My birthday is this month. Not sure what day it is though. I’ll be 30…or maybe I already am 30. Naw…I think it was mid-January or later. I remember the occasion of my birth…I just didn’t note the day.

Many of life’s milestones are in multiples…second and third marriages; second, third or more children; setting a new and different course in a career, multiple times. Those first and last milestones of birth and death, however, are generally considered to be singular.  Can a man enter a second time into his mother’s womb? as a ruler of the Jews once asked. Obviously not. But just as a second marriage isn’t a repeat of the first, one can experience a second birth that is different from the first but a birth nonetheless. And that’s what I’m celebrating this month.

Interestingly, there is also a second death which some will experience, and the evidence suggests that each of us will experience either a second birth or a second death, but not both. Born twice, die once. Born once, die twice. This second death is described as a lake of fire, but the incendiary imagery may be more for effect than existential accuracy. The “death” part as well appears not to be a ceasing of existence but a separation of the body, the resurrected body, from the Spirit of God. Forever.

I recognize that many of the “enlightened” ones pooh-pooh such a backwards concept as a spiritual destination of judgment, doom, and despair. Who can blame them?  It is, after all, the stuff of myths and ancient fables, with as many differing depictions as there are religions and cults. Yet, if it’s all a haul of hogwash how do you explain the multitudes of very sane, smart folks who accept the concept as reality?

It’s something to think about anyway as we begin another new year that for some will be their last on this earth. Will there be one death for them or two? And for every single one of us that first death will come some year…some day. I pray you meet it as reborn, so that you will not be among the redied.