God originally created the whole universe, including people, without any flaws. (Genesis 1:31). God made Adam and Eve, the first two people on earth, without sin or any knowledge of evil. They lived in an ideal world without any evil or death. They even experienced the privilege of physically walking and talking with God.
God had given Adam and Eve complete freedom, including freedom to choose whether they would love Him in return and obey Him. To make such a choice possible, He placed one tree in the Garden of Eden from which they were forbidden to eat. He even warned them that death would result from eating its fruit.
In Genesis 3:1-6, we read of their disobedience as they were led by Satan, in the guise of a snake, to eat from this forbidden tree. They doubted whether God really had their best interests in mind and whether what God said was really true. As a result of their disobedience, their open relationship with God was destroyed, causing spiritual death. Evil entered the world, they were driven from the Garden of Eden, and physical death began its work in their bodies.
Like Adam and Eve, we also doubt God’s truthfulness and goodness when we ignore God’s instructions for our lives; we then suffer the consequences; if we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that God actually desires what is best for us and gives us commands for our good.
In Exodus 20:1-19, God gave the Ten Commandments, the basis of how He wanted His people to live. These include commands to worship only God, set aside one day each week to focus on God, honor one’s parents, be faithful to one’s spouse, not kill, not steal, not lie about others, and not to desire another’s wife or property. How do you measure up to this standard? No person, except Jesus, has perfectly obeyed all of these commands. Each of us has, at one time or another, been disrespectful to our parents, or desired what belongs to someone else, or had adulterous thoughts, lied, taken something that does not belong to us, or in some way disobeyed another of these commands. In Matthew 5:21-22 and other Scriptures, Jesus explained that we are guilty if we even harbor an attitude that goes against God’s commands. If I have disobeyed even one of God’s instructions, I am just as guilty as if I had broken them all (James 2:10). Romans 3:23 says that each one of us has fallen short of God’s requirements. If we are honest as we look at ourselves, we will agree with God’s assessment of us in Romans 3:12 – “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
As Adam’s descendants, we inherit his severed relationship with God, as well as a natural “bent” to selfishly pursue what we want instead of yielding to any authority, even God’s authority. We are slaves to sin (Romans 6:16) and cannot please God (Romans 8:6-7). As Isaiah 53:6 says, we have each gone our own way instead of doing life God’s way.
Adam and Eve faced spiritual and physical death as a result of their disobedience. As their descendants, we too, deal with physical and spiritual death. Romans 6:23 tells us we have earned death by our disobedience. If we continue in a spiritually dead condition, we will be separated from God for eternity. This means we will spend eternity in Hell, which will be a place of loneliness, darkness, and intense, unending torment. God made Hell as a place to punish Satan and the angels who followed Satan (Matthew 25:41). However, since we have rebelled against God, this becomes our destiny also, unless we accept God’s solution.
God created us so He would have someone to receive the love that He desires to give. He was not about to give up on us just because Satan led us to rebel. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect, sinless life, and then took the death punishment He didn’t deserve (but we do). His shed blood provides forgiveness for your sins, because He became your substitute on the cross. If you believe this and confess your sin to Him, you can then be alive spiritually and look forward to living forever with God (Romans 10:9-11), which will be wonderful beyond our ability to imagine.