The psalmist asked, "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" (Psalms 8:4). There are but two possible answers to this question. (One) Man is a mere animal that through ages past evolved by some unknown process, from an unknown beginning, or (Two) Man is a spiritual being created by an act of the spiritual God of heaven and earth. If man evolved from some lower life form, and is wholly mortal, then the question of man and death, can be easily answered. If man is no more than any other animal that dies, he simply ceases to be, and becomes extinct forever. This theory of evolution of man is just that, a theory which is unprovable. The scripture teaches a whole different view of the origin and nature of man. The bible definitely affirms that man was created by Jehovah God in his own image (Gen. 1:27). Man is created a two part being, made up of a mortal body of dust and an immortal soul in the likeness of God the Creator. The inspired apostle Paul affirms man's compound nature when he wrote of the "outward" man and the "inward man." (II Cor.4:16) Therefor, the invisible spirit dwells within the visible mortal body of every human being.

The bible teaches that the spirit of man, being the offspring of God, is like the Father and is immortal for "God is a spirit" (John 4:24). In contrast with the fathers of our mortal bodies, God is the Father of our spirit (Heb. 12:9).

It is clearly taught in the bible that physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. At this time the dust of the mortal body will return to earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecc. 12:7). The bible does not say that the spirit is dead without the body, but it does say that the body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26). The real man, the spirit, does not die, for like God, he is eternal. The departure of the soul at death is compared to the flying away of a bird (Psalms 90:10).

The human body is only a tabernacle in which the "real man" lives while on the earth. Therefore life is that state of man when the body and soul are together. Death is the condition that follows the separation of body and spirit.

One may ask, what is the condition of the soul after death? Is the soul conscious or unconscious? Fortunately the scriptures can and does answer this question with accurate information. The Lord's narrative of the rich man and Lazarus teaches that the soul is very much conscious after physical death (Luke 16:19-31). This discourse clearly teaches that our soul will live on after the body dies, either in misery or bliss, according to the life we lived while upon this earth. The apostle Paul viewed death, not as a loss but a gain, to depart and be with the Lord, which would be far better (Phil. 1:23).

Some contend that our souls are unconscious after death and they use Ecc. 9:5, which says that the dead know nothing to prove their point. But, when we read the very next verse we see that it means they know nothing of life on this earth under the sun. They will be conscious, and like the rich man, have memories of life on earth, but their life here is over and they can do nothing to change how they lived. Once man takes that final breath of life on earth, his fate is sealed forever and there is nothing he can do to change it. "It is appointed men once to die, but after this comes judgment" (Heb. 9:27). May I urge everyone to prepare now for judgment and eternity while it is day, for the night is coming swiftly, when no man can work (John 9:4).