The immortality of the soul

Pastor Jeff Struecker

We’ve spent several weeks talking about what makes you uniquely, entirely you, how the flesh and the soul work together, and the compatibility of the two.

 

Today, I want you to understand that your soul is eternal. It will go on forever. Long after your body dies and they lay you in the ground, you return to dust. That’s bible language, from dust, you were taken, and to dust, you will return.

 

I want to talk about immortality, the eternal nature of your soul. Our bodies are going to die. 100% of the people on the planet are going to die. They’re going to lay your body on the ground.

 

But over and over again, the Bible makes it very clear that you will continue to exist after your body is laid in the ground. This goes back to the beginning of the Bible. It’s what we find at the end of the Bible and everything in the middle. But if you’re asking the question right now, “Wait a second. My body is in the ground, how is it that I continue to exist?”

 

Well, the answer is about your soul. It describes an eternal soul that will keep on existing after your body wears out and they lay it in the ground. Last week I reminded you that what makes you laugh, love, and uniquely ‘you’ comes from your soul. This means that you will continue to exist in your purest essence long after your body wears out.

 

And if you’re still struggling with this, this scripture verse may help you understand. In Luke 23, Jesus was condemned for a crime that he didn’t commit and sentenced to death. He is crucified with two criminals who did something wrong and deserved to die for it. These two criminals start to have a theological argument.

 

Imagine, this criminal doesn’t believe that Jesus really is who he claimed to be and is basically trying to trick Jesus into coming off of the cross and getting him off of this death sentence. While the other criminal says, “After what I’ve heard from this guy on the cross, I believe he really is the promised son of God.” He looks over at Jesus and makes a startling request, “Jesus, after you enter into your kingdom, would you remember me?”

 

The guy who is dying right next to Jesus recognizes that Jesus is an innocent man and that he will inherit the Kingdom of God one day.

 

I want to point you to what Jesus says next because it’s incredibly important. It’s so important that I want you to memorize it. Parents, I want you to ask your children to memorize it. I want you to memorize Luke 23:43.

Memory Verse

Luke 23:43, just jump off the page when you saw that verse. First, Jesus says, “Heyeven though you’re a criminal and you deserve a death sentence, you are going to be with me.” Secondly, Jesus says, “Even though you don’t deserve paradise, you’ll be with me in paradise.” That’s profound!

 

But maybe the most profound word is the word today because Jesus was about to die, and Jesus knew that this criminal would die. It would happen today and Jesus said, “Today, your soul is going to keep on existing even though your body is going to die. You know it, I know it, everybody else who’s in the crowd watching knows you’re going to die today, but I’m telling you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”

 

This is the clearest statement I can find in the Bible that tells you that after your body wears out, your soul will continue to exist and exist in a place that Jesus calls Paradise.

 

And I want to ask you a question, it is not supposed to be a simple question, and it deserves a thoughtful answer.

A Challenge

When Jesus looked over at this thief, he said today, you will be with me in my Paradise. What exactly would that have looked like for that guy on the cross?

 

What exactly do you imagine Paradise to look like?

 

I’m not asking you about clouds or gates or anything like that. I’m asking you to describe it as clearly as you can. What do you think eternal life is like? Because maybe this will influence how you live today, knowing my body will wear out, but my soul is going to keep on going for eternity.