Episode 31 • Featuring Michael McClymond
Sure, I understand that. I did bring some preconceived assumptions about the confessional Reformed into my comment. The most important issue I was seeking to get at, and it seemed to fit what the tape was about, is this idea that man is born with an immortal soul. I think that influences and is a big assumption that is like the elephant in the room that doesn’t get mentioned. You can see that assumption in a lot of people’s responses you taped for the program. The immortal soul idea also influences people to read into the scriptures that God tortures and torments the non-elect in hell forever because the immortal soul cannot die. That influences a lot of other theological ideas too. That was the main point I was wanting to get at.
The Holy Spirit, and our own spirit which is a key human essence linking our image to God's image, gets little discussion. Perhaps that's because it is so mysterious and ethereal that it is difficult for our minds to grasp. So, thank you for this discussion.
It was the reality that we each have a spirit separate from our physical bodies that shook me out of my agnosticism and eventually opened my eyes, mind, and heart to Christ. That reality occurred when I was present at my father's death. In the process of a very difficult surgery he had acquired sepsis and it had consumed him. At the point when he had entered a total vegetative state we made the difficult decision to disconnect his life support. Awaiting the monitor's flatline signal, my mother, brother and I sat bedside with him.
I expected that Dad would appear the same upon death as he did in those final minutes, but to my great shock that was not the case. In his vegetative state he still retained his spirit and in the final moment his spirit very tangibly departed leaving behind on the gurney a mere empty, lifeless, and spiritless carcass. That essence linking him to his Creator was gone and the difference in his presence before and after that split second was stark. I was tremendously humbled. I realized there must be an omniscient Creator and that I needed to revisit biblical revelation which, in my arrogance, I had abandoned as silliness.
As for ghosts and the afterlife, during my exile here east of Eden God reveals as much as I need to know, leaving much I can't know and much that is beyond my comprehension. I'm quite good with that.
In regard to soul sleep that is a bit harder to prove from the Scriptures because it seems that Paul teaches that the elect go directly to Christs presence after they die (most call that heaven). However, it has been written about persuasively that this is what the Scriptures teach. I could send links if anyone has any interest in me doing so in this comment section.
Another point, these after death experiences of individuals can’t be relied upon to teach us anything about what happens to individuals after they die. It could be nothing more than a dream like experience, or worse, as you mention, fallen angels disguised as angels of light who somehow get access to the minds of the recently deceased. The Scriptures warn us to not pray for the dead or try to access the dead in any way, shape or form.
You fail to address relevant and important topics in this tape. First of all, where do the Scriptures teach that we are born with immortal souls? The soul that sins shall die. Mankind is mortal. Jesus won immortality for his elect people. That is the reward for being a chosen and elect person who gets justified and effectually called by the gospel.
You also don’t cover the idea that the Scriptures teach a soul sleep after everyone dies. The elect get resurrected from the dead when Christ returns while the non-elect get destroyed in hell at the second judgment.
This then leads to the belief that the non-elect don’t get tortured and tormented forever but get destroyed in what Bible calls eternal destruction.
I’m not going to cover all the Scripture passages that I think teach these ideas that you simply ignore in the teaching on this audio recording. This teaching can be found on many websites so you can’t miss it. So, why ignore it? That puzzles me.