What is the Second Death?

The “Second Death” is only appointed to all those who reject the Savior by not repenting of their offenses to God and not believing in Him. All people are appointed to die the first death:

Genesis 3:19  
“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”

Romans 5:12  
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Hebrews 9:27  
And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Romans 3:23  
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The reason for the difference that believers will die only once, and unbelievers will experience a second death:

Romans 6:23  
For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

The importance of that word eternal cannot be overemphasized. The second death is also…eternal. It is eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire.

For the believer who’s already in his grave, even though he has died before us, his spirit and soul is still alive today, resting and waiting to be raptured and receive a new body.

Ephesians 2:8-9  
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast [brag that they do not need the Savior to save them].

But for the unbeliever and his second (eternal) death:

Jeremiah 21:12  
“Execute judgment in the morning; and deliver him who is plundered out of the hand of the oppressor, lest My fury go forth like fire and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.”

Mark 9:43b  
to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched…
Mark 9:45b  
The believer and unbeliever’s destinies are again contrasted:

Revelation 21:7-8  
“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 20:11-15  
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hādēs delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hādēs 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.

Believers’ names will be in the Book of Life. They have received and accepted that gift. The Second Death has no power capable of changing believers’ eternal lives.

Revelation 20:6b  
Over such the second death has no power.

All unbelievers’ names will be omitted from the Book of Life. Their Second Death will be eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire, and it will never be quenched.


Is your name in the Book of Life?


Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Author: Mike and Elfriede

For the past 14 years Michael Copple has studiously devoted his life to the Lord by preaching the Gospel and moderating Bible studies. He is a 1958 Eagle Scout, holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and achieved the highest US Air Force enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant with over 26 years service, one year of which was with Forward Air Control duties in Vietnam. For three years he was the senior enlisted member of the US Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team; he has performed over 2,000 parachute jumps and accumulated over 15 hours of freefall. During his parachuting years Mike experienced a mishap of being a “hung jumper” outside the aircraft, and serious parachute malfunctions like a deadly seesaw night jump entanglement with another jumper, and an 85 mph wind shear which almost took his life. This experience inspired and qualified him to author the novel Calling from the Sky. A former world-wide electronic service engineer for 16 years with a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, he and his wife Elfriede currently live in the Canadian Rockies surrounded by 6 National Parks. Besides studying God's Word, they both like to exercise, cross country ski, hike, garden, and walk their dog Kansas. Visit him at https://www.michaelcopple.com/

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