Many   persons   think   there   is   only   one   type   of   death:   when   our   body—which   contains   our   soul   and   spirit—dies.     However, because we have a soul and a spirit there are two additional deaths: spiritual death and second death.   Spiritual death: o Occurs at conception. o Is characterized by our sinful nature. Physical death occurs: o When our body no longer functions. o When our soul and spirit leave our physical bodies. Second death occurs: o After our physical death. o After the Great White Throne Judgment. o To those whose names are not found in the Book of Life. It is important to note here that all three types of death represent some type of separation.  Spiritual death results in separation from God. Physical death is a separation between the soul and spirit from the physical body. Second death is an eternal separation from God. Spiritual Death The   origination   of   spiritual   death   is   found   in   Genesis   when   Adam   and   Eve   sinned   against   God   by   breaking   God’s   one and only commandment: do not eat the fruit from one specific tree. “Then   the   Lord   God   took   the   man   and   put   him   in   the   garden   of   Eden   to   tend   and   keep   it.      And   the   Lord   God commanded   the   man,   saying,   ‘Of   every   tree   of   the   garden   you   may   freely   eat;   but   of   the   tree   of   the   knowledge   of   good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’ ”  Genesis 2:15-17 Adam   could   eat   from   any   tree   but   one—which   should   be   a   very   simple   command   to   obey.      You   get   to   live   in   absolute bliss   in   the   Garden   of   Eden;   you’re   continually   in   God’s   presence;   all   of   your   needs   are   met;   and   you   get   to   live   a perfect   life   by   just   not   eating   from   this   one   tree!      Plus,   God   warned Adam   by   saying   he   would   die   if   he   ate   the   fruit   from the tree.  Not a physical death but spiritual—in that his life of absolute bliss would no longer exist. However,   Eve   believed   the   deceptive   lie   by   Satan   and   ate   fruit   from   the   tree.      She   then   gave   some   to   Adam   to   eat.     God’s word is true!  As a consequence of not obeying His word, they spiritually died and hid themselves from God. “Then   the   serpent   said   to   the   woman,   ‘You   will   not   surely   die.      For   God   knows   that   in   the   day   you   eat   of   it   your   eyes   will be   opened,   and   you   will   be   like   God,   knowing   good   and   evil.’      So   when   the   woman   saw   that   the   tree   was   good   for   food, that   it   was   pleasant   to   the   eyes,   and   a   tree   desirable   to   make   one   wise,   she   took   of   its   fruit   and   ate.      She   also   gave   to her   husband   with   her,   and   he   ate.      Then   the   eyes   of   both   of   them   were   opened,   and   they   knew   that   they   were   naked; and   they   sewed   fig   leaves   together   and   made   themselves   coverings.      And   they   heard   the   sound   of   the   Lord   God walking   in   the   garden   in   the   cool   of   the   day,   and Adam   and   his   wife   hid   themselves   from   the   presence   of   the   Lord   God among the trees of the garden.”  Genesis 3:4-8 The spiritual death of Adam and Eve was passed on to their children and throughout all generations. “Therefore,   just   as   through   one   man   sin   entered   the   world,   and   death   through   sin,   and   thus   death   spread   to   all   men, because all sinned.”  Romans 5:12 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  1 John 1:8 Being born spiritually dead is evidenced by our sinful nature. Excluding   Jesus   Christ—who   was   conceived   by   the   Holy   Spirit   (Luke   1:26-35)—every   person   conceived   by   man   and woman   is   born   spiritually   dead—which   is   demonstrated   by   our   sinful   nature—and   characterized   by   sin,   an   unrepentant heart and a desire to avoid/hide from God. “For   everyone   practicing   evil   hates   the   light   and   does   not   come   to   the   light,   lest   his   deeds   should   be   exposed.      But   he who   does   the   truth   comes   to   the   light,   that   his   deeds   may   be   clearly   seen,   that   they   have   been   done   in   God.”      John 3:20-21 The   sinful   nature   of   people   is   easily   seen.      Consider   how   a   very   young   child   will   lie   when   they   have   been   caught   doing what   they   know   is   wrong.      The   child   will   even   deny   the   truth   when   given   factual   evidence   of   their   wrongdoing.     Unfortunately,   this   type   of   lying   continues   into   adulthood.      Do   you   ever   “scratch   your   head”   and   wonder   sometimes   why people   do   what   they   do?      Why   do   people   steal?      Why   do   people   harbor   hatred,   argue   and   fight?      Why   do   people commit   adultery?      Why   do   people   murder   one   another?      Why   can’t   we   get   along?      What’s   more,   as   you   take   time   and contemplate   the   depths   of   the   human   soul,   you   will   see   even   darker   dimensions   of   the   sinful   nature   we   were   all   born with. However,   Jesus   Christ   obediently   gave   His   life   as   a   free   gift   to   overcome   our   sinful   nature   (and   its   consequences); which has been passed on throughout each generation since Adam’s disobedience.  “Therefore,   as   through   one   man’s   offense   judgment   came   to   all   men,   resulting   in   condemnation,   even   so   through   one Man’s   righteous   act   the   free   gift   came   to   all   men,   resulting   in   justification   of   life.      