I am here, Luke the Apostle,
I was with you today as you listened to the discourses of the preacher upon the subject of immortality.
I saw that you realized he did not have a true idea of what the term means, and thought how much you would like to inform him of your knowledge of the subject. Well, I understand just how you felt about the matter, and I am in sympathy with you in your desire, and hope that sometime you may have the opportunity to converse with him on this subject, and give him your conception of the truth.
It is the subject of so many sermons and theories preached by preachers and others, and yet not one of them has the true understanding of what immortality is. They understand it only in the sense of continuous life, and in addition, try by argument and inferences to attach to it the idea of never ending - that is, of the continuous life being so established that it can never be ended - and in this, they satisfy their longings and desires. But you see, this inference is merely one that is drawn from the desires of the preachers.
They have no true basis upon which to found their conclusions. And, as to life in general, they would not be willing to risk the important things of life requiring action, or to form life conclusions, based upon something no better established than merely their desires.
No, mankind does not really know what immortality is. All the arguments that they can put forth in an attempt to prove immortality, are not sufficient to convince the clear, cool and unprejudiced mind as to its being a fact. As is said in the message that you have received from Jesus, immortality can be derived only from that which is immortal. And all arguments that merely tend to show that a thing must be immortal because of the desires or intentions of God, do not suffice. All the facts that may be established as premises are not sufficient, to logically prove the conclusion desired, and men cannot depend upon such method of reasoning.
It is utterly impossible, to derive immortality from anything less than that which is immortal in itself. To attempt to do so by argument or inference, is a mere waste of time by the exercise of the reasoning faculties.
As has been said, only God is immortal. That means that the very qualities and nature of God are immortal. And if it were possible for Him to have any qualities that are not of a nature that partakes of the immortal, then these qualities would not be immortal but would be subject to change and dissolution.
Among the qualities of His being is the great and important one of Love - without it, God could not be. His existence would be less than that of a God; and that being a fact, this great quality of Love must be immortal. And into whatever this quality may enter and form a part, that thing is necessarily immortal, and in no other way could it become immortal.
This Love of God, then, brings immortality in the true sense of the term. When It enters into the soul of a man and possesses it, that soul becomes immortal, and in no other way can immortality be acquired.
Not all things of God's Creation are immortal, for in a shorter or longer time they perform the object of their creation. Their existence is no longer required, and they become dissolved into the elements of which they were composed. Man's physical body is not immortal for this reason. After a short life on earth, it dissolves and is no more. His spirit body is primarily of this evanescent character, and it may be that, in the course of eternity, it will have performed its mission and cease to exist. We do not know this. Neither are we assured that it is not true, because the spirit body is dependent upon the continuous existence of the soul for its continuous existence.
Not all souls will receive a part of the Father's Divine Love, which is the only thing that has this immortality within Itself, and so it may be that at some time in the future, this soul without the Love may cease to exist, and be a creature of the Father no more.
But this we do know: that whatever partakes of the Divine Love has that which is necessarily immortal in it. It can no more die, than can this Love Itself, and hence must be immortal.
So when men speak or teach that all men are immortal, they speak that which they do not know - only God Himself knows that fact. However, from the mere exercise of the reason, men may be justified in saying that such men or souls who do not obtain the Divine Love are not immortal.
Now, while this question of man's immortality is still in doubt, and has never been demonstrated to be a fact, yet we do know, that that portion of mankind whose souls have received this Immortal Divine Love, are immortal and can never cease to exist. The great comfort or blessing that this possession brings to these souls, is that they know they are immortal, because they possess that Quality or Nature of God, that is Immortal; and as the latter can never have an ending, neither can that into which this Immortal Love has entered, and found a lodgment have an ending.
The preacher's arguments were strong, and in the ordinary workings of men's minds and reasoning powers, may convince men that immortality is a proven fact for all mankind. But when properly analyzed, and the true rule of search for immortality is applied, it will appear that the arguments are not conclusive - hope is stronger than fact, and men have not the assurance that, for them, immortality holds out its desired arms of certainty.
Well, I thought I would write to you this short message on the question that you and the preacher have been meditating upon, in the hope that he might not depend upon the strength of his argument for establishing, the fact of immortality, but would see and become convinced that the only Way to ascertain and acquire the true immortality, is by seeking for and obtaining the Divine Love, thereby having his soul transformed into the very Essence, and Nature of God in Love.
I am glad that I can write to you again, and that your condition is so much better than it has been, permitting the rapport to be made. Pray more to the Father, and believe, and you will get in a condition that we so much desire. I will not write more.
Good night. Your brother in Christ, Luke