November 16, 1996
Posted, July 11, 1998

Second Death

Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Re 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Eph 2:1-9

John 11:17-26, Martha understood the resurrection in the since of the resurrection at the last day. But Jesus told her that the first resurrection was life from death, v. 25.

In other words, a person is born dead in trespasses and sin, and converting or saving faith in Christ raises the person from the death: this is the first resurrection.

Those who have part in the first resurrection have no fear of the second death. The second death is defined as the lake of fire that awaits all who have not come to Christ.

Notice I use the term converting faith instead of saving faith, though both terms basically mean the same. The term, saving faith implies that Christ is little more than a fire escape, an insurance policy against eternal damnation.

On the other hand, converting faith is truer to the Scriptural meaning of salvation: It implies a life-changing relationship with the Lord God. Conversion is defined in 2 Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

In other words, if one's faith does not convert his attitude toward the material things of this world (money), toward his fellow man, toward God, toward God's Word and toward God's church, he has not had genuine, Holy Ghost conversion.

Luke 16

V. 15, these men sought to justify themselves: V. 13-15, they had all kinds of reasons why they did not need to be converted and serve the Lord God with all their hearts. Notice v. 13 says their goal was to do what they wanted to do; in this case, their goal was make and keep money. Their goal was to please themselves; it was not to please God.

The Lord continued, and starting with v. 19, He describes the fate of those who pursue their own desires at the expense of converting faith in Christ.

We are told in Re 20:14 that death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. In Luke 16, we see that the second death does NOT mean the person no longer exists. The man here in hell was very much alive, though he had left his body on earth.

This is the clearest description in Scripture of what hell is, as it awaits the unconverted.

1) v. 23 tells us that hell is a place of TORMENTS. We usually think of hell as simply a place of tormenting flame, which is clearly mentioned, v. 24. However, there is much more than just tormenting flame: It says torments. There are several mentioned here.

2) v. 23, this person in hell could see paradise. At the very least, he knew Lazarus was in a place of comfort. He might also have been able to see Lazarus comforted.

V. 22--the angels met Lazarus upon his death and carried him to the place of comfort. The man the rich man had despised in life is now comforted while he is tormented.

3) v. 24, lists tormenting flame.

4) v. 24, obviously, along with the torment of flame, there is terrible thirst.

5) v. 25, memory. The unconverted rich man remembered what it was like while he was on earth. He remembered how he pursued the good things of life that he enjoyed, his comforts of life. He did not have time for God, nor did he have time for his fellow man.

He remembered the good things of life which replaced the Lord when he had the chance. Now he is paying a terrible price for ignoring the Lord.

There will be multitudes of people in hell who will remember friends, neighbours and pastors who presented the gospel to them and offered them a part in the first resurrection, so the second death would not affect them.

6) v. 26, this man in hell could see the place of comfort, but he could not cross over. Like dark seeing into light.

7) vv. 27, 28, the man in hell suddenly became concerned about those he had known in life, his family. He pleads with Abraham to send Lazarus back to warn his family of the terrible place.

He was confident that if one returned from the dead and told his family what was in store for them, they would repent and be converted.

Abraham assures this man in hell that if the living will not believe the Old Testament, Moses and the prophets, there is no hope for their conversion.

though one rose from the dead.

Of course, Christ rose from the dead and they did not believe. When one rejects the Old Testament law and prophets, he denies the Christ of the Bible.

Mt 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The rich man did not fear God before his death. He sure did after his death.

Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Eph 1:7-14

V. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Romans 10:13-17

Notice the order here:

First, one must hear and understand the gospel from the Word of God.

Second, only after hearing and understanding the gospel can one be converted to Christ.

Rom 10:14, how can folks call upon the name of the Lord if they have not heard and understood the gospel from the Word of God?