What are the two kinds of death mentioned in the Bible?
Let’s look at and define what we mean by death. There are two kinds of death mentioned in the Bible:
1. Physical Death – separation of the soul and spirit from the physical body. In teaching the Scriptures, most preaching emphasis is placed upon “saving the soul.” But God is just as interested in the body as He is in the spirit and soul of man. God deals with us as whole people, not just with our spiritual side. If you search the Word from Genesis to Revelation, you’ll not find any reference to a man accomplishing anything separated from his body. Even in the life to come, God has promised us a new “glorified” body.
God has also instilled within us a desire to live. Even when we are ready for death and looking forward to it, we fight against it.
2. Spiritual Death – Separation from God for eternity, also known as, “the second death.” A thinking individual will have the same apprehension of a spiritual separation from God as he has of the physical separation of the spirit and soul from the body. (At least he should have)! Romans 5:14 says,
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”
Adam as the Federal Head of the Human Race, sinned and caused death to come to the entire human race. In the same way the “Second Adam” or Christ, by virtue of His death and resurrection was able to impart life to all. This was a Sovereign act of the Sovereign God to restore the human race to fellowship with Himself, but it’s not automatic – each man must make the individual choice to receive it.
In Ephesians 2:1-7, Paul is writing to encourage the believers at Ephesus as well as all future generations of believers. Look especially at verse 5: “Even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved);”
We, who were dead in sin by virtue of being children of disobedience (Adam), God chose to make alive in Christ Jesus! Let’s go back to Genesis and compare Genesis 3:7 with Genesis 2:25. Immediately after Adam ate:
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
They immediately recognized their nakedness. But, in 2:25:
“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
What a difference! With one act of disobedience, they changed from childlike innocence to sinful self-consciousness and shame. Where once they could walk even in God’s presence, now they attempted to cover themselves, and even ran and hid from His presence.
Notice that God did not instruct them to make the aprons of fig leaves to cover themselves. Something else prompted them to do that. This is what we call the energy of the flesh … man doing what he can do.
Look at Proverbs 14:12. This is an excellent passage to memorize, because it is so appropriate under so many different circumstances.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Since Adam’s sin, mankind has been trying to rationalize his actions; trying to see “just how can I get around this?”
Adam and Eve knew that God would soon be down to walk with them in the garden, and they rationalized that maybe they could cover themselves with fig leaves and God wouldn’t notice their nakedness. People are still trying to do the same thing today.
If you ask people this question, “If you were to die today, on what basis do you think God should let you into heaven?” You’ll get as many different answers as you have people to ask.
Look at other world religions. The people who followed them work hard to do “What seems right to them,” but to Holy God, it’s futility.
The term “religion” is used usually in a bad sense in the Bible. It refers to mankind’s attempt to reach and merit favor with God. True Christianity, on the other hand, is God reaching down to unworthy, sinful man, offering His mercy, grace and love.
Man, on his own, can never merit favor with God; rather he must be seen in light of what God has done for him in Christ Jesus. In Genesis 3:7, we’ve seen that Adam and Eve dealt with the physical aspects of their problem when they made the fig leaf aprons. They couldn’t, however, deal with the spiritual aspects of their dilemma. In verse 8, they hide. The leaf aprons just won’t cut it. They are ashamed and afraid, and they hide from the face of God. Mankind has not changed one bit over the years; they still try to hide from God. John 3:19 says,
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
Confrontation with Holy God brings fear to the hearts of sinful men, and they run and hide. Verse 20 reads:
“For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
No sinner ever goes looking for God – God always looks for the sinner!! Praise God!