Matthew 10:28, Fear Not Those Who Kill the Body

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

What do you think about this verse? Kill the soul?? Most people are taught in church that the soul is eternal, and even ungodly men live forever … albeit in hell instead of heaven.

Actually, controversy raged in the early church about the unsaved. Are they tortured forever in the fire (Jude) or merely killed by it? (2 Peter, which appears to be a rewrite and update of Jude). Paul taught that the godly would live forever while the ungodly die; the end. “The wages of sin is death.” This would be known centuries later as the “annihilation theory.”

Revelation appears to agree with Matthew that the fires of “hell” are temporary. (Don’t get me started on the differences between Sheol, the Hebrew dwelling place of the dead, and Hades, the Greek place of punishment for naughty fellas, and how the two merged into the Christian concept of hell.) The beast, the false prophet, and the dragon all appear to be tortured eternally in Revelation, but not any of the rest of humanity. (this is the position I argue for in my book, Revelation: The Way it Happened.)

What do you think?