Second Death, Pt. 3

Scripture: John 5:28-29, Daniel 12:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:16
There are different views about what happens when people die, what happens to the wicked at death, and the idea of an eternally burning hellfire. What does the Bible say about death and the resurrection? This talk also touches on the millennium.
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible to deepen our understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi and welcome to Bible Talk, where we talk about the Bible and how it affects us today. I'm John Bradshaw.

Gary Gibbs: And I'm Gary Gibbs.

John: We are glad that you are with us here today on Bible Talk. Lately we've been talking about Hell. It's a hot topic and there are a couple of major views in Christianity today about hellfire. When you look at what the Bible says, it would indicate that we need to reexamine those views. There's two major views, one view was made more popular by the late Pope John Paul II a few years ago when he issued an apostolic letter or Papal paper, or whatever you would call this thing, stating that in his view Hell is an anguished state of existence, eternally separated from God. No mention of heat, no mention of fire, no nothing.

Gary: I think that's what they call Papal Bull. A bull.

John: [laughs] A load of Papal Bull. Then, on the other hand there's the other view in Christianity today that says "You die, you go to Hell, you burn and burn and burn forever." It does not paint a very nice picture of the character of God at all. Instead, what we find in the Bible is there's not only just the first death that people die because of accident or disease, but a second death, hellfire that reduces people to ashes and blots them out of existence. It paints a better picture of God.

Now someone said to me one day "Look, there's those couple of verses in the Bible that say 'forever'." We've looked at them in our last Bible Talk program.

There's two, really just only two, and seen in that context and comparing that word forever with other places in the Bible, we see that it means "for as long as it lasts."

A guy said to me "Well, I don't know, maybe this idea does make God seem worse, that is burning forever, but if God wants to do this he could do this."

You could take that logic if you like and say "If God wanted to he could," but He doesn't want to and He wouldn't. There are certain things God cannot do.

He can't lie, He can't sin, and this would be a heinous act. God is incapable of inflicting abject cruelty upon people, because God is love and God is not cruel.

Gary: This is a topic that I think is more confused, more misunderstood than any other topic in the Bible. We've been covering this over several programs and I want to invite you, our listener, to write or call us at the number and address that we'll give at the end of this program. Get our free offer "Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?" You don't to miss this, you want to get this, and look at all the different angles the Bible covered this topic with.

John, we need to look at the other side of this. We've talked about how Hell turns people into ashes. That is a literal fire. It is a punishment for sin.

But if we believe that hellfire that it starts right now, that it starts right now, as soon as a person dies they go into hellfire and start burning endlessly, forever and ever, it really kind of messes up the timeline that's depicted in prophesy. Because why then would you need a return of Christ, a second coming?

Why would you need the great white throne of judgment, where all the wicked of the ages are brought before the great white throne and they are thrown into hellfire at the same time? Let's talk about that timeline, there, in Revelation. Jesus introduces it here in the book of John, Chapter 5.

John: Yes, let's look at that because it kind of asks and answers the question "When does Hell take place?" John 5, verse 28, we've all heard of the idea of the Resurrection. Contemplate this with some carefulness, please. John 5:28. "Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth..."

This is verse 29 now. "They that have done good unto the Resurrection of Life and they that have done evil unto the Resurrection of Damnation."

There are two Resurrections, the Resurrection of Life and the Resurrection of Damnation. Now, we'll show you from the Bible in a moment, and it would be pretty obvious, the resurrection of Life is the resurrection that takes place when Jesus comes back.

Gary: I think it's important to note here first is Resurrection, Resurrection to get life or Resurrection to receive damnation. That means that people don't receive their rewards upon their first death, when they die from old age, disease, whatever it might be. They are going to wait in the graves because Jesus says, "All who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth." They will come forth to receive eternal life or to receive condemnation or damnation.

John: In Daniel Chapter 12, verse 2, looking into the future, "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake," now notice. "Some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Two Resurrections, just like John, Chapter 5, verses 28-29. The Resurrection of Life, they that have done evil, conversely, unto the Resurrection of Damnation.

Gary: Now let's break these down. When do the righteous come forth in the Resurrection of Life?

John: We'll let the Bible answer the question. 1 Corinthians 15:51. "Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep." Now that's sleep is a code word, right? Sleep, it means what?

Gary: It means death.

John: Sure. "We shall not all sleep. We shall not all remain dead, but we shall all be changed." Now if you doubt that, remember Stephen, at the end of Acts, chapter 7, "He was stoned with stones, he fell asleep, his spirit went to God. He died. OK. Let's back up a bit on this verse, "We shall all be changed, in one moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at that last trump." Well there's the answer right there. We shall all be changed at the last trumpet.

"All the trumpets shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed." This takes place when Jesus returns.

Gary: That's the same trumpet mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

John: It absolutely is. Here in Thessalonians I, Chapter 4, verse 16, "The Lord himself shall be sent from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and with the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise..." What?

Gary: Rise first.

