“Can a human soul or spirit be destroyed?” Some oppose the doctrine of literal everlasting destruction (Matthew 10:28, Hebrews 10:26-27, Romans 6:23 & Luke 19:27) by resorting to the reasoning that people are spiritual beings, and “By definition, a spirit cannot die. A spirit is an immortal being” (Robertson 72, ANSWERS).
You’ll notice that anyone who makes such an argument will fail to quote any biblical passages to support this definition. That’s because there are none. Nor does a standard English dictionary support this definition. The Funk & Wagnall’s dictionary defines ‘spirit’ as “A supernatural and immaterial being.” A spirit is an immaterial being, that’s all. This certainly doesn’t mean an immaterial being is unable to die.
Answering the question, “Can a soul or spirit be destroyed?” is as simple as this: Whatever creature God gives life to he can bring death to. Whatever he creates he can also de-create. The human mind or disembodied soul did not always exist; it was created by God out of immaterial substances and given consciousness by God’s “breath of life.” And the simple fact is that whatever is created can be de-created, that is, destroyed. If God justly decides that a human being is worthy of death — soul and body — he certainly has the power to do it, after all, he’s the One who created human beings. Jesus Christ Himself declared that this is exactly what God will do to people on judgment day when they’re cast into the lake of fire (Matthew 10:28).
The exception would be creatures who willingly accept God’s gift of unconditional immortality, specifically the devil & his filthy angels. God will one day grant unconditional immortality to people, but only those who have been redeemed through spiritual rebirth in Christ. Such people will have “the right to the tree of life” and live forever (see Revelation 22:14,19 and 2:7). As for unredeemed human beings, God refuses to grant such people this right because they’d have to exist forever in a miserable fallen state, like the fallen angels. Needless to say, unconditional immortality as such would be a curse. This is why, after Adam sinned and spiritually died, God said: “He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever” (Genesis 3:22). God therefore denied Adam access to the tree of life (verses 23-24). See Chapter Four of HELL KNOW for important details on this topic.
Immortality is only available in Christ (2 Timothy 1:10 & Romans 2:7). Human beings presently have yet to attain unconditional immortality and therefore are mercifully subject to literal death and destruction as justly deemed by the Almighty (James 4:12).
This article was edited from Chapter Six of HELL KNOW.
Hi Mr Waren what do you make of the book 23 minutes in Hell? I hope its not true. I’ve never read it but my sister has she believes it
Nice to meet you.
While evangelization and genuine repentance are always good, these people who have supernatural experiences about Sheol/Hades (not Gehenna/the Lake of Fire) beg the question: Why did the LORD wait almost 2000 years after the biblical canon was completed to reveal these horrifying details about the nature of Sheol? If their visions (or experiences) are to be believed, why aren’t there similar such descriptions of Sheol in the Bible, the Word of God?
Everything God wants us to know about Sheol has already been revealed in the Holy Scriptures. This is in line with the apostle Paul’s doctrinal rule: “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6), which explains why this book — SHEOL KNOW — focuses exclusively on what God’s Word says on the subject from Genesis to Revelation and not the dubious testimonies of people who claim to have visions or experiences that just so happen to wholly disagree with what God’s Word plainly teaches.
I call this tendency to formulate vital doctrine based on dubious visions/experiences the “Eliphaz syndrome.” If you’re not familiar with Eliphaz, he was one of Job’s three “friends” whom the LORD accused of folly in what they said to their suffering friend (Job 42:7-8). Eliphaz was the one who made claims based on mysterious visions/experiences (Job 4:12-21). We can extend mercy to Eliphaz since there wasn’t much, if any, Scripture for him to rely on back then. But modern-day believers have ready access to the entire canon of God’s Word for the purpose of determining proper doctrine and correcting false doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16-17). So we have no excuse.
Bill Wiese’ book and similar ones are commented on in SHEOL KNOW in this chapter, just scroll down to the section titled What about People who Claim to have Visited Sheol Literally or in a Vision? (it’s a long chapter and this section is located near the end; you can’t miss it since the cover of 23 Minutes in Hell is featured in it).
God Bless You!
How does a person know hes going to hell? …can anyone tell me??
Nice to meet you.
Here are a few relevant passages from God’s Word that will help:
That last passage promises that “you will be saved” if you do this.
For important details on receiving eternal salvation see this article. For info on growing spiritually from there, see this article.
Don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com if you need further assistance.
God Bless You!
I continue to be impressed by your articles! I wish more people could see how clear this doctrine is.
Can you please elaborate on your comment about the devil and his angels accepting the gift of unconditional immortality?
For more info skim through Chapter Four of HELL KNOW, in particular the fourth and fifth sections — Resurrection unto Unconditional Immortality and What about the Devil and His Angels?