Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Was mankind created eternal?
The short answer is yes, but with some qualifications.
1. In their original state, Adam and Eve were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). God is eternal; consequently, they must have been created eternal. Now, I must be careful to state it was a different kind of eternal than God. God has always existed, and always will. Humanity has existed only for a little while on this earth. Humanity has a starting point, but will continue on forever.
2. Adam and Eve (and their offspring – the human race) were originally made to last forever. However, death entered into the picture caused by their disobedience. Death was a good thing in this respect: otherwise the human race would have remained in a permanent state of evil. With death being introduced, that assumes they were originally made to last forever.
3. So, now we have to examine what death is. It is not cessation of existence. It means separation of our soul and spirit from our physical body. The body decays in the grave, but it will be resurrected someday yet in the future (John 5:28, 29). At physical death, the souls of saved people travel immediately to heaven to be with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8), where they await resurrection day. The souls of the unsaved are placed into Hades to await their resurrection (Luke 16:22-31).
4. You can see from this, that we still exist, but in a different form and place. But, we need to ask about the eternal state in heaven and hell – after our resurrection. What happens then? Well, Jesus said, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). Consequently, people will exist forever.
5. Another note is our resurrected, glorified body. Christ’s resurrection resulted in an eternal, glorified body for Him of which ours will be patterned after (Philippians 3:21). If Christ last forever, then so shall we.
6. Finally, Paul tells us that at our resurrection, “this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Corinthians 15:53), and that death itself will be abolished. He is talking about our resurrected body.
David, I hope this helps. Keep exploring this website. Esmie and I are putting up a Bible Academy, which will result in a diploma for those who complete the 2 year program. Stay tuned.
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