WHAT IS YOUR DESTINY— BORN ONCE AND DIE TWICE OR BORN TWICE AND DIE ONCE!
(Saturday, October 24, 2020)
Born again! – When I was studying the book of Revelation and I came across this saying; “Born once, die twice – Born twice, die once.” I thought about it briefly and realized the spiritual truth behind this saying. I want to share this truth with you today. From the Garden of Eden until now, only two people are recorded to have evaded death: Enoch and Elijah. Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (Genesis 5:24) In other words, Enoch walked so closely with God, that when his life was winding up [365 years; Genesis 5:23], the Lord simply took him. He did not cross the threshold of death. When Elijah had reached the end of his time he and Elisha were walking, and it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. [2 Kings 2:11] Not even Moses escaped death. David’s tomb remains to this day. Death is an inescapable fact of life. Every airplane that takes flight must eventually touch down again, and every baby that comes into this world must one day leave it.
Just as there are two births, the Bible teaches there are two deaths: one is physical, and the other is spiritual. Jesus warned that we are to fear the second death more than the first one. From the beginning until now, the dead have been buried in the ground, swallowed up by the sea, and burned in funeral pyres. The exit of the soul from the body marks what we call death. This is really just the first death. There will be a second death for many.
Daniel prophesied concerning the dead: and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. [Daniel 12:2]
When the wicked dead awake to shame and everlasting contempt, they will taste of the second death. First of all, death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death [Revelation 20:14]. Moreover, the second death is mentioned again in Revelation 21:8, which says, Then the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. The second death is an eternal death from which there is no escape.
Credit & Curtesy: Shalom Family Production
2.0 BORN ONCE AND DIE TWICE
This is the category of persons those who have experienced a physical birth but reject Jesus offer of pardon for their sins. These individuals will die in their sins and forfeit the opportunity to obtain eternal life: (i) Physical Birth, (ii) Physical Death, and (iii) Eternal Death. These persons will die while still in possession of their sins and wait in hell for their individual judgment. Because they rejected God’s offer to remove their sins, these persons will stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgement that is described in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 21. All those who die in their sins without the appropriation of Jesus’ death to remove their sins, will be found guilty and die a second time. This “Second Death,” can only be experienced by the unsaved who have rejected Jesus’ offer to take away their sins.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord. (Romans 6:23). There are several states referred to as “death” in the Bible. There is “physical death”. This is the one we usually mean by the term. The Bible points out that the physical body is dead when the spirit separates from it [James 2:26]. There is also “spiritual death”. This is the state that describes sinners who are separated from God by their sins [Ephesians 2:1;12]. It was in this sense that Adam and Eve died in the very day they disobeyed God. They died spiritually, and also became subject to physical death.
Finally, there is the “second death”. This is the eternal state of alienation from God described in Revelation 20:11-15; the “lake of fire”. There is much we do not know about this last state mentioned, but we do know enough to understand that it would be the worst tragedy to suffer such a plight. There are many passages which describe the “second death” (Revelation 21:8; 20:10; 14:9-11; Mark 9:42-48; Matthew 25:30,41,46; 22:13).
For those born once, they will die twice. At the end of the one thousand year reign of Jesus upon the earth, the unsaved who have been waiting in hell for their judgement, will be raised to life and die a second time when they are found guilty of disobeying God’s command to repent and turn to Jesus. These persons will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire, or Gehenna. [Revelation 20:15] And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. “And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence the earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged, every one of them according to their deeds… and death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:11-15]. How do we get written into the book of life? Thankfully the Bible tells us plainly. We must receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour; “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” [John 1:12,13] And in this Scripture we see the second birth. This isn’t as popular as you might think. The world and those of the world hate Jesus; “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” [John 1:10,11] And without this second birth comes the second death for those who don’t receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour!
Some ask, “How could a God of love allow such a thing to happen?” We look at the universe through the eyes of sinful men. We do not perceive sin the way the perfect righteousness of God does. When we say it does not seem fair to condemn sinners to such, we are doing so from tainted perspectives. If the Lord does a thing, then that thing is just. However, God did love us enough to send a rescuer our way. Jesus Christ died for our sins that we might live. If we turn our backs on Him, then how can we plead “unfair!” when we are condemned in our sins?
