The Bible presents death as a separation: physical death is the separation of the soul from the body, and spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God.
Death is the result of sin. "For the wages of sin is death," Romans 6: 23a. Everyone is subject to death, because everyone has sinned. "Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death passed to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12) In Genesis 2:17, the Lord warned Adam that the penalty for disobedience would be death - "you shall surely die." When Adam disobeyed, he experienced immediate spiritual death, which caused him to hide "from the presence of Jehovah God among the trees of the garden." (Genesis 3: 8) Later, Adam experienced physical death (Genesis 5: 5).
On the cross, Jesus also experienced physical death (Matthew 27:50). The difference is that Adam died because he was a sinner, and Jesus, who had never sinned, chose to die as a substitute for sinners (Hebrews 2: 9). Jesus then demonstrated His power over death and sin, rising from the dead on the third day (Matthew 28, Revelation 1:18). Through Christ, death is a defeated enemy. "Where is your sting, O death, where, O sepulcher, is your victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:55; Hosea 13:14)
For the unsaved, death puts an end to the possibility of accepting God's free offer of salvation. "And in the manner that is established for men to die once, and after this judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). For the saved, death brings us to the presence of Christ: "to be absent from the body, and present to the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5: 8, Philippians 1:23). So real is the promise of the resurrection of believers that the physical death of a Christian is called "sleeping" (1 Corinthians 15:51, 1 Thessalonians 5:10). We wait for that moment when "there will be no death" (Revelation 21: 4)
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