Will You Die Once or Twice?

Or do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection.
Romans 6:3-5 LSB

Have you died the first death? The Bible refers to the second death in Revelation 20:14-15 when it says the second death is being thrown into the lake of fire. There are two ways to experience the first death. For Christians, we first die to our sin. We can then be raised as new creatures in Christ. We can conquer sin and death through Jesus who died to save us.

In Revelation 20 when it mentions the dead, it is referring to those who rejected Christ. Their first death is a physical death and then they go to Hades where they await judgment and the second death or being thrown into the lake of fire.

For those who accept Christ the first death is dying to sin and death. This is symbolized by baptism which is the public profession of our faith. Baptism doesn’t save us; it is simply an outward profession of our salvation. It symbolizes us dying to our sin, being buried as Christ was buried and being raised as Christ was raised. We are raised and changed as new creatures. This is what our Scripture passage means by being in likeness of His resurrection. We want to live as He commands us to live. We want to be obedient to Him.

What about the physical death? We are told it is appointed unto man once to die in Hebrews 9:27 meaning we must all die once. Physical death is inevitable unless we are raptured. There were two men in the Bible who did not die a physical death but were raptured. This was the prophet Elijah in 2 Kings, chapter 11. In Genesis 5:24, it says that the prophet Enoch walked with God and God took him.

If we reject Christ as our Savior, we will die a physical death and then die that second death mentioned in Revelation.

It’s important for us to understand that once we accept Christ as our Savior and die to our old sinful self, we are changed. We are made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Because Jesus rose from the grave conquering sin and death, we too can have victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:57). If we are truly saved physical death is simply a change in location. We are told in 2 Corinthians 5:8 that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. If we are saved, our souls simply transfer from earth to heaven.

In order to avoid the second death, which is being thrown into the lake of fire we must have our sins forgiven. We can only do this by accepting the free gift of salvation offered to us through Jesus Christ.

We must die to sin as He died to save us from our sins. We must bury our old sinful selves as He was buried in that tomb. We must rise as new creatures in Christ and walk in the newness of life that He provides for us, just as he rose from the tomb and walked among the people before ascending into heaven to be with God the Father.

You can choose whether your first death will be to sin and accept Him as your Savior and avoid the second death. Or you can allow your first death to be that physical death and suffer the second death. I pray you choose wisely.

Tomorrow, we celebrate Easter, but every day we should celebrate what God did for us by sending His son to die on that cross to save us from our sins. Surrender to Him and get that first death out of the way so you can avoid the second death.

Have a wonderful Easter!