The word “mortal” means “subject to death.” Many today believe they have souls that are not subject to death or are immortal. But are humans immortal according to the Bible? Contrary to popular belief, the scripture never teaches that humans have an immortal part in them that is distinct from their bodies.
The Bible teaches that only God is immortal “who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:16, 17). It is clear that God is the only immortal Being. If that is true what does the Bible teach about the natural state of humans?
The Bible teaches that man is mortal (Job 4:17). The Scripture never once uses the term “immortal soul.” souls do die! Humans are souls, “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). The concept of an undying, immortal soul goes against the Bible.
The very first reference to death occurs in the book of Genesis. God had placed two distinct trees in the garden. One was called the tree of life, which bore fruit that gave immortality to those who ate it. The other was called the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve were warned by God that eating form this forbidden tree would result in their deaths.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17). Satan said to Eve. “you will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). He assured her that even if she ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she would not experience death, contradicting what God had said.
Sadly, Eve fell for his deception, and many today are still falling for the same lie. Do you really die even when you are dead? The vast majority of people still believe the answer is no. Thus began the false idea that we live forever.
Notice that God didn’t say, “if you sin, you will live forever in hell.” And Eve understood this clearly for she answered the serpent who came to tempt her to eat from this fruit saying, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “you shall not eat it n nor shall you touch it, lest you die’” (Genesis 3:2,3). Eve knew that if she ate of the forbidden fruit, she will die.
There is also another evidence from the fall story that also shows that humans were not created as immortal beings. The Lord commanded that Adam and Eve should be driven from Eden so that they don’t eat from the tree of life and live forever. “He “drove out the man; and He place cherubim at the eat of the garden of Eden , and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:22,24). The continual eating from the tree of life would extend their lives which means that humans were not naturally immortal. It was necessary to prevent them from eating the fruit of the tree of life lest they become immortal sinners. Immortality in a state of sin was not the life that God designed for humans.
Only at the second coming will God give the redeemed immortal bodies “…at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:52-54).
In His service,