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.
The hope of those who believe the gospel and are baptised into Christ is that if they die before Christ returns they will be restored to life by resurrection from the dead. Those who do not believe will remain in the grave. Those who understand the gospel and do not obey it will be raised from the dead, judged and die again. This is called in Revelation the second death (Revelation 2:11).
‘Hell’ in Matthew 10:28 is the word ‘Gehenna’: the Greek name for the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned. Christ is using it as a metaphor for complete destruction.
‘Soul’ in Matthew 10:28 is the Greek word ‘psuche’.
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.
‘Psuche’ is elsewhere translated as (and understood in context to mean) ‘life’. Below are some examples:
Matthew 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life .
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life , what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Matthew 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Mark 3:4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life , or to kill? But they held their peace.
Luke 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives , but to save them. And they went to another village.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep...15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep...17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life , that I might take it again.
Acts 27:22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
Romans 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life .
In all ‘psuche’ is translated as ‘life’ some 40 times.
In context in Matthew 10:28 Christ is telling his disciples not to be afraid of those who would kill them because that would not be the end of their lives. They would ‘sleep’ in death until Christ restores them to life.
Death really is death, the soul is our complete being, not a seperate immortal entity.
When we die our consciousness ceases, no part of us lives on after death. Without resurrection we will remain dead forever.
Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
To look at the 'mechanics' involved in Creation.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Man = dust plus breath = living soul (Hebrew 'nephesh').
It follows that: Man minus breath = dead soul
From this we see that Souls die (the Bible knows nothing about 'immortal' souls)
Numbers 19:11 He that toucheth the dead body (Hebrew 'nephesh' - soul) of any man shall be unclean seven days.
Joshua 20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person (Hebrew 'nephesh' - soul) at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.
Souls die because they sin.
Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
The only way a man can 'survive' death is by being raised from the dead, having his sins forgiven and being given eternal life.
The dead 'sleep' in the dust of the earth.
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
The TRUE HOPE of the gospel taught in the Bible is the remission of our sins and resurrection from the dead to eternal life.
This is the gospel preached in the New Testament.
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Philippians 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
If you will accept a 'reverse' argument - When Jesus corrects the Sadducees (who did not believe in resurrection) he proves that there will be a resurrection of the dead as follows; -
Matthew 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Now if Abraham Isaac and Jacob somehow survived death and were alive in heaven, then Jesus' argument would not prove the resurrection.
So Paul can say:
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope...16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first...
Paul tells us what will happen:
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,