Daily Spirit & Word: 699: The Fear Of Death.
The Second Death = The Lake of Fire.
A few days ago I wrote about the second of seven letters to churches in Revelation, the one to Smyrna, present day Izmir in Turkey. At the end of that short letter was the theme “The Second Death” which I didn’t touch upon. The Second Death is the major theme of the whole book of Revelation.
Remember that Jesus has nothing bad to say about that Church in Smyrna, can you imagine Jesus having nothing bad to say about you? Anyway, there is an encouragement to overcome, and if you overcome there is no fear of the ‘Second Death’.
One thing I know for sure is this, “Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die”… Until death is looming, nobody really gives it a second thought.
Here’s a nice song from Alison Krauss listen as you read.
Questions: What is the “Second Death”? and what does it mean to “Overcome”? “How can I be sure that I will not taste the second death?”
Revelation 2:8-11 (NIV)
8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.
9 I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
What is the Second Death?
Well the first death is what we all go through. It’s a fact that 10 out of 10 people die. Unless of course Jesus returns before you die. We’re all going to die. Many / most people are quietly getting along with their lives today, not giving their first death a second thought. Most people burry their heads in the sand like the proverbial Ostrich, pretending there is no danger…
“Bury Your Head In The Sand:”
This comes from the supposed habit of ostriches hiding when faced with attack by predators. The story was first recorded by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, who suggested that ostriches hide their heads in bushes. Ostriches don’t hide, either in bushes or sand, although they do sometimes lie on the ground to make themselves inconspicuous. The ‘burying their head in the sand’ myth is likely to have originated from people observing them lowering their heads when feeding.
The notion is that the supposedly dumb ostrich believes that if it can’t see its attacker then the attacker can’t see it.
I’ve observed that in two year old toddlers, who think that when they hide their face or eyes you can’t see them. My grandson Karamoko loves the game of hiding things and me pretending I don’t know where it is.
People are a bit like that Ostrich though, they pretend to themselves that they are never going to die.
I’ve heard a lot of Pop Songs with that theme in them… “I’m going to live forever…” Most young soldiers don’t believe they are going to die. The Royal Marines believe they are the “Crem-de-la-Crem” of fighting forces, that’s drummed into young recruits, it helps them to believe they are invincible and will not die.
So if people are not scared by the prospect of the first death, why would they ever be afraid of the second death?
Jesus warned people about the Second Death.
Matthew 10:28 (NIV) “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Your soul is eternal, it cannot be killed, it will never die. It’s part of you that lingers from God’s Original Creation: Adam and Eve were made to live forever, God didn’t intend for them to die, ever, but because they sinned against God’s Command, Death came into Creation and Adam and Eve eventually died physically, but their soul lives on to this day. Every human being since Adam and Eve have been infected with the same disease called sin, and it’s because of sin that human beings die. However, that first death is not the end, there is a kind of second death, the death of the soul in Hell. It doesn’t mean that even there we cease to exist, but we are as good a dead eternally in a place that’s been reserved only for Satan and His army of Demons, fallen angels. No human being was ever intended by God to go to Hell forever, in fact that’s why God sent His Son Jesus into this world, to save mankind, so that no one would ever end up in Hell. The only people who will taste the second death in hell are those who die in their sins, those who’s sins have not been washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.
You see my friends, it’s Sin that brings the first death and sin that brings the second death. If we die still contaminated with sin in our life, then God cannot allow us to contaminate His Holy Heaven.
I love the illustration of this: You buy some bits of chicken from the Supermarket, six pieces of Chicken breast are ok, but one bit of chicken smells a bit off. You ask your wife to have a sniff and she confrims, “It smells off”… Would you then put that piece of chicken in the fridge with the good pieces of chicken? Of course not! Why? Because it would “CONTAMINATE” the other good bits of chicken. My friends, it just makes sense that God will not allow a contaminated sinner to enter His Holy Heaven, because we’d contaminate Heaven.
Jesus The Just Judge:
Jesus will not allow a sinner into Heaven because He is also a Just Judge.
Most people think that the Second Death is nothing to worry about. They believe they’ll go to Heaven because God is loving and kind and will forgive them in the end. But what does Jesus say? “be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” BE AFRAID… It’s healthy to have such a fear of Jesus / God that we’re ready to repent of our sins. Because one day, Judgement is coming. Be sure of that my friends. Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement,…”
Jesus is the just judge and He’s not going to allow any sinful person into Heaven. How do we know this?
The Second Death:
It is a scary prospect. Having a healthy fear of death and the second death is good for your eternal soul.
Check to BE SURE: “Are YOU in The Faith”?
My friends, when was the last time you checked to BE SURE, BE CERTAIN, to KNOW that you are in the FAITH of Christ?
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NIV) Examine Yourself.
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
Recently I had an appointment with the Doctor, it was a routine exam for men over 50. A kind of MOT to examine me to make sure I was fit or not. It’s good for Christians who believe they are saved to check now and again to be SURE and CERTAIN that they are walking with Christ today as they did when they first trusted Him as Lord.
Paul says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith”… Notice he says it twice: “Examine yourself” then “Test yourselves”… That tells me we can be deceived. We can fool ourselves. Just like those who act like the proverbial ostrich who pretend they are not going to die, some people so love ‘religion’ they’ll fool themselves into believing they are Christians when they are not. They are what the Bible calls “FALSE CONVERTS”… or “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”… They look and act like sheep, like God’s flock, but they are not converted, they are not born again, they are not one with Christ, they don’t have Christ as Lord or as the Good Shepherd of their lives. FALSE CONVERTS sometimes don’t know they are false, that’s why Paul encouraged the Corinthians to check to see if they are in the faith. Are you sure you are in the faith of Jesus Christ?
