1 Timothy 6:16, The Immortal Soul

… who [God] alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

//I was taught as I was growing up that I possessed an immortal soul. That this soul could not die, and after the body perished, it would continue living forever. Some souls went to heaven, some to hell.

Today’s verse presents a different opinion. It claims that only God is immortal. Man, who is not innately immortal, must seek to attain it:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. –Romans 2:7

God then gives eternal life (immortality) only to those able to believe. Does this leave hell out in the cold? Do the unsaved merely die, having not received the gift of immortality? Some theologians think so, on the basis of verses like the following:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. –John 10:28

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 6:23

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. –1 John 5:11-12

(To be fair, my own understanding of “eternal life” differs from the norm, so the verses don’t read quite the same to me as they may to you.)


  1. Alan.Keohane

    Are angels immortal?

  2. Alan Keohane

    They might answer that they are merely created immortal, while we are offered immortality, & only God is inherently immortal.

    More likely, they’re laughing hysterically…

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