Dear Friend,

I don’t think it is healthy to dwell on the decaying of the body after death.  It is a fact of life, but it doesn’t thwart the LORD’s plans for our total Salvation.  Here’s what I mean by that. We are a three-part person, created in the image of God, our Creator.  God is a Triune person and we are also triune beings.  Listen closely to the order of this.  We are a spirit; we have a soul and we live in a body.  So, Spirit, Soul, and Body is the composition of our being as created.  I believe that when God saves us, he saves us completely.  Another point to make is that many people get the soul and the spirit mixed up.  But here is the easiest way to look at the difference in these two parts of our makeup.  Our spirit is that part of man that communes with God; that part that can relate and understand God.  After all, we are spirit beings, not physical beings.  This body is just the earthly house that our spirit and soul lives in.  Now back to the spirit and soul. 


When Adam was created, he was complete, he was whole and he had all three parts of his person.  He was in communion with God and dealt with God on a Spiritual basis.  But, after Adam sinned, his spirit died and he became a two-part person.  That is the same way a lost person is before salvation; they are not complete.  That is why people feel like there is something missing in their lives, but they don’t know what it is. I’ll tell you; it is that they are spiritually dead.  In Ephesians Chapter 2 verse 1 the Bible says, “And you hath He quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins”.  So, when we are saved we really receive our lost spirit and therefore we are “in tune” with God once again.  We are complete and therefore are happier than a lost person. 


The soul is the unseen part of us that is the real personhood of us.  It is the will, mind, emotions, attitude, personality, personhood, outlook on life, and that part of ourselves that people know us by.  Without seeing us, a person who knows us can recognize us by our personality, or attitude, our demeanor.  All these things are what makes up our soul.  It is a vital part of our being, but it is not our spirit.  A person can have a vibrant soul and be spiritually dead.  Lost people are just that way.  They might be entertaining, personable, humorous, and can be downright likeable.  But they are lost and spiritually dead toward God.  God must awake or revive that dead spirit that was lost in Adam.  That is why the lost man runs from God, he is dead to God spiritually and therefore runs from Him as if He was out to change our soul. He is, but we should not flee from it.


The body is that temporary tabernacle (tent) that houses our spirit and soul and gives us a physical way of mobility and to enjoy all the senses that we we’re created with.  Also, those senses are the gates into which sin enters the soul and spirit.  The first thing that we do before we sin is to think about it.  We plan to sin and then carry it out.  So, sin begins in the mind, heart, soul and then is carried out by the body.  By the way, we are not sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners.  That is so important that you understand the difference.  A dog is not a dog because he howls and barks, but he howls and barks because he is a dog. He has the nature of a dog and acts on that nature.  So too is a sinner, they have a sin nature and therefore act as a sinner and commit sins.  Sins do not make man a sinner any more than a dog’s barks make him a dog.  It is just what dogs and sinners do.  They act out according to their nature.  We have the fallen nature of Adam.  The Bible says that, “In Adam, all die”. So, Christ came to make us alive to God; to restore our dead spirits and let us once again be complete and alive to God and godly things.  A lost person can read the Bible and not understand it at all.  But once they are “born again” they can better understand what they read; they are spiritually alive. The Bible says it is spiritually written and spiritually understood.  A lost person cannot understand the Bible, they are dead to it. The Bible is Spiritual, and the lost man is carnal. They are at enmity with each other.

The word “DEATH” means ‘separation’ (remember that), so when a person dies, their soul and spirit are separated from the body, and therefore they are said to be dead.  The truth is, the dead person is really still alive and will be for all eternity, but he/she is separated from their body.  The soul and spirit go back to God who gave it, awaiting the time when they can be reunited with their “Glorified Body” which the LORD will give them at the resurrection day. Look at this scripture carefully.  Remember that this text calls the dead body ‘asleep’ but the resurrected body will be reunited with the soul and spirit.  Notice how the scripture puts it: 

1Thessalonians 4:13-18 – “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. (Christians have a hope of life after death)

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  (Those “sleeping” bodies will He bring with Him)

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  (not all people at the resurrection will be dead, but they will all be changed)

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:  (those dead Christians will be reunited with their glorified bodies)

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.    (caught up, air, clouds…it is all a physical joining of soul, spirit and body) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  (That is what I’m doing now)

So, to recap, we are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body.  But we behave as if we are a body that has a personality.  Not so. We are not this body that we see in the mirror, but we are the spirit and soul that dwell inside that body that we see in the mirror. We cannot see the real us; the spirit man.

