Are the Dead Really Dead?

Question:

Are the dead really dead? Do you have any info on this subject (scripture references)? Also, info on angels — good and bad — and the status of an angel.

– anonymous

Answer:

“Dead” is a term used to describe someone who is not on the earth. It is a misnomer, in a way, since people who “die” are still living, but not in the realm of the earth. We know that the term “death” does not refer to a state where the person no longer exists, because in Hebrews 9:27-28 we read:

“And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment; so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)

Thus, there is a judgment that comes after death (our final accountability before God). Therefore, the “dead” are not really “dead” but still alive, yet in another realm — the eternal realm.

In Scripture, two types of death are mentioned: one is physical, and the other is spiritual. The physical is refered to as the “first death”. The spiritual one is called the “second death”. I will let the readers decide what the second death is, based on the following passages:

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:11)

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: over these the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6)

“And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14)

“But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

Revelation 20:14 gives it away: “This is the second death, even the lake of fire.”

How does a person escape from the second death? Jesus made specific mention to both types of “death” (the physical and the spiritual) when he said to his friend Martha one day:

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die [physically], yet shall he live [spiritually, eternally]; and whosoever liveth [physically] and believeth on me shall never die [eternally]. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26)

In short, we should trust in Jesus for the forgivenes of our sins. By doing this, we will not have to experience the second death. Jesus suffered so that we would not have to pay the cost for he knew that the cost of forgiveness was too great. He went to the cross so that we would not have to do the same, yet in an eternal sense. He was able to bear the weight (sin) of the whole world, because he was/is God. I hope and pray that all those reading this have decided to trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. There is “nothing like it”.

Jesus said: “The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

(I will attempt to answer the second part on angels tomorrow.)