Soul Sleep or Soul in Heaven?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Mitsy, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. Mitsy

    Mitsy
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    Dr. Bob or anyone who might answer this for me:

    I've had some conversations with a couple people who are Adventists (7th Day). They and some other groups believe that the soul no longer exists at the time of death and is resurrected ONLY when Christ returns to claim His Kingdom. They claim that there is no promise of the "soul" living on after death and that our "hope in Christ" is for the Advent of His return. I'm stumped as to what scriptures to refute their theory as I've never believed that the soul was dead or asleep upon our death. Some of these same people do not believe that there is a hell that souls are sent to either. What is interesting is that the Jehovah's Witnesses have some similar beliefs, although they claim no "kinship" whatsoever to any Adventist group.

    Although none of us looks forward to death, most of us who are Christians at least have the belief that our soul will go live with Christ and that we will see our friends/relatives when we die.

    Help on this subject. Thanks.
     
  2. Trotter

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    We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8

    For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Philippians 1:23

    And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Hebrews 9:27

    But, I warn you, Seventh Day Adventists (at least the ones around here) are as indoctrinated as the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses. But then, the Southern Seventh Day Adventist University is just down the road in Ooltewah, TN.

    You will also find that they do not believe in the Rapture, but believe that they will be miraculously preserved through the world-wide destruction wrought by the Great Tribulation.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  3. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    Along with what Trotter said, how would what Jesus said on the cross to the believing theif make any sense if there was such a thing as "soul-sleep"?
     
  4. rbrent

    rbrent
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    Here are some helpful links about the JWs.

    Hope they are helpful to you.

    (21) BIBLE ANSWERS FOR JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES OLD TESTAMENT by David A. Reed
    http://www.cftf.com/comments/otanswer.html

    (22) BIBLE ANSWERS FOR JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES MATTHEW TO ACTS by David A. Reed
    http://www.cftf.com/comments/ntansw01.html

    (23) BIBLE ANSWERS FOR JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES ROMANS TO REVELATION by David A. Reed
    http://www.cftf.com/comments/ntansw02.html

    (29) DID FIRST CENTURY CHRISTIANS HAVE A GOVERNING BODY?
    http://users.uniserve.com/~renford/govbody.htm

    (30) IS THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY A FALSE PROPHET?
    http://users.uniserve.com/~renford/a1975.htm

    (49) WHAT JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WON’T TELL YOU AT THE DOOR by Gary & Lisa Ferguson
    http://spiritwatch.org/whajwwon.htm

    (59) A SHORT HISTORY OF THE WATCHTOWER ORGANIZATION
    http://www.eskimo.com/~jcw/jcw02.html

    (60) CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE DOCTRINES OF THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY
    http://www.eskimo.com/~jcw/jcw03.html

    (61) PROBLEMS IN THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION
    http://www.eskimo.com/~jcw/jcw97.html

    (69) WATCHTOWER AND PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC QUACKERY
    http://www.premier1.net/~raines/abrams.html

    (93) JEHOVAH - ANCIENT ASTRONAUT FROM PLEIADES?
    http://www.premier1.net/~raines/jehovah.html

    (106) TRUE STORIES FROM THE WATCHTOWER WORLD
    http://www.freeminds.org/stories/stories.htm

    (109) WATCHTOWER LIES AND DECEPTIONS - Good Article!
    http://www.pnc.com.au/~fichrist/lies.html
     
  5. uhdum

    uhdum
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    Hi,

    I did a little study on this issue the other night. I believe some of these references have been given, but here are a few things I found:

    Jesus' promise to the thief on the cross - Luke 23:43

    Paul's statement that being "absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" - 2 Cor. 5:8

    Paul longs for his "heavenly dwelling" in contrast to his earthly one - 2 Cor. 5:1-5

    The rich man and Lazarus are conscious after death - Luke 16:19-31

    Jesus claimed to go and prepare a place for us (i.e. He went "somewhere" after He died) - John 14:1-7)

    Elijah taken up to heaven by a whirlwind - 2 Kings 2:1, 11 (very clearly says "taken up to heaven")

    Paul desires to be with Christ - Philippians 1:21-26

    Writer of Hebrews states that when we come before God in worship, we caome before His throne and "the spirits of the righteous made perfect" - Hebrews 12:23

    God bless
     
  6. Precepts

    Precepts
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    I wouldn't waste anymore time dealing with more than one of these people at a time. They will only gang up on you and fight your scripture evidences as others have said how indoctrinated they are in false teachings.

