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For Smart People
Who Do Not Want To Be Dummies
About God and the Bible
(Parts I, II, III)
By J. George Cover
Lesson 12 - What About Death? Part I (Text Version)
Scripture References: Hebrews 9:27; Genesis 2:17.
Definition of Death
The Webster Dictionary defines death as "a total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions." This, of course, speaks of the body through which the soul and spirit express themselves. Although the definition given here speaks of the "permanent cessation of all the vital functions," we know from God's Word that there will also be a resurrection of the body from the dead. We also know from the Bible that at death the person does not cease to exist but that the spirit and soul continue a conscious existence in Heaven or hell until the resurrection day. See Luke 16:19-31. We will learn more of this later on in this lesson.
Another definition of "death" is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body or the separation of the visible and invisible parts of the person.
The word death as applied to man in the Scriptures means separation or cutting off from realizing God's purpose for which he was created; it never means annihilation or extinction of being.
The Bible (Revelation 20:12-15) speaks of "the second death." Here the second death is described as being cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 14:10-11 speaks of "tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb (Jesus): And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night...."
Three Kinds of Death
- Physical Death. The separation of the soul and the spirit from the body (James 2:26).
- Spiritual Death. The separation of man from God by sin. One spiritually dead can be alive physically (Isaiah 59:2; Matthew 8:22; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; 1 Timothy 5:6).
- Eternal Death. Eternal separation from God because man chooses to remain separated from God in sin (Matthew 10:28; 25:41, 46, Revelation 2:11; 14:9-11; 20:11-15, 21:8; 22:15; Isaiah 66:22).
Death Came To All Human Beings Because of Adam and Eve's Sin.
- Genesis 2-17
- 1 Corinthians 15:21-22: "For since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Bible Expressions Meaning Death:
1. Sleep (John 11: 11- 14); 2. fell asleep (Acts 7:60; 13:36; 1 Corinthians 15:6, 18, 20, 51; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 3. slept with his fathers (Deuteronomy 31:16; 2 Samuel 7:12; 1 Kings 2:10); 4. sleep in the dust (Job 7:21; Psalm 22:15; Daniel 12:2). It is always the body that sleeps, not the soul.
Sickness, disease, accident, natural disaster, murder, suicide.
Death usually comes as a result of one of these. The sentence of death is upon every human being from birth as a result of sin. The particular cause leading to a person's death may or may not be the direct result of chat person's sin. Often times the innocent suffer at the hands of or because of sinful, cruel, or careless people. Although we know that God can and does miraculously heal sick bodies, we must also acknowledge the truth of Romans 8:20-23:
"Please tell me more."