Does the Soul Exist?
All throughout the history, human beings have had interests in the existence of the soul and wanted to prove its existence in many different ways. Recently I even read an article which is concerned about people who try to measure the weight of soul. Human beings have tried to answer this question, “Does the soul exist?”
However hard people have tried to prove the existence of soul, still it is a big mystery in the human existence. The bible, however, testifies about the existence of soul even from the beginning and the world of spirits we will go back.
The Creation of Man and the Soul
The bible says the mankind was created with two different materials to live on this earth. That is, they have both body and soul.
Genesis 2:7 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
The dust of ground means body and the breath of life means soul or spirit. For the mankind to live on this earth God used both earthly material, “body” and heavenly material, “soul”. The combination of the body and soul makes a man “living” or alive.
In this sense, a death of a man is the separation of soul from its body. When we say someone died, we are actually meaning that his spirit departed from his body. Therefore, the death we refer to is the death or destruction of body.
When the body gets separated from the soul, the body decomposes and disappears. And the bible teaches this as the first death, the death of the body.
The Existence of Soul After the First Death
Then what happens to soul after the death of the body? The bible teaches that the soul still exists after the death of the body and continues to live on. After the death of body, soul or spirit goes back to the spiritual world where it originally came from.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
The bible says that the spirit or the soul returns to God. It means the soul originally came from God and the world of spirit, and after the death of the body it goes back to the spiritual world. Therefore, we can say that the spirit continues to live on even after the death of the body.
We can confirm this through the testimonies of the bible. First, let us look at the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ Teaching about the Existence of the Soul
Matthew 10:28 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Here Jesus clearly teaches that the death of the body and the death of the spirit are separate. And He teaches that the soul exists apart from the body.
Job about the Existence of the Soul
We can see the similar testimony in the Old Testament too. Job testifies about the existence of the soul in the Book of Job.
Job 19:25 I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
In the footnote of the book is written “apart from” instead of “in my flesh”. In another version, this part is written like this:
Job 19:25 After I leave my body and my skin has been destroyed, I know I will still see God. 27 I will see him with my own eyes. I myself, not someone else, will see God. And I cannot tell you how excited that makes me feel! (ERV)
What is common in both translations is the existence of “I” after the destruction of the body of the speaker. After the destruction of the body, then who is “I” who sees “God”? That is the spirit of the speaker. The spirit still exists and goes on even after the death of the body. And after the separation from the body, the spirit goes back to the spiritual world and will stand in front of God.
The Day of Judgment and the Spirit
In the Book of Revelation, Apostle John testifies about the souls or spirits of the dead standing in front of God for the judgment.
Revelation 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
In this John is witnessing “the dead” standing in front of the throne of God. Then who are “the dead” in this book? They are the spirit or the souls of dead people. After the death of their body, the spirit will return to the world of the spirits and they are going to be judged by God. After the judgment, they are thrown into the lake of fire, which is called the second death, the death of the spirit or the soul of the person.
Through all these testimonies of the bible we can confirm the existence of the soul even though we cannot see it. The bible says that it originally came from God and will return to God after the death of the body.
And the spirit or soul of a person will be judged by God according to what they have done on this earth while they are living. Apostle Paul testifies about the resurrection of the soul at the time of the judgment.
Acts 24:15 and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.
Eternal Life and Eternal Condemnation
And Jesus teaches about the judgment after the resurrection.
John 5:28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
The righteous ones will be raised into eternal life and the evil into eternal condemnation. This is what the bible testifies about the existence of the soul of man. Even though we cannot see, the bible testifies that the soul exists. And just as Job said, we will see God with our own eyes at the time of judgment. I hope that we should be proven righteous in the eyes of God at that moment.
We must know that our soul exists and we must seek God for the salvation of our souls. Come to World Mission Society Church of God or WMSCOG to meet God who has come for the second time for our salvation.