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Sermon Outline

On Death, Dying, and the Future Hope

The Biblical Worldview

Lesson #12 for December 17, 2022

Scriptures:Luke 2:52; Matthew 4:23; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Psalm 24:3-4; Acts 8:4-24; 1 John 3:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

  1. The book of Revelation talks about some very serious times which are coming. They are even called the seven last plagues! But, there are some very serious things that will happen leading up to those final events: Satan will mount a campaign in which almost the entire world will worship his associates and worship Satan himself. (Revelation 13:3-8,12,16) Ultimately, he will reach the place that he will threaten death to anyone who does not join his side. Satan has been working to get beings to worship him since his days back in heaven as Lucifer! He must complete his evil plans before the close of probation.
  2. Revelation 14 talks about God’s response of truth when the everlasting gospel will be preached “to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.” (Revelation 14:6-7, NKJV*)
  3. With (1) the Devil threatening death to anyone who does not join his side and with (2) God on His side saying anyone who does not join His side will be eternally destroyed, you can be sure that distressing times are coming (2 Timothy 3:1) and “every wind of doctrine” will be blowing; (Ephesians 4:14) people will be following all kinds of strange myths. (2 Timothy 4:4)

[From the writings of Ellen G. White=EGW:] Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome.—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy* 588.1.†‡

  1. The great controversy began in heaven next to God’s throne when Lucifer, the highest of the angels, wanted to be worshiped like Christ. Among the angels, Lucifer gradually sowed seeds of distrust of God, claiming that he was working for the betterment of heaven and the angels. Eventually, the situation came to conflict over the ideas Lucifer proposed. About one-third of the angels committed to Lucifer; many of the others had serious questions that God has answered over the centuries and continues to answer. The great controversy began on this world when Satan, the former Lucifer, after being cast out of heaven, accused God of lying about death being the result of sin!

Genesis 3:4-5: 4 The snake replied, “That’s not true; you will not die. 5God said that, because he knows that when you eat it you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.”—American Bible Society. (1992). The Holy Bible: The Good News Translation* (2nd ed.,Genesis 3:4-5). New York: American Bible Society [abbreviated as Good News Bible].†‡

  1. God had stated unequivocally what would happen if Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil. What did God say to them about death? No one had died yet.

Genesis 2:17: “But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”?New American Standard Bible: 1995 update.* (1995). (Genesis 2:17). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation. [Did Satan realize that God has foreknowledge?]

  1. So, we as Seventh-day Adventist Christians need to recognize that the truth about the nature of man and his condition after death is bound at the root with the great controversy over the character and government of God. The great question in the great controversy is: Who is telling us the truth? Is it God? Or, is it that great liar, Satan? Jesus died the second death, the death that results directly from sin which causes a separation from God, the only Source of life. This was the main reason for the death of Christ! The life and death of Jesus give us a choice: We can choose to live a life—as far as possible—like His life; or, we will die that second death that He died, separated from God. That is my worldview, my paradigm.
  2. We are blessed because we have had help from Ellen G. White in understanding the issues in the great controversy. However, the issues and answers are described in the Bible. See:

https://www.theox.org/images/uploads/bbk/KHart_BTGG_PDF_Gnrl_Great_Controversy_Described_in_Scripture_16.pdf and https://www.theox.org/index.cfm/pageid/756/index.html

  1. If these are to be the great issues as we face the end, are we prepared to speak out about them with conviction and solid evidence in favor of God’s truth?

Revelation 13:3-4,7-8,12,16: 3One of the heads of the beast seemed to have been fatally wounded, but the wound had healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. 4Everyone worshipped the dragon because he had given his authority to the beast. They worshipped the beast also, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?” ….

7It was allowed to fight against God’s people and to defeat them, and it was given authority over every tribe, nation, language, and race. 8All people living on earth will worship it, except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to the Lamb that was killed….

12It used the vast authority of the first beast in its presence. It forced the earth and all who live on it to worship the first beast, whose wound had healed…. 16The beast forced all the people, small and great, rich and poor, slave and free, to have a mark placed on their right hands or on their foreheads.—Good News Bible.*

  1. Is it possible to detect the works of Satan in the world around us? Can we immediately detect when Satan tempts us? How can we establish a firm, unshakable foundation that will survive through the final events? (See The Great Controversy, pages 593-594.)
  2. In all things, our ultimate Example is Jesus Christ. Look at what we know about the youth of Jesus as recorded inLuke 2:52.

