As I have previously noted, the Christadelphians have been all over this blog for the past couple of years. I have never really run into them in “real life”, but my interactions have given me a chance to look into their thinking and doctrines. I have come across a PDF book that they use called, Wrested Scriptures by Ron Abel, published around 1970.
Over the next while, I will be writing articles about their thinking and heresies as I go through the book. As most of us won’t ever spend much time with a Christadelphian personally, I hope that these articles will get your wheels turning about how lost men, in general, think and how lost men justify their heresies and get out of believing in sound doctrine.
This first article will be focused on their hatred of the immortality of the soul. The basis for their rejection of this obvious fact of Scripture is that they, like the Muslims, have a perverted definition of the word “death”. Muslims reject the Deity of Christ and the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ because “if Jesus is God and Jesus died, how can God die?” They are wrong to think that “death” in this sense means “ceasing to exist”. Here, “death” means “separation”. The Soul of Jesus Christ and the Body of Jesus Christ were separated. Neither “ceased to exist”. His soul went into the heart of the earth (Matt 12:40 and Acts 2:27) and his body went into a hole in the ground (grave – Matt 27:60). So the Muslims have gotten that wrong among a myriad of other things. The Christadelphians make the same mistakes.
They also fail to make the Biblical distinctions between Body, Soul, and Spirit. By “they”, I mean both Muslims, Christadelphians, and every heretic who can’t understand the Deity of Christ. We will demonstrate and explain in detail.
These goofy Christadelphians start out their chapter in the Immortality of the Soul with 6 questions designed to get a Christian to doubt that the soul lives forever. This method goes back to the devil himself in Genesis 3, but the problem is that most Christians are not as grounded in the word of God as they should be. This proves to be an effective method. We shall examine these questions and give easy, simple answers that even a Christadelphian should be able to understand from the Scriptures (something the Christadelphians can’t do because they don’t have any Scriptures, just a bunch of versions and their opinion and the opinions of scholars).
Snake-like Question 1: How can it be said that Christ brought immortality to light (2
Tim. 1:10) if man has been immortal since Adam?
Easy answer 1: The verse says this, “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” (II Tim 1:10). Immortality, as the Bible uses it (by that I mean look up every occurrence of the word), is connected to salvation and eternal life with God. That is what was lost in Eden. When we casually use the word, immortality, in our everyday speech, we are talking about how something never ceases to exist. But in the Bible it is more like “eternal life”, which, although the souls of men before Christ never ceased to exist, they didn’t have immortality or eternal life. They were stuck in the “heart of the earth” until Christ freed them and gave them what the Bible calls, “immortality”. Eternal life and “immortality” were what Christ brought to light through the gospel.
Another idea to factor in is that, an eternity in the lake of fire is called death. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Rev 20:14. Here again, death is not “ceasing to exist” as this punishment lasts forever (Mark 9:44 and Rev 14:11). Since unsaved Christadelphians are headed there, it makes sense that they will try and get rid of hell. If that sounds harsh, just remember that these men are trying to win “immortal souls” to their heresies and remember what the Lord Jesus Christ said about that in Matt 23:15, “ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
Also note that this verse is a huge problem for the Christadelphians, they have no answer to immortality as they don’t believe in it. Also, How can you bring to light something that doesn’t exist? But like typical heretics, they’ll take “any port in a storm”.
Snake-like Question 2: How can immortality be sought for (Rom. 2:7) if it is already a
Easy Answer 2: Here is Romans 2:7, “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:” This issue is no different than Easy Answer 1. “Immortality” is akin to salvation or eternal life as it is used in the Bible. Here, we have OT gentiles working for salvation, which even our saved, fundamentalist brethren can’t seem to figure out. So to repeat, the soul has will never cease to exist, but if a man does what God says, he’ll get “immortality” which is the same as saying that they will get eternal life. Of course, today, after the cross, gentiles get saved by believing the Gospel and receiving Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Snake-like Question 3: If Adam had an immortal soul, why was he thrust out of the
garden that he might not “live forever”? (Gen. 3:22).
Easy Answer 3: Here is the verse: “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” The Christadelphians have failed to see the difference between Body, Soul, and Spirit. Adam’s body “started to die” after eating the fruit (grape). It finally died after over 900 years (Gen 5:5). His spirit died the second he ate the fruit. That is why men are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1) and need to be born again (John 3:7). When they get born again, they get immortality or eternal life and their spirit becomes alive (Eph 2:1). Adam was kicked out of Eden because he had a dead spirit but a dying body. Had he eaten the fruit, he would have lived forever in a bad condition. One could guess what the consequences would have been, so God removed the possibility of eating the fruit from the tree of life. Instead, we get our life from a tree of death, that is, the cross of Calvary.
Snake-like Question 4: If the souls of the righteous go to heaven at death, why a resur-
rection? (Usually the reply is, “for the purpose of Judgment,” but
this implies that souls are rewarded first, and then judged!)
Easy Answer 4: Hard to say exactly what the author is talking about. The Resurrection that I think he is talking about is the Rapture. That is a reunion of the souls with their bodies. Knowing this truth, the question would now be nullified.
We shall continue on so that you can see how this all fits together. The way that the Judgment comes into play is this: after the bodies are raised, then all the saved appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ (II Cor 5:10) to have their works judged (I Cor 3:11-15). They are saved, but then they either get rewards or suffer lost.
Snake-like Question 5: “If Christ be not raised . . . then they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” (1 Cor. 15:17,18). But how can these dead saints be said to be sleeping if their souls (the real saints) are already in heaven, and how can it be said that these saints would perish unless Christ be raised, if their immortal souls go to bliss at death?
Easy Answer 5: The answer is found in John 11:11-14 “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.” Sleeping can mean “sleeping at night” (Gen 28:11) or death (John 11) or not paying attention to spiritual things (Rom 13:11). Although it exists all over the writings of heretics, the Bible never talks about souls sleeping.
Beyond that, he asked, “how can it be said that these saints would perish unless Christ be raised, if their immortal souls go to bliss at death?” I Cor 15 is addressing, hypothetically, what would happen if the dead don’t ever come out of the grave. The Corinthians are so messed up that they are teaching foolishness like the JWs and Christadelphians that the dead don’t rise. Paul is teaching that if the dead don’t rise, then everything we believe gets messed up, including what about Christians that have already died. If the dead don’t raise, then they’re in trouble. Where is their hope? They have none. The Christadelphians have ignored the context and there is no issue here.
Snake-like Question 6: The Apostle Paul said, “If after the manner of men I have fought
with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?” (1 Cor. 15:32). If the soul is immortal (and hence can enjoy heavenly bliss separated from the body) why does the Apostle stress “if the dead rise not”? Why the concern for the body if the soul can enjoy bliss without the body?
Easy Answer 6: Man is made of three parts just as God. If you think there is no reason for the body and soul to be together, then your problem is with God, who made man that way. Again the context of I Cor 15 is Paul dealing with a heresy in Corinth that no one comes out of graves. If that is not true, then what are we doing? Let’s go get drunk. Then our faith is vain. We are yet in our sins. And we are of all men most miserable.
But that is not true. Christ did rise and one day our bodies will rise to meet our souls in the air. That day is the Rapture. I can’t wait. Even so, Come Lord Jesus and deliver us from these bad and deceptive questions that we frequently have to deal with.