Part 12 of 14 - The Essential Spirit
The Destiny of the Lost;
Those Who Refuse to Receive Christ’s Essential Spirit
Perhaps you noticed my reference, in Parts 6 and 7, to the fact that the “human spirit in man” is in fact God’s breath/spirit “on loan.” God’s breathed “life on loan” into Adam, and thereby all mankind. This phrase is a good way to describe man’s God given human spirit. “On loan” implies that it may then be recalled and returned to its rightful owner. This is exactly what occurs with the lost when they physically die. Their spirit returns to God. For those who never received Christ’s eternal “spirit of life,” this occurs immediately after the Great White Throne Judgment. Their human spirit, which is on loan, returns to God. Their resurrected body that permits them to stand before God at the judgment then is immediately dead. James 2:26a the body without the spirit is dead… That dead body is then cast into “the lake of fire” for its utter destruction, as if it never existed.
Where do I get such a seemingly radical understanding; it’s a departure from the Christian doctrine of eternal torment for the lost? Consider the following as a brief synopsis of my series called "Man’s Eternal Destiny.” Note the following, by which we clearly see fallen man’s ultimate destiny. Eccl 12:7 (AMP) Then shall the dust [out of which God made man’s body] return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God Who gave it. This speaks of the lost man who does not receive the eternal “spirit of life in Christ Jesus” during his lifetime and then dies. His body then returns to dust awaiting resurrection to judgment, and his human spirit (God’s breath of life) returns to the Lord after he appears at the final White Throne Judgment. Such a man is one who has rejected the opportunity to receive the eternal “Spirit of Life, which is in Christ Jesus.”
Now we can more clearly understand why Scripture so often refers to God offering man the “eternal life” (Zoë), which is Christ’s life … versus the alternative of “full destruction.” Most Christians teach that when the lost die, they are still alive enough to be tormented forever. The notion of eternal torment for the lost is error; torment is for “the Devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41, Rev 20:10).
Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (Greek, appolymi, destroy fully), but have everlasting life.
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him (God) which is able to destroy (Greek, appolymi, destroy fully) both soul and body in hell (Gehenna, lake of fire).
The Greek word that is translated “perish” in John 3:16 is the very same word as translated “destroy” in Matt 10:28. The Greek word is “appolymi,” which means “fully destroy.” Note Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: “taken from <G575> (apo) and the base of <G3639> (olethros); to destroy fully.” The same word is translated in KJV as; "perish" 33 times and also "destroy" 26 times.
By this we can see why it is so important that we receive Christ’s resurrected, eternal, “Spirit of life.” 1Jn 5:11-12 God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life (Zoë, God’s eternal life); and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (Zoë). Christ’s eternal life is the only alternative to an annihilating death for the lost. The destiny of the members of “the body of Christ,” born of Christ’s life, is quite different from that of the lost. 2Cor. 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (our body) were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
How did the Christian “church” come to this false understanding?
As with so many of the so-called Christian traditional beliefs and practices, the idea that hell is a place of eternal torment, without hope of redemption for the lost, is a non-Scriptural “add-on” to proper Christian teaching. It is one taken from pagan Greek and Egyptian thinking and tradition. “The God’s of the Egyptians,” a book by famed English Egyptologist, E. A. Wallis Budge, states in Chap 4; “they represent ancient beliefs which they derived from the Egyptians traditionally, it must be admitted that the Egyptian underworld contained some region wherein the souls of the wicked were punished for an indefinite period.” Why should we be surprised at religion usurping another pagan tradition? e.g., the so-called Jewish “Star of David” was taken from the Egyptian “Star of Rephaim.” We know Easter and Christmas also have their roots in pagan tradition, mixed with Christian tradition.