Soul, Death, & Grace Chapter 15
WE HAVE FOUND …
Human beings are creatures composed of three parts; a body which after death returns to the dust, but which during life functions as the vehicle through which life is met and responded to; a spirit (breath, character) which returns at death to the God who gave it, and the soul, which has turned out to be the center of our quest.
A soul, which inhabits every body born, is by nature dead in trespasses and sins until it is resurrected to participate in life at a point where truth becomes a controlling principle in the life, being borne about in the body, being resurrected, recreated, and made a partaker of the elements of eternal life in connection with faith decisions made by the one possessing the soul.
The importance of faith decisions is that each time they are made they activate grace, the gift of God, which is as real as the air we breathe, until the cumulative effect of the inter-working of soul, body, faith, grace, and the assisting power of God results in the soul being made capable of needing to be guarded during death, until it comes forth from death’s house partly by the life within, at the call of the Life Giver. (Souls not re-made by grace come forth from the grave purely as a manifestation of power.)
At this point the meaning of death is that it brings to an end the soul’s acquirement of qualities, which acquirements are to be most clearly and accurately viewed by interested observers after the acquirement stage of the existence of the soul is needed.
This means that death marks the beginning of the revelation of how life was lived – though that revelation in not obvious until the resurrection.
We also have found that the meaning and nature of the death experience is determined by the work grace accomplished on the soul during life’s choice making in response to God’s providences.
Therefore, the first issue connected to death as a future to be encountered is, will the one entering the death-rest have a life-track that results in the soul being guarded and protected by God while it sleeps and awaits resurrection – the time to stand up – or does it proceed to the grave without the elements of life in it? That is, does it lie down in the grave unprotected? Second, will it have life within to partly bring it forth from the grave? Put differently, does death reveal the soul to need protecting?
The third meaning of the nature of death is the expected – it shows the adequacy of God’s response to the effects of evil.
In one sentence the meaning of death is that it marks the close of that series of interactive events, that, connected to choices are designated by God to determine the soul’s condition in death, and its destiny after the resurrection.
Every soul receives reward – eternal life in all that is desirable, or destruction with no hope of another resurrection. For all souls there is continuity of being between the pre-death and post-death life – but only grace-treated souls have continuity of life – protected in death as a precious jewel:
“… because the atmosphere of heaven as a living, active agency fills the soul”? 1 MCP, p. 27.
P.S.: I hope you enjoyed this study.