- a cessation of existence – described by God as a return to the dust. “. . . till you return to the ground, for out of it were you taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
- a consequence of our descent from Adam “For as in Adam all die . . .” (1 Corinthians 15:22).
- a punishment for sin “. . . as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). “For the wages of sin is death . . .” (Romans 6:23).
- described as a perpetual sleep (Jeremiah 51:57) from which escape is only possible by resurrection. Consequently there is no consciousness, thought or activity when dead. “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished . . .” (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6). “And if Christ is not risen . . . those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Corinthians 15:17,18).
- described as an enemy, which, in God's purpose, will be destroyed. “For he (Jesus) must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:25,26).
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(Quotations are from the New King James Version of the Bible)