John: First. First indicates there's something else coming, right? If I'm first and someone's second. "The dead in Christ will rise first" in the first Resurrection. That's what the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. "Then we would remain and shall be called up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we be forever with the Lord, this is like a little PS put on the end of this chapter, comfort one another with these words."

Man that's a great passage and it shows that when Jesus Christ returns the sleeping saints rise in the first resurrection to receive their reward.

The wages of sin death but the gift of God this is what they are receiving, is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. When Jesus returns immortality is conferred upon the sleeping saints. They come forth from the grave to receive the life that's the first of the two resurrections.

Gary: That is going to be a wonderful day if you have ever laid a loved one to rest in the grave. If you've laid a child in the grave, a spouse, a grandmother, a mother or a father, you will be reunited with that person in the resurrection. If you have given your life to Jesus and they were committed followers of Christ, they'll come up in the vigor of youth and you'll know them and you will get to live with them forever and ever and ever.

I tell you we need to be giving our hearts to Jesus each and everyday so that we are ready for that first resurrection

John: That is such a hopeful thought that Jesus is coming back. He has a resurrection of life and he wants you to be part of it. We are going to offer you a study guide at the end of this program. You'll get an email address you'll get a telephone number. It is called "The Ultimate Deliverance."

Christ is going to come back and there are wonderful blessings promised to the believer, including the gift of life at the first Resurrection. Be sure to contact us and ask for "The Ultimate Deliverance." We want to give that to you.

Gary: So John, when Jesus comes back, we've just read in 1 Thessalonians 4, the dead in Christ rise. They rise with new bodies. We who are alive and remain also have a change, our bodies are changed. We receive immortal bodies. We rise to meet the Lord in the air it says. We do not meet him on this earth.

John: No, that is correct.

Gary: We rise to meet him in the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord. He takes us back to heaven. What happens to all of the unsaved people who are either in their graves or alive on the planet when Jesus comes?

John: I am going to read in Revelations Chapter 20 that great passage that talks about the millennium. See, what happens when Jesus returns, he gathers the saints. He wakes the sleeping saints, gathers the living saints and takes them to heaven. They are there for a thousand years. The millennium takes place.

During that time the sleeping wicked remain in their graves. They do not know anything about what is going on above them. They are asleep in the ground, out of it, and they will stay that way until after the millennium.

The living wicked are destroyed by the brightness of Christ's return and they are dead on the earth. In fact, Jeremiah describes this in Jeremiah, I believe it is Chapter 25 as being like dung on the earth, like fertilizer on the earth.

They are struck dead by the brightness of Jesus' coming. It makes sense. They cannot stand to be in the presence of such a holy God. That's what happens to them during the one thousand years.

Gary Gibbs: In 2nd Thessalonians chapter one verse seven thru nine says that "when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire and He goes on to be glorified in those who love God." It says that he will also punish with everlasting destruction the wicked. So while the righteous are being glorified and changed going back to heaven with God, the wicked are actually being destroyed by the brightness of Jesus' return.

So we have the earth vacated. All the living wicked are dead. The dead wicked are not resurrected. The earth is vacated. We are in heaven. How long does this take place? How long do we stay in heaven? How long do the wicked remain dead?

John: That is the thousand years. The earth is vacated except for the devil and his evil angels. They will be here on earth during Revelations' one thousand years. You can read about that in Revelations chapter 20 verse 2. Now we go unto verse 5, "the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." This says they will live again. The wicked will live again.

It mentions this is the first Resurrection referring to what happened before that. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part on the first Resurrection on such the second death hath no power. They will be priests of God and Christ will reign with them a thousand years."

Then when the thousand years are expired Satan goes out of his prison, he'll deceives the nations which are in the four corners of the earth. There is living folks on the earth again. Why? Because the wicked have been raised in the second Resurrection. The Bible calls it the resurrection to damnation.

Gary: This is the final judgment when they come up all together. They stand before the throne of God and God reveals to them why they are not going to receive eternal life.

John: Can you imagine the picture? You have all the living saints inside this city and all the lost outside this city. What a picture.

Gary: And at this point in time they have rushed up against the city. It is Gods final demonstration that if you allow these people to live, they would destroy everything that is good. They would rip God off the throne. That is why God cannot allow the wicked to live. It is at that point, Revelations 20:11, we have the great white throne judgment, and the books, the record books of their life condemns them and that is when God allows them to be burned and destroyed in the fires of hell and they perish never to live again.

John: At that time it is just too late for people to repent. But aren't you glad that today it is not too late. It is not too late for us. It is not too late to receive salvation or to repent of the sins we committed against God from day to day.

Gary: God is so merciful. If we come to him today he will accept us he will come into our hearts and he will give us eternal life. The Bible says God is not willing that any should perish and there is no need for us to because we can have faith in Jesus Christ, the life giver. Thanks for being with us today we look forward to seeing you here next time on Bible Talk.


John: If you would like more information on what we have been studying here today we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we would love to share with you that is absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we just discussed and expands on the subject including information you will want to know.

To receive this free, informative Bible study guide simply call write or email and ask for "The Ultimate Deliverance."

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