- Have you ever had a “heart stopping” experience or been startled awake from a deep sleep and felt your heart “pound” in panic or fear?
- Have you ever felt your heart race in excitement at the sight of the person you love?
- Did you ever “jump” at an unexpected loud noise?
- Do you hold your hand over your heart when the National Anthem is sung?
- Have the deep emotions of happiness or sadness brought tears to your eyes?
- Have you ever been so excited and happy about an upcoming event in your life, that you were unable to fall asleep at night?
Monday, November 14, 2011
The Heart of the Matter
The Body and Soul Connection
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven not built by human hands.
Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling...
Human Beings are the crown of God’s Creation. We are very unique. He created each of us with a body and a soul. Our body and soul are separate yet connected. They are connected when our life begins at conception and are separated at death. In this entire huge world there is no other human being exactly like you. Each one of us is a special creation.
Someday our body (the tent that we live in) will die - of old age or possibly through an accidental injury or illness, at a young age, but our soul will never die. When our body dies our soul will live on. The souls of those who trust in God and believe His promises will go to heaven, the place He has prepared for all who love Him (our heavenly dwelling). The souls of those who have chosen to reject Him will go to hell, the place He has prepared for the devil and his angels. Our body will be placed in the ground after death. It will decay and turn back into dust, from which God created mankind. God told Adam and Eve after the fall into sin; for dust you are and to dust you will return. (Genesis 3:19)
When Jesus returns to earth on the last day the bodies and souls of all believers will be reunited to live with Him in glory. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven...and the dead in Christ will rise first...We who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
(1 Thessalonians 4: 16,17)
The bodies and souls of unbelievers will be reunited also on the last day to live in hell, where they will be forever separated from the presence of God. Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matthew 25:41).
The human body is made up of many working parts. Each individual body part has a specific purpose. There are some body parts which we are able to live without such as our tonsils, gall bladder, appendix etc. There are others however which are crucial to our well being and our body would not survive without them. Organs such as the liver, kidneys, heart, and brain are vital organs.
Our heart is a very important part of our physical being. It begins to beat in utero about 21 days after fertilization and continues to beat constantly, never stopping until the day we are called from this earth by God. It is the muscle that pumps life-giving blood to all of the other parts of our body. The blood in turn distributes oxygen and nutrients to our extremities.
The heart muscle beats continuously without any conscious effort on the part of the individual. Like the heart, there are many other muscles in the human body also which move without the knowledge or intent of the individual. For example, we chew and swallow our food. After that point we have no awareness of the muscles of our esophagus as they move that food down and into our stomach.
If I were to die unexpectedly from an injury or accident which did not affect or damage my heart muscle, it could be transplanted into the body of another human whose heart is not working properly, and extend that person’s life. The same could be done with my eyes, kidneys and liver. Many lives have been saved in this way.
But what about the human brain? I don’t know a lot about the intricate workings of the brain, but this is what I do know. I know that no human or animal for that matter is able to live without it. It is connected to the spine and sends messages to the nerve endings and the muscles of the body telling them when to move. The brain has many other functions as well which are essential to supporting life.
Unlike your heart, liver or kidneys, your brain is unique to you alone. The brain is so delicate that God made humans with a natural covering (the skull) to protect it from harm. Our skull is nature’s “helmet” if you will. Although through medical science, we have learned much about the intricate workings of the brain, God has not allowed mankind enough knowledge, understanding or expertise to transplant the brain. It was a surprise to me, when researching online, to find that Scientists have actually tried transplanting the brains of animals and are working toward transplanting the human brain. The thought of transplanting the brain of one human into another in my opinion, oversteps the boundaries set by God regarding life and death.
My brain is a storehouse of knowledge and memories. I can close my eyes and see and remember things that happened many years ago, good and bad, happy and sad. I can picture the faces of loved ones who have died. My mind is able to recall the sound of their voices and laughter, the color of their hair, and the beauty of their smile.
I can recall the smell of summer breezes flowing through pine trees and the sound of waves washing up on the beach as they flow endlessly to shore. I can picture my childhood home, my wedding day and the births of each of my children. Yes, my brain is mine alone. It is connected so deeply to my soul that I would never wish for it to be used by another human being.
Emotional responses to circumstances we experience in our lives will trigger physical responses in our bodies. I have listed below a few examples which evidence the deep connection of body and soul:
All of these physical responses to our surroundings and our life situations are evidence of the soul and body connection with which God created us. We are living, breathing, and walking miracles. Our soul is separate, yet one with our body and the breath of God lives in each of us. The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)
All that we are comes from God and all that we have belongs to God. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. (Psalm 24:1,2) He created us in His image. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Yes, our bodies and souls are connected very deeply. It is who we are. That is why death is so devastating to us. A body without a living soul within it will rot and decay and eventually turn back into dust just as God told Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:19. Death is sad and heartbreaking for those left behind. God did not create us to die. He never intended for our bodies and souls to separate. Death is a result of the devastation of sin. If Adam and Eve had not fallen into sin humans would not have experienced the suffering, pain and violence of this world. The earth God created would have remained a paradise – a wonderful place for His people to live.
We thank God for the hope we have in Jesus. He sacrificed His own life to pay the debt we owe to God for our sin. Through His suffering, death and resurrection we have the hope of eternal life in heaven where we will be clothed in our heavenly dwelling and live with God forever. Jesus promises; because I live, you also will live (John 14: 19). For those who believe this promise, death will be nothing more than the gateway to heaven. It will be the beginning of our life with God apart from this sinful and violent world.
Do you believe in Jesus? Do you know where you will go when you die? If Jesus comes back before you die, will you be; meeting the Lord in the air to live with Him forever, or will he say to you; depart from me you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels? You have so much to gain by believing in Him and so much to lose if you don’t. It’s a matter of life and death. It’s a matter of where you will spend eternity. The Holy Spirit gives us faith through reading and hearing His Word. Check it out. Pick up a Bible and give it a try. It is a gift offered not to just a certain few, but to all people. It’s the best gift ever.
To God be the Glory - In His holy name! Amen.