Luke 2:52: Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favour with God and people.?Good News Bible.*

  1. You can see from this verse that Jesus developed in all the major aspects that we expect from healthy humans.

[EGW:] His mind was active and penetrating, with a thoughtfulness and wisdom beyond His years. Yet, His character was beautiful in its symmetry. The powers of mind and body developed gradually, in keeping with the laws of childhood. As a child, Jesus manifested a peculiar loveliness of disposition. His willing hands were ever ready to serve others. He manifested a patience that nothing could disturb, and a truthfulness that would never sacrifice integrity. In principle firm as a rock, His life revealed the grace of unselfish courtesy.—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages* 68.2-69.0.†‡

  1. When Jesus began His public ministry, on what did He focus? Jesus’s ministry had much teaching, preaching, and healing.

Matthew 4:23: Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the Good News about the Kingdom, and healing people who had all kinds of disease and sickness.?Good News Bible.*

  1. As Christians and as followers of Jesus, we cannot limit our abilities in reaching out to others by focusing only on their spiritual needs. Once again, Ellen White mentioned that our goal should be:

[EGW:] To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized.—Ellen G. White, Education* 15.2-16.0.†‡

  1. That is true redemption. Does one need to be a health worker to assist people with their physical health? Our church has one of the largest healthcare organizations around the world. Can the rest of us who are not healthcare workers leave the healthcare work to those who are officially trained to work in clinics and hospitals and sanitariums? Do we see “civilians” in the Seventh-day Adventist Church around the world today helping people improve their health?
  2. It might be discouraging at times to look at the example of Jesus. We will never be able to do all that Jesus did. We do not have His divine powers! But, Jesus instructed His followers to go out with those same instructions to reach the multitudes.

[Referring to the healed demoniac(s), Ellen G. White wrote:] But they bore in their own persons the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. They could tell what they knew; what they themselves had seen, and heard, and felt of the power of Christ. This is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God. John, the beloved disciple, wrote: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ... that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.”1 John 1:1-3. As witnesses for Christ, we are to tell what we know, what we ourselves have seen and heard and felt. If we have been following Jesus step by step, we shall have something right to the point to tell concerning the way in which He has led us. We can tell how we have tested His promise, and found the promise true. We can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ. This is the witness for which our Lord calls, and for want of which the world is perishing.?Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages* 340.1.†‡

[EGW:] The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. As the Son of man was perfect in His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their life. [sic]?Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages* 311.4.

[Referring to the youthful Jesus, Ellen G. White wrote:] Heavenly beings were His attendants, and the culture of holy thoughts and communings was His. From the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in spiritual grace and knowledge of truth.

Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did.?Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages* 70.3-4.†‡ [Do you know any children like that?]

  1. Bible-based Christians categorically deny the dualistic theory of the body and an “immortal soul which is trapped inside that body.” Many Christians today still believe that the immortal soul is somehow trapped in a human body. Other believers who call themselves pantheists believe that the human body will eventually be divine. They believe that God is a part of, and in, everything. So, let us review what the Bible says about our physical bodies. Should this affect the way we treat our bodies?

1 Corinthians 3:16-17: 16 Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you! 17So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you yourselves are his temple.?Good News Bible.* [Muslims also believe this truth.]

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: 19Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; 20he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God’s glory.?Good News Bible.*

1 Corinthians 10:31: Well, whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God’s glory.?Good News Bible.*

  1. In everything we do and say, are we treating our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit?
  2. Genesis tells us that both Adam and Eve were created in the image of God.

Genesis 1:26-27: 26 Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small.” 27So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female.?Good News Bible.*

  1. Sin came in and has destroyed God’s beautiful work. So, what will be the final conclusion?

1 Corinthians 15:53-54: 53For what is mortal must be changed into what is immortal; what will die must be changed into what cannot die. 54So when this takes place, and the mortal has been changed into the immortal, then the scripture will come true: “Death is destroyed; victory is complete!”?Good News Bible.*

  1. Since we believe that the body is an indivisible whole, we must care for the physical, the mental, the social, as well as a spiritual not only ourselves on our own behalf, but also we should help others with whom we come in contact. Of course, we must recognize we live in a sinful environment; heredity and our environment are not something that we have control over. People die of various causes, sometimes completely innocently.
  2. What about sin and our own personal experience?

Mark 7:21-22: [Jesus said:] 21 “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.”?New International Version.*†‡ [Sin always begins in one’s mind!]