For   as   by   one   man’s   disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”  Romans 5:18-19 Jesus—who   was   fully   aware   of   our   spiritually   dead   condition—declared   we   must   be   born   again.      Jesus   said   “Most assuredly,   I   say   to   you,   unless   one   is   born   again,   he   cannot   see   the   kingdom   of   God.      Unless   one   is   born   of   water   and the   Spirit,   he   cannot   enter   the   kingdom   of   God.      That   which   is   born   of   the   flesh   is   flesh,   and   that   which   is   born   of   the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ”  John 3:3, 5-6 Born again is a spiritual birth and regenerative transformation performed by the Holy Spirit—which begins as one: Believes (in faith) Jesus Christ died for our sins. Accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Yields to the Holy Spirit as He transforms us from within into the image of Jesus Christ. Being   born   again   is   comprised   of   a   spiritual   transition   from   being   spiritually   dead—to   being   spiritually   alive   as   we   live   in the   unmerited   grace   and   forgiveness   God   gave   us   in   His   Son,   Jesus   Christ.      God’s   forgiveness   for   our   sins   (past, present and future) is His spiritual means to crucify our sinful nature, and to change our heart and soul. “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”  Ephesians 2:1 “And   you,   being   dead   in   your   trespasses   and   the   uncircumcision   of   your   flesh,   He   has   made   alive   together   with   Him, having   forgiven   you   all   trespasses,   having   wiped   out   the   handwriting   of   requirements   that   was   against   us,   which   was contrary   to   us.      And   He   has   taken   it   out   of   the   way,   having   nailed   it   to   the   cross.      Having   disarmed   principalities   and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”  Colossians 2:13-15 For more information on born again, read “What is a Born-Again Christian” on the Unique Bible Studies website. Physical Death “And as it is appointed for men to die once.”  Hebrews 9:24 Although   it   is   a   difficult   and   anxious   thought   to   consider…every   one   of   us   will   physically   die.      It   is   inevitable   and   a   point of   time   in   the   future   when   our   soul   and   spirit   will   be   separated   from   our   body…and   we   begin   our   eternal   experience   in the spiritual realm. So,   here   is   an   interesting   question   to   consider:   what   will   your   epitaph   say?     An   epitaph   is   a   phrase   or   words   written   as an   inscription   on   a   gravestone   in   memory   of   a   person   who   has   died.      If   those   who   knew   you   were   asked   to   write   your epitaph today, what words would they write? This   is   an   important   question   to   consider   because   this   scenario   will   likely   happen.      But   what’s   more,   your   answer   may define   where   you   spend   eternity   after   you   die.     Take   some   time   to   read   each   of   the   gravestones   and   ask   yourself   is   this what they would write about me? Here   is   a   very   important   truth   to   understand.      Our   physical   death   is   also   the   “finish   line”   and   a   point   of   no   return.      In other   words,   for   each   person   who   either   accepted   Jesus   Christ   as   their   Savior   and   Lord—or   rejected   Jesus—their   fate and eternal future is “sealed” upon their physical death.  There   are   many   persons   who   know   what   they   need   to   do…but   delay   their   decision   to   give   their   life   to   Jesus   based upon “justified” reasons (but are in truth delusional lies).  Meanwhile, they risk far more than they realize. Jesus   provided   us   with   a   parable   (The   Rich   Man   and   Lazarus)   to   give   us   insight   into   the   finality   of   physical   death,   the consequences   of   sin   and   the   inability   to   go   back   and   “fix   things.”      A   rich   man   who   experienced   “worldly   things”   in   life, died   and   found   himself   in   the   flames   of   Hell.      While   Lazarus,   a   sick   beggar,   died   and   found   himself   in   Heaven.     The   rich man realized the eternal severity of his mistake and desired to warn his family, but it was too late. “There   was   a   certain   rich   man   who   was   clothed   in   purple   and   fine   linen   and   fared   sumptuously   every   day.      But   there was   a   certain   beggar   named   Lazarus,   full   of   sores,   who   was   laid   at   his   gate,   desiring   to   be   fed   with   the   crumbs   which fell   from   the   rich   man’s   table.      Moreover,   the   dogs   came   and   licked   his   sores.      So   it   was   that   the   beggar   died,   and   was carried   by   the   angels   to Abraham’s   bosom.      The   rich   man   also   died   and   was   buried.     And   being   in   torments   in   Hades, he   lifted   up   his   eyes   and   saw Abraham   afar   off,   and   Lazarus   in   his   bosom.      Then   he   cried   and   said,   ‘Father Abraham, have   mercy   on   me,   and   send   Lazarus   that   he   may   dip   the   tip   of   his   finger   in   water   and   cool   my   tongue;   for   I   am tormented   in   this   flame.’      But Abraham   said,   ‘Son,   remember   that   in   your   lifetim e you   received   your   good   things,   and   likewise   Lazarus   evil   things;   but   now   he   is comforted   and   you   are   tormented.      And   besides   all   this,   between   us   and   you there   is   a   great   gulf   fixed,   so   that   those   who   want   to   pass   from   here   to   you cannot,   nor   can   those   from   there   pass   to   us.’      Then   he   said,   ‘I   beg   you   therefore, father,   that   you   would   send   him   to   my   father’s   house,   for   I   have   five   brothers,   that he   may   testify   to   them,   lest   they   also   come   to   this   place   of   torment.’      