The moment you take your first breath of life, you also take your first breath toward death.Willie Keys
Apart from physical death, the scriptures mentioned a second type of death— Spiritual death. The separation from God that the soul experiences upon entering the material plane leads to spiritual death. In essence, every person born on this planet is spiritually dead.
Spiritual death pushes the soul away from God’s divine essence. And to be in communion with him, it is necessary to alleviate one’s spiritual death.
What is Spiritual Death?
According to Don Stewart, spiritual death is when a person is physically alive but dead spiritually. All of us were born spiritually dead, separated from God.
We came to life spiritually dead because of sin. We inherited our fallen nature from our parents. The death sentence was pronounced when Adam and Eve sinned.
All other humans, except the Lord Jesus Christ, were born with their sinful nature. Hence, we came into this world spiritually separated from God.
In Christianity, there are two main kinds of spiritual death. The first is caused by the soul’s separation from God and is a natural part of life. The latter happens when a person commits sins that separate them from God.
A person who is spiritually dead tends to show disinterest in spiritual pursuits and does not understand and accept spirituality. The benefits of leading a spiritual life don’t carry any weight to someone who is spiritually dead.
Spiritual death eliminates the possibility of living an eternity with God and Jesus. Instead, this results in an eternity in hell, alongside people who never accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Avoiding spiritual death is a gift from God. God sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay for our sins. Jesus’ shedding of blood and his vicarious death reconciled us to God.
It is free to inherit the Kingdom of heaven and save yourself from spiritual death. You can’t buy, bargain, or work for it. You must accept Jesus as your Savior, Lord, and God’s son with your mind, heart, and soul. Once you’ve accepted him with all of you, the Holy Spirit will be with you.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints differentiated spiritual death into two forms.
The first is temporal death, the separation from God the soul experiences upon birth caused by the original sin. Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit. Then, they lied to God about their actions.
God punished them. God’s punishment caused them to age and live a mortal life. It also brought about spiritual disentanglement from God.
This punishment was not reserved for Adam and Eve. All their descendants – every human born on this planet, must die. The original sin is what led to physical death for humans.
The second is a spiritual separation from God’s spirit (influence), rooted in individual sins.
While every living person will die eventually, their actions within their lifetime are their own. Misusing their free will leads to immoral lives and causes the second Spiritual Death.
The Causes of Spiritual Death
While it is our separation from God and our sins that cause spiritual death, there are also other causes that we must look out for.
1. You lack intent.
Your intention decides how you will strive in life and how you’ll create your fate. If your intentions are not strong, you will face problems and might fail in life.
Most of us are resigned to our mundane routine and think it is our fate. Though we face many life problems, we never intend to find answers to those questions.
We even see other people gaining from awakening their spiritual side. But we remain apathetic about it or never force ourselves to take the path.
Lack of intent can make a person lead a life without any motivation or cause. Not only spirituality, but they also may not achieve anything they could savor while taking their last breaths.
2. You have zero compassion.
Compassion makes a person respond to others’ miseries and suffering, while a non-compassionate person never shows any sign of assisting others.
They don’t make an effort to at least bring solace to souls. Their ego and pride enchant them.
Such deeds keep them from spirituality because they never find it a virtue. On the other hand, a compassionate person lends a hand to people facing difficulties. They empathized with them and provided whatever help they could muster.
Lacking compassion is like living without belonging to the world around you. You are pleased with yourself and think you have all the answers. This attitude kills every bit of spirituality inside you.
3. Apathy toward learning.
Interest in learning makes you look for the answers you have been struggling to find. You can learn from so many things in life. From your close friend to a spiritually awakened guru, anybody could become a teacher if you are prepared to learn.
Most of us never try to learn from anything. We become addicted to our intelligence and ego, thinking there is nothing to learn in this world. Our ignorance makes us arrogant whenever someone tries to impart wisdom to us.
Refusing to open yourself and your mind will make you spiritually dead forever.
4. You do not have a sense of repentance.
We all make mistakes and commit sins that distance us from God’s path. But repenting for your misdeeds or sins would invoke a sense of responsibility in you.
If you never repent for the sin you have committed, you will keep repeating the same thing.
A person lacking in repentance would never hesitate to sin. They will execute sins without any shame or regret. This person will never find fulfillment or be spiritually awakened.
Signs You are Spiritually Dying
Monica Rodgers explained that spiritual death could also be referred to as the dark night of the soul. The time when you are at your lowest point and doing everything to survive while questioning the reason for your existence. Here are the signs of spiritual death, according to her.
- You feel a deep sense of loneliness, which often results in despair. Your sadness could be triggered by your life’s situation, humanity, or the world.
- You feel unworthy of being here.
- You constantly feel lost or consigned to a life of emptiness and suffering.
- You feel powerless and are on the verge of losing hope.
- You have no will, and your self-control diminishes, making it difficult to act and decide for yourself and even explain your situation to others.
- You lost your interest in anything.
- You long for the loss of something intangible and think that living is harder than dying.
On the other hand, Richard Stevens III gave 9 signs of spiritual death which are mostly related to our connection to God and the way we live our spiritual lives.
- You rarely have a spiritual conversation.
- You are not interested in spiritual activities.
- You don’t fully participate in worship.
- You can no longer give to the Lord as He prospered you.
- You have a negative perspective of Bible study.
- You only interact with Christians on Sundays and Wednesdays.
- You never seek or find an opportunity to evangelize.
- You are more enthusiastic about going to work than church services.
- You believe you have to repent but will not.
Spiritual Death and Rebirth
In the Christian scriptures, rebirth is the process or idea of salvation or accepting God and Christ into their lives again.
The doctrine of washing off all your sins and being born again by accepting Christ as your one true Savior. There isn’t any ritual or path taken to reach this except truly having faith in God.
People who are born again have experienced a big change in heart. They become eager to listen to the voice of the Spirit, the Light of Christ, the prophets, and the scriptures. They are willing to be the light shown to them by God.
Rebirth in this context is not a physical one where your flesh is reborn; rather, a person’s spirit and being is wholly accepted.
A spiritually reborn person has turned their back on mundane emotions, such as lust, greed, hatred, selfishness, and temptations. And replaced them with wisdom, compassion, and understanding.
Despite being a normal part of life, death is something that humans would rather not discuss. We fear death as if it’s an antagonist that will bring us misery. But no, death, like life, is a meaningful phenomenon.
With death comes new beginnings. And undergoing spiritual death is a reminder that there’s still God, waiting for you to grab his hands to return to his side. You must let go of everything stopping you from reaching out to him.
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