Ep.1227: Where Do the Human Soul and Spirit Go When We Die? (Part I)
Defining what the human soul is and is not, and its destiny at death
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Theme Scripture: Hebrews 4:12
Do human beings HAVE souls or ARE they souls? Do human beings have a spirit? If so, what does that mean? Or, are we really spirit beings temporarily confined in a terrestrial body? What happens when we die? Do our soul and spirit die? Do they go someplace, or do they stay together? Religions, cultures and philosophy have weighed in on these questions for untold centuries. The answers we've come up with are as varied as the peoples of this planet. How can we know who is right? If we objectively look into the Bible to define the human soul and spirit and what happens to them at death, it is possible to find concrete guidance and answers. Why take a biblical perspective? Because it is ancient reasoning written over many centuries that has proven itself historically accurate, morally sound and prophetically true.
To understand the human soul and spirit, we first need to define them. Part I of this series focuses on the soul. While it seems like the human soul can be tricky to define, it doesn’t have to be. The Bible is a really long book written over many centuries. Throughout its pages there are continual references to the soul. If we are patient enough to put these references in order and use them to verify one another, we can end up with a clear biblical message. The problem is, we as humans too often and too easily carry our preconceived ideas of biblical interpretation into our study.
Do we HAVE a soul or ARE we a soul?
As we might expect, the account of God creating man is the first time we are introduced to the human soul. The surprising thing is the way this creation of Adam is simply worded. It says in Genesis 2:7 that God formed a body from the elements of the earth and breathed the breath of life into that body. The next detail is deeply significant. The account says man became a living soul. It didn’t say he was given a soul; it says he became a soul. But do we have an immortal soul?
Digging a bit further, we find this word for soul simply means "a breathing creature." This is not the image of what most Christians believe a soul to be. Further, the other living creatures in God’s original creation are referred to by this same word for soul. This would mean that we are souls just like the animal kingdom! What do we do now?
Check out our May 2, 2022 podcast, “Where Do the Human Soul and Spirit Go When We Die?" (Part I) for more. We carefully lay out how the Bible describes the human soul. We cross reference that definition by comparing the Old and New Testaments. What we find out about the human soul is surprising and clear. We then take that same discovery trip through the Scriptures to clarify what happens to the human soul at death. Again, there is surprising simplicity in the biblical message. Join us for Part I of this 2-part series and uncover life changing biblical truths about the soul!