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Who Can “Destroy Both Soul and Body in Hell”?

By November 1, 1995November 9th, 2022No Comments


In Luke 12:4 and 5, the Lord tells us whom to fear and whom not to fear. This teaching also appears in Matthew 10:28 in almost the same words. Please comment, then, on a statement by a scholar in his handbook that the one who has power to cast into hell, Gehenna, is Satan.

Matthew 20:28 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.” The one “able to destroy both soul and body in hell” has to refer to God, not Satan. I say this first because Satan himself is going to be cast into eternal fire and because God will, of course, be the one will with the power and authority to do it.

Second, the general context of this passage refers to God. The very next verses, for example, speak of the Father and His power. He is able to care for those who belong to Him. Then we read of His power concerning salvation. He saves those who confess Jesus as Savior, and He denies those who deny Him (vv. 32, 33). The whole scope of this chapter is the power of God, not of Satan.

This article appeared in the “Q & A” column of the Baptist Bulletin (November 1995) by Norman A. Olson. 

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