With so many people fearful of dying from the Coronavirus, shouldn’t we have a clear idea of what death is?

What is Death?

With the Coronavirus pandemic bringing worldwide attention to the issue of death, it seems appropriate to take a look at what it is and what it isn’t. Man, in his imagined wisdom, has come up with all sorts of ways to describe and explain it. To some, it’s simply the end. You’re dead and gone, end of story. All that’s left is a decomposing body and memories of a life once lived. For those who believe this, a funeral is a time for mourning because it’s all about loss. Others will cling to the notion that somehow their loved one has become an angel. Some will choose to believe that the deceased is in a better place. They’re not sure where that place is, but they desperately want to believe that this isn’t the end. If questioned about why the deceased person is in a better place or state, the response will be because he or she was a good person, thus implying that the good outweighed the bad, thus earning a ticket to heaven, or wherever. Only in the case of an obviously wicked person, will people believe with certainty that the evil-doer is rotting in hell.

All these responses are products of man’s imagination. God has clearly told us as much as we need to know and it has nothing to do with angels or being a good person. According to God’s word, death isn’t extinction. It’s separation, but to understand what is being separated, we must first understand that we humans consist of three parts – a spirit, a soul, and a body. With our spirit, we relate to God. Our soul consists of our mind, will, and emotions – our personality. With our soul, we relate to others as our soul connects to their soul. Our body, with our five senses, is how we relate to the world.

With this basic understanding, we can better comprehend separation. Sin brings both physical and spiritual death, and thus, physical and spiritual separation. When we die physically, we are separated from our body. Our soul and spirit live on, but where they go depends on our relationship to God. Spiritual death happened for everyone when Adam sinned. As a result, all humans are born with a spirit, soul and body, but the spirit is dead, unable to relate to God. When Adam sinned, every human that would ever be born was in Adam’s gene pool and, therefore, was “in Adam.” This means that when he sinned, so did all of us.

The spirit comes alive when a person becomes born again by receiving Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior. When this happens, the Holy Spirit comes into the person’s spirit, bringing it to life and connecting it to God. Only then is a person complete, operating with spirit, soul, and body as God intended.

So far, we have looked at two deaths, spiritual (happening even before we were born) and physical (resulting in our funeral). But since death is separation, where do we go when we die physically? The Bible says that believers (those who have been born again) leave their earthly body behind as their soul and spirit are taken instantly to heaven and into the presence of the Lord, eventually to be re-united with a perfect and glorified version of their former body with none of its limitations or imperfections. This glorified body is similar to Jesus’ glorified body after His resurrection. (Everyone’s glorified body will be a beautiful thing.)

Upon death, the soul and dead spirit of the unbeliever (whoever has refused Christ’s invitation to be forgiven and to rule and reign with Him forever), goes directly to hell (the place created for Satan and his demons). Since they have refused Christ’s offer of eternal life in Him, this is the only possibility. Contrary to the belief that bad people rot in hell, the unbelieving and unrepentant person will be given a body that will feel the pain and torment of the fire and yet never be burned up. If this sounds harsh, it was their choice. Those who end up there will carry their sins with them, having refused the forgiveness Christ purchased and offered at the cross. It is their sins that are being punished, but since they still bear them, they must suffer the consequences.

There is yet another death, called the second death (Rev. 20:14). This occurs when death and Hades (hell) are thrown into the lake of fire ushering in eternal separation from God, intensifying the torment forever.

Isn’t it time to make sure this isn’t how you will spend eternity? Click here to discover how you can know for certain that when you die, your eternal state will be far more wonderful than you can imagine.


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