I have a good friend who is a little misguided when it comes to physical death and the spirit and soul.  He is deathly afraid of cemeteries, mortuaries, morticians, and anything to do with death.  Death is all a part of life; it is a natural process of life’s end.  I look at death as the portal that we must pass through before we can become eternal spirit beings.  We must receive our Glorified bodies so that we can be equipped to come into God’s presence.  We cannot come into God’s presence in these fleshly, clay bodies.  No way!  We will spend eternity in our Glorified bodies so we must experience the separation of (or the death of) this clay body from our spirit and soul so we can receive our Glorified body. That is the eternal home for our eternal spirit and eternal soul.  My friend and his wife are both deathly afraid of being in a casket and buried in the ground.  They can’t comprehend being put in that box and placed in the cold, dark ground for who knows how long.  But, you see, they are looking at it as if their body will still have feelings and thoughts including fear of being closed in a box. The occupants living inside it, namely the spirit and soul, are gone!  The Christian spirit is gone back to God that gave it and the lost person will just be in hell. 

Remember the saying, ashes to ashes and dust to dust?  Genesis 18:27 says,  “And Abraham answered and said,…I…am but dust and ashes:”  That is where this physical body is going; back to the dust of the earth from whence it came. But my friend, that is not the end of the body.  No, the body will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality”.   

My friend and his wife have spent a great deal of money to secure mausoleums for their burial.  They don’t want to be put in the ground. They are forgetting that we are triune beings (three parts).  Our physical death is a temporary separation of the body from the spirit and soul.  You won’t be in that box, only your dust will.  You will be with the LORD after death in a wonderful place of the soul, a place of spiritual bliss until the reuniting of the body with the spirit and soul.  When we peer into the casket of our departed loved one, we are seeing the body, the clay tabernacle that housed the soul and spirit of that person.  That person is gone!  Nobody is at home!  That body we see in that box is just earthly dust that was temporarily used by our eternal spirit and soul while we were here on earth.  Consider what the Bible says in 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”.    God formed man of the dust, and God breathed life into his nostrils, and God cause man to become a living soul…A LIVING SOUL!  That breathe of God also imparted a spirit into that man of dust.  God created a three part being, fashioned in the image of Himself.  Genesis 1:26, 27 – “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;”  

In the end, it really doesn’t matter if you are buried or cremated, you will return to ashes and dust. It has been the traditional Christian way to be buried in a grave as per directives of a “Christian Burial”.  Many wills include the request that the testator be given a “Christian Burial” and that their earthly goods be divided thus and such.  The reasoning behind that is that Christians believe that the body will be resurrected and changed, but most of the bodies of saints of ages past are already disintegrated into dust and/or ashes.  Those who went down in the sea in ships do not have a buried body, but if they are a Christian, they will be resurrected.  Only God knows how He will do this thing, but we believe that He will do it because the scripture says, “and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.”  The scripture says what it means and means what it says concerning this doctrine.  So, in the end, it really doesn’t matter if we are dust or ashes, buried or cremated, or if we are disintegrated at the bottom of the sea, still we shall be changed!

I hope this helps you to understand the plan that the LORD has for our salvation.  His Salvation is complete.  He will save Body, Soul and Spirit.  I have been saved (spirit), I am being saved (soul) and I shall be saved (body).  That is a good sentence to remember.  God saves us completely.  Nothing is left unredeemed by Him.  He made us and He can redeem us to Himself in the end.  And We Shall Be Saved!