"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but
rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell."
This morning, there are crazy, unfounded ideas about the soul of man. Many
people deny the immortality of the soul, but the written Word of God will not
support such notions. There are many verses in the Bible that prove the
immortality of the soul, but this one is the clearest to me. If the soul is not
immortal, then it would be possible for mortal man to destroy it when murdering
another mortal man. However, if a man is murdered, the only thing that is
touched is the body. Man cannot touch the soul and spirit of another man. To do
so, he would have to have the power of God. David declares that he will not fear
what man can do to him. (Psalm 27) Therefore, man is only capable of touching
flesh, but our fear is not in or of man since these old bodies will eventually
go back to the dust from whence they came.
Man is a three-part being composed of a spirit, a soul, and a body. (I
Thessalonians 5:23) No one really gets mixed up about the body of the man, for
that is the entity of him that we are able to view with our natural eyes.
However, many people get mixed up about what makes up the soul and the spirit. I
have listened to many fruitless discussions about the difference between the
two. Paul declared in Hebrews 4:12 that Jesus Christ is the only one that knows
where one begins and the other ends. It is the same with the joints and the
marrow in our bodies. I have a close, personal acquaintance that is an
orthopedic surgeon, and he affirms that all of man's medical advances are still
no closer to defining what makes a joint and what makes marrow. They simply are
unable to determine where one begins and the other ends. Being an Old Baptist,
he chuckles at their constant attempts to find the difference.
So it is with the
soul and spirit. Are there two different parts? Certainly there are! Can we
discern them? No we cannot! Therefore, the soul and spirit are linked in all
men. When the Lord vitally enters one of His children, He puts a new spirit
within them. Therefore, by implication, their soul AND spirit are changed in
regeneration. The body will one day be changed in the resurrection, but if the
soul is connected to the body in death (sleeps in the ground), then when is its
change? This is a question that no soul-sleeper can answer. The Bible does not
speak of the change of the soul in the resurrection, but only that of the body.
Therefore, the soul must be changed at some other time. The only other time of
change is the new birth or regeneration.
So, the soul and
spirit are both changed, and they BOTH go back to God at the instant of death.
(I Kings 17:21-22, Ecclesiastes 12:7) The righteous go straight into Abraham's
bosom (or heaven) and the wicked enter into the regions of hell and gloom.
Therefore, all the wicked and unreasonable men of this world are not to be
feared. Do we pray for deliverance from them? Again, most certainly we do, but
there is a difference in prayer from something and a fear of something. We
should not fear man, for the Lord is the only one who has the authority over the
parts of us that are unseen to the natural eyes. We fear Him, reverence Him,
adore Him, and serve Him, and we trust that He has delivered, does deliver, and
will deliver us from so great a death. (II Corinthians 1:10)