Do I Have an Immortal Soul?

I CANNOT FIND ANY MENTION of ‘immortal soul’ in the Bible. I read a lot about souls, and about immortality, but I don’t find the words used together. This is what the Bible tells me about the human soul:

Be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul (Joshua 22:5).

I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish (Jeremiah 31:25).

The soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4).

And this is what it tells me about immortality:

To those who by patience in well- doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give eternal life (Romans 2:7).

This perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53).

He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen (1 Timothy 6:15–16).

If a soul can be weary and die, and immortality is something that only God has now and that is promised to faithful people in the future, it follows that the popular idea of an eternal spark within us that persists after we die, is not an idea that comes from the Bible.

This is what the Bible tells me about death:

Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned (Romans 5:12).

The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).

If we are sinners and death is the wages of sin, and if one day death will be taken away, we cannot be immortal now.

How then can I become immortal? This is what the Bible says:

An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgement (John 5:28–29).

This perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53).

While we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life (2 Corinthians 5:4).

I shall be made immortal, by God’s grace, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to establish God’s Kingdom.

When will this judgement be? This is what the Bible tells me:

Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom (2 Timothy 4:1).

The Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done (Matthew 16:27).

We must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:10).

So it cannot be the case that we are judged when we die—that some souls go to heaven, and some to hell. The judgement will happen at Christ’s return.

Let me summarise what we have seen:

In death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? (Psalm 6:5).

For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2).

Death is unconsciousness, oblivion.

When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to establish his Father’s Kingdom, there will be a resurrection and a judgement. Then at last I will receive the blessing of immortality, if I have striven to follow him faithfully in this mortal life.

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