2

Romans 8:33-39 (ESV):

33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If death cannot separate us from the love of Christ, then what happens when a saint dies? Does the experience of God's love continue post-mortally, since death cannot be a reason for a cessation of this love?

The martyrdom of Stephen immediately comes to mind:

59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. [Acts 7:59-60 ESV]

Or Paul's desire to leave the body in order to be with Christ:

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. [Philippians 1:21-23 ESV]

Question: When a Christian dies, does the experience of Christ's love continue post-mortally? If death cannot separate us from the love of Christ, how then can death put a temporary end to the conscious experience of this love?

0

2 Answers 2

0

"If death cannot separate us from the love of Christ, then what happens when a saint dies? Does the experience of God's love continue post-mortally, since death cannot be a reason for a cessation of this love?"

Let's read the passage carefully.

Romans 8:35-39 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Notice that Paul does not ask, "who shall prevent us from experiencing the love of Christ". He asks, "who shall be able to separate us from the love of Christ", which is different. How so? One does not need to consciously experience love in order to BE loved. For example, a newborn baby is loved by their parents; does that fact necessitate that the newborn baby consciously experiences the love of their parents? Of course not; babies do not gain the slightest bit of consciousness until at least 5 months of age(see this article).

So do you agree that a newborn baby is loved by their parents, despite not being conscious of said love? Great! It's the same idea here. Christ never stops loving His faithful servants, whether they are dead or alive. Of course, that has no bearing on whether or not they are conscious of said love. And I'm sure you wouldn't dare say that Christ requires His servants to be conscious of His love for them in order to love them(is the love of Christ so finite and limited? Not even the love of humans is limited in such a way; a parent is able to love their newborn baby notwithstanding the fact that their newborn baby is utterly oblivious to said love). Otherwise, Christ stops loving us when we fall asleep! As those asleep are not aware of themselves, others, or their surroundings. A person in deep sleep is not conscious of the love Christ has for them, and yet, Christ still loves them, does He not? Of course! That's really all there is to this passage. It does not mention the perpetual experiencing of the love of Christ; only the perpetual love of Christ!

Hope this helps, and I hope you have a wonderful day. :)

-1

Of course, yes. Take the Philippians 1:21-23 which you adduce: if Paul expects to be annihilated with biological death, then what he says makes no sense whatsoever, for how can be annihilation more desirable than living? For the only reason Paul desires more leaving flesh is to be in a more intense communion with Christ, which implies necessarily that he will live, in a certain mysterious disembodied modality of life. But annihilation implies absence of consciousness, and this is not a more intense communication of love with Christ but no communication at all, which will make Paul’s statement absurd and him an idiot, which is of course foolish even to consider.

The very idea that man ceases to exist and of him only memory remains in still living humans and always living Christ and Father + H. Ghost, is a calumny on God, because then resurrection will be just a re-creation ex nihilo out of memory, but since God will resurrect also sinners, then it will follow that either He resurrects them sinlessly, thus making Himself unjust, or with their sinfulness, which is impossible, for He cannot create sinfulness this being an ontological impossibility for God. Any heresy leads to logical contradictions, the old heresy of thnetophsychism, i.e. of soul's co-dying with body, justly condemned in 6th century, being no exception from this rule.

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.