  1. If we are going to improve on all those problems, we must begin with the transformation of the mind.

Psalm 1:1: Happy are those

who reject the advice of evil people,

who do not follow the example of sinners

or join those who have no use for God.?Good News Bible.*

Proverbs 5:1-8: 1Pay attention, my child, and listen to my wisdom and insight. 2Then you will know how to behave properly, and your words will show that you have knowledge. 3The lips of another man’s wife may be as sweet as honey and her kisses as smooth as olive oil, 4but when it is all over, she leaves you nothing but bitterness and pain. 5She will take you down to the world of the dead; the road she walks is the road to death. 6She does not stay on the road to life; but wanders off, and does not realize what is happening.

7 Now listen to me, my children, and never forget what I am saying. 8Keep away from such a woman! Don’t even go near her door.?Good News Bible.*

  1. What does it actually mean to have the mind of Christ?

Romans 12:2: Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.?Good News Bible.*

Philippians 4:8: In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable.?Good News Bible.*

Colossians 3:2: Keep your minds fixed on things there [in heaven], not on things here on earth.?Good News Bible.*

  1. How do we get these new mindsets which focus on Jesus Christ in heaven where He is? Only God can accomplish that miracle. Our lives have so many distractions today.

Jeremiah 31:31-34: 31 The LORD says, “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. Although I was like a husband to them, they did not keep that covenant. 33The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34None of them will have to teach his fellow-citizen to know the LORD, because all will know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs. I, the LORD, have spoken.”?Good News Bible.*

  1. The New Testament writers recognized this important point. For example, seeHebrews 8:8-12and 10:16-18.

[EGW:] When we are united to Christ, we have the mind of Christ. Purity and love shine forth in the character, meekness and truth control the life. The very expression of the countenance is changed. Christ abiding in the soul exerts a transforming power, and the outward aspect bears witness to the peace and joy that reign within.—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages,* Book 1, 337.2.

Philippians 3:12-16: 12 I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself. 13Of course, my brothers and sisters, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. 14So I run straight towards the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above.

15 All of us who are spiritually mature should have this same attitude. But if some of you have a different attitude, God will make this clear to you. 16However that may be, let us go forward according to the same rules we have followed until now.?Good News Bible.*

  1. Can you imagine what a life like that would actually be? Would it be possible to think so much like Jesus that no temptations would ever attract us or distract us?
  2. Jesus told us inJohn 16:7-13 that the Holy Spirit is going to be sent to help us.

John 16:7-13: [Jesus said:] 7 “But I am telling you the truth: it is better for you that I go away, because if I do not go, the Helper will not come to you. But if I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will prove to the people of the world that they are wrong about sin and about what is right and about God’s judgement. 9They are wrong about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10they are wrong about what is right, because I am going to the Father and you will not see me any more; 11and they are wrong about judgement, because the ruler of this world has already been judged.

12 “I have much more to tell you, but now it would be too much for you to bear. 13When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own authority, but he will speak of what he hears, and will tell you of things to come.”?Good News Bible.*†‡

Acts 1:8: [Jesus said:] “But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”?Good News Bible.*†‡

  1. If the Holy Spirit is the One who can transform our lives, that would mean that only those who have the Holy Spirit are truly Christian. Is that true?
  2. How do we explain Jesus’s comments recorded inMatthew 7:21-23?

Matthew 7:21-23: 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”?New International Version.*

  1. We need to constantly remember that the main way in which the Holy Spirit has been able to influence humanity is by inspiring the prophets and the apostles to write Scripture. The Bible is the Holy Spirit speaking to us on a day-by-day basis.

Romans 8:14: Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children.?Good News Bible.*

John 17:17: [Jesus said:] “Dedicate them to yourself by means of the truth; your word is truth.”?Good News Bible.*

  1. We must remember that our challenge is not only to live Godlike lives; but also, at the same time, we must be reaching out to others.

Matthew 28:18-20: 18Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”?Good News Bible.*

  1. For our part, we must constantly do our very best to make good choices instead of bad choices. We need to recognize the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Are we asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance first thing every morning?
  2. We live in a crazy world that is doing so many things in so many different directions. It is very easy to get caught up in some worldly enterprise and have it consume our time. Look at2 Peter 3:12-14 and1 John 3:1-3; and see if we can distinguish between being prepared for the second coming and getting ready for that glorious event.

2 Peter 3:12-14: 12As you wait for the Day of God and do your best to make it come soon—the Day when the heavens will burn up and be destroyed, and the heavenly bodies will be melted by the heat. 13But we wait for what God has promised: new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will be at home.