Abraham said   to   him,   ‘They   have   Moses   and   the   prophets;   let   them   hear   them.’      And   he said,   ‘No,   father   Abraham;   but   if   one   goes   to   them   from   the   dead,   they   will repent.’      But   he   said   to   him,   ‘If   they   do   not   hear   Moses   and   the   prophets,   neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”  Luke 16:19-31 2nd Death When   compared   to   the   other   two   types   of   death,   the   second   death   is   the   worst   form   of   death…because   it   is   an   eternal death of the soul—tormented day and night forever and ever—because our soul will never die. Those who are born again will not experience a second death.  “He   who   has   an   ear,   let   him   hear   what   the   Spirit   says   to   the   churches.      He   who   overcomes   shall   not   be   hurt   by   the second death.”  Revelation 2:11 “Blessed   and   holy   is   he   who   has   part   in   the   first   resurrection.      Over   such   the   second death   has   no   power,   but   they   shall   be   priests   of   God   and   of   Christ,   and   shall   reign with Him a thousand years.”  Revelation 20:6 “Jesus   said   ‘I   am   the   resurrection   and   the   life.      He   who   believes   in   Me,   though   he may   die,   he   shall   live.     And   whoever   lives   and   believes   in   Me   shall   never   die.’   ”      John 11:25-26 “He   who   overcomes   shall   be   clothed   in   white   garments,   and   I   will   not   blot   out   his   name   from   the   Book   of   Life;   but   I   will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”  Revelation 3:5 Those who are not born again will experience a second death. Jesus   said   “And   do   not   fear   those   who   kill   the   body   but   cannot   kill   the   soul.      But   rather   fear   Him   who   is   able   to   destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Matthew 10:28 “The   devil,   who   deceived   them,   was   cast   into   the   lake   of   fire   and   brimstone   where   the   beast   and   the   false   prophet   are.     And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  Revelation 20:10 “Then   Death   and   Hades   were   cast   into   the   lake   of   fire.      This   is   the   second   death.     And   anyone   not   found   written   in   the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:14 “But   the   cowardly,   unbelieving,   abominable,   murderers,   sexually   immoral,   sorcerers,   idolaters,   and   all   liars   shall   have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”  Revelation 21:8 The Narrow Gate and the Broad Path I   mentioned   earlier   that   every   person   that   has   entered   into   this   world   since   Adam   has   been   born   with   a   sinful nature—which   results   in   spiritual   death.      However,   there   is   One   who   has   entered   into   this   world—not   born   as   an   act   of procreation between a man and woman—but conceived by the Holy Spirit.  “Now   in   the   sixth   month   the   angel   Gabriel   was   sent   by   God   to   a   city   of   Galilee   named   Nazareth,   to   a   virgin   betrothed   to a   man   whose   name   was   Joseph,   of   the   house   of   David.      The   virgin’s   name   was   Mary.     And   having   come   in,   the   angel said   to   her,   ‘Rejoice,   highly   favored   one,   the   Lord   is   with   you;   blessed   are   you   among   women!’      But   when   she   saw   him, she   was   troubled   at   his   saying,   and   considered   what   manner   of   greeting   this   was.      Then   the   angel   said   to   her,   ‘Do   not be   afraid,   Mary,   for   you   have   found   favor   with   God.     And   behold,   you   will   conceive   in   your   womb   and   bring   forth   a   Son, and   shall   call   His   name   Jesus.      He   will   be   great,   and   will   be   called   the   Son   of   the   Highest;   and   the   Lord   God   will   give Him   the   throne   of   His   father   David.     And   He   will   reign   over   the   house   of   Jacob   forever,   and   of   His   kingdom   there   will   be no   end.’     Then   Mary   said   to   the   angel,   ‘How   can   this   be,   since   I   do   not   know   a   man?’     And   the   angel   answered   and   said to   her,   ‘The   Holy   Spirit   will   come   upon   you,   and   the   power   of   the   Highest   will   overshadow   you;   therefore,   also,   that   Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’ ”  Luke 1:26-35 As   such,   God’s   Son   was   not   born   with   man’s   sinful   nature   and   was   sinless.      “Who   committed   no   sin,   nor   was   deceit found   in   His   mouth.”   (1   Peter   2:22)      Jesus   Christ   was   the   one   and   only   perfect   sacrifice   for   the   sins   of   all   who   believe.     His   reflection   of   God   was   demonstrated   as   He   was   being   crucified   between   two   criminals.      One   taunted   Jesus.      The other   recognized   who   Jesus   is   and   what   was   occurring,   had   a   repentant   heart   and   asked   Him   to   remember   him.     Consider the heart of Jesus as He told him he was forgiven…for this is the glorious grace of the God we serve! “Then   one   of   the   criminals   who   were   hanged   blasphemed   Him,   saying,   ‘If   You   are   the   Christ,   save   Yourself   and   us.’     But    the    other,    answering,    rebuked    him,    saying,    ‘Do    you    not    even    fear    God,    seeing    you    are    under    the    same condemnation?      And   we   indeed   justly,   for   we   receive   the   due   reward   of   our   deeds;   but   this   Man   has   done   nothing wrong.’      Then   he   said   to   Jesus,   ‘Lord,   remember   me   when   You   come   into   Your   kingdom.’      