Picture. A man drives car for many years. Gradually car becomes older, older and then man gives up and gets out of car. Before, car moves, makes noises. Now driver leaves, car move none, noise none. We don't cry about car! We know driver is fine! He walks away.
Our bodies same as car. We live in our bodies during life on earth. Then body finish and we get out body. We still real people! We have thoughts, we can react. But we no more in body, no more on earth.
Death means separation. When we die, we separate from our bodies.
In Bible, we learn we have sin nature. What mean ‘sin nature?’ God explain to Noah after Flood: In Genesis 8:21, God says He will never again curse ground because of man, “no matter man’s heart since his youth tends toward evil.” That is sin nature. Important understand ‘youth’ in Hebrew language and culture means late teens and twenties. “Youth” not same as “baby.” “Youth” not same as “child.” “Youth” means about time of bar mitzvah until thirty years old in Hebrew culture. Today most Jewish boys bar mitzvah about thirteen years old. Before, ‘youth’ not until boy begins to grow body hair. God says when person is youth – from that time continuing -- he always tends toward evil.
Mean “tend?” Picture: Car on hill. Car will roll downhill. Car tend roll down, not up. If you push car hard, go uphill, you fight against car tend. Sin nature same as car. Sin nature causes us want easy way, go down. But we can fight sin nature and try go up. Our sin nature encourages us think about ourselves, become selfish, worry about ourselves. We can fight sin nature and try think about others. But always “tend” wins and later we think about ourselves again, worry again. Sin nature leads to fear: fear about future, fear about money, fear about relationships, fear about how you look, fear about everything!
Remember that, but now something new for a minute:
In John 17:3, Jesus says eternal life means knowing Father and Son. “Know” in Hebrew language and culture not mean same as someone you meet at party or in business. “Know” means close relationship same as husband and wife in good marriage. Old Hebrew: “Adam knew his wife and she had baby.” “Knew” idiom for sex in that sentence. Jesus says eternal life is very, very close relationship with Father God and Son. So life means ‘with God.
Death? Death for soul means away from God. Means separate from God. Separate from God mean cannot hear, cannot see, cannot think, cannot feel, cannot react? No, not mean that! Suppose separate from God mean cannot hear, see, think, feel, react – then hell means nothing! Person never feel pain!
In Romans, Paul says before salvation man is ‘slave to sin.’ He also says man ‘dead in sin.’ Can a slave lie still, not see, not hear, not move, not react? No! “Dead in sin” and “slave to sin” mean same: apart from God and sin controls person.
Can person respond to God? Yes. Look Isaiah 1:18 (simple English)
Who God talk to? To Israelite people who are hypocrites, evil, not saved! God invites them come to Him and become saved!
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, everyone who is very tired and carries burden. I will give you rest.”
What Jesus mean? Before this verse, Jesus talks about repentance and following Him. People refuse repent, refuse follow Jesus. So people carry very heavy load – try save themselves, try improve themselves. Impossible. Jesus knows impossible, so Jesus invites people who are so tired with burden, come to Him. Jesus talks to people who are not saved. Jesus knows they can respond to Him if they want respond.
In Bible, death means separation. Never means unconscious (cannot see, hear, touch, taste, smell, respond, think, etc.) . If a person is ‘dead in sins’ means sin controls person and he is separate from God.
In Romans 1, Paul says God’s anger pours out on some people. Who? Paul says when people see truth and push away truth, push down truth, prefer lie, then God’s anger pours out on them. Paul also says every man sees enough truth so every man can choose respond to God. God put truth in creation: evidence in world, in stars, everywhere, so people can see God real. If people refuse truth, then God very angry. God knows every person can choose yes or no about God. Every person, when young adult, is separate from God, dead in sin. God summons people, but most people refuse. They prefer dead in sin; they prefer themselves. Some people respond to God and become alive – meaning they become born again and God adopts them into His family (John 1:12-13).
Many people say if person dead in sins, means cannot respond – person same as body when soul/spirit leave body. But that wrong doctrine. In Isaiah, God summons people who are dead in sins – people who are separate, far from Him. In Matthew, Jesus summons people who are separate, far from Him. In Romans, Paul says everyone has choice because everyone can see truth. Paul also says if person dead in sin then person also slave to sin – sin’s slave. Is slave in coffin, ready bury? No! A slave works hard. So sin slave works hard because heart tends toward sin, same as car roll downhill. Slave not lie down, unconscious!
Death means 'separation.' Life means 'with God.' Physical life means with body. Physical death means separate from body. Bible very clear about that.