DEATH DEFINED IN SCRIPTURE
1) SPIRITUAL DEATH: BEING OUT OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
A) Eph 5:1-14
Verses 1-13 tell Christians to be imitators of God,
i.e. walk in the light - walk in fellowship with
Him, (I Jn 1:6-7). This is a supernatural walk!
Verse 14 tells Christians, NOT THE UNSAVED------CHRISTIANS who are obviously physically alive to
wake-up i.e. arise from the DEAD, and walk in
fellowship with God: LET CHRIST'S LIGHT SHINE ON
THEREFORE A CHRISTIAN IS VIEWED BY GOD AS
TEMPORALLY (not eternally) DEAD WHEN HE IS OUT OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
Dead in this context means out of fellowship.
Out of fellowship means that a believer has sin
in his life which he hasn't confessed and is
therefore not walking in the light but rather
he is walking in darkness. Cp I Jn 1:3-10.
B) SIN AS A SPECIES OF SPIRITUAL DEATH
Sin is a species of spiritual death even in the believer
There are two different ways to live. Man can live
according to the flesh or the Spirit. As to the former
sinful manner of life it must be said that it is not
really life. On the contrary, in its basic nature it is quite the opposite. Therefore Paul says"If you(believers) live according to the flesh you will die."
CpRo8:6a -" The mind of sinful man is death"
2) PHYSICAL DEATH
A)Mt 3:10-12, (Lk 3:9)
Many of the threats voiced against unrepentant
Israel have in view the national calamities that
would overtake them if they remained out of harmony
with God. John the Baptist, for example, spoke of the ax of judgement that was laid at the root of the trees
and which would cut down every fruitless tree so that it could be cast into the fire (Mt 3:10; Lk 3:9).
This by no means should be read as a threat of eternal
damnation, but rather as a warning about the fiery holocaust which engulfed the nation in AD 70 and resulted in thousands upon thousands of deaths.
Mt 3:12 gives the analogy of chaff being completely
burned up & destroyed.(The Greek verb for burn up,
( ??? ? ?? ), is intensive and is normally applied to things which are fully consumed by fire - cp Acts 19:18; ICor 3:15; Heb 13:11; Rev 8:7) This can only refer to temporal judgement and
physical death. The unsaved are not "burned up" - they are not destroyed in hell! In hell one is in the place where the "worm does not die and the fire is not quenched." (Mk 9:44,46,48). But in the national
tragedy of AD 70 the physical lives of many thousands were cut down and destroyed. The reference to"unquenchable fire"
means, of course, that the fire is irresistible and cannot be extinguished untill the chaff is destroyed. The fires of hell are also unquenchable but they are not in view here and they do not "burn up" the lost.
The words of Jesus in Lk 13 "but unless you repent you
will all LIKEWISE perish" refers to physical death.
These verses are within the context of physical death
simply because v.13:1-2 and 4 all refer to dying physically. The word LIKEWISE refers to these instances
of physical death.
Let there be no mistaking this principle: The end of the road for any unrepentant sinner whether saved or unsaved is physical and untimely death.
James points out this principle in Jas 5:19-20:
My brethren (fellow believers) if any among you (believers who have the truth in Christ in the first place - unbelievers don't have the truth and therefore cannot stray from something they don't
yet have) strays from the truth, and one turns him back; let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul, ( = psuchen), from (physical) death, and will cover a multitude of sins.
Compare Jas 1:15 which indicates physical death.
Also Pr 10:27;11:19;14:27; I Jn5:16-17; I Cor8:9-11;11:28-30; Acts 5:1-11; Ez 18:4,20;