The Second Death: Eternal Loss
by PJ Salas
“Blessed and holy are they who have part in the first resurrection, on these the second death has no power…” Revelation 20:6.
Many have not heard of the second death, and few understand its meaning. What is the second death?
“For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not die, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
Christians and non-Christians alike are familiar with the above Bible verse; but how many understand what that Scripture is saying? Have you ever wondered what Jesus is talking about when He says, “you will not die”? We all die, so why would Jesus say if we believe in Him, we will not die? What does Jesus mean?
In the book of Revelation, chapters two, twenty, and twenty-one, we discover what Jesus means when He says you will not die. In these chapters, we learn about the second death, which is what Jesus is referring to in John chapter three, verse sixteen when He says you will not die. (Revelation 2:11; 20:4-6, 14; 21:8).
Contrary to Popular Opinion
When we die, contrary to popular opinion, we do not go to heaven or hell. When we die, we are lifeless, dead, buried in a grave awaiting resurrection. Yes, there will be a resurrection of the dead from the grave. In fact, there will be two resurrections— the first is the resurrection of life, and the second is the resurrection of condemnation; also called the resurrection of the just and the resurrection of the unjust. (Acts 17:32; 23:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; John 5:28, 29; Luke 14:14; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:4, 5, 6).
When we die, we are dead. We go to the grave. Our lifeless bodies are in the ground, in the grave awaiting resurrection. The only part of us that goes anywhere when we die is our breath, and that goes back to God who gave it (Genesis 2:7; Psalms 104:29; 146:4; Ecclesiastes 12:7).
“…You take away their breath; they die and return to dust.” Psalms 104:29.
“…the dust returns to the earth…and the spirit (breath) returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7.
In Ecclesiastes chapter twelve, verse seven, the English word spirit comes from the Hebrew word רוּחַ; and it literally means breath. In Genesis chapter two, verse seven, we are told that God breathed His breath into man, and he became a living being.
Without the breath of God, we cannot live. The breath of God is what keeps us alive; we physically, literally, cannot live without God. And when we die, our breath leaves our bodies and goes back to God, who gave it.
Who Experiences the Second Death?
The second death is what the unrighteous experience, those who do not live a life of faith in Jesus. It is final, having everlasting, eternal consequences, with no hope for life again.
Sin brought death, temporal and eternal; but to those who believe in Jesus, and follow Him, they will not experience the second death, but will live eternally.
"…he who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death." Revelation 20:6; 2:11.
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whore-mongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8.
Jesus the Resurrection and the Life
“Jesus said…I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though you die, you will live.” John 11:25.
Our Savior is referring to both the first death that we all die, and the second death that unbelievers will experience. Those who die believing in Jesus will live again, they will not die the second death when satan, sin and all the wicked will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
The Lake of Fire the Second Death
When God cleanses the earth casting the wicked, sin, satan, and death into the lake of fire, this is the second death, and this is the end of earth’s very long and dark nightmare.(Revelation 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8). Praise to the Lord.
Be in The First Resurrection
Everyone dies the first death; but not everyone will experience the second death. Let us be among those for whom the second death has no power. (Revelation 20:6).
Let us be careful to give Jesus place in our lives, and let Him make us the kind of people we need to be, full of righteousness, and goodwill toward others, that we not only escape the second death, but that we live a fulfilling, purposeful, and rewarding life, that brings true happiness.
May you have part in the first resurrection, and not suffer the second death. (Revelation 2:11; 20:6).
“He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, he who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.” “For whoever is born of God overcomes the world; and the victory that overcomes the world is our faith.” Revelation 2:11; 1 John 5:4.