And   Jesus   said   to   him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’ ”  Luke 23:39-43 There    are    a    lot    of    obstacles,    challenges    and    temptations    in    life—all    competing    for    ou r attention—and   all   seeking   to   control   who   and   what   we   are.      But   when   you   stand   back   and   look   at the   big   picture…none   of   these   truly   fulfill   the   deep   desires   of   our   heart   and   soul…and   leave   us empty   on   the   inside.      These   things   are   only   a   diversion,   a   distraction   and   a   delusion.      The   only thing that has present and eternal value…is what we do for Him. Jesus   said   “Enter   by   the   narrow   gate;   for   wide   is   the   gate   and   broad   is   the   way   that   leads   to destruction,   and   there   are   many   who   go   in   by   it.      Because   narrow   is   the   gate   and   difficult   is   the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14 Do you know Jesus? When   you   die…what   will   your   headstone   say?      Will   it   be   based   upon   your   earthly accomplishments?  Or will it reflect who you will be with for eternity? Jesus    lived    and    died    a    sacrificial    death    for    your    sins    so    that    you    can    be forgiven…past,   present,   future   and   for   eternity.      Believe   in   Him;   extend   your   faith   in Him; place your trust in Him; and give your life to Him by praying: Holy   God,   I   am   a   sinner.      Jesus,   I   believe   you   died   and   paid   the   price   for   who   I   am and   what   I   have   done.      I   want   to   trust   and   follow   you   as   my   Savior   and   Lord.      Holy Spirit,   I   invite   you   to   come   into   my   heart   and   life   and   change   me   from   within.      Thank you, Jesus, for providing a way to restore my relationship with God.  Amen. All for the Glory of God! Harold D. Thomas
Justified Reason   Truth   Church filled with hypocrites   Every person on earth   fall s   short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23   N ot good enough   / need to improve first   Will never be good enough — salvation is because of   God’s grace   Concerned about what others may think   A true friend accepts you as you are — without ridicule or Judgment   Fear of   Christian role, function or service   The Holy Spirit pre pares each heart to joyfully glorify God   Prefer sin and don’t want to change   They d o not realize they are in bondage to sin and in darkness   All good people go to heaven   “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6   I’ve got time   We can  die   in an instant — without warning/foreknowledge
Thought-Provoking Questions The   purpose   of   the   questions   below   is   to   facilitate   a   deeper   understanding   of   the   Bible,   this   Bible   study   content,   and ourselves.      The   questions   may   be   answered   by   each   reader;   or   used   by   a   Bible   study   group   leader   or   church   pastor.     The following questions should be answered or discussed after reading “Managing Anxiety During the Pandemic.” There   are   two   types   of   questions:   lesson   and   opinion.      Lesson   questions   (preceded   by   a   number)   are   provided   an answer.      Opinion   questions   (preceded   by   an   “O”)   are   designed   to   enhance   learning   via   the   determination   of   opinions and/or discovering how the lesson content illuminates our personal lives.  As such, no answers are provided Questions (Do your best to respond to each lesson question before looking at the answer.) 1.    What are the 3 types of death? 2.    When does each occur? 3.    Explain how separation occurs with each type of death.  4.    Which of the three types of death is worse?  5.    Does every human have a sinful nature, and is every human guilty of sin?  O    Did Jesus Christ have a sinful nature and did He sin?  Consider the following before you determine your answer. All humans are conceived by a man and a woman. Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-35).  “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.”  1 Peter 2:22. “A lamb without blemish and without spot.”  1 Peter 1:19 If Jesus had a sinful nature and committed sin, would He had been a perfect sacrifice for our sins? O    Why did Jesus say we must be born again? O    Jesus said to enter by the narrow gate.  What did He mean and what is the relevance to each of us?  Answers 1. Page 2: Spiritual, Physical and Second Death 2. Page 2: Spiritual at conception, Physical when the body dies, and Second after the body dies. 3. Page 2: Spiritual and Second = separation from God.  Physical = soul + spirit separation from the body. 4. Page 5: Second death because it is an eternal torment in the lake of fire—with no hope. 5. Page 2: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Death spread to all men because all sinned. (Romans 5:12) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8).  The questions may be viewed and downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on this button.
