What does it mean that Christians will “never see death”?

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By BibleAsk Team


The concept that Christians “will never see death” is a foundational aspect of Christian theology, rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and expounded upon throughout the New Testament. To fully grasp the meaning of this statement, we must explore its biblical context, its theological implications, and its significance for the life of the believer.

Biblical Context:

The notion that Christians will “never see death” finds its origins in the teachings of Jesus Christ Himself. In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes a bold declaration to His disciples, stating, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death” (John 8:51, NKJV). This statement is part of a larger discourse where Jesus is speaking to the Jews who believed in Him, emphasizing the importance of abiding by His teachings.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus speaks extensively about life, death, and eternal life, often using words to convey profound spiritual truths. He promises abundant life to those who believe in Him (John 10:10) and assures His followers of eternal life with Him in the Father’s house (John 14:1-3).

“Never See Death”:

The death here referred to is not the first physical death, which comes to the righteous and wicked alike. Jesus here is speaking of the second death that is mentioned in the book of Revelation. ““He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death” (Revelation 2:11, NKJV).

The second death will ultimately annihilate the wicked. “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years… Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:6, 14, 15, NKJV).

The opposite of the second death is eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV). Eternal life is granted to the believer at the moment he accepts his Lord. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14, NKJV).

By nature all people are citizens of the land of death (Ephesians 2:1–3), but the believer, as a result of Christ’s gift, has passed into the kingdom of eternal life (1 John 5:11, 12). This gift of eternal life, the over-comer never loses. The first death and the state of unconsciousness between death and the resurrection do not deprive him of this gift. His life continues to be “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3, NKJV) to be translated into immortality on the resurrection morning.

Victory Over Death:

Central to the Christian faith is the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus conquered sin, death, and the powers of darkness, securing victory for all who believe in Him (1 Corinthians 15:54-57; Hebrews 2:14-15).

As a result, Christians can confidently affirm that death has been defeated and that believers will ultimately be raised to new life in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:20-22). This assurance is grounded in the promises of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25-26).

The Hope of the Resurrection:

The Apostle Paul expounds upon the theme of resurrection in his epistles, particularly in 1 Corinthians 15. He declares that Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee of our own resurrection, affirming that just as Christ was raised from the dead, so too will believers be raised imperishable, incorruptible, and immortal (1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 51-53).

This hope of resurrection shapes the Christian understanding of death and transforms it from a finality to a gateway to eternal life. Paul writes, “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55, NKJV). For believers, death is not the end but a peaceful period of sleep till they are wakened up in His resurrection at the second coming of Christ (Philippians 3:10-11).

Assurance of Salvation:

The assurance that Christians will never see death is closely tied to the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). Believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of their inheritance and redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14), and nothing can separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).

This assurance is not based on human merit or effort but on the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. Jesus Himself declares, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26, NKJV). If believers continue to abide in Christ till the end, He will grant them the victory over the second death (John 15:4; Revelation 2:10).

Living in the Light of Eternity:

The assurance of never seeing death empowers believers to live with confidence, purpose, and hope in the midst of life’s challenges and uncertainties. It frees them from the fear of death and enables them to face life’s trials with courage and resilience.

Moreover, this assurance motivates believers to live in a manner worthy of their calling, seeking to glorify God in all they do and to make the most of the time they have been given on earth (Ephesians 5:15-16). It inspires them to lay up treasures in heaven rather than on earth, investing in eternal values that endure beyond the temporal realm (Matthew 6:19-21).

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the concept of Christians never seeing death is a central and foundational truth of the Christian faith, grounded in the promises of God and the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ. It affirms the victory of Christ over sin and death, the hope of resurrection for believers, and the assurance of eternal life in His presence.

This assurance empowers believers to live with confidence, purpose, and hope, knowing that their destiny is secure in Christ. It motivates them to live in a manner worthy of their calling, seeking to glorify God and to advance His kingdom until the day when they are raised from the dead imperishable, to dwell with Him forever in the new heavens and the new earth (Revelation 21:1-4).

For a Bible study on the state of the dead, check: https://bibleask.org/bible-answers/112-the-intermediate-state/

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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