The Second Death
You may have also noticed that “the second death” is another word that is synonymous to the lake of fire. Some have considered this to support the idea that the wicked are annihilated and cease to exist, rather than being eternally punished. I think this provides some comfort to people who see eternal suffering as ethically problematic but I also think that there is little support for the idea biblically. I firmly believe the good news that the Bible testifies to is actually much, much better!
Again, we must apply spiritual discernment to our study and look at what the Bible has to say about death. If you open your heart and mind, I know it will give you great insight.
First, we will examine the role of death in the sacrament of baptism.
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Baptism isn’t just getting dunked in water for fun. Baptism is symbolic of death, the type of death that allows us to rise to life again through Christ. As Jesus said in John 12: 24-26,
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Just like the seed mentioned above, we cannot bear spiritual fruit for God’s kingdom unless we die. This may sound curious to you if you are considering this death to be actual physical death. Of course, physical death is not what is being discussed. Instead, it is referring to the death of our sinful nature as we shall see in the biblical texts below.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
Luke 9: 23-24
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
There are many more verses that explain this same principle.
Death to self and sin. Life in Christ. Salvation for all people, just as the Bible says.
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