above; did you notice in my last comment that I pasted you several links to my exegesis on the four words in the Bible translated or mistranslated as hell? I thought those would interest you. And the exegesis on the lake of fire and book of life were linked for you in my last comment, too.

The "gospel way" you wrote of above--"rapture, resurrection, living free from sin, repentance, faith towards God, heaven, hell fire and eternal Judgement"--I've done serious exegesis on all of these here. You're welcome to explore.

I feel hope for you because you're reading and looking and seeking, which most people won't do. When believers rely on a pastor for what they believe, too often they get 19th century dispensationalism, and it's unbiblical and they don't know it.

I feel worried about you too, though. Your "good enough for Paul and Silas" statement above is ironic to me because I've spent thirty years studying scripture carefully, and I write about it honestly, then you find my blog, and you read a little of one or two posts, and then you start to sound like you are defending dispensationalist doctrine on your way out the door.

No need to leave. You're welcome here anytime. My email is