The majority Christian belief is that Adam’s sin introduced death and pain in this world. But in some fringe heretical beliefs (Full-Preterism, Israel-Only), they say that Adam’s sin only resulted in relational death and not physical death! They say that physical death will never be abolished and that the resurrection is only symbolic! They do not expect a future bodily resurrection of the dead!
In this article, I would like to demonstrate that our Lord Jesus Christ won the victory over Adam’s death in all forms (relational and physical) and that there will be a future bodily resurrection at the end of the world in the 2nd coming of Christ.
When Adam was created, God warned him not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil, otherwise, he would die.
Genesis 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
What exactly happened to Adam when he ate from the tree?
Genesis 3 ” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
They realized their nakedness and were afraid of God. Therefore their relationship with God died on the same day. But what was the manifestation of this relational death?
Genesis 3 “16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return……..22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
As a result of their sin, pain, sweat, toil, and physical death came to this world! Mankind was not allowed to live forever! Their relational death produced all the manifestations of physical suffering and physical death!
Therefore it is very clear that Adam’s sin resulted in all the death, pain and tears in this world. This is why we are all dying in this world because we are all born into Adam’s sin. This again proves that we are not in the New Heaven and Earth as some falsely believe.
Paul confirms the same experience: when a person knows the Law they die relationally and are trapped in the body of physical death!
Romans 7 “9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died…..21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
God’s plan of salvation is through Jesus Christ our Lord!
He sent His only Son Jesus Christ who never sinned but experienced every curse of Adam, including, sweat, pain, toil and physical death – He did this ALL for us!
Luke 22 “4 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Isaiah 52-53 “See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.…..After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.”
Jesus also tasted relational death being forsaken by God on the cross because of our sins!
Matthew 27 “45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).”
Jesus Christ physically suffered and died for our sins, was buried and rose the third day! The reason Jesus rose from the dead was that Adam’s sin had resulted in physical death.
1st Corinthians 15 “20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
If Adam’s death was only relational, then there was no need for Jesus to die and be resurrected bodily. Adam’s sin resulted in physical death and that is why Jesus had to die physically and be resurrected bodily to give us the hope of salvation by faith in Him! Paul said that just as death came through Adam, the resurrection of the dead came through Jesus Christ. Adam brought relational and physical death. Jesus Christ brought relational and bodily resurrection! Jesus Christ will return in the future and raise the dead literally and then the LAST ENEMY of physical death will be defeated.
Before Adam sinned, he was a son of God (Luke 3:38). But after Adam’s sin, his relation with God died and he was afraid because of judgment. Mankind became slaves to sin.
Galatians 4 “6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit who gives us LIFE in our relationship with God who becomes our Father! We are no longer slaves to sin but SONS of God our Abba/Daddy Father!
Romans 8 ” 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory”
When we receive the Holy Spirit by faith in Christ, our relationship with God has been made alive. But the Holy Spirit will ALSO raise our bodies from the dead in the resurrection!!
Romans 8 ” 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
In that future judgment day, all people will be resurrected bodily and judged. Only those who believe in Jesus Christ will be resurrected into glorified immortality.
John 5:28-29 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”
At that great white throne judgment, the general resurrection of the dead will happen and the believers will be saved but unbelievers will be sent to the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the 2nd death (eternal death of the soul in Matt 10:28 where there is no more chance of salvation). Physical death is abolished at the future resurrection.
Revelation 20 ” 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
The believers will live in a new heaven and earth where there will be no more death, pain, mourning, tears or any curse. Adam’s curse will finally be over! We will see God and Jesus face-face having no more relational death and no more physical death!
Revelation 21 “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 22 “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”
The resurrection of the dead was not simply metaphorical or symbolic and this is why the Apostles suffered persecution and became martyrs!
Acts 23 “6 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.”
Philippians 3 ” 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
If the resurrection was simply symbolic or “relational” then there was no need for Jesus to die a horrific death on the cross and there was no reason for the Apostles and disciples to be martyrs. Paul specifically followed Jesus participating in his death and wanting to be part of the glorious bodily resurrection just like Jesus was raised!
We are looking forward to a heavenly kingdom and a glorified resurrected body!
Philippians 3 “18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.“
Jesus destroyed death in His resurrection but then why is death still present today?
2nd Timothy 1 “9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.“
1st Corinthians 15 ” 50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory…..
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.“
Some fringe cults believe that sin does not exist because they think that the law passed away in 70AD and that Jesus automatically took away the sins of humanity without any need for personal faith or repentance. But such teaching is false because Paul said that the Law would only pass away at the final resurrection when physical death was defeated. Physical death exists today and therefore sin and the law still remain until the final resurrection in the future! Paul said that we would receive immortal bodies without sin in the resurrection.
John 3 ” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”