Welcome to The Reasons to Believe podcast, episode #186. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.
Our Reasons to Believe Scripture Passage for today is Matthew 10:28. It reads, “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 soul and body in hell.”
As promised in our previous episode, here is some commentary on this scripture passage from Matthew Henry: Fear them not (v. 26), because they can but kill the body (v. 28). Note, it is the duty and interest of Christ’s disciples, not to fear the greatest of their adversaries. They who truly fear God, need not fear man; and they who are afraid of the least sin, need not be afraid of the greatest trouble. The fear of man brings a snare, a perplexing snare, that disturbs our peace; an entangling snare, by which we are drawn into sin; and, therefore, it must be carefully watched, and striven, and prayed against. Be the times never so difficult, enemies never so outrageous, and events never so threatening, yet need we not fear, yet will we not fear, though the earth be removed, while we have so good a God, so good a cause, and so good a hope through grace. Yes, this is soon said; but when it comes to the trial, racks and tortures, dungeons and galleys, axes and gibbets, fire and faggot, are terrible things, enough to make the stoutest heart to tremble, and to start back, especially when it is plain, that they may be avoided by a few declining steps; and therefore, to fortify us against this temptation, we have here, [1.] A good reason against this fear, taken from the limited power of the enemies; they kill the body, that is the utmost their rage can extend to; hitherto they can go, if God permit them, but no further; they are not able to kill the soul, nor to do it any hurt, and the soul is the man. By this it appears, that the soul does not (as some dream) fall asleep at death, nor is deprived of thought and perception; for then the killing of the body would be the killing of the soul too. The soul is killed when it is separated from God and his love, which is its life, and is made a vessel of his wrath; now this is out of the reach of their power. Tribulation, distress, and persecution may separate us from all the world, but cannot part between us and God, cannot make us either not to love him, or not to be loved by him, Rom. 8:35, Rom. 8:37 . If, therefore, we were more concerned about our souls, as our jewels, we should be less afraid of men, whose power cannot rob us of them; they can but kill the body, which would quickly die of itself, not the soul, which will enjoy itself and its God in spite of them. They can but crush the cabinet: a heathen set the tyrant at defiance with this, Tunde capsam Anaxarchi, Anaxarchum nom laedis—you may abuse the case of Anaxarchus, you cannot injure Anaxarchus himself. The pearl of price is untouched. Seneca undertakes to make it out, that you cannot hurt a wise and good man, because death itself is no real evil to him. If with calmness and composure we meet that last extremity, beyond which injured laws and merciless tyrants have nothing to inflict, and in which fortune terminates her dominion, we know that death is not an evil, because it does not occasion the slightest injury. Seneca De Constantid….
Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from John Angell James. He said, “Death is the moment of destiny; the seal of eternity; the cessation of probation; the commencement of retribution and judgment! The antecedents of death are dreadful – so are the accompaniments – so are the consequences! To every sense – death is revolting! To every social affection – death is crucifying! To reason – death is perplexing! To everything but saving faith – death is overwhelming!”
Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “Life After Death, Part 3” from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.
Arguments from Reason
4. The Argument from the Conservation of Energy
Arguments from reason are stronger than arguments from human authority. But the arguments from reason contemplating nature are the weakest of the arguments from reason because nature offers only clues and probabilities, not certainty, about life after death.
The principle of the conservation of energy states that physical energy is never created or destroyed. (This does not prove that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only that it is never observed to be created or destroyed.) Now the immortality of the soul seems to be the spiritual equivalent of the conservation of energy. If even matter is immortal, why not (a fortiori) spirit?
Here is the formal argument:
1. Matter is never destroyed, only transformed.
2. It is more likely that spirit is not destroyed than that matter is not.
3. Therefore it is very likely that spirit is not destroyed.
The weakness of the argument is that it does not provide evidence for individual immortality. For the argument is based on an analogy with matter, and individual material things are not immortal, only matter in general. Yet the argument does seem to be at least probable evidence against simple annihilation. It may not be evidence for theories 4 or 5 but it is evidence against theory 1.
Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.
Now, if you are listening today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “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 soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Until next time, my friend, please keep in mind these reasons to believe. God bless!