14And so, my friends, as you wait for that Day, do your best to be pure and faultless in God’s sight and to be at peace with him.?Good News Bible.*

1 John 3:1-3: 1See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God’s children—and so, in fact, we are. This is why the world does not know us: it has not known God. 2My dear friends, we are now God’s children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is. 3Everyone who has this hope in Christ keeps himself pure, just as Christ is pure.?Good News Bible.*

  1. Do we ever get stuck in the idea that “My Master is delaying His coming”? What are we doing each day to assure that we are prepared and ready for the second coming? What are we doing to help others prepare?

Hebrews 3:7-8,15: 7 So then, as the Holy Spirit says:

“If you hear God’s voice today,

8do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God,

as they were that day in the desert

when they put him to the test….”

15 This is what the scripture says:

“If you hear God’s voice today,

do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were

when they rebelled against God.”?Good News Bible.*

[From the Bible study guide=BSG:] From the biblical perspective, the time of salvation is always “today” and never tomorrow (seePs. 95:7, 8; Heb. 3:7, 8, 15; Heb. 4:7). And further: unless a major conversion experience takes place, we will continue to be what we are right now. Time itself does not convert the unconverted. If anything, unless one is continually growing in grace, and pressing on ahead in faith, the tendency would be to fall away, to become hardened, skeptical, cynical, even disbelieving.?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Thursday, December 15.‡§

  1. If Paul or Christ were here with us today, what would they say about our preparation and our witnessing to others? How much witnessing are we doing every day?
  2. What can we do to make sure that we are ready every day? What are the criteria to describe a person who is “ready”?

[EGW:] The great controversy is nearing its end. Every report of calamity by sea or land is a testimony to the fact that the end of all things is at hand. Wars and rumors of wars declare it. Is there a Christian whose pulse does not beat with quickened action as he anticipates the great events opening before us? The Lord is coming. We hear the footsteps of an approaching God.—Ellen G. White, Review and Herald,* November 12, 1914, par. 17; Maranatha* 220.2.†‡

[EGW:] Live the life of faith day by day. Do not become anxious and distressed about the time of trouble, and thus have a time of trouble beforehand. Do not keep thinking, “I am afraid I shall not stand in the great testing day.” You are to live for the present, for this day only. Tomorrow is not yours. Today you are to maintain the victory over self. Today you are to live a life of prayer. Today you are to fight the good fight of faith. Today you are to believe that God blesses you. And as you gain the victory over darkness and unbelief, you will meet the requirements of the Master, and will become a blessing to those around you.—Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times,* October 20, 1887, par. 2.

[EGW:] The Lord is soon to come, and we must be prepared to meet him in peace. Let us be determined to do all in our power to impart light to those around us. We are not to be sad, but cheerful, and we are to keep the Lord Jesus ever before us. He is coming soon, and we must be ready and waiting for his appearing. O how glorious it will be to see him, and be welcomed as his redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our faith is not to become weak. If we can but see the King in his beauty, we shall be forever and forever blessed. I feel as if I must cry aloud, “Homeward bound.” We are nearing the time when Christ will come with power and great glory, to take his ransomed ones to their eternal home.—Ellen G. White, Review and Herald,* July 14, 1903, par. 20.†‡ Heaven* 165.3.€†‡

  1. As we look around the world today, do we see evidence that the end is drawing near? Are there natural disasters occurring? Are there wars taking place? Is it possible that we could see World War III?
  2. Do we live every day with the clear understanding of the fact that Bible religion involves the entire human being—body, soul, and spirit?
  3. Which of the following two characters is closest to being like you?
  4. ReadLuke 18:9-14, the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.
  5. Since we as Seventh-day Adventist Christians believe that we “have the truth,” are we inclined to act more like the Pharisee? Or, the tax collector? Consider these words from Paul about what kind of lives we should live.

Romans 8:12-14: 12 So then, my brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. 13For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children.?Good News Bible.*

  1. Do we understand clearly how to “put to death” our sinful actions?

[BSG:] The biblical worldview of human nature is a unity of all aspects of our existence, namely, physical, mental/intellectual, emotional, volitional, spiritual, and social, aspects that do not exist separately or independently from each other. All are put together by our Creator God in a marvelous and unseparated unity, and everything needs to be sanctified by God (1 Thess. 5:23). When a person dies, there is no activity in any of these aspects (Eccles. 9:5, 6).?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 158.‡§

  1. This suggests that it is our responsibility to care for ourselves—physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.