    The best answer God has ever given me when dealing with cult members is, "Is God the author of confusion?" Their reply is always a resopunding "No, the devil is." Then I ask them ,"Why are you trying to confuse me then?"

    I have used this many times, every occasion they bow their heads and eventually walk away.

    You may find one in a thousand is willing to listen, but never in two or more, that's what they're doing; one is in training, the other is "well indoctrinated" and ready to confront nearly every verse you give them back.

    Make your calling and election sure and separate from those who walk contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.
     
  7. uhdum

    uhdum
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    You are right; it can be tough to deal with people like this when they have their minds made up. Perhaps a person can be convinced one-on-one, but even then it is difficult.

    I have a Greek class with a man who is Church of Christ; I consider him a casual friend, and I genuinely believe he has a desire to follow the Lord and serve Him; I do believe he is mistaken in his views on baptism, however, and while we try not to bring up those issues in class very often, he is quick to give his answers to the Scripture passages we use whenever it has come up.

    God bless
     
  8. Dave Taylor

    Dave Taylor
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    Here is a verse that tells us both, where the dwelling place of the body will be; and where the dwelling place of the spirit will be--after death.

    "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

    Ecclesiastes 12:7


    Pretty simply to refute soul-sleepism.

    Your spirit after death will be in Heaven with God. (Now, while in heaven, will it be conscious or unconscious?)

    "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." Revelation 6:9-11

    Looks like folks in Heaven with God are conscious to me.
     
  9. Mitsy

    Mitsy
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    Thank you for those verses. They were certainly helpful. My talks have only been one-on-one and mainly with just one woman. She has been very nice and not argumentative at all. She is the Adventist. I don't have a lot of contact with the Jehovah's Witnesses, but I was just mentioning that they had some similar beliefs while at the same time claiming no similarity between the two faiths.

    Many in the Advent Christian Church (not the same as the 7th Day Adventists) also believe in the "soul sleep" theory, however, they also accept the theory of the soul living with Christ in the afterlife. The guy I talked with said they are "evangelical" and there is a mixture of both beliefs in many of their churches. Some believe in the "sleep" and some believe in the immortality of the soul. I thought it was interesting that a denomination would accept both theories but is better than telling someone that they are wrong if they believe (like most of us here) that the soul is very much alive after death.
     
  10. zucchini

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    Hebrews 9:27 is weak for this argument, it makes no reference to time, only sequence.

    But the rest of the opening verses are strong.

    So you must really agree on this: what is the source of spiritual knowedge, the bible alone or the bible plus anything else?
    If you can point to the bible as sole authority and that it must not contradict itself, then anyone willing to reason can see that soul sleep is an impossible interpretation.

    Try to get to "please show using the bible me why you believe xxx" and be rigorous (as I was with Hebrews passage) about what the text does and does not say. Then if the prooftexts here contradict their interpretation make them reconcile these, or confess that they are making the scripture contradict itself under their presuppositions.

    Cheers!
    - dave
     
  11. KimS

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    My sister is a Jehovah's Witness and sends me Watchtowers all the time; with EVERY letter. Being that I'm still studying the bible, I had no idea how to deal with it other than to keep silent. Thank you all for the links and passages. They will help when I write to her.

    Kim [​IMG]
     
  12. HankD

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    Revelation 6
    9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
    10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
    11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

    Maybe they were talking in their sleep?

    HankD
     
  13. Russ Kelly

    Russ Kelly
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    As a former SDA minster from 1973-1981, they will have good to strong rebuttals for most of what has been presented thus far (although wrong).
    I have discovered that the word, "Sheol," which occurs 65 times in the O.T. never means simply the "grave" as SDAs insist. It is always the realm of the dead where conscious souls went after death. Unfotunately, the NIV translates it as "grave" 64 of 65 times and the SDAs love that. The NAS leavs it simply as Sheol.
    By the way, SDAs use th word "soul-sleep" but mean "annihilation." They teach that the soul ceases to exist at death.
    For me at least, the doctrine of Sheol proves that soul-sleep is wrong.
     

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