The English word "soul" is used to translate two original words of the Holy Scriptures. The Old Testament Hebrew word (pronounced) nay-fesh, which literally means a breathing creature (human or animal), is variously translated as soul, life, person, mind, heart, creature, body, himself, yourselves, dead, will, desire, man, themselves and appetite. The New Testament Greek word (pronounced) psoo-kay, which literally means life's breath or breathing (see Giving Up The Ghost), is variously translated as soul, life, mind and heart. According to God's Word, a "soul" is a living, breathing creature that eventually dies.
"2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7 KJV)
Nowhere does the Bible say that the "soul" is immortal; quite the contrary, souls are subject to death.
"18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4 KJV)
"5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death" (James 5:20 KJV)
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die"
All humans have been, or will be (see When Will You Be Judged?) given the awareness to chose between genuine right and wrong - to choose life, or to choose death. It is a personal choice to be made in due time. Some other person's righteousness, or some other person's wickedness, no matter who they are to you, have no effect upon your choice to obey or reject the offer of salvation that the LORD is or will be giving you.
"18:1 The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, 18:2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?
18:3 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
18:5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, 18:6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, 18:7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; 18:8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, 18:9 Hath walked in my statutes [see The Process Of Conversion], and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.
18:10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things, 18:11 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife, 18:12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination, 18:13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.
18:14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, 18:15 That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife,
18:16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,
18:17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. 18:18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.
18:19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 18:22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die." (Ezekiel 18:1-24 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) Where did the idea for an "ever-burning hell" come from? (b) Where did the Church of Rome fantasy of "purgatory" come from?
(a) See Where or What is Hell?
(b) See Purgatory
Copyright © Wayne Blank