I found a pamphlet in my door the other day left by a neighboring religious group in my county. I’ve had a few conversations with them in the past, and I suppose I will do so again in the future if the opportunity arises, but this time I wasn’t home so the “paper work” got left behind.
The pamphlet addresses several spiritually natured questions inside. The title is actually labeled “Would You Like to Know the Truth?” So that at least lets me know what they intend for me to learn from its pages, and on the front page they do reference the right source for finding the truth (the word of God, the Bible – John 17:17) so I’ll give them that much – but one thing that the pamphlet does not give is the truth concerning the answers to the questions that it addresses.
For example, one question that it asks and answers is “What Happens to Us When We Die?” Here’s the excerpt from the pamphlet that deals with that issue:
WHY THE QUESTION ARISES: Most of the world’s religions teach that something inside a person continues living after death. Some hold that the dead can harm the living or that God punishes the wicked by condemning them to eternal torment in a fiery hell.
WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES: At death, humans cease to exist. “The dead . . . are conscious of nothing at all,” states Ecclesiastes 9:5. Since the dead cannot know, feel, or experience anything, they cannot harm-or help-the living. – Psalm 146:3,4.
see also Genesis 3:19 and Ecclesiastes 9:6,10
There is one statement/sentiment in this quote that I take no issue with. Although I strongly believe in life after death, I don’t believe in “ghosts” in the way most of the world believes in them so with I’ll agree with them on that topic for the most part. Although I do wonder how they deal with Acts 19:13-16. But anyways, that’s where the no issue and the big issues begin and end.
Here’s what I want you to get from the point that the pamphlet was trying to make. When a person has to lean heavily on the book of Ecclesiastes to support their doctrine concerning life after death and the condition of the soul that should be an indicator. I’m not putting down the inspiration of Ecclesiastes at all. I’m just saying that Christianity is a religion that is based upon a certain individual who died and then rose from the dead to die no more! You would think that this person’s point of view and teaching on the subject would carry a little more weight in this pamphlet. And I suppose it would if it weren’t for the fact that the words of Jesus would be too much weight for their answer to support.
Jesus himself drew a clear line in the sand when he boldly said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 – NKJV) Sounds like this one verse knocks out both claims: 1) something does in deed live on after death, and 2) there is a place of punishment for the wicked called hell.
But now you may be quick to point out that the pamphlet never denied that we will eventually live again after death, or that the pamphlet didn’t deny the existence of Hell, it only addressed the duration of it. Fair enough point, so let’s keep listening to what Jesus said concerning those two issues.