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Scripture makes pretty clear that human souls can both 'complete the act of salvation,' (not start it), as well as continue to build 'eternal rewards' after physical death has occurred. Physical death is actually just a temporary state, (eventually reversed for EVERYONE through resurrection unto life or judgment, John 5:28-29), and is the divine penalty exacted upon the physical body for its departures from GOD's holy Law of equal treatment, (James 1:15). Each time we obey the 'lusts' tempting us to treat others unequally, we 'decay' one step further towards physical death. For believers, we actually just 'learn' from the experience itself about those departures and continue moving on to higher lessons of intimacy with GOD. For the unbeliever, (those who repeatedly 'deny' Christ while alive), there is no further learning or striving with GOD after death. Only judgment awaits. However, we should not assume from an absence of 'faith' that a person who died is actually one of those 'doomed' souls. Only 'denial' is not reversible after death, but 'faithlessness' is, (2 Timothy 2:12-13). This is why early Christians were sometimes inspired to be 'baptized for the dead,' (1 Corinthians 15:29), since this public confession is our shared act of recognition of Christ and His resurrection. Even after death, GOD requires us to do it 'here' in front of men to 'complete the salvation act.' We need 'proxies' after death, but GOD finds this acceptable. We are 'stopped at the proverbial gate' (or perhaps literally), until we successfully inspire fellow believers to do this for us. Since our learning just continues unbroken as souls through faith in Christ, we can also inspire our 'terrestrial friends' to complete or even expand that work over the passing generations, building up eternal rewards for both ourselves and them. We add to the honor shared by the apostles and holy prophets before them, for example, every time we build at all, since they represent the 'foundation' to all of GOD's holy work across our human eras, with Christ Himself as the 'Cornerstone' holding us all together, (Ephesians 2:20).
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