Wednesday, 20 May 2020

In Coronatime thinking about death

None of us likes thinking about death, but there are times when we have little choice. For weeks now we did not hear anything else that so many died. Everywhere in the world lives are lost.

The unseen enemy has reached every corner of society, being rich does not help you to avoid the death toll. The so-called most rich, developed and greatest nation in the world shows its very weak position and how capital gain has become more important there than human lives of ethical values.

We could notice an increase at certain websites and received more letters and phone calls from worried people, asking why God allows this to happen or what mankind has done wrong. The corona crisis has unexpectedly raised the specter of death itself, our constant companion even if, most of the time, we do our best to ignore it.

This month Time Magazine has taken the opportunity to write about death, heaven and hell.

There are over two billion Christians in the world, the vast majority of whom believe in heaven and hell. According to many Christian when people die they would have one part, which they call the soul going either to everlasting bliss or torment (or purgatory en route). Strangely enough, most Christians believe in a loving heavenly Father, but do not ask a question about such a father when he would have his children being tortured for ages and ages in a fire! Can you imagine yourself doing that to your children, even when they would have hurt yourself a lot?

Americans continue to anticipate a version of the alternatives portrayed in The Good Place: regardless of religious persuasion, 72% believe in a literal heaven, 58% in a literal hell.

Do they never went or go looking in the Bible to see what the Word of God really says?

The vast majority of these people assume also Jesus himself taught such read. But that is not true. Neither Jesus, nor the Hebrew Bible he interpreted, endorsed the view that departed souls go to paradise or everlasting pain. Though there were Roman and Greek philosophers who talked about split personalities or two or more elements in a human being that could separate from the physical human being. Only many centuries later those who agreed with the Roman rulers to go for a three-headed god, also were eager to integrate the thought of separate units in the human body with a soul going to one or another place.

Unlike most Greeks, ancient Jews traditionally did not believe the soul could exist at all apart from the body. On the contrary, for them, the soul was more like the “breath.” In particular for them it was the Breath of God Which brought the breath in man, making him able to breathe and to live. Without breathing or without breath there would be no life in man.

It is good that Time magazine in these times when so many are confronted with death, brings an article to clarify the misreading of so many books and in particular the reading of the Book of books, the Bible.
Bart D. Ehrman in his article of 2020 May the 8th is willing to look at the first human God created, Adam, who began as a lump of clay; then God “breathed” life into him (Genesis 2: 7). Adam remained alive until he stopped breathing. Then it was dust to dust, ashes to ashes.

Ancient Jews thought that was true of us all. When we stop breathing, our breath doesn’t go anywhere. It just stops. So too the “soul” doesn’t continue on outside the body, subject to postmortem pleasure or pain. It doesn’t exist any longer.

In the article, you shall be able to read that it was not only by the Christians that opinions changed. In several Jewish communities infiltrated the false teachings. Problem with lots of human beings is that it is very difficult to cope with the idea that we just can die and that everything would be finished with us. Not many people love the idea that when we die we can not do anything any more. Though the scriptures are very clear about it.
 “For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.” (Ec 9:5 NAS)

 “Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” (Ec 9:10 NAS)
For many it is unacceptable that we would just be like plants and animals and not having something better after this life. But the Bible tells us:
 “19  For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. 20  All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.” (Ec 3:19-20 NAS)
It must be said also God’s own people Israel continually were by their confrontation of difficulties in life oblidged to think about life and death.

The article writer questions
 If God loves his people and is sovereign over all the world why do his people experience so much tragedy?
And remarks
Contrary to what other Jewish leaders taught, Jesus preached that no one will inherit the glorious future kingdom by stringently observing all the Jewish laws in their most intimate details; or by meticulously following the rules of worship involving sacrifice, prayer, and observance of holy days; or by pursuing one’s own purity through escaping the vile world and the tainting influence of sinful others. Instead, for Jesus, the earthly utopia will come to those who are fully dedicated to the most pervasive and dominant teachings of God’s law. Put most simply, that involves loving God above all things despite personal hardship, and working diligently for the welfare of others, even when it is exceedingly difficult. People who have not been living lives of complete unselfish love need to repent and return to the two “greatest commandments” of Jewish Scripture: deep love of God (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) and committed love of neighbor (Leviticus 19:18).

Please find the Time magazine to read: What Jesus Really Said About Heaven and Hell


Find more articles about the "soul" 

  1. How much does man wants to be dependent on a Divine Creator?
  2. Why is the Holy Spirit sometimes called the Holy Ghost? 
  3. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  4. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  5. Looking at three “I am” s
  6. Non-practicing Christians widely believing in a god or higher power
  7. What is life?
  8. Concerning Man
  9. Realities concerning Human Life and Death
  10. Dying or not
  11. What happens when we die?
  12. Immortality, eternality - onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  13. Is there an Immortal soul
  14. The Soul not a ghost
  15. Are we taken up into heaven straight after we die?
  16. The Soul confronted with Death
  17. Consciously or unconsciously forming a world-view and choosing to believe or not to believe in God
  18. From dust and breath into living beings
  19. Bereshith 1-2 The Creation of the World – The Seven Days
  20. Bereshith 2 Man and Woman placed in a Royal Garden
  21. The figure of Eve
  22. Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit
  23. Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love
  24. Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching
  25. Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self
  26. Calvin’s view on trying to save your life
  27. Spurgeon’s view on trying to save your life
  28. False teachers and false prophets still around
  29. We all have to have dreams
  30. Departed Souls Await Judgment
  31. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #1 Intro
  32. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word
  33. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #3 Historical background
  34. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #4 Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures
  35. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #5 Mortality of man and mortality of the spirit
  36. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #6 Summary
  37. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  38. The resurrected Lord
  39. Who Through Jesus Sleep
  40. All Souls’ Day
  41. I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell
  42. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #1 Beginning of everything
  43. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
  44. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  45. According the vatican ashes and bone fragments cannot be kept at home
  46. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  47. The Development of Differences
  48. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  49. Today’s thought “A Perfect World” (January 02)
  50. Today’s Thought “Proclaiming the kingdom” (May 13)
  51. To be prepared for the Day of Judgment
  52. A Word and helping sites to give answers
  53. Two new encyclopaedic articles

 Articles about hell

  1. Hellfire 
  2. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #3 Transcendence or Surpassing other gods and man
  3. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  4. God’s wrath and sanctification
  5. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  6. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles
  7. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #9 Restored names and Sacred Name Bibles
  8. I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell
  9. When there is secrecy involved
  10. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  11. Need to reject an archaic, racist inspired interpretation of the Bible and animosity against other believers
  12. Realities concerning Human Life and Death
  13. Is there an Immortal soul
  14. Grave, tomb, sepulchre - graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  15. This month's survey question: Heaven and Hell
  16. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13
  17. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  18. Jesus three days in hell
  19. We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”
  20. Jewish and Christian traditions of elders
  21. Are we taken up into heaven straight after we die?
  22. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  23. Is Hell-fire something to fear
  24. Fear and protection
  25. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  26. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  27. Another way looking at a language #3 Abraham
  28. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  29. From nothingness to a growing group of followers of Jeshua 3 Korban for God or gods
  30. Sources of evil
  31. Edward Wightman
  32. Dave Norris and his writings on the Belgian Bible Students
  33. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  34. Heaven and hell still high on the believers list showing a religion gender gap
  35. Indulgence still offered by roman Catholic Church
  36. Today’s thought “Whoever is not with me …” (March 19)
  37. Today’s thought “Ability to circumcise your heart” (May 13)
  38. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  39. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building

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