Biblically, did God tell humanity that ultimate death is just for sinners (the sinless won’t stay dead)
Biblically, did God promise to humanity that the sinless won’t stay dead, and that God intends for those who are perfectly righteous to live forever?
In Genesis, death comes from sin and only sin
In the book of Genesis, it is implied that Adam (and those after him) faced ultimate/permanent death if and only if they transgressed one or more of God's commandments (i.e. sinned).
- In Genesis, we read of Adam and Eve initially being created by God in a paradise—“the garden of Eden.” They were given an opportunity to sin, in disobeying God’s command to “not eat” of a particular fruit tree (for in doing so, they would intimately know sin/guilt), and Gen 2:17 — “in the day [Heb. “Yom”; i.e. time-period] that you eat from it you will surely die.”
OT prophets: "God will raise up the righteous"
The Old Testament both explicitly and implicitly teaches that God plans on raising all his righteous remnant (Israel) to eternal life. (By contrast, the evil are at best raised up for judgment and second death.)
See full article to discuss 7 examples:
- Example: It is taught in Job, Psalms, Hosea (very early OT writings).
- Example: It is taught in Daniel 12:2.
- Example: It is taught in Isaiah 25:8 & 26:19.
- In Genesis, humans face ultimate death if and only if they were sinners.
- The OT says the messiah will be resurrected.
- Jews expected it.
- The OT affirms God’s omnipotence and omnibenevolence.
This is relevant because God’s people are the sinless; they were those who freely submitted their lives to God (via obedience, animal sacrifices etc.). Even if failing at times (“akrasia”), as the highest cognitive level they made the ultimate decision summit to God’s will for their lives—which is to be perfect. This in turn is relevant because such people will truly be made perfect, and this uniquely predicts a general resurrection only if one’s sinlessness predicts one’s resurrection.
Jesus: “death won’t hold the sinless, just sinners”
Jesus proclaimed to humanity that ultimate death is just for sinners (the sinless won’t stay dead).
This page analyzes four evidences and their relevance:
Biblically, it’s what God WOULD do/say
Biblically, God would uniquely raise the sinless (i.e. ultimately destroy the wicked and preserve the righteous).
- Examples make this clear.
- The Bible says: God wants the righteous to live forever.
- Psalm 97:10 — “He preserves Godly.”
- Ps 145:20 — “He keeps [us] & destroys wicked.”
This is relevant because the biblical report is reliable here.