Many   persons   think   there   is   only   one   type   of   death:   when our    body—which    contains    our    soul    and    spirit—dies.    However,   because   we   have   a   soul   and   a   spirit   there   are two additional deaths: spiritual death and second death.   Spiritual death: o Occurs at conception. o Is characterized by our sinful nature. Physical death occurs: o When our body no longer functions. o When    our    soul    and    spirit    leave    our    physical bodies. Second death occurs: o After our physical death. o After the Great White Throne Judgment. o To   those   whose   names   are   not   found   in   the   Book of Life. It   is   important   to   note   here   that   all   three   types   of   death represent some type of separation.  Spiritual death results in separation from God. Physical   death   is   a   separation   between   the   soul   and spirit from the physical body. Second death is an eternal separation from God. Spiritual Death The    origination    of    spiritual    death    is    found    in    Genesis when   Adam   and   Eve   sinned   against   God   by   breaking God’s   one   and   only   commandment:   do   not   eat   the   fruit from one specific tree. “Then   the   Lord   God   took   the   man   and   put   him   in   the garden   of   Eden   to   tend   and   keep   it.      And   the   Lord   God commanded   the   man,   saying,   ‘Of   every   tree   of   the   garden you   may   freely   eat;   but   of   the   tree   of   the   knowledge   of good   and   evil   you   shall   not   eat,   for   in   the   day   that   you   eat of it you shall surely die.’ ”  Genesis 2:15-17 Adam   could   eat   from   any   tree   but   one—which   should   be a    very    simple    command    to    obey.        You    get    to    live    in absolute   bliss   in   the   Garden   of   Eden;   you’re   continually   in God’s   presence;   all   of   your   needs   are   met;   and   you   get   to live   a   perfect   life   by   just   not   eating   from   this   one   tree!     Plus,   God   warned Adam   by   saying   he   would   die   if   he   ate the    fruit    from    the    tree.        Not    a    physical    death    but spiritual—in   that   his   life   of   absolute   bliss   would   no   longer exist. However,   Eve   believed   the   deceptive   lie   by   Satan   and   ate fruit   from   the   tree.      She   then   gave   some   to   Adam   to   eat.     God’s   word   is   true!     As   a   consequence   of   not   obeying   His word, they spiritually died and hid themselves from God. “Then   the   serpent   said   to   the   woman,   ‘You   will   not   surely die.      For   God   knows   that   in   the   day   you   eat   of   it   your   eyes will   be   opened,   and   you   will   be   like   God,   knowing   good and   evil.’      So   when   the   woman   saw   that   the   tree   was good   for   food,   that   it   was   pleasant   to   the   eyes,   and   a   tree desirable   to   make   one   wise,   she   took   of   its   fruit   and   ate.     She   also   gave   to   her   husband   with   her,   and   he   ate.     Then the   eyes   of   both   of   them   were   opened,   and   they   knew that   they   were   naked;   and   they   sewed   fig   leaves   together and   made   themselves   coverings.      And   they   heard   the sound   of   the   Lord   God   walking   in   the   garden   in   the   cool of   the   day,   and   Adam   and   his   wife   hid   themselves   from the   presence   of   the   Lord   God   among   the   trees   of   the garden.”  Genesis 3:4-8 The   spiritual   death   of   Adam   and   Eve   was   passed   on   to their children and throughout all generations. “Therefore,    just    as    through    one    man    sin    entered    the world,   and   death   through   sin,   and   thus   death   spread   to   all men, because all sinned.”  Romans 5:12 “If   we   say   that   we   have   no   sin,   we   deceive   ourselves,   and the truth is not in us.”  1 John 1:8 Being    born    spiritually    dead    is    evidenced    by    our    sinful nature. Excluding   Jesus   Christ—who   was   conceived   by   the   Holy Spirit   (Luke   1:26-35)—every   person   conceived   by   man and      woman      is      born      spiritually      dead—which      is demonstrated   by   our   sinful   nature—and   characterized   by sin,   an   unrepentant   heart   and   a   desire   to   avoid/hide   from God. “For   everyone   practicing   evil   hates   the   light   and   does   not come   to   the   light,   lest   his   deeds   should   be   exposed.      But he   who   does   the   truth   comes   to   the   light,   that   his   deeds may   be   clearly   seen,   that   they   have   been   done   in   God.”     John 3:20-21 The   sinful   nature   of   people   is   easily   seen.      Consider   how a   very   young   child   will   lie   when   they   have   been   caught doing   what   they   know   is   wrong.      The   child   will   even   deny the   truth   when   given   factual   evidence   of   their   wrongdoing.     Unfortunately,   this   type   of   lying   continues   into   adulthood.     Do   you   ever   “scratch   your   head”   and   wonder   sometimes why   people   do   what   they   do?      Why   do   people   steal?   Why   do   people   harbor   hatred,   argue   and   fight?      Why   do people   commit   adultery?      Why   do   people   murder   one another?      Why   can’t   we   get   along?      What’s   more,   as   you take   time   and   contemplate   the   depths   of   the   human   soul, you   will   see   even   darker   dimensions   of   the   sinful   nature we were all born with. However,   Jesus   Christ   obediently   gave   His   life   as   a   free gift   to   overcome   our   sinful   nature   (and   its   consequences); which   has   been   passed   on   throughout   each   generation since Adam’s disobedience.  “Therefore,   as   through   one   man’s   offense   judgment   came to   all   men,   resulting   in   condemnation,   even   so   through one   Man’s   righteous   act   the   free   gift   came   to   all   men, resulting    in    justification    of    life.        For    as    by    one    man’s disobedience   many   were   made   sinners,   so   also   by   one Man’s   obedience   many   will   be   made   righteous.”      Romans 5:18-19 Jesus—who    was    fully    aware    of    our    spiritually    dead condition—declared   we   must   be   born   again.      Jesus   said “Most   assuredly,   I   say   to   you,   unless   one   is   born   again, he   cannot   see   the   kingdom   of   God.      Unless   one   is   born   of water   and   the   Spirit,   he   cannot   enter   the   kingdom   of   God.     