What does it mean to fear the one who destroys body and soul mean?

Scripture: Matthew 10:28
What does it mean to fear the one who destroys body and soul mean? This talks about persecution. The devil can hurt our bodies, but cannot touch our souls.
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Co-Host:  We’ll talk first with Debbie in Sacramento, CA.  Hi, Debbie.

Caller:  Hi.  Good evening.  My question pertains to who is the Bible talking about in the latter half of the scripture, Matthew 10:28, ‘And fear not them which kill the body’ I’m confused on ‘rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul’.  Would that be God or…?

Pastor Doug:  Yes.  First of all, the Lord is telling us ‘do not fear him or those who kill the body’.  He’s talking about persecution.  And Christ may have even been pointing forward to his own body which was killed.  But He put His spiritual values and principles first.  The devil can harm your body but he can’t touch your soul.  We have a free will.  The devil cannot force us to sin.  We have a choice. 

Caller:  Okay.

Pastor Doug:  So Christ is saying, ‘but rather fear him’, meaning fear God, ‘who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell’.

Caller:  That’s what I thought, but I’ve been grappling with that.

Pastor Doug:  That’s a very powerful scripture because it’s one of those passages that explains that there is hell, that God is going to destroy both soul and body in hell. 

Co-Host:  This is a healthy fear, too.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  It’s all respect.  You know, I think it was John Wesley who said that if he had some men that feared nothing but God that he could conquer the world.  He who does not fear God fears everything He who fears God fears nothing. 

Caller:  Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug:  Thanks for the call.  God bless.

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