There are many definitions of death. The medical community has a few. It is interesting that a part of many definitions of death is the end of the life of a person or organism. In light of what we find in the account of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, I submit that by whatever definition one chooses to apply, it is not the end of the person.
The Bible gives us a simple definition of death in James 2:26 where we read, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also”.
So a practical definition of death is simply a separation of the body and the spirit.
In the garden, Adam was told in the day that you eat of the forbidden fruit, you will die. So did Adam die that day? Some contend that he started the dying process that day. But I say that yes, he died that day. He died in the sense that he was separated from GOD. After the fall of mankind he was driven from the Garden and his relationship with GOD changed.
Sin does that. It separates us from GOD.
Isaiah 59:1-2 clearly tells us what caused this separation. Our sins have separated us from GOD.
It is at this point I would like to consider a reference to death we find only in the last book of the Bible. The Bible speaks of the second death in the book of Revelation. What exactly is this second death? I think a study of Revelation 20 and 21 will help.
The second death spoken of in Revelation 21 is in the context of the description of heaven. Verse 8 stands out as an exception to this marvelous description declaring those who will not be residents of the heavenly city. And reference is made to those being subjected to the second death.
So what is this second death?
Note Revelation 20:6 mentions the first resurrection and declares that those who have had a part in it will not be subjected to the second death. I believe Romans 6 and Colossians 2:12 tells us this first resurrection refers to our obedience through baptism as we are raised to walk in newness of life. Over these who have obeyed, the second death has no power.
Verse 13 of chapter 20 notes the second death will occur at the final judgment. And it furthers notes that those whose names are not found in the Book of Life will be subjected to this death.
I submit that in light of the above discussion, the second death is the separation at the final judgement.
Matthew 25:41, 46 – Then He will also say to those on the left hand, depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
Unless the LORD returns during my lifetime, I will experience the first death. I pray I do not experience the second death, the separation from GOD for all of eternity. Faithful obedience to my Lord and Savior is my only hope.