Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 21 Number 6 June 2019
Page 16

Questions and Answers

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What Is the Second Death?

Louis Rushmore, Editor

Louis RushmoreThe phrase “second death” appears in four verses (Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:9). The first death is the physical death with which we are all too familiar and over which we sorrow when our loved ones pass away. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV). Physical death occurs when the physical side of man—his fleshly body—and the spiritual side of man separate. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). The body returns to the earth and the spirit or soul returns to God at death. “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

The second death will occur following final Judgment when the unrighteous are separated eternally from God. “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Revelation 20:14). “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” (Revelation 21:8). At the Second Coming, Jesus Christ will approach the unrighteous “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). The second death is a figurative reference to hell.

Can a Church Leader
Have Physical Infirmities?

Louis Rushmore, Editor

Can a eunuch, a lame person, a blind person, and a cripple or a mute lead the church in any position like a preacher, a deacon, an elder or a song leader? May You support it with the Scripture.

The biblical qualifications for a man to serve as an elder or as a deacon pertain to his character and experience (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9), rather than inclusive of his physical prowess. The apostles did not stipulate any physical criteria in Acts 6:1-6 for the selection of deacons to serve widows of the Jerusalem church. Regarding a eunuch, some of the qualifications for elders and deacons require them to have children, which a eunuch could not father. However, a man can be a father to children despite them not being his seed offspring (e.g., adoption). Biblical references to preachers, likewise, pertain to their appreciation of “sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1) and their proclamation of the Gospel of Christ (Romans 10:13-15), rather than consideration of whether they are an ideal specimen of physical perfection. The apostle Paul, for instance, apparently had poor eyesight (Galatians 6:11) and additional physical imperfections (2 Corinthians 12:5-9). Timothy had some kind of stomach ailment (1 Timothy 5:23). Song leaders are only instructed in Scripture to lead “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16) and to take turns to avoid confusion (1 Corinthians 14:26-33), rather than required in the New Testament to be perfect examples of manhood.

Under Judaism in the Old Testament, priests were required to have no physical imperfection (Leviticus 21:17-23). However, the Old Testament has been replaced with the New Testament (Romans 7:6-7; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14), and the New Testament does not include references to physical perfection as a requirement to be a church leader. Consider this also. All Christians (men and women) in a spiritual sense are priests under Christianity (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6). If New Testament priests were required to possess physical perfection, many Bible believers would not be permitted even to  become Christians. Physical perfection is neither required under Christianity to become Christians nor to serve as church leaders.

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