A term which, when applied to the lower orders of living things such as plants and animals, means the end of life. With reference to human beings, however, death is not the end of life. The Bible teaches that man is more than a physical creature; he is also a spiritual being. For man, therefore, physical death does not mean the end of existence but the end of life as we know it and the transition to another dimension in which our conscious existence continues.
The Bible speaks of death in a threefold way: physical, spiritual, and eternal. The first physical death of a human being recorded in the Bible is that of Abel, who was murdered by his brother Cain (Gen 4:8). However, death itself, in both the physical and spiritual sense, is first mentioned by God Himself (Gen 2:17). In the Genesis account of the FALL both physical and spiritual death come as a result of sin (Rom 5:12-21).
Various attitudes toward death are expressed in the Bible, from dread to anticipation. The ancient Hebrews regarded death as entrance into SHEOL, where they were cut off from everything dear in life, including God and loved ones. But God revealed to the psalmist that the Redeemer God is both in heaven and in Sheol (Ps 139:7-8), and He is able to bring a person out of Sheol ("the grave"; 1 Sam 2:6).
Because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23), all men are spiritually dead-separated from God who is the Source of spiritual life. Sin makes a person hate the light and despise the truth; it causes one to break God's laws and to become insensitive to holy things. Everyone who has not been redeemed by Christ is spiritually dead (Luke 15:32; Eph 2:1-3; Col 2:13).
The Bible also speaks of "the second death" (Rev 2:11), which is eternal death, the everlasting separation of the lost from God in HELL. The "second death" is equated with "the lake of fire" (Rev 20:14), "the lake which burns with fire and brimstone...is the second death" (Rev 21:8).
The apostle Paul speaks of death as an enemy: "The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (1 Cor 15:26). In His resurrection, Jesus conquered death-physical, spiritual, and eternal. Through fear of death, men are subject to bondage (Heb 2:15); but "our Savior Jesus Christ...has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim 1:10).