Thursday, December 10, 2009

12/11- What Happens at Death

(Soul Carried to Heaven)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

12/11- Calvin on Eschatology-

Psalm 49:15- 15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.
Matthew 10:28 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Ecclesiastes 12:7 7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

John Calvin (Psychopanachea): The Human Soul. Some, while admitting it to have a real existence, imagine that it sleeps in a state of
insensibility from Death to The Judgment-day, when it will awake from its sleep; while others will sooner admit anything than its real existence, maintaining that it is merely a vital power which is derived from arterial spirit on the action of the lungs, and being unable to exist without body, perishes along with the body, and vanishes away and becomes evanescent till the period when the whole man shall be raised again. We, on the other hand, maintain both that it is a substance, and after the death of the body truly lives, being endued both with sense and understanding. Both these points we undertake to prove by clear passages of Scripture. Here let human wisdom give place; for though it thinks much about the soul it perceives no certainty with regard to it. Here, too, let Philosophers give
place, since on almost all subjects their regular practice is to put neither end nor measure to their dissensions, while on this subject in particular they quarrel, so that you will scarcely find two of them agreed on any single point! Plato, in some passages, talks nobly of the faculties of the soul; and Aristotle, in discoursing of it, has surpassed all in acuteness. But what the soul is, and whence it is, it is vain to ask at them, or indeed at the whole body of Sages, though they certainly thought more purely and wisely on the subject than some amongst ourselves, who boast that they are the disciples of Christ.

Thoughts: For the next few weeks, I want to look at Calvin’s view of the last things (eschatology). That is the end of the world, the return of Christ, the last judgment, and the end of a person’s life. Today, we’ll look briefly at one of Calvin’s basic and early works that helped determine his theology and eventually the Institutes- Psychopanachea (soul sleep). Calvin did not doubt that the soul was part of life, and the soul is separated from the body at death. He was firmly against the idea that there is no soul, or that the soul dies with the body or sleeps until the resurrection. For Calvin to depart means to be with Christ. There is no purgatory, limbo, sleep-state afterwards. When we die, our soul departs and is with Christ. Many people have asked me this question- “What happens to me after I die?” The answer is clear from scripture- we go to be with our Lord, and share in his glory. This is not a secondary hope for Calvin, but a source of great encouragement amidst a hard life.

Prayer: Thank you for the hope of eternal life, Lord. May I find strength to endure and follow you.

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