Hell is Real but ‘Soul Sleep’ is False.
1) Which is the Common Fallacy?
Hi Sir, I appreciate your reply but “soul sleep” is a common fallacy in Theology propagated heavily by Martin Luther & William Tyndale in the Protestant movement.
Sorry but Luke 16:19 – 31 are the “actual verses” describing Hades (and NOT the ones you quoted) where any afterlife punishment region part can be called as “Hell” collectively.
Also, even if Luke 16:19 – 31 is a parable (i. e. has an allegorical meaning), its “literal” meaning remains true as ‘a parable cannot use imaginary things’ —-> so, such a description of the punishment regions of Hades called “Hell” must be REAL.
2) Who says so? Irenaeous?
(i) Body Sleeps at Death and NOT the Soul
“… For as, when the body is asleep and at rest,… ”
(St. Irenaeous of Lyons, ‘Against
Heresies’, Book II, Chapter XXXIII.-Absurdity of the Doctrine of the Transmigration of Souls,
(ii) The Rich Man and Lazarus Story is LITERAL
“The Lord has taught with very great fulness, that souls not only continue to exist, not by passing from body to body, but that they preserve the same form [in their separate state] as the body had to which they were adapted, and that they remember the deeds which they did in this state of existence, and from which they have now ceased,-in that narrative which is recorded respecting the rich man and that Lazarus who found repose in the bosom of
In this account He states that Dives knew Lazarus after death, and Abraham in like manner, and that each one of these persons continued in his own proper position, and that [Dives] requested Lazarus to be sent to relieve him [Lazarus], on whom he did not [formerly] bestow even the crumbs [which fell] from his table.
[He tells us] also of the answer given by Abraham, who was acquainted not only with what respected himself, but Dives also, and who enjoined those who did not wish to come into that place of torment to believe Moses and the prophets, and to receive the preaching of Him who was to rise again from the dead.
By these things, then, it is plainly declared that souls continue to exist that they do not pass from body to body, that they possess the form of a man, so that they may be recognised, and retain the memory of things in this world; moreover, that the gift of prophecy was possessed by Abraham, and that each class of souls] receives a habitation such as it has deserved, even before the judgment.” (St. Irenaeous of Lyons, ‘Against Heresies’, Book II, Chapter XXXIV.-Souls Can Be Recognised in the Separate State, and are Immortal Although They Once Had a Beginning, Point 1)
Page 116 in the Book.
Please note that Irenaeous clearly mentions that Moses and the Prophets knew this though it may not be explicitly written prior to this level of details in the Old Testament, being a ‘hidden’ living up to the Name of Sheol meaning Hidden too.
3) Soul Sleep Fallacy
Another “Common Fallacy” (quite an Irony if we understand it) is the popular false claim that Justin Martyr taught Soul Sleep.
Please consider the explanation below:
Is there a Difference of Inheritance in the Heavens?
Yes, even for the righteous there is a distinction of inheritance.
Before that, please consider a famous fallacy arising from NOT understanding the definition of ‘heaven’ in the following quote (often used to prove ‘soul sleep’):
“For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians.” – Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho, 80:9)
What did Justin mean when he says “… who say …their souls, when they die, are taken to
heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians?
Doesn’t that plainly contradict Luke 16:19 – 31?
Not really. What Justin Martyr means as heaven is far more complex than ‘what we assume’ to be.
Firstly, Luke 16:19 – 31 mentions of “Paradise” into which the “souls of the righteous go” and NOT heaven.
Yes, “heaven” and “Paradise” are different as the Writings of Iraneous & even Papias reveal below (and Justin must be speaking from this ‘same knowledge too’):
Yes, this definition of ‘heaven(s)’ may be more complex than usually assumed, to quote:
‘A fragment from the early 2nd century of one of the lost volumes of Papias, a Christian bishop, expounds that “heaven” was separated into three distinct layers. He referred to the first as just “heaven”, the second as “paradise”, and the third as “the city”. Papias taught
that “there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce a hundredfold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold’ (Papias,
This explanation is further proven True as Lord Jesus Christ went to “Paradise” on the “same” Day He Died with His SOUL (Disproving the Soul Sleep Theory that His Soul Slept in the Grave for Three Days, Luke 23:43) but after He Resurrected Gloriously, i.e. Three Days later, He Ascended to the Father in a RESURRECTED BODY into the “Heavens” eventually
(John 20:17, Mark 16:19, Acts 1:2 – 3, Acts 1:9 – 11, Ephesians 4:9 – 10).
