Section 3: Humanity
Week 2: God Created Us Body and Soul
Day 4: The Soul Lives on After the Body Dies
2 Cor. 5:1-10
We noted earlier that materialism insists matter is all there is. We like to think we are a combination of body and soul, but in reality we are just bodies. Now, if the body is the sum total of who you are, it stands to reason that when your body dies, you cease to exist. Looking at life through that sort of materialistic lens has a way of shaping our priorities. If we believe there’s nothing beyond this life, our tendency will be to pursue those things we think will make us happy right here and now. Hence the slogan: “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” If there’s nothing beyond this life, you might as well get in as much fun as you can. “The one who dies with the most toys wins.” Right?
The Bible, however, makes it clear that our souls live on after our bodies die (Luke 23:43, 2 Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:23, Heb. 9:27, Rev. 20:11-15). That means this life is not all there is, which in turn, means the things in this life aren’t the only things to live for.
That’s why Jesus tells his followers, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:33-34).
Selling your possessions doesn’t make sense in a materialistic worldview. Neither does any sacrifice, really. It might make some sense if it provides a benefit to us in this life. If it makes me feel good to help someone, for example, fine. But if I get nothing out of it at all, why bother? That calculation changes significantly, though, when we recognize there is something beyond this life. Suddenly, whether I derive some benefit here and now cannot be the only consideration.
Jesus wants our decisions to be focused primarily on what God has in store for us in the next life rather than the temporary benefits we might gain in this life. If he calls on us to sacrifice something in this life, that pales in comparison to what he intends to give us in the next (Rom. 8:18).
Are there areas where you define “good” mainly in terms of how something matches what you want or whether it makes you comfortable right now? How should the truth that the soul lives on after the body affect the way we see our lives in this world?
List one or two priorities that would be different if you were to focus more on eternity rather than the temporary benefits of this world.