555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

530. What Is the "Second Death"?

Spiritual, or "second death," implies "everlasting punishment" (Rev. 21:8)—the utter lack of all spiritual hope of restoration or reclamation. It means entire separation from God. Death, in the destructive sense, applies to the entire man and every part of his nature. We speak even now of men as "spiritually dead" while they yet live in the body, just as we speak of men who may be already in the grave, as "spiritually alive," and who shall never die. Spiritual death may begin even in this life. Death, therefore, need not imply extinction and annihilation. One commentator writes: "The proper life of the spirit lies in the harmony and subjection of its powers and disposition to the nature and will of God; its death in contrariety and enmity to him. This involves the disruption of a holy and dutiful relation with the Father of spirits, and by inevitable consequence a deprivation of the fruits of his love and favor on which life and blessedness depend. The whole man shall go away forever from the glory and joy of God's presence."