This means that when we die, as Christians, with ‘our soul we will enter Paradise’ immediately (as per Luke 16:19 – 31) and await the ‘redemption of the body’ (Romans 8:23)
to enter ‘heaven’ later when He Returns during the First Resurrection (Revelation 20:4 – 6).
Yes, a soul with spirit can live in the afterlife abodes or regions such as ‘Abraham’s Bosom’ or Paradise (Luke 16:19 – 31, Revelation 6:10) or be gathered in the New Jerusalem City for the Wedding (Galatians 4:26, Revelation 21:2, Revelation 19:7 – 9) but to ‘live on earth
again or to enter higher into the heavens’, we need to partake of the Resurrection First (Revelation 20:4 – 6, Hebrews 11:39 – 40, Hebrews 12:21 – 24).
Further Reading: Pages 58 – 60 in the Book in link above (in Post – “Lost Orthodoxy”).
4) Justin Martyr
How about Justin Martyr directly writing in regards to this?
Did Justin Martyr understand that Souls do NOT sleep in ‘his own words’?
This point proves irrefutably that First Christianity as it is evidenced from St. Justin Martyr’s and St. Irenaeous of Lyons’ “own writings” shows that —–> there is NO SOUL SLEEP Doctrine in First Orthodox, Correct Christianity at all.
“But I do NOT say, indeed, that ALL SOULS DIE; for that were truly a piece of good fortune to the evil.
What then? The SOULS of the pious remain in a better place, while those [SOULS] of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for the time of judgment.
Thus some [SOULS] which have appeared worthy of God never die; but others [SOULS] are punished so long as God wills them to exist and to be punished.” – Justin Martyr (Fifth Chapter on the Dialogue)
Justin clearly believed that at death the soul goes to an intermediate place to await
resurrection and judgment. Once again, we defer our discussion of this point until later.
For now it will suffice to say that Justin also, just as clearly, believed in the annihilation of the wicked.
He mentions the fact that only some worthy souls “never die”.
Others, he says, exist only “so long as God wills them to exist and undergo punishment.”
To put this the other way
around, Justin must mean that after a time of punishment, when God no longer wills the
wicked to live, they will simply cease to exist.
Justin does elsewhere suggest that the period of conscious punishment of the wicked is quite long, being “not only, as Plato said, for a period of a thousand years” , but longer.
The wicked’s SOUL do however, eventually DIES.
Page 405 in aforementioned Book.
To download that FREE pdf e-book, please consider the link below for further edification:
Peace to you
Lord Jesus Christ did NOT teach reincarnation when He remarked that John the Baptist is ‘Elijah to come’ (Matthew 11:14) ——>that is, in the ‘spirit and power of Elijah’ (“Context”, Luke 1:14) —-> simply because Elijah NEVER DIED and thus CANNOT be ‘reincarnated’ as for reincarnation to happen, the previous Old body MUST DIE FIRST.
In the Bible, only two persons are said to have never died & the Interpretation that these two (Elijah & Enoch) will return as a Final Two Lampstand (The Two Witnesses) is give clearly by Hippolytus of Rome (who was St. Irenaeous’ disciple), to quote:
Preterism is false according to Hippolytus too.
Hippolytus clearly reveals that the 1 week from the Infamous Daniel Prophecy refers to the
antichrist’s reign, to quote:
“Now Daniel will set forth this subject to us. For he says, “And one week will make a
covenant with many, and it shall be that in the midst (half) of the week my sacrifice and
oblation shall cease.” By one week, therefore, he meant the last week which is to be at the
end of the whole world of which week the two prophets Enoch and Elias will take up the
half. For they will preach 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth, proclaiming repentance to the
people and to all the nations.” – Hippolytus of Rome (170–235 AD, TREATISE ON CHRIST AND ANTICHRIST, Point 43)
More reading? Pages 432 – 433 in regards to this.
This is not a rude post as the ‘same way preterists, soul sleep believers & no hell propagators’ ——> call those who contradict them as wrong, we point out their error too —–> then what’s the difference? —–> we PROVE it with FIRST CHRISTIANITY as the writings of Justin, Irenaeous and Hippolytus has shown.
Can they produce such ‘First Christian History’ (and NOT non-Christ accepting Sadduccees or Jewish errors) to substantiate their claims?
No. They cannot produce any such evidence from First Christianity BEFORE Justin or Irenaeous simply because it does NOT exist.
Let us NOT be deceived otherwise.