O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
If you believe in fulfilled Eschatology, then you probably believe that our life is now, in Christ, and that nothing can take that away. You also believe that we are now in the body of Christ, and that His kingdom is fully realized, yet we don't see it with our eyes because we are still in mortal bodies.
Nevertheless, it occurred to me recently that there are two terms used for our "life after this life". They are "immortality" and "eternal life"
So, do you believe there is a difference between the two? If not, why are two different words used? If so, then what is the difference?
Would like to hear others weigh in on this issue.
The terminology of Geometry is one method I use to try to wrap my mind around the different concepts.
Immortality would be represented by a Space (only God has this).
Time is represented by a Line within this Space, extending infinitely in both directions.
All of human history is a Segment on this Line, with a beginning and an ending point.
Each human life is similar to a Ray, with conception as a starting Point, but with no ending point, representing something eternal. Physical death is another Point farther down this ray, but it doesn't bring an end to the Ray.
Angelic beings occupy a different Plane than humanity, but can intersect with humanity's Plane at God-designated places.
And the church is a Cube within God's immortal Space.
A flawed analogy, I know. Anybody else got a better idea?
I like your analogy of a perfect cube..........the only one I can think of is The Ark of The Covenant. This was lost to those of later generations of Jews, but reappears in Revelation, in the Temple in Heaven. Milton Terry equates this with the people of God, in his Biblical Apocalyptics.
I'd have an issue with Time extending infinitely..........Time would have a beginning and therefore in Jewish thought......an end. (Tim Martin expounds this point)
I guess the idea of "Begining" in Genesis is really the Beginning of Covenant rather than Human History....if you'd wish to be consistent.
Whad de Ya Thk?
The Old Covenant I can picture as being a shorter Segment within the Segment of human history.
The New Covenant is an Angle, parallel to the Line of Time, anchored to it at the point of Christ's sacrifice, with an increasing amount of room for many Rays to fit within it. This Angle has no limitations to it's outer reach, which is why we can say that the New Covenant has more glory than the Old, and will extend past the ending point of the Segment of human history. That's because we are eternal beings, but human history (as we know it) is not eternal. Ages have finite endings, whereas the New Covenant does not.
I hope all that is consistent! And yes, you get my drift about the symbolism in scripture of the perfect cube for those in the body of Christ. Welcome to the site, also!
"The New Covenant is an Angle, parallel to the Line of Time, anchored to it at the point of Christ's sacrifice, with an increasing amount of room for many Rays to fit within it. This Angle has no limitations to it's outer reach"
"Ages have finite endings, whereas the New Covenant does not".
So if we agree that the Church is the "Perfect Cube" and the Church are those "In Christ".....Christ must be the "Perfect Cube". This would place the age to come outside of Time and in the space represented by God's own Being.
I think this could be confirmed by Genesis when describing The Seventh Day in the fact that there was no morning and no evening, unlike those days of the Old Covenant represented by the first 6 days of God's self-revelation. This is our rest and eternal home and ground of being...............................
Thank you for your welcome. Stephen
A Perfect Cube:
Rather jumped the gun in my reply; What I should have said was, " the only one I can think of is the one measured as The Holy of Holies in The Temple (Ezekiel)........in which The Ark of The Covenant was meant to be kept". The perfect Cube appears again in the symbol of The New Jerusalem of Revelation. Both perfect Cubes could represent God's People, Holy and Undefiled, especially as a development could be made through John's instruction not only to measure The Temple............but those who worship within it.
Sorry to have mixed my symbols, but you get the underlying premise involving God's people....................I hope?
A good analogy, but I have some followup questions for you...
Three scriptures about immortality come to mind:
1 Corinthians 15:53
For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
ME: Somehow then, we too will have immortality. If it is only God who has immortality, then how is our immortality different from God's, or is it?
to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
ME: Why is immortality separated as a concept from eternal life in this verse?
2 Timothy 1:10
but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
ME: Why is "life" AND "immortality" discussed, as though they are different from each other? Are they REALLY the same things?
Good questions - you make me think. I guess for your first question, I would respond that God is the only one who has always possessed immortality, and we have to have it put on by Him - He's the original image, we're the copy - He's the source and the dispenser of immortality, we're the receivers - God glows with immortality from the inside out, and we have to be wrapped in it.
As for the Romans 2:7 and 2 Tim. 1:10 references, the Interlinear uses the term "incorruptibility" instead of "immortality", which changes the flavor of the interpretation a bit. The first term has the sense of not being morally or physically degradable, and the second implies the quality of deathlessness. My Greek dictionary is telling me that my version of 2 Tim. 1:10 is incorrectly translated when it uses "immortality". (Sooner or later, I am going to have to sign up for Biblical Greek classes.)
So I suppose I would define "eternal life" as life which has an origination point, but no finishing point to it, and "immortality" as something that has neither beginning nor end of days.
"God is the only one who has always possessed immortality", ie God is not Mortal.
I believe the above is true............therefore the the rest hinges on the nature of "Being" as far as I can see, and is contingent as to how we define "Death". The key to the apparent paradox would be "being In Christ".........and there's the rub!
Perhaps the issue with God is nothing to do with immortality. Perhaps we will all live forever? What God is interested in is out righteousness and godliness
Your interlinear is correct
Your Wrote: " we don't see it with our eyes because we are still in mortal bodies".
This seems to be a flawed assertion and premise. We see The Kingdom because it has been given to us to "see" and "hear" whilst others have been denied this privilege, according to Isaiah / Jesus fulfillment of same. "The eyes of your understanding being flooded with light"..............................?
I appreciate all the metaphors, but what I am really looking for is the DIFFERENCE between eternal life (biblically speaking) and immortality.
Is there a difference? If so, what is it?
John 17:3 says, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ. It isn't dealing with the afterlife.
Romans 2: 7-9 says, To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Seems Paul is pointing to the coming wrath for those who do not seek glory, honor, immortality, eternal life. Again, I don't think its pointing to "life after this life." Incorruption or immortality are not dealing with "after the grave." I think to keep it in 1st century context Its possible they are covenant realities that Israel would experience in the "age to come."
I'm wondering if the various definitions we have in Strong's Concordance and a lifetime of false teaching on this issue are "futurist tainted."