That   which   is   born   of   the   flesh   is   flesh,   and   that   which   is born   of   the   Spirit   is   spirit.   Do   not   marvel   that   I   said   to   you, ‘You must be born again.’ ”  John 3:3, 5-6 Born     again     is     a     spiritual     birth     and     regenerative transformation     performed     by     the     Holy     Spirit—which begins as one: Believes (in faith) Jesus Christ died for our sins. Accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Yields   to   the   Holy   Spirit   as   He   transforms   us   from within into the image of Jesus Christ. Being   born   again   is   comprised   of   a   spiritual   transition from   being   spiritually   dead—to   being   spiritually   alive   as we   live   in   the   unmerited   grace   and   forgiveness   God   gave us   in   His   Son,   Jesus   Christ.      God’s   forgiveness   for   our sins   (past,   present   and   future)   is   His   spiritual   means   to crucify   our   sinful   nature,   and   to   change   our   heart   and soul. “And   you   He   made   alive,   who   were   dead   in   trespasses and sins.”  Ephesians 2:1 “And    you,    being    dead    in    your    trespasses    and    the uncircumcision   of   your   flesh,   He   has   made   alive   together with    Him,    having    forgiven    you    all    trespasses,    having wiped    out    the    handwriting    of    requirements    that    was against   us,   which   was   contrary   to   us.     And   He   has   taken   it out   of   the   way,   having   nailed   it   to   the   cross.      Having disarmed   principalities   and   powers,   He   made   a   public spectacle     of     them,     triumphing     over     them     in     it.”     Colossians 2:13-15 For    more    information    on    born    again,    read    “What    is    a Born-Again     Christian”     on     the     Unique     Bible     Studies website. Physical Death “And   as   it   is   appointed   for   men   to   die   once.”      Hebrews 9:24 Although     it     is     a     difficult     and     anxious     thought     to consider…every    one    of    us    will    physically    die.        It    is inevitable   and   a   point   of   time   in   the   future   when   our   soul and   spirit   will   be   separated   from   our   body…and   we   begin our eternal experience in the spiritual realm. So,   here   is   an   interesting   question   to   consider:   what   will your    epitaph    say?       An    epitaph    is    a    phrase    or    words written   as   an   inscription   on   a   gravestone   in   memory   of   a person   who   has   died.      If   those   who   knew   you   were   asked to write your epitaph today, what words would they write? This   is   an   important   question   to   consider   because   this scenario   will   likely   happen.      But   what’s   more,   your   answer may   define   where   you   spend   eternity   after   you   die.      Take some    time    to    read    each    of    the    gravestones    and    ask y ourself is this what they would  write about me? Here   is   a   very   important truth   to   understand.      Our physical   death   is   also   the “finish   line”   and   a   point   of no     return.          In     other words,    for    each    person who       either       accepted Jesus     Christ     as     their Savior       and       Lord—or rejected         Jesus—their fate   and   eternal   future   is “sealed”        upon        their physical death.  There   are   many   persons   who   know   what   they   need   to do…but   delay   their   decision   to   give   their   life   to   Jesus based   upon   “justified”   reasons   (but   are   in   truth   delusional lies).  Meanwhile, they risk far more than they realize. Reason: Church filled with hypocrites Truth:   Every   person   on   earth   falls   short   of   the   glory   of God  Romans 3:23 Reason: Not good enough / need to improve first Truth:   Will   never   be   good   enough--salvation   is   because   of God’s grace Reason: Concerned about what others may think Truth:    A    true    friend    accepts    you    as    you    are--without ridicule or judgment Reason: Fear of Christian role, function or service Truth:    The    Holy    Spirit    prepares    each    heart    to    joyfully glorify God Reason: Prefer sin and don’t want to change Truth:   They   do   not   realize   they   are   in   bondage   to   sin   and in darkness Reason: All good people go to heaven Truth:   “No   one   comes   to   the   Father   except   through   me.”     John 14:6 Reason: I’ve got time Truth:    We    can    die    in    an    instant    with    no    warning    or foreknowledge Jesus   provided   us   with   a   parable   (The   Rich   Man   and Lazarus)   to   give   us   insight   into   the   finality   of   physical death,   the   consequences   of   sin   and   the   inability   to   go back    and    “fix    things.”        A    rich    man    who    experienced “worldly    things”    in    life,    died    and    found    himself    in    the flames   of   Hell.      While   Lazarus,   a   sick   beggar,   died   and found    himself    in    Heaven.        The    rich    man    realized    the eternal   severity   of   his   mistake   and   desired   to   warn   his family, but it was too late. “There   was   a   certain   rich   man   who   was   clothed   in   purple and   fine   linen   and   fared   sumptuously   every   day.      But there   was   a   certain   beggar   named   Lazarus,   full   of   sores, who   was   laid   at   his   gate,   desiring   to   be   fed   with   the crumbs   which   fell   from   the   rich   man’s   table.      Moreover, the   dogs   came   and   licked   his   sores.      So   it   was   that   the beggar   died,   and   was   carried   by   the   angels   to Abraham’s bosom.      The   rich   man   also   died   and   was   buried.      