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Question and Answer

What does the Bible say about physical death?

As human beings we are made up of two parts: material and immaterial. Our material part is our physical body; our immaterial part is our soul and spirit. Our soul and spirit and our physical body are united and unified in our present embodied life and experience. Death, however, is a major disruption. It is the separation of our soul and spirit from our physical body. The person who animated the body is gone, no longer present. Physical death, the separation of the soul and spirit from the physical body was not the Lord’s creation intent for people. Physical death is one of the consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God (Gen. 3:17–19) and the ongoing result of living in a fallen world (Gen. 5:1–28). But by His death on the cross, Jesus has stripped physical death of its power, and in His own time the experience of physical death for God’s people will be banished from the universe forever (2 Tim. 1:8–10; 1 Cor. 15:50–56; Rev. 21:1–4).

BY Dr. Winfred O. Neely

Dr. Winfred Neely is Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary and Graduate School. An ordained minister, Winfred has served churches across the city of Chicago, the near west suburbs, and Senegal, West Africa. He is the author of How to Overcome Worry (Moody Publishers) and a contributor to the Moody Bible Commentary and Moody Handbook of Preaching. Winfred and his wife Stephne have been married for forty years and have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

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