It is true that the Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Those who say such things are gambling the whole of their eternity on the meaning of one word: “death.” They assume it means the “termination of existence,” but their assumption is erroneous, as a little reasoning should reveal.
For instance, Hitler was responsible for the cruel deaths of six million Jews, many of whom were children. Was his death the “wages” of his unspeakably terrible sins? If death is the end, then God will give you the exact same wages as Hitler. That would mean that God is unjust, which is unthinkable.
The person who believes that our demise is the end is in for the shock of their death. Their physical death (separation from their body) is just the beginning. There is going to be a resurrection of every human being, both “the just and the unjust” (see Acts 24:15). This is not referring to the good and the bad, because the Scriptures tell us that there are no “good” people (see Psa. 14:1–3; Mark 10:18). There are only those who have been made “just” before God, by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Through the gospel, God freely justifies all those who come in childlike faith to the Savior. That means He proclaims us innocent—as though we had never sinned in the first place—and we become part of the “just.” However, those who die in their sins, the “unjust,” will “fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). That is a very fearful thing, because He will give them justice—their exact wages due to them—and if that happens, there will be hell to pay. They will be thrown into the lake of fire, “which is the second death” (Rev. 20:14; 21:8).
Revelation 20:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
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