Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. In reading your materials, the statement “we DO NOT go to heaven or hell” caught my eye. I was taken aback with this statement. When you mention Ezekiel 18:4 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” you imply that means that the soul will be destroyed when the body dies. I am not sure if this is in reference to the 3rd hell where God is merciful and ends one’s existence. Would this be the 2nd death that the new testament speaks of?
A. In Genesis 2:7 we read that God formed man from the dust of the ground and man BECAME a living soul. The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh. It means “living creature.” Man, whales, dogs, cats, etc. are all living creatures. They are all going to die and return to the dust from which they came. Hebrews 9:27 says it is appointed unto man once to die… All men, and all living creatures, will experience this FIRST death.

However, notice carefully what Ezekiel 18:4 says. The soul (living creature, in this case man because animals cannot sin) that sinneth, IT SHALL DIE. Sin is the transgression of the law. (I John 3:4). And the wages of sin is death. (Rom 6:23). The death spoken of in Ezekiel is the second death in the Lake of fire.

If you would like to know more on these subjects you may enroll in our new series, “Traditional Christian Doctrines”. A new lesson is mailed out each month. If you found the article on heaven and hell interesting this series would probably interest you as well.
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