Fellow Inheritors of the Kingdom by Wayne Stallsmith
I picked up Edwin Lutzer’s book, One Minute After You Die, again and started reading in Chapter 3: “The Ascent into Glory.”
His words are so melodious, but they have the taste and odor of pickle juice. What do I mean?
Lutzer is, alas, a fabricator of errant interpretations. Scripture immediately exposes his book title, One Minute After You Die, as fraudulent. Chapters one and two are a disaster of misinterpretation, but now we go to chapter three, and we find Mr. Lutzer continues his fabrications as if he were reading directly from a Plato trilogy!
Let me touch on a few statements in Chapter 3. On page 55, he quotes 1 Corinthians 3:21-23: “all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ to God,” citing death as God’s gift to us. What he does not see is a connection that has been a stumbling block for Trinitarians (among others). The passage reveals a clear subordination of Jesus, the Christ, to God. As the Trinitarian doctrine espouses Jesus to be God, the Trinitarians in this case are not able to explain how God can be subordinate to God. The passage concludes, “you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”
On page 56 Lutzer again trips up, stating that the pagans could not rid Christians of the gift of death that would escort them into the presence of God. You might want to mail Mr. E.R. Lutzer the extensive list of “death” scriptures that explicitly reveal such is not the case. No one is escorted into the presence of God at death. ... I would remind Lutzer of Paul’s own words: “In this way [by resurrection or catching up to meet Jesus at his coming] we will come to be with Jesus” (1 Thess. 4:13-17).
At the bottom of page 56, our author offers this thought: “Similarly, death is the means by which our bodies are put to rest while our spirits are escorted through the gates of heaven.” Escorted by whom? Give me the Bible reference. “Our spirits are escorted” to heaven at death? [Rather] When a human being dies, the unity of body and soul die together; the body/soul combination is mortal. The Greeks (Plato) taught that the body is useless and death allows the soul to shed the body and take flight to live forever a life of its own. The Greek-trained Gnostic Christians, post-Bible times, recommended that they give the separated soul a destination: the good ones go to heaven (up there), and the bad ones go to the wretched chambers of Hades or to instant Hell-fire. In reality, however, Scripture states that the mortal body/soul, the whole person, rests or sleeps in death (Dan. 12:2) until the resurrection occurs at the return of Jesus at the sound of the 7th trumpet, and not a moment before
(Rev. 11:15-18). This Greek false teaching, espoused now by the majority of Christians, particularly Catholics and Calvinists, is a cleverly designed error that has become over the past thousand years “orthodox theology.”
In this same paragraph of his book, Lutzer refers to our “spirits” being escorted to heaven. But this is easily misunderstood as a conscious immediate life in heaven. Certainly at birth God sends an emission of His spirit to generate life in the child. That spirit of God [i.e. our breath] resides within the individual until he/she dies. The spirit has no form or identity, but God takes it back when life, our life cycle ends. Here’s the proof: “Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth” (Ecc. 3:21). “The dust shall return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it” (Ecc. 12:7). Meanwhile “the dead know nothing at all…There is no activity in the world of the dead [gravedom, sheol, Hades]” (Ecc. 9:5, 10). The resurrection is the only way out of death (John 11:11, 14)!
The above was taken from
Focus On The Kingdom Vol. 18. No. 12
Some editing has been done.