Bible Question:

What is the second death in Revelation?

In the New Testament (Revelation 20), it is mentioned that there is no second death for those who are suitable for heaven. It means that there is a second death for those who are not suitable for heaven and they have to take re-birth. The God may take revenge up to 3/4 of a generation. Kindly throw some light on this subject.

Bible Answer:

The term “second death” appears only in the book of Revelation. It appears four times: Rev. 2:11; 20:6; 20:14-15; and 21:8. The first part of the third passage and the last passage define the expression “second death” for us as follows,

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (NASB) Rev. 20:14

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (NASB) Rev. 21:8

That is, the second death is defined as spending eternity in the Lake of Fire which burns forever. Revelation 20:6 tells us that God’s holy ones will not spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.

Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power . . . (NASB) Rev. 20:6

This is wonderful news for everyone who believes in Jesus Christ because those who believe in Jesus Christ are called saints or “holy ones.” “Holy one” is the meaning of the Greek word that is translated as “saints.” In Romans 1:7 we discover that the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome and called them saints.

. . . to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (NASB) Rom. 1:7

Paul also called the Christians in Ephesus, Philippians, and in Colossae by the term “saints.”

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus . . . (NASB) Eph. 1:1

Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons . . . (NASB) Phil. 1:1

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. (NASB) Col. 1:2

Why are those who believe in Jesus Christ called “holy ones”? The answer is found in the fact that all who truly believe in Jesus Christ have had their sins forgiven and God has declared them to be holy and righteous ones. Those who are holy will not be hurt by the second death.

The third passage also promises that anyone whose name is written in the book of life will not spend eternity in the lake of fire.

Then 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. (NASB) Rev. 20:14-15

The first death is our physical death. Those who are not holy, that is, those who do not believe in Jesus Christ and who have not accepted Him as their Lord will die, leave this world, and spend the rest of eternity in the lake of fire. The second death is spending eternity in the Lake of Fire.

Conclusion:

The book of Hebrews tells us that we die only once and then comes judgment.

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment . . . (NASB) Heb. 9:27

We will not experience re-birth or re-incarnation. Scripture tells us that we die once, not multiple times, and then comes judgment. We die and then we are judged. Then God sends us either to heaven or to the lake of fire where we will remain forever. This is a very serious message. It reveals how serious God is about holiness. Anyone can become holy. But we cannot become holy by doing things, helping people, giving money, being kind or polite. We can only become holy by believing in Jesus Christ and letting Him take control of our lives. We would encourage you to read The Rescue May God bless you.

Reference Links:

Peace With God
The Rescue!
Why do bad things happen to God's people?
The King Reigns!