There are many aspects one could discuss related to death. But let us leave out all the philosophies of man and the vague interpretive opinions regards what the Bible means, but let us simply and humbly accept what the Bible says. Nor let us choose just one text or passage, but let us survey the whole scripture record, comparing scripture with scripture, line upon line, here a little there a little, and come then to a conclusion weighing up the evidence.
First, let us begin where God began…creation. Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Here described is the nature of man. Succinctly and clearly, with no ambiguity and no interpretation necessary. Man is a living soul. We are a combination of two things. Dust, and breath of life…spirit. That combination forms the soul. When we die, Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. And as a result of that separation of dust and breath, body and spirit, the soul ceases to exist. As Ezekiel says, the soul that sinneth it shall die. The man, the human being, dies. The body becomes corrupted and turns into mud, and the life force that animated the body making it a living soul, returns to God. There is no evidence in scripture, anywhere, hinting or speaking either implicitly or explicitly, that the spirit that returns to God at death has a life of its own carrying the consciousness or personality of the former man.
We must remember that as the scriptures clearly declare , that God alone is immortal, but that He also is Spirit. God alone is an immortal Spirit. So unless it can be shown that the spirit He gave to man is immortal in the same manner as He is, that is carrying the personality and memories and life of the former bearer, we must assume that the spirit is merely that which is revealed thus far…the breath of life that in conjunction with dust, forms the living soul.
You see, throughout the church age, until just recently, the hope of the Christian was the resurrection. The hope of eternal life was not in going to heaven at death, but in the reuniting of the decayed body in the grave, with the spirit once again creating a living soul. We all know this takes place at no other time than at the second coming. It makes no sense to believe that spirits are in heaven having a mind, a face, fingers and toes, arms and legs, a head to think with, a mouth to praise with, eyes to see with….all these things are still in the grave along with the rest of the body.
And scripture attests to this very thing. Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun……
…..10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Job 14:9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. 10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: 12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
Psalms 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
Psalms 88:10 ¶ Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. 11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? 12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
Isaiah 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. 19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.
Kings, prophets, and priests alike testified that in the grave, there is no life, not until the resurrection.
Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Why must the redeemed seek for immortality or eternal life if it came naturally? It is clear from many scriptures that eternal life is a gift granted by grace to the one who accepts Christ as his Savior. Never is it even hinted at anywhere that eternal life is granted to the sinner. The second death is that same death described above…no consciousness…no life….complete oblivion. That death, that oblivion, is the eternal punishment , the eternal death from which there is no resurrection, no hope of the reunion of spirit and body, complete and utter separation from the only source of life, the Living God.