The Bible speaks of three kinds of death:
First- spiritual death
All people are born naturally as citizens of the kingdom of death. Paul wrote, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1 also 1 John 3:14). In this state, the living principle that is necessary for spiritual growth and energy is lacking. And this is the condition of the spiritually dead (Ephesians 5:14; John 6:53; 1 John 3:14; 5:12; Revelation 3:1). But when the Christian accepts God’s offer of salvation, he passes into the realm of eternal life (1 John 5:11, 12). To believe in Jesus means that the person accepts Him as Savior, Lord, and King (John 1:12; 5:24). It means that the believer will have Christ living in his heart as the supremely honored Guest (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:17; Revelation 3:20).
This death is also called the “first death.” Jesus described death as “sleep” (John 11:11–14; Revelation 2:10; 12:11). The Scriptures use sleep as a figure to represent death as seen in the following:
- Sleep is a state of unconsciousness. “The dead know not any thing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6).
- Sleep is rest from all actions. “There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
- Sleep doesn’t allow for conscious thought. “His breath goeth forth … his thoughts perish” (Psalms 146:4).
- Sleep continues until a person is awakened. “So man lieth down … till the heavens be no more” (Job 14:12).
- Sleep doesn’t allow involvement in the activities of those who are awake. “Neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done” (Ecclesiastes 9:6).
- Sleep doesn’t allow for emotions to operate. “Their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished” (Ecclesiastes 9:6).
- Sleep comes naturally to all people. “The living know that they shall die” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).
- Sleep causes all praise of God to cease. “The dead praise not the Lord” (Psalms 115:17; Isaiah 38:18).
Third- eternal death
This death is also called the “second death” (Matthew 10:28; James 5:20; Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8). This is, the death that the sinners will receive after their resurrection at the close of the 1000 years (Revelation 20: 14; 21:8). The first death is the kind that comes to all (1 Corinthians 15:22; Hebrews 9:27). All, both the good and the evil, are raised from this death (John 5:28, 29). The righteous come forth from their death immortal (1 Corinthians 15:52–55). But the sinners are resurrected to receive their judgment and to die the eternal death (Revelation 20:9; 21:8). The Lord will destroy them, both body and soul, in hell (Matthew 10:28). This means complete extinction. The “second death” is the opposite of eternal life of torture in hell, which some wrongly teach as the destiny of the wicked (Matthew 25:41). Hell will not be forever.
In His service,