When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and, by so doing, took into themselves the sin nature of the devil, God’s ultimate response was to put them out of the Garden of Eden. Why so harsh? Couldn’t He just overlook it? Such a tiny infraction really, eating a piece of fruit. Come on! In our eyes, God WAY over-reacted.
This is what God had to say about the situation, but see that you read it carefully or you’ll miss the whole point;
The LORD God said, “Since man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil, he must not reach out, and also take from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”
(Genesis 3:22 HCSB)
“The man has become like one of us.” Before the fruit, Adam had been like God, the three in one. Now, he was only like one of them. Adam had become an isolated individual. In addition, he now knew the difference between good and evil. Because He ate from Satan’s tree, Adam took into himself the nature of Satan, so he also had the sin nature to contend with. In the words (more or less) of Frank Viola, “Which is stronger, the nature of a man or the nature of an angel?” The nature of the angel is stronger by far, and Satan’s nature is to do evil. So here is Adam, with the knowledge of what is good and the desire to do good, but the nature of the devil living in him overpowering his desire. In this state, the worst thing that could happen to Adam was to have taken fruit from the Tree of Life and become immortal.
Why? For two reasons. First (because it’s simplest), Adam, as a mortal, could die and be no more. Do you remember in my first post on this topic that the serpent said to Eve, “Dying?! You do not die.” (Young’s Literal Translation) This was a lie.
By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”
(Genesis 3:19 NLT)
. . . . And this is My rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.
(Ezekiel 18:4 NLT)
“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