There are two, you know. Most people don’t know this. They may guess or hope against hope that it’s true—but they simply don’t know it. Christian, you and I know for sure that it is true.
I’m referring, naturally, to life. There is physical life and there is spiritual life. Physical life is obvious—spiritual, not quite so obvious. In fact, if I hadn’t brought it up, if you aren’t a Christian, you probably wouldn’t have even thought about it. Only Christians have good reason to think about such a thing. And even they need to be reminded.
“How is that?” you ask.
“Well, only the Christian has information about the issue from Someone who has not only the right but the authority to speak about it. When Jesus speaks, Christians listen—or they ought to. He’s the One Who, when He spoke about fear, told us not to fear those who could kill the body and do nothing more, but to fear the One Who can throw both body AND SOUL into hell. So, He made it absolutely plain that there is more than a physical existence.
The spirit (or soul ((The two words refer to the same, non-material aspect of man. The word “soul” is used when referring to the spirit in union with the body, while the word “spirit” is used when referring to the soul disunited to the body.))) in addition to the body has a life before God. Indeed, though they are now inseparable, they time will come when at the death of the body they will temporarily be separated. The human being, at that time (prior to the resurrection of the justified and the unjustified), will know only a spiritual existence. It will be a conscious existence, and will be in what God calls Paradise (bliss), or in Gehenna (a place of suffering).
Jesus has the right to speak about such matters because “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” All life is in His hands. He gives life to those whom He enlightens to believe the Gospel. Eternal life (as opposed the eternal death—described as suffering in the lake of fire) is His to grant. Moreover, He came that we “might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Spiritual life, then, is a genuine concern to believers—it is a life lived with God—here, imperfectly; in eternity—perfectly. It ought to be of concern to unbelievers as well: they should heed Christ’s words about Who should be the object of their fear. Thinking of the body cast into Gehenna, together with the soul, ought to be a fearful concept which, as Jesus inferred, ought to make one stop and think twice about where he places his trust. Is it in men or in God? Is it in Christ or in the world?
Only those whose spirits have been cleansed from sin by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for those who would believe, have reason to expect to live eternally with Him. For them is laid up treasures in heaven that they shall enjoy forever. Give it a thought, believer—are your laying up abundant treasures in heaven, or a meager amount of the same? Think about it unbeliever—are you willing to turn aside from life that is really life out of fear of man?