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Why do Christians die?

Submitted: 2/23/2011
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Question: Why do we who have been washed/cleansed by the blood of Jesus (made righteous) experience the first death. The wages of sin is death, but Jesus took our sins upon himself and he died in our stead. I am confused as to why we must physically die since the penalty (being death) was paid for?

Answer: In 2 Timothy 1:10, Paul wrote that when Jesus came He 'abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.' Simple observation tells us that this cannot be speaking of the death that ends our physical life, since all believers since the day of Pentecost have eventually died (except those who are alive today). The key is in the statement that the gospel brings 'life and immortality to light.' The gospel promises everlasting life only after there has been a death and resurrection. By definition, there cannot be resurrection until after there is first a death. The message of Jesus Christ therefore anticipates that the physical death will remain in effect.

This means that the death that Jesus abolished included the 'second death' but not the first. Revelation 20:6 says, 'Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power.' For those who are not sure as to what the second death is, Revelation 21:8 says, 'But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'