*THE SOUL AFTER PHYSICAL DEATH*
Here are other Scriptures often used to support soul sleep after death, but in fact they actually say the opposite.
–1. *Eph5:14 Wherefore, he saith, Awake thou that sleeps, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light”*
This is a quote taken from Is60:1. Both verses refer to the believer’s spiritual condition. Context of verse says it is about the believer living in sin. The status of such a saints is not one of loss of salvation, but temporal loss of fellowship with God, so he has a dead fellowship not a dead relationship as the unsaved. When the believer is out of fellowship with the Lord he is said to be carnal. He is out of touch with spiritual reality. Though he is eternally positioned in Christ, this believer has chosen to temporarily abandon his spiritual convictions to serve the sin nature. Paul scorns the saints for giving into the sins of their pre-salvation life, Eph5:1-15. But the verse can apply also for the unsaved, who are alive physically but dead spiritually; however, verse does not speak of the resurrection, as those who believe in soul-sleep affirm.
–2. *1Cor.11:30 “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep”*
In this passage Paul addresses the sinning believers for disrespectfully partaking the Lord’s Supper. Their notion of taking the drink and the bread became irreverent. So Paul warns them that to continue in such behavior would bring about the discipline of God. First would come warning discipline, weakness, and then sickness if repentance is not forthcoming. Ultimate divine discipline would come in the form of the sinning unto death which is explained in v32, “…that we should not be condemned with the world.”
The sleep referred to in v30 relates to physical death, or physical sleep not soul sleep. The body when dead is said to sleep until the time of its resurrection, but the soul will never sleep after death. Stephen, the first martyr, in Acts7:60 ‘fell asleep’ as he was stoned, praying to Jesus, ”Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”; Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Father (Eph1:20, Col3:1, Ps110:1, Heb1:3,10:12) stood to receive Stephen in His presence, not to put him into soul-sleep or temporary death of soul
–3. *At the rapture of the Church* in 1Thess.4:13-17, those believers who have died, which is noted by the phrase, “those who are asleep”, this event relates to the resurrection of the believer’s dead body joined to that believer’s soul, a soul which comes back with Christ at that time. At death, the soul of the saint instantaneously returns to God. The body is mortal, it is temporal, and due to our fallen adamic nature, it is destined to die, but the soul, which comes from God, is immortal and it shall never die. Our soul only becomes unconscious when we go to sleep because the body is tired. If our souls did not become unconscious we could never sleep, so God triggers the soul to go into a shut down mode while the body recuperates from its day.
If our souls were not in these earthly bodies the soul would need no break. When we die our souls will depart our bodies and return to the place we have chosen in life. The saved soul goes to heaven, and the lost souls go to Hades, the place of the soul which has departed a lost person’s body. The resurrection body will not require rest, so the soul will never be triggered to shut down.
Here in 1Thess4:14 we see Jesus will bring with him the souls of those who bodies sleep in the grave. It is clear that the soul is not in the grave for if this were true Jesus would not be bringing them out of the third heaven. Before the cross they were waiting in the lower parts of the earth, ‘Abraham’s bosom’, see Luke16.
In v15-17 Paul says that at the rapture of the Church those who are still physically alive, that they will not proceed, go ahead, of those who are asleep. Paul is referring to the resurrection of the body, not the awakening of souls. The bodies of the deceased saints, whose souls Christ brings with him from heaven, will be reunited to their resurrection bodies, and when this happens, then we believers who are yet physically alive, then we will be physically changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; in a split second we will be changed from an earthly body to a resurrection body, 1Cor15:51-54. At that point all N.T. saints will be ushered to heaven by our Lord Jesus Christ
–4. 2Cor5:8 ‘*absent from the body and at home with the Lord*’; The aorist tense which shows action undefined, of the Greek words ‘absent’, and ‘present’, referring to ones soul being absent from the body and present with the Lord means this is an automatic transaction that takes place at the moment of death
–5. Jn11:25-26 *Jesus promises that he that believes in Him shall never die, not even temporarily*; ”soul sleep” means a temporary death of the soul.
–6. From 1Cor15:20 we note *Paul speaks of Christ as raised from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept*. So here we have our most notable passage; that Christ also slept after his death. However, once again the sleep refers to Christ’s body in death, not his soul. He said before his crucifixion that in three days he would raise the temple, referring to his body. We read in 1Pet3:18-20 that while Jesus’ body was in the grave, Jesus’ spirit went to Hades – hell – to proclaim (”kerusso” in Greek, not ”preach” but ”announce”) His victory. He descended to the lower parts of the earth, and ministered to those departed, conscious souls, Eph4:8-10. The lost saw their unbelief shaken to the core as they saw Christ releasing the saved on the paradise side of Hades. These things did Christ do while his dead body lay in the tomb on the surface of the earth. On the third day his spirit returned to the tomb and he, being God, raised himself from the dead Jn10:18 and exited the tomb (however the Father and the Holy Spirit are also said to have raised Jesus from the dead).
There is no such thing as the annihilation of the soul, only death of the body. It is the resurrection of the body that redeemed men anticipate, 1Cor15:12-19.
The believer’s spirit and soul have already experienced resurrection at the point of salvation: Eph2:1,5,6,8; Rom6:1-11; Col1:13;2:12,13
–7. From Phil1:23 the Apostle Paul was caught between 2 options, which was to either stay and try to untangle the unrest at Philipi, or die during his Roman imprisonment. *Paul said he would rather die and BE WITH CHRIST*, not ”soul-sleep”.
–8. Rev9:6 *John saw in heaven the SOULS of those slain* for the word of God; some say this is an allegory, which is not true: these souls are talking to the Lord and He answers back, they ask, ”when will God execute judgment”.
–9. Luke20:38 ”*He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for TO HIM ALL ARE ALIVE*” Dead to us – physically – but alive to God – in their spirit. They are alive to God, not to God’s memory as some say. God is not the God of the dead! We call him, ”God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” – is God the God of some dry bones?…(as some say Abraham is just dry bones today, until the resurrection when his soul comes out of the temporary death…)
Jesus concludes to the soul-sleep crowd: ”You greatly err!” Mark12:27
–10. John5:24 ”Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; *but is passed from death unto life*.” It does not say, ”will” but present tense, ”is”; also John6:47 ”has eternal life”, not ‘will have’.
–11. Luke23:43: ‘*I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise*’
–12. Heb9:27: “Man is destined to *die once, and after that to face judgment*” not face soul-sleep (see also Jn3:18)