2 Timothy 4:1 “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; “
1 Peter 4:5 “Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”
Hello readers, today I am talking about “the quick and the dead”. Did you know that you are one or the other right now? You’re either “quick” or you’re “dead”, so which one are you? The difference between being saved and born again and not is the difference between being “quick” and being “dead”. There’s no middle ground, you can’t be part quick and part dead, if you’re quick you’re not dead, and if you’re dead you’re not quick.
I know that there is a movie that is named according to this phrase “the quick and the dead”, and the movie plays on the dual but related meaning of the word “quick”. From what I understand, it’s a movie about gunslingers, where the “quick” are those who survive, and if you’re not quick you die. Because nowadays we use the word “quick” to refer to “fast” or “swift” or “speedy”, but the primary use of this word, particularly in the Bible is to do with being “alive” and “living”. But these meanings are related, because if you are dead, you are not moving anymore. So life and movement and speed of movement are very related.
Think about the contrast though between being “quick” and being “dead”, like if you pinch a dead person, they don’t react, there is no response, they do not move. When someone dies, they go into “rigor mortis”, which is a stage of death where the body becomes stiff and motionless. Because there is no life anymore. And death is an amazing thing, a horrible thing, but amazing because when the spirit goes, all of what is physically you is still there, yet you’re gone. But compare that thought with pinching a living person, because when you do, they react, because they are alive. They feel it, they sense it, and now just think of that in the context of the gospel. Because the difference between the quick and the dead is the difference between saved and not saved, spiritual life and no spiritual life. Quick and dead are that far apart.
What a start and irreconcilable dichotomy is drawn between the two… because until you get saved, you are dead. If you have never been born again, you are spiritually stone dead. Perhaps you’ve heard of the name of the tv series “The Walking Dead”, well that is literally what an unsaved person is. I’m not saying go and watch the show, but that phrase literally describes what you are like in your unsaved state. Of course, you may not be a flesh eating zombie, but until you are saved, you are spiritually dead, and that’s why the Bible is meaningless to you, it’s why you cannot see or understand or comprehend the gospel and Christians who believe it. When you are saved, you are “quickened” by the Spirit of God, you are made alive, and your world changes, beginning with who you fundamentally are, which flows into how you think, how you view things, how you understand things, how you speak and how you live. That comes from a “quickening”. Although many Christians have never been “quickened”, so they live like they’re quick, when they’re dead inside, like the religious people Jesus spoke to in the gospels. We don’t want to produce dead performers, we want a quickening.
Maybe you’ve heard about the “quick of your fingernail” and there’s supposed to be a test for life where to see if someone is alive, you’d stick a needle or whatever in underneath a person’s fingernail, because under your fingernail is incredibly sensitive. If you are alive, there sure will be a reaction to that. But if you’re dead, there will be nothing. In the same way, it’s like this with people and God’s word. I’ve talked to people before and because there is no spiritual life, it’s like talking to a brick wall, and I may as well be, because in their spiritually dead state, they cannot recognize, see, understand God. They don’t “get it” and cannot “get it”. There’s no light on, because there is no light, they have not been enlightened that comes with quickening. That’s not me sitting in judgment and condemning and elevating myself, but I just understand what the Bible teaches about the quick and the dead, because I see it to be true in my life. When you get saved, God completely changes you, and it’s because of the quickening of the Spirit of God. God quickens the dead like he raised his Son from the dead.
Maybe you’ve heard the saying “cut to the quick”, and we use that phrase to describe when someone has been hurt by words or action. Say I insult you about a facial feature or say something deeply personal, you may be “cut to the quick”, hurt by what I said, particularly if it is something you are sensitive to or insecure about. But if you insult a dead person, they will never react… because they’re dead. SO once again, this saying gives that idea that those words or actions cut you to where you “live”. And the Bible itself does cut to the quick, people get cut to the quick by the Bible, because it is not dead words, but spirit and a sword at that. And when it cuts through all that self righteousness and hypocrisy and world of lies you’ve made a bed in… it hurts!
So instead of me just rabbiting on, let’s just consider a few verses. Ephesians 2:1 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” and Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” and 1 Corinthians 15:45 “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” Just think about these verses. It is clear from the Bible that what has made us dead is our sins. We are dead “in trespasses and sins”. Back in Genesis, God said to Adam “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” When Adam disobeyed God and sinned, he died spiritually instantly, and sin and death was passed on to all men, all of us, because we all come from Adam after he had sons in his image. That’s why when we are born, no one has to educate us into sin, it comes naturally to us. Jesus Christ is called the “last Adam”, because where in Adam, all die…but in Christ, all are made alive. Death is in Adam, life is in Christ. The only way we get quickened is through Christ, because he is the life. And hence “God, who quickeneth all things”.
So our sin has killed us, and will kill us, because there’s not just spiritual death and physical death, but also a second death if you do not repent and believe the gospel, if you do not trust in Jesus who “in him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”. Dead men have no life and cannot see light. So if you reject Jesus, it’s because you love death. But Jesus says “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” He can and will quicken you, when you believe on him, the Holy Spirit produces new, eternal life in you… and hence why Jesus could say “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” See, they all physically died whom he spoke to, yet those who believed on him never died! Because physical death for a believer is just a putting off our earthly tabernacle, it’s going to be with Christ, and resting in the sure promise of a new glorified body when he appears the second time.
So today, I hope I have been clear enough and have no convoluted a clear teaching in the Bible about “the quick and the dead”. Note: God is going to judge both. If you are saved, how is your life going? Is your reality “as he is, so are we in this world?”, or are you living in sin when you have been saved from your sins? Why go back to death? Didn’t Jesus go to the tombs and quicken the dead? Remember the man with Legion who met him “out of the tombs”… why was he dwelling among the dead? What about “why seek ye the living among the dead?” Why are we who believe on Jesus Christ seeking life in dead places? God has given us life and yet we get caught up in the death of this world!
So we will be judged, and we can be confident in judgment if “as he is, so are we in this world”. Do you live like “he is?” There is going to be an accounting, how about get the account settled now? If you are saved, you have an outstanding debt to God, a debt that cannot be paid. You need the blood of Christ. You need to believe on Jesus Christ, and you can pass from death unto life. Which is what salvation is, it’s as fundamental a change inside as dead to alive, it’s a resurrection as real as Christ’s. Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” So what are you? Quick or dead? Believe on Jesus Christ. He is the difference between the quick and the dead, and he is the judge of the quick and the dead.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)