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DOCTRINE QUESTION 7
How do I reconcile the fact that human souls can die at physical death when the Bible talks of slain souls seen asking for vengeance from God in Revelation 6?
The Bible never says that a human soul dies in that it ceases to exist. There is much confusion about this, and it is because of a lack of understanding of death.
There are three parts to man, body, soul and spirit. Death is always a separation of these parts. Spiritual death is when the spirit of man, and the man, is separated from God by sin. Ephesians 2:1. We are born dead to God. Psalms 51:5. Physical death is when the spirit and soul leaves the body and the body is buried. The spirit goes back to God that gave it, (Ecclesiastes 12:7), and the soul of a Christian goes to heaven, 2 Corinthians 5:8-9. The soul of the unsaved goes down into hades where it is very much alive, while the body rest in the grave.
Then there is a resurrection of all and the unsaved die what is called the second death, Revelation 20:14, where both body and soul are cast into the lake of fire, (Hell). The second death is in contrast to the physical death. So, in Revelation 6, the souls under the altar were disembodied saved people with the Lord in heaven. Their resurrection is mentioned in Revelation 20:4.
What a solemn picture for all readers of this who are still in your sins. Hell is the eternal destiny of all such, unless they repent of their sins and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and His blood shed for those sins. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. (Hebrews 9:22).
Why do you wait? "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1. Born once, die twice, born twice may not die once, because the Lord is coming and the living believer will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen