The Great Salvation/9
In Death Man Is Unconscious
Eccl 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest.
Isa. 6:5 In death there is no remembrance of thee, in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
Eccl. 9:5 For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not any thing.
Psa. 146:3, 4 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help; his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; IN THAT VERY DAY HIS THOUGHTS PERISH.
Isa. 38.18, 19 The grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
Now, you see, the Bible having taught us that, instead of death being a continuation of life somewhere off the earth, it is the cessation of life; and instead of men going to happiness or misery when they die, they go to the grave, we are helped out of the absurdity of believing that good and bad are rewarded and punished before they are judged. It is clear now that, instead of the faithful dead having gone to heaven to continue to live, these all died in the faith, not having received the promises (Heb. 11:13).
Now, dear reader, do not, like many, get angry and denounce this as "materialism", and say, "If a man in death is no better than the beasts--is as dead as the beasts are--there can be no future life;" for that is just what some in Corinth said; and Paul said they were fools for doing so.
Paul argued with the Corinthians that the dead were dead, and proved that if there was no resurrection even those who had died in Christ had perished (I Cor. 15:18), gone for ever--an impossibility if they had gone to a heaven of happiness.
Now if there is to be a resurrection of the dead and a "gathering", of those who are alive at Christ’s return to judge the quick and the dead, then our difficulty is gone, the wisdom of God shines brightly and the Bible is a book of consistency and beautiful harmony.