[EGW:] The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man and affect his inmost life.—Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church,* vol. 2, 347.2.†‡

  1. In fact, every day we must choose between following God and exercising His values, or following sin and self and gratifying the lust of the flesh, experiencing greed, envy, anger, pride, and dominance. There is no cooperation between these two lifestyles. [SeeColossians 3:2 under #23 above.]
  2. In our world today, does it seem possible to focus on things above? And not on things on this earth?

Romans 8:5,14: 5Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants….

14Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children.?Good News Bible.*

  1. Genesis 1-3 make it very clear that God intended for us to live forever in a perfect environment in the Garden of Eden. God has now provided a way for us to return to those idyllic conditions.
  2. What does it mean to have a new heart?

[EGW:] When Jesus speaks of the new heart, he means the mind, the life, the whole being. To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ. To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives. What is the sign of a new heart??A changed life. There is a daily, hourly dying to selfishness and pride.?Ellen G. White, The Youth=s Instructor,* September 26, 1901, par. 5.†‡ Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,* vol. 4, 1164.10¶†‡; Messages to Young People* 72.1¶†‡; Sons and Daughters of God* 100.2¶†‡; Amazing Grace* 100.2¶†‡; Our High Calling* 159.5.€†‡

  1. How does that affect the way we relate to others?

Matthew 20:28: [Jesus said:] “… Like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”?Good News Bible.*

  1. Many people are doing research in neuroscience. They have discovered some interesting things that support our biblical worldview.

[BSG:] David P. Gushee declares: “Unlike the Greek notion that the body decays while the self floats off to heaven, a biblical (especially a Jewish) understanding seems to envision no such separable existence between body and soul or spirit. When we die, all of us dies.”—Only Human: Christian Reflections on the Journey Toward Wholeness (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2005), p. 49.

Nancey Murphy embraces physical and relational functions of our existence and stresses human moral responsibility. Instead of a soul, she uses the notion of self: “The term self is used in a variety of ways in psychology and philosophy. What is at issue here is not the question of what it means to be a self. Rather the issue is that of having a self-concept.”—“Nonreductive Physicalism,” in In Search of the Soul: Four Views of the Mind-Body Problem, ed. Joel B. Green and Stuart L. Palmer (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), p. 124. Murphy claims that humans are physical and that “it is the brain that does the work once attributed to the mind or soul.”—In Search of the Soul: Four Views of the Mind-Body Problem, p. 132….

Joel Green, using his background in neuroscience and biblical studies, states that we need a better understanding of biblical anthropology. He argues for the biblical wholistic view of humanity. He stresses that humans are a unit and do not possess an ontologically distinct soul; therefore, he rightly denies that after physical death, the soul lives in an “intermediate state.”—Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), pp. 177–180. Green ends his study with the hope of resurrection and powerfully declares: “Nothing in the created human being is intrinsically immortal. Resurrection and embodied afterlife are God’s doing, divine gift.”—Body, Soul, and Human Life, p. 175.

  1. F. Bruce fittingly declares: “In biblical usage immortality belongs inherently to God alone; otherwise it belongs only to those to whom God gives it. Again, where human beings are concerned, immortality in the Bible is predicated of the body, not of the soul.

“In our western culture, thought and language about immortality have been largely determined by Plato’s doctrine of the immortality of the soul. But any attempt to combine Plato’s doctrine with the teaching of the Bible can lead only to confusion. For Plato did not mean by immortality what the biblical writers mean by it, and what Plato meant by the soul is not what the biblical writers mean by the soul.

“For the Christian, the hope of immortality is bound up with the resurrection of Christ.”—“Foreword,” in George Wisbrock, Death and the Soul (Oakbrook, IL: ZOE-Life Books, 1990), p. i.?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 160-161.†‡§

  1. One possible solution which may be the best is as follows:

[EGW:] If we thought and talked more of Jesus, and less of self, we should have far more of His presence....

Christ and Him crucified should be the theme of contemplation, of conversation, and of our most joyful emotion.—Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ* 101.3-104.0.†‡

  1. Remember that our overall health is what supports our brain and all the nerves in our system; that is how we perceive and understand the things we learn about God. We need to keep our entire system in good health.

©2022, Kenneth Hart, MD, MA, MPH. Permission is hereby granted for any noncommercial use of these materials. Free distribution of all or of a portion of this material such as to a Bible study class is encouraged. *Electronic version. Bold type is added. Brackets and content in brackets are added. §Italic type is in the source. Compared with the first source, this source has punctuation and/or capitalization differences only. This source has minor wording differences compared with the first source and may also have punctuation and/or capitalization differences.    Info@theox.org

Last Modified: October 31, 2022