3.0 BORN TWICE AND DIE ONCE
There is a curious paradox that is presented in the pages of the Bible that a great majority of people have not understood. Jesus described a physical birth that every person will experience; and a second spiritual birth that is necessary in order to obtain eternal life. Jesus said that because of our sin and sin nature, we are all already under the condemnation of God and dead in our sins. Once we understand who Jesus is and the reason that He came into the world, we have the opportunity to be born again a second time. At that moment, our spirit within that was formerly dead, comes alive: (i) Physical Birth, (ii) Spiritual Birth, (iii) Physical Death, and (iv) Eternal Life.
Jesus told Nicodemus this powerful truth: You must be born again [John 3:7]. According to Jesus here is why we must be born again: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except, a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God [John 3:3]. The way to avoid the second death is to be a partaker in the second birth! Jesus said that there were two necessary parts in being “born again”. He referred to it as “being born of the water and the Spirit”. Unless, we are born again, we cannot see the kingdom of God. You will see in the Bible that Jesus went on to be even more specific about this second birth: Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God [John 3:5]. Not only do we have to be born a second time, but that second birth involves being born of water and of the Spirit. This second birth or new birth is available to all people. The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance [2 Peter 3:9]. He does not want anybody to experience the second death.
Later, following His resurrection, He will send out the apostles to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” [Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15,16]. Obeying His commands, the apostles taught the believers on the day of Pentecost to “repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” [Acts 2:37,38]. When the Ethiopian nobleman heard the gospel and then saw some water, he expressed the desire to be baptized in the water, and subsequently was [Acts 8:35-39]. Saul of Tarsus was told, “Arise, and be baptized, washing away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16). This is how “baptism does also now save (us)” [1 Peter 3:20,21].
Jesus promised to send the Spirit to guide the apostles unto all the truth [John 16:12-14]. When the apostles received and taught that truth, and people obeyed it, they were purified. As Peter later wrote, “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls …for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable, but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.” (1 Peter 1:22,23). Since it was the Spirit who revealed this word of truth, when we obey the word, Jesus said we are “born of water and the Spirit” [James 1:21, 18; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 5:26].
For those who have been born twice, they can only die once. There is no future judgment for those who have experienced this second birth by accepting Jesus’ death on the cross for their sins. They will never die again. If you are not born again, which according to Jesus means being born of water and of the Spirit, then you are on a path to dying twice. The time is now to repent of your sins and experience the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ through baptism in his name and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Be born again!
The present day: every person has the opportunity to hear about Jesus’ death for all sins, accept Him as their Saviour and be saved. If any person dies prior to receiving Jesus as their Saviour, they will be lost forever. This is the First Death. Jesus will return for His church and remove all those who love Him from the earth, taking them back to heaven. Those who have died believing in Jesus will be raised from the dead at that time and also meet the Lord in the air. This is the First Resurrection. The Seven Year Tribulation Period begins. God will bring judgment to the world that has rejected Christ. During this time, a remnant of Israel will receive Jesus as their true Messiah and also be saved. Jesus will return to earth with His redeemed church at the end of the seven year Tribulation. This will begin the one thousand year Kingdom of the Messiah, as promised to David in which Jesus will rule over the earth. Upon the end of the One-thousand years, the unsaved dead will be resurrected to face the Great White Throne Judgement of God as described in Revelation 20:11. This is the Second Resurrection. All those who stand before the Great White Throne are found guilty and cast alive into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death.
The process of being born again is God regenerating us into new creations! “Regeneration is the work of God through the Holy Spirit within a person who has “saving faith,” in which a new nature is given that makes the person capable of doing the will of God. Whereas conversion looks at the salvation experience from a human perspective, regeneration describes the same experience from a divine perspective. While the term regeneration occurs in only one verse to describe this experience [Titus 3:5], it is also described as being ‘born again’ [John 3:3,7].” Being born again, isn’t something we do. It is a spiritual process we experience, and we are never the same. We do make the decision to believe in Jesus and commit to His Way, the Holy Spirit does the rest with the co-operation of our spirit. And then we come to know that we are ‘born again’ because we live in His image and His Holy Spirit tells our spirit that we are His. [Romans 8:15,16]