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Soul Sleep?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics Forum' started by Hidden In Him, Dec 7, 2018 at 2:25 PM.

  1. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Greetings all, and blessings in the Lord Jesus Christ. I was recently in a discussion and this subject came up. I'm certain this has been debated at this forum already, but since I was not a part of those discussions let me just highlight some passages I believe contradict this teaching. We can take it from there.

    17 And it came to pass afterward, that the son of the woman the mistress of the house was sick; and his sickness was very severe, until there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O man of God? hast thou come in to me to bring my sins to remembrance, and to slay my son? 19 And Elijah said to the woman, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and took him up to the chamber in which he himself lodged, and laid him on the bed. 20 And Elijah cried aloud, and said, Alas, O Lord, the witness of the widow with whom I sojourn, thou hast wrought evil for her in slaying her son. 21 And he breathed on the child thrice, and called on the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, let, I pray thee, the soul of this child return to him. 22 And it was so, and the child cried out, 23 and he brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, See, thy son lives. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, Behold, I know that thou art a man of God, and the word of the Lord in thy mouth is true. (1 Kings 17:17-24)

    The question here would be: Why would Elijah pray to God that the soul of this boy return to him? If that soul was asleep, where would it be returning from?

    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring you to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive through the Spirit, in which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who were once disobedient in the days of Noah when the long-suffering of God waited as an ark was being prepared, into which a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water, an antitype of the baptism that now also saves you, not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, He having ascended into Heaven with angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. (1 Peter 3:18-22)

    The question here is this: If the souls of these Old Testament saints were asleep, how could Jesus have preached to them after His resurrection? Peter was talking here about Christ descending to Sheol after the crucifixion to share the message that He was the lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world with Noah and his descendants. Through His sacrifice they could now ascend (from Paradise, located in Sheol at the time) to rise with Him into Heaven.

    9. And [Jesus] said to them... "Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, being festive during the day in splendor. And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his porch, being full of sores, and desiring to be filled with whatever fell from the rich man's table. But coming, even the dogs licked his sores. And it came to pass that the poor man died, and was carried away by the angels into the bosom of Abraham. And the rich man also died, and was buried. And having lifted up his eyes in Hades, being in torment, he saw Abraham from afar, and Lazarus in his bosom. And crying out, he said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool mu tongue, for I am in pain in these flames. But Abraham said, "Son, remember that you received your good things during your lifetime, and Lazarus likewise received evil things. But here he is comforted, and you are in pain. And amongst those here, between all of you and all of us, a great chasm has been firmly established, so that those who wish to pass from here to all of you are unable, nor can anyone pass from there to us." (Luke 16:15, 19-26)

    The question here is this: I know those who believe in soul sleep say this is merely a "parable." But if that's the case (and the text says nowhere that it is), why would Jesus be using a parable that suggests the soul continues to exist after death if it does not?

    Btw, regarding the expression "soul sleep," I view it as merely a means the Lord and the New Testament writers used to deflect from the grief believers might feel of thinking their loved ones were gone forever. "Sleeping" is how we present the dead in their coffins during a wake for this same reason. It softens the blow, especially for the faithful, who can view their beloved as merely in repose, with their body awaiting the resurrection.

    As always, special thanks to anyone who replies in advance.
    Blessings in Christ,
    Hidden In Him.
    Nancy likes this.