What are the real issues of life and death and eternal life?
Thank you for your question.
In the New Testament the Greek word translated soul is ‘psuche’
The Strong’s number is 5590. It is translated in the Authorised Version as follows:
Soul, 58 times; life, 40 times; mind, 3 times; heart, 1 time; heartily + 1537, 1 times; not translated 2 times.
The word first appears in the New Testament in Matthew 2:20.
Matthew 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life<5590>.
It next appears in Matthew 6:25.
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for yourlife <5590>, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life <5590> more than meat, and the body than raiment?
In both cases it clearly means the life that the living experience.
In Luke 9:56 Jesus says specifically that he has come to save men’s lives.
Luke 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’slives <5590>, but to save them...
We are familiar with the Morse code Maritime Distress signal SOS – Save our Souls – and we understand it well enough to mean ‘Save our Lives’.
This is how Peter uses the word.
1Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls<5590> were saved by water.
Once we understand that the soul is the life and not an immortal part of our being which lives on consciously after death, then we see the importance of our soul or life being saved from death.
Christ, by living a sinless life and giving his life (soul), has ransomed those that will believe in him from death.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life <5590> a ransom for many.
This is the Gospel preached.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved...
So the writer to the Hebrews says:
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul <5590>.
Peter says that the saving of your souls is the reward of faith.
1Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls <5590>.
It is evident that we all die.
But dying in faith carries the certainty of resurrection from the dead.
The saving of the soul is effected by raising the believer to eternal life in the same way that Christ was raised from the dead.
Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
The believer’s resurrection will take place when Christ returns.
1Corinthians 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
There are two parts in the fight for our souls.
The first part was for Christ to be ‘in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin’ (Heb 4:15). To live a sinless life and to lay down his life to redeem us.
1Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (way of life) received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ...
That part of the fight has been won.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
The second part is for us to do what God requires of us. To read, believe, repent, be baptised into Christ, take up our cross daily and follow him.
Christ cannot help us if we will not believe and do what he has commanded.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Belief and baptism are but the first steps to the saving of our souls.
Our lives must be a work of faith, worked out with fear and trembling.
Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
After belief and baptism our lives have the salvation of our soul as a goal to strive for.
Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I hope this helps
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