Theology

Challenge: Our Souls Sleep until the Resurrection

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Author Amy K. Hall Published on 11/16/2016

Here’s a challenge you might hear about our souls sleeping until the resurrection:

Psalm 146:4 says thoughts perish at death. This cannot refer to a body without the soul, since a physical body alone does not have thoughts. Only the soul has thoughts, and they perish….

Many other passages [such as Psalm 6:5 and 30:9] support soul sleep and do not make sense if only talking about the body….

This same message of an end of consciousness was evident when Adam sinned. God plainly told him he would return to dust (Genesis 3:19). Adam was not conscious before creation, and God made it clear he would return to that unconscious state. Thoughts occur in the brain, which stops functioning and starts decomposing at death. Thoughts perish at death, just as the Bible says so many different ways….

Solomon also supports soul sleep:

But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing; And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun . . . Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. Ecclesiastes 9:5-6,10

What do you think about this challenge? How would you respond? Tell us in the comments below, and then Tim will post his answer on Thursday.

[Update: View Tim's video response. Explore past challenges here and here.]