“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5 NIV)
There are two types of death inferred in this passage spoken by Solomon (paraphrased by me)–spiritual death and natural death.
Spiritually speaking–the spirit which God gives goes back to Him when we die a natural death and for some–we are comforted in the fact that our spirits live on until we are reunited with them when Christ returns.
But then there are those who are the “walking dead” whose spirits have never been energized with Holy Spirit infusion and though they live–in the natural–they are dead (not to sin as Believer become when we receive Holy Spirit), and they will not heed spiritual instructions about their lives or what they do. These have no hope of anything, but a fiery lake, created with Satan in mind, and all who follow him.
In the natural death of the Believer–their names are written in the book of life–and though their flesh decays and they return to the dust from which they came, their spirits live on in the minds of those who love them. Believers are dead to sin and choose to know nothing more about actively doing sin. While here on earth, they lived and hopefully made a positive difference in the lives of many–while directing them to the work on the cross. When they are gone–let them go–so they and you can know peace, for surely, if they did not belong to The Lord before they died, they will never know His mercy and grace after they die.
The walking dead–choose to do evil and promote evil. They are self-centered and selfish–their only concern in this life is what they want and they could care less about the impact their actions have on others. These are those who commit atrocious acts of violence against other human beings–for any reason–and then try to justify themselves. These are those who destroy hope in the lives of those who are hopeful. These are those who seek the praise and approval of man over the approval of God. These are those who stop at nothing to fulfill their desire to have what belongs to others. And dead they shall be for all eternity–spiritless, burning forever in the same torment by which they tormented others.
Life is for the living! And those who know The Lord shall be comforted by The Word in knowing that one day, we shall rise and reign with Him forevermore. While we’re here, let’s do all we can to make sure we do not become “the walking dead” with no hope for the dead–as we can see in the media all the time–know nothing.