Person one (the believer): You're going to die. No, in fact, this is terrible.. you're already dead!
Person two (the non-believer): What are you talking about? I'm surely alive!
Person one: No friend, I mean you're spiritually dead, and you need to come back to life.
An interesting title way to tell a friend about death? I agree! At first you're going to get some strange looks telling others they're already dead, when you can clearly see for yourself that they're alive. But then again, we're looking at this from an earthbound perspective. What if we were looking at it from a spiritually enlightened, Biblical perspective? Let me first say that the first part of this post is meant to show that death in the Christian worldview -and even more so for the Christian themselves- is more of a spiritual liberation than a bondage; a sure guarantee of resurrection (see this in depth treatment off-site: ReasonableFaith: What Happens When We Die) When the soul has given up the house they lived in, or when the Lord has called them home, the only thing left is an empty shell of sinful flesh. For every Christian out there this takes a rather assuring turn. Our bodies and souls are constantly at war with each other, and in our daily lives as Christians we should be letting the spirit lead the body. But what about when it’s our time go go? What about the unborn children that never got a chance at life? In both cases, death serves as a spiritual liberation from sin instead of as a bondage. For the Christian who strives to live a godly life, we shall temporarily be in Heaven, experiencing freedom from sin, like iron filings to a super magnet; with all the unseen glories of heaven, we really should have zero worries about passing on into the afterlife. The real Christian hope for immortality is physical, bodily resurrection into an incorruptible, eternal flesh. With this new, glorified body, sin won’t exist in that, either! We’ll rise like Christ himself. What could be greater?!
At this point I should address more important questions: what about unborn children or those who died young? What about women who miscarried, or a person who’s mentally disabled and has no capability to recognize he/she needs salvation? Let it be known: the Bible does not specifically tackle these issues. However, that does no damage when there are passages that make it clear what God’s view of a child in the womb is (see Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13-16, Exodus 21:22-25). For things that aren’t explicitly stated in the Bible, the next viable option is to do some deeper digging, particularly either in a Biblical principle that’s in scripture, or relying on philosophical theology. In such cases like rape and incest, should abortion really be the first option? As horrible as it is for a woman to be impregnated by a rapist, there are other viable options. A child in the womb does not have to suffer at the hands of the woman’s decision, whether it be for the sake of convenience or otherwise. The child can still be given up for adoption to a childless family, or put into foster care, thus giving them a fair chance at life. For women who have had miscarriages, there is no need to worry, for your child has simply gone back to the Lord; the child in this case suffers no harm because they’re spared a life that would have been filled with suffering (or at least would have witnessed plenty of it). The same goes for the child that died young, and the disabled person who has no mental capability to recognize that he is born in a sin filled world, in need of salvation.
Finally, I think it’s appropriate to address the case of death for the non-believer; there are two particular cases for this: the non-believer who rejected the Gospel, and the non-believer who never even heard it in the first place. For the latter, they’ll be judged by God based on how they responded to the law written in their hearts (Hebrews 10:16). But for the former, everything takes a literal turn for the worst. As Christians, we have the truth with us and are only responsible for warning a sinner the first time around. We are not responsible for their perpetual disbelief. Jesus himself told each one of his disciples to “shake the dust off of your feet” (Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:4) if the Gospel was not welcomed or rejected in a home. Where the Gospel was accepted and received with joy, the disciple was to stay and teach them. Jesus’ words still apply to modern Christians today. We have no further responsibility once the Gospel is rejected the first time around. Of course, if that person turns around at some point later in time, then they’ll be fine, but for the one who has died in disbelief, they will suffer and even greater death by being thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 21:8, 20:15).