And being   in   torments   in   Hades,   he   lifted   up   his   eyes   and   saw Abraham   afar   off,   and   Lazarus   in   his   bosom.      Then   he cried     and     said,     ‘Father Abraham,    have    mercy    on me,   and   send   Lazarus   that he    may    dip    the    tip    of    his finger   in   water   and   cool   my tongue;   for   I   am   tormented in   this   flame.’      But Abraham said,   ‘Son ,   remember   that in       your       lifetime       you received    your    good    things,    and    likewise    Lazarus    evil things;   but   now   he   is   comforted   and   you   are   tormented.     And   besides   all   this,   between   us   and   you   there   is   a   great gulf   fixed,   so   that   those   who   want   to   pass   from   here   to you   cannot,   nor   can   those   from   there   pass   to   us.’      Then he   said,   ‘I   beg   you   therefore,   father,   that   you   would   send him   to   my   father’s   house,   for   I   have   five   brothers,   that   he may   testify   to   them,   lest   they   also   come   to   this   place   of torment.’      Abraham   said   to   him,   ‘They   have   Moses   and the   prophets;   let   them   hear   them.’      And   he   said,   ‘No, father   Abraham;   but   if   one   goes   to   them   from   the   dead, they   will   repent.’      But   he   said   to   him,   ‘If   they   do   not   hear Moses   and   the   prophets,   neither   will   they   be   persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”  Luke 16:19-31 2nd Death When    compared    to    the    other    two    types    of    death,    the second   death   is   the   worst   form   of   death…because   it   is   an eternal    death    of    the    soul—tormented    day    and    night forever and ever—because our soul will never die. Those   who   are   born   again   will   not   experience   a   second death.  “He   who   has   an   ear,   let   him   hear   what   the   Spirit   says   to the   churches.      He   who   overcomes   shall   not   be   hurt   by   the second death.”  Revelation 2:11 “Blessed    and    holy    is    he    who    has    part    in    the    first resurrection.      Over   such   the   second   death   has   no   power, but   they   shall   be   priests   of   God   and   of   Christ,   and   shall reign with Him a thousand years.”  Revelation 20:6 “Jesus   said   ‘I   am   the   resurrection   and   the   life.      He   who believes   in   Me,   though   he   may   die,   he   shall   live.      And whoever   lives   and   believes   in   Me   shall   never   die.’   ”      John 1 1:25-26 “He   who   overcomes   shall   be clothed   in   white   garments,   and I    will    not    blot    out    his    name from   the   Book   of   Life;   but   I   will confess    his    name    before    My Father   and   before   His   angels.”     Revelation 3:5 Those   who   are   not   born   again   will   experience   a   second death. Jesus   said   “And   do   not   fear   those   who   kill   the   body   but cannot   kill   the   soul.      But   rather   fear   Him   who   is   able   to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Matthew 10:28 “The   devil,   who   deceived   them,   was   cast   into   the   lake   of fire   and   brimstone   where   the   beast   and   the   false   prophet are.      And   they   will   be   tormented   day   and   night   forever and ever.”  Revelation 20:10 “Then   Death   and   Hades   were   cast   into   the   lake   of   fire.     This   is   the   second   death.      And   anyone   not   found   written in    the    Book    of    Life    was    cast    into    the    lake    of    fire.”    Revelation 20:14 “But   the   cowardly,   unbelieving,   abominable,   murderers, sexually   immoral,   sorcerers,   idolaters,   and   all   liars   shall have    their    part    in    the    lake    which    burns    with    fire    and brimstone, which is the second death.”  Revelation 21:8 The Narrow Gate and the Broad Path I   mentioned   earlier   that   every   person   that   has   entered into   this   world   since   Adam   has   been   born   with   a   sinful nature—which   results   in   spiritual   death.      However,   there is   One   who   has   entered   into   this   world—not   born   as   an act    of    procreation    between    a    man    and    woman—but conceived by the Holy Spirit.  “Now   in   the   sixth   month   the   angel   Gabriel   was   sent   by God    to    a    city    of    Galilee    named    Nazareth,    to    a    virgin betrothed    to    a    man    whose    name    was    Joseph,    of    the house    of    David.        The    virgin’s    name    was    Mary.       And having   come   in,   the   angel   said   to   her,   ‘Rejoice,   highly favored   one,   the   Lord   is   with   you;   blessed   are   you   among women!’      But   when   she   saw   him,   she   was   troubled   at   his saying,   and   considered   what   manner   of   greeting   this   was.     Then   the   angel   said   to   her,   ‘Do   not   be   afraid,   Mary,   for you   have   found   favor   with   God.      And   behold,   you   will conceive   in   your   womb   and   bring   forth   a   Son,   and   shall call   His   name   Jesus.      He   will   be   great,   and   will   be   called the   Son   of   the   Highest;   and   the   Lord   God   will   give   Him the   throne   of   His   father   David.     And   He   will   reign   over   the house   of   Jacob   forever,   and   of   His   kingdom   there   will   be no   end.’      Then   Mary   said   to   the   angel,   ‘How   can   this   be, since   I   do   not   know   a   man?’     And   the   angel   answered   and said   to   her,   ‘The   Holy   Spirit   will   come   upon   you,   and   the power    of    the    Highest    will    overshadow    you;    therefore, also,   that   Holy   One   who   is   to   be   born   will   be   called   the Son of God.’ ”  Luke 1:26-35 As   such,   God’s   Son   was   not   born   with   man’s   sinful   nature and   was   sinless.      “Who   committed   no   sin,   nor   was   deceit found   in   His   mouth.”   (1   Peter   2:22)      Jesus   Christ   was   the one    and    only    perfect    sacrifice    for    the    sins    of    all    who believe.      His   reflection   of   God   was   demonstrated   as   He was   being   crucified   between   two   criminals.      One   taunted Jesus.      The   other   recognized   who   Jesus   is   and   what   was occurring,    had    a    repentant    heart    and    asked    Him    to remember   him.      Consider   the   heart   of   Jesus   as   He   told him   he   was   forgiven…for   this   is   the   glorious   grace   of   the God we serve! “Then   one   of   the   criminals   who   were   hanged   blasphemed Him,   saying,   ‘If   You   are   the   Christ,   save   Yourself   and   us.’     But   the   other,   answering,   rebuked   him,   saying,   ‘Do   you not    even    fear    God,    seeing    you    are    under    the    same condemnation?      And   we   indeed   justly,   for   we   receive   the due   reward   of   our   deeds;   but   this   Man   has   done   nothing wrong.’       Then    he    said    to    Jesus,    ‘Lord,    remember    me when   You   come   into   Your   kingdom.’      And   Jesus   said   to him,   ‘Assuredly,   I   say   to   you,   today   you   will   be   with   Me   in Paradise.’ ”  Luke 23:39-43 There   are   a   lot   of   obstacles,   challenges   and   temptations in   life—all   competing   for   our   attention—and   all   seeking   to control   who   and   what   we   are.      But   when   you   stand   back and   look   at   the   big   picture…none   of   these   truly   fulfill   the deep   desires   of   our   heart   and   soul…and   leave   us   empty on    the    inside.        These    things    are    only    a    diversion,    a distraction    and    a    delusion.        The    only    thing    that    has present and eternal value…is what we do for Him. Jesus   said   “Enter   by   the   narrow   gate;   fo r wide   is   the   gate   and   broad   is   the   way that   leads   to   destruction,   and   there   are many   who   go   in   by   it.      Because   narrow is   the   gate   and   difficult   is   the   way   which leads   to   life,   and   there   are   few   who   find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14 Do you know Jesus? When    you    die…what    will your   headstone   say?      Will it     be     based     upon     your earthly     accomplishments?     Or   will   it   reflect   whom   you will be with for eternity? Jesus   lived   and   died   a   sacrificial   death   for   your   sins   so that   you   can   be   forgiven…past,   present,   future   and   for eternity.      Believe   in   Him;   extend   your   faith   in   Him;   place your trust in Him; and give your life to Him by praying: Holy   God,   I   am   a   sinner.      Jesus,   I   believe   you   died   and paid   the   price   for   who   I   am   and   what   I   have   done.      I   want to   trust   and   follow   you   as   my   Savior   and   Lord.      Holy Spirit,   I   invite   you   to   come   into   my   heart   and   life   and change   me   from   within.      Thank   you,   Jesus,   for   providing a way to restore my relationship with God.  Amen. All for the Glory of God! Harold D. Thomas
Thought-Provoking Questions The    purpose    of    the    questions    below    is    to    facilitate    a deeper    understanding    of    the    Bible,    this    Bible    study content,   and   ourselves.      The   questions   may   be   answered by   each   reader;   or   used   by   a   Bible   study   group   leader   or church    pastor.        The    following    questions    should    be answered   or   discussed   after   reading   “Managing   Anxiety During the Pandemic.” There   are   two   types   of   questions:   lesson   and   opinion.     Lesson   questions   (preceded   by   a   number)   are   provided an   answer.      Opinion   questions   (preceded   by   an   “O”)   are designed   to   enhance   learning   via   the   determination   of opinions    and/or    discovering    how    the    lesson    content illuminates   our   personal   lives.      As   such,   no   answers   are provided Questions    (Do    your    best    to    respond    to    each    lesson question before looking at the answer.) 1.  What are the 3 types of death? 2.  When does each occur? 3.  Explain how separation occurs with each type of death.  4.  Which of the three types of death is worse?  5.  Does every human have a sinful nature, and is every human guilty of sin?  O  Did Jesus Christ have a sinful nature and did He sin?  Consider the following before you determine your answer. All humans are conceived by a man and a woman. Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-35).  “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.”  1 Peter 2:22. “A lamb without blemish and without spot.”  1 Peter 1:19 If Jesus had a sinful nature and committed sin, would He had been a perfect sacrifice for our sins? O   Why did Jesus say we must be born again? O   Jesus said to enter by the narrow gate.  What did He mean and what is the relevance to each of us?  Answers 1. Page 2: Spiritual, Physical and Second Death 2. Page 2: Spiritual at conception, Physical when the body dies, and Second after the body dies. 3. Page 2: Spiritual and Second = separation from God.  Physical = soul + spirit separation from the body. 4. Page 5: Second death because it is an eternal torment in the lake of fire—with no hope. 5. Page 2: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Death spread to all men because all sinned. (Romans 5:12) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8).  The questions may be viewed and downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on this button.