Death and the Afterlife
No one has yet discovered the fountain of youth, and neither has anyone been through that veil of death to return and tell us what it is like on the other side. The only authentic information we have on this subject is found in the great book of God, the Bible. Here are unfolded the answers to questions which have troubled the hearts of men and women down through the ages. Piercing through the froth of human emotion and superstition, it will bring satisfying assurance for those who fear the future and who wonder what happens to the soul five minutes after death.
To introduce this subject, we must find the answer to one great, basic question. If we can answer it correctly, all the other questions about death and the soul will open up before us. The really important issue is this: What kind of inherent nature does man possess? How did God create him? Does he have a mortal nature or an immortal nature? According to the dictionary, the word "mortal" means "subject to death", and the word "immortal" means "not subject to death". Simply stated then, we are asking whether God created man with a nature that could die or with the power of an endless life.
The answer to this significant question is found in the book of Job:
Job 4:17 "Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his maker?"
There is the word we are looking for! Man is mortal. He is subject to death. God did not make him without the capacity to deteriorate and die. The fact is, only God has that inherent power of eternal existence. He alone is immortal. And the only time that word is used in the Bible, it refers to God.
1 Timothy 1:17 "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."
The human family was not invested with a natural immortality. The Word of God assures us that God alone has that kind of nature. He is the author of life, the great source of all existence. From Him every other life in the universe has been derived.
1 Timothy 6:15-16 "... the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."
Now someone may raise a question about the subject of immortality. Is it possible that man has a mortal body but an immortal soul living in the tabernacle of flesh? Perhaps the "real" person is not the body at all but the undying soul-entity dwelling within the mortal body. We need not puzzle over this point, because it is concisely settled by a number of Bible texts.