Here’s HOW to be sure you’ll not taste the SECOND DEATH.
Here’s HOW to be CERTAIN you’ll pass from death to life.
Here’s HOW to be sure and certain you are IN the Faith of Jesus Christ.
A) Acknowledge you have sinned and broken God’s Commandments. This is crucial to beginning a walk of faith with Jesus. Acknowledging that you are a sinner. That you know everyone who has sinned will be condemned to Hell because they’ve broken God’s Commandments and have become contaminated with sin. That God will never allow a contaminated sinner into his holy heaven.
How have we sinned? We’ve broken God’s Commandments.
The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2-17.
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make idols.
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honour your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
1 Corinthians 6:8-11 (NIV)
8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Acknowledging that you have sinned is the first step to Salvation.
Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)
22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
B) Repent: Turn away from sin. Sin is rebellion against God. It’s living life your own way (DIY)… Frank Sinatra “I did it my way”… Notice his second name “SINatra”… It’s sinful to live your life as if God doesn’t exist. When you live your life as if God’s not real or as if He’ll just wink at your sin and let you into heaven is only fooling yourself. Every sinner will be punished forever in Hell. But God doesn’t want that, He wants you to turn and be forgiven for every sin. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Unless you repent you will perish in Hell.
Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Luke 13:5 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Jesus said it twice… Repent or Perish in Hell.
The real idea behind REPENTANCE: is to have a strong desire to begin to live God’s way instead of your own way. To live a righteous and holy life from now on. It’s to have a desire to be ‘good’. We don’t have the power yet to be good, but it wanting to live like Jesus that God is looking for. Do you have that desire today?
C) Confess: Confess your sins to Jesus. Don’t just admit you’ve sinned, tell Jesus how you’ve sinned. How you’ve broken His commandments: The lies you’ve told, the things you’ve stolen, the lusts you’ve had, the things you’ve been coveting, how you’ve been disobedient to your parents, how you’ve not put God first in your life. Confess those sins to Jesus.
D) Receive Jesus Christ As Your Lord:
As soon as you believe in Jesus, Admit you’ve sinned, Repent of your sins and Confess your sins to Jesus, then you are ready to RECEIVE Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. He’ll come into your life and make you into a new person. You’ll become a saint: Sanctified and set apart by God the Holy Spirit. You’ll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and that will enable you to live the full and abundant life that Jesus promised to all who received Him as Lord. John 10:10.
Now receive Jesus by faith: “Lord Jesus Christ, I come to you, I believe that you died upon the cross for all my sins. I acknowledge that I have sinned by breaking your Commandments, I know that if I don’t receive your forgiveness I’m doomed to spend eternity in Hell. I know it would be the just punishment and penalty for all my sins. I repent of all my sin, I turn away from living my life for myself and want to live from this day forward for You. I believe that when you died upon that Cross You died in my place taking my punishment and paid the price for my sins. Today I receive you as my Lord and Saviour. Please come into my life as Lord and send the Holy Spirit to give me the New Birth. Help me to live every day from now on for You Lord Jesus. Amen!
The Second Death:
The Second Death is the Lake of Fire: Reserved for Satan and all who die in their sins.
Revelation 20:14-15 (NIV)
14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
My friends, the Second Death holds no fear for those who have tested themselves to ensure they are in the faith of Jesus Christ, they have crossed over already from Death to Life Eternal.
John 3:36 (NIV) “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
The Real Danger:
The DANGER is that there are some who say “I believe in Jesus” as if that is enough to ensure Heaven. It’s NOT, because even the Devil believes in Jesus. Simple “Belief” is not the same as SAVING FAITH. You need to also; Repent and Receive Jesus as Lord of your life. You’ll know if you’ve done that if you’ve received the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is growing in your life today. i.e. You have more peace today than you did when you first believed in Jesus. More; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the fruits of a holy life with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NIV) “As God’s fellow-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.” “Repent or Perish”…
If You’ve Failed The Test:
“What happens if I fail the test, if I’m not in the faith of Jesus Christ?”
If you say you “Believe in Jesus” but your life has not changed, there are no obvious fruits of repentance, then you’ve probably failed the TEST of 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (above). Keep believing in Jesus, but also; confess your sins, turn from sin in repentance and receive Jesus Christ as Lord. Because once your receive Him you will be Born Again: John 1:12-13 (NIV) “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Once you are Born Again you will begin to produce the fruit of repentance, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit will be evident in you as you live for Jesus.
- Once you KNOW Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
- Once you KNOW you’ve been born of the Spirit.
Then (And ONLY then) the Second Death is nothing at all to worry about, because you are ONE of those who have already overcome. Praise the Lord! Your salvation is not dependent upon your own goodness, but the goodness of Jesus Christ living in you. John 15. If you receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour after repenting and believing in Him, then your name will be written in the Lamb’s book of life.
What’s sobering for me on this Monday morning is this: If anyone’s name is NOT in the Lamb’s book of life, then they will be thrown into the lake of fire and experience the second death with Satan and all His Demons forever. That’s a horrific thought, God doesn’t want anyone to perish and no one in their right minds would want anyone to spend eternity in the Lake of fire. Let’s snatch as many as we can from the flames licking at their feet. Who do you know who isn’t SAVED yet? Share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus with them soon.
Today is the DAY of Salvation.
Have an AWESOME week with Jesus.
Don’t FEAR the Second Death if you are IN Jesus.
Be sure and certain your own name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Trust in Jesus Christ today.