David Jeremiah, the pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, preached about what the Bible says about death and offered tips for overcoming fear, shedding light on common anxieties many believers have about dying.
“We were all born spiritually dead because spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. And when you are born, you do not have a relationship with God except for the protective custody of those who are under the age of accountability. We know about that. But spiritual death is simply your soul being separated from God," the 81-year-old pastor said in a sermon he delivered last year.
“You don't have any relationship with Him. You don't have fellowship with Him. We are separated from Him because of sin. And the Bible says the wages of sin are death,” he added.
Jeremiah, who also hosts the radio program "Turning Point,” said there are three types of death: There is physical death, which is the separation of the soul from the body; spiritual death, which is the separation of the soul from God; and second death, which is the separation of someone's soul from God forever.
“There's a third kind of death that's mentioned in the Bible. And let me tell you something, this is the one you don't want to mess with," he warned. "You don't want to experience this of all the other things I've said so far. Please make sure you don't get on this list. It's called the second death and we read about it in the book of Revelation."
“'Anyone not found written in the book of life [will be] cast into the lake of fire.' The last form of death, the second death, is the final banishment from God," he said.
In order to live forever in the presence of God, Jeremiah said, a person has to have two birthdays.
“You have to have your physical birthday and you have to have a spiritual birthday. If you are only born once, you will have to die twice. But if you are born twice, you will only ever have to think about dying once. That's the fact of death and the faces of death,” he pointed out.
Christians should never have to be tormented by the fear of death, Jeremiah assured.
“There are only two ways you can ever face the future no matter what it is. You can face the future by faith or you can face the future in fear. And if you know the Word of God, you will not have to be afraid. And there are several reasons why you won't have to be afraid of death that are presented clearly in the Word of God,” Jeremiah said, citing Hebrews 2:14-15.
The No. 1 reason Christians shouldn't be afraid of death, Jeremiah said, is because “the prince of death has been defeated.”
“The author of the book of Hebrews declares that Jesus has conquered death by death, and has freed us from the fear of death. He says in the book of Hebrews that there are some people who live their whole lives in bondage because of their fear of death,” the A Life Beyond Amazing author continued.
“Jesus took the weapon of Satan and defeated him with that very weapon. The cross must have seemed like the ultimate victory for Satan. But it was precisely the opposite. When Christ by His own death paid the penalty for our sin, He took the sting out of the devil's condemnation,” he added.
When Jesus stepped out from the open tomb on Resurrection Sunday, Jeremiah said, “Satan's defeat was absolutely certain, his weapon of death had been destroyed.”
“He is still alive and active, but his failure is a foregone conclusion. He has to settle for winning the little battles because the war he started has already been lost to him forever. When Jesus came out of the grave, victorious over death, he took death out of Satan's weaponry, and he can't hurt us with it anymore,” he added.
Another reason Christians shouldn't be afraid of death is that "the power of death has been destroyed,” Jeremiah said, citing 1 Corinthians 15.
The Bible states that “‘death has no part of any future that belongs to any believer.’”
“The Bible says when we get to Heaven, God will ‘wipe away every tear from their eyes and there shall be no more death,’ not even physical death. The prince of death has been defeated. The power of death has been destroyed."
Jeremiah further mentioned that the process of death has been described for every Christian.
“People want to know what's going to happen after a person dies, and all these wonderful books have been written by people who come back from the grave. I don't know what to think about most of those,” Jeremiah said. “But I don't have to read some modern book to know what happens when you die because the Bible tells me.”
When a believer dies, “the angels come and carry that believer to God.”
“When any of us who are believers pass from this life to the next, Almighty God dispatches angels to convey us into His presence. On that journey, Christians will experience none of the travel worries we face. You won't get lost. I'm very thankful for that one. You won't miss the bus. There's no waiting for the next plane,” Jeremiah said.
Jeremiah added that many Christians are not afraid of death in itself, but they have fears about the process of dying.
“God has a special angel assigned to bring you home," he assured. "And in the face of such assurance, why should you be afraid? The prince of death has been defeated. The power of death has been destroyed. The process of death has been described. And finally, the picture of death has been developed."
“Dying for a believer is not anything for us to fear. First of all, the angels come and get us, and it's only a temporary moment that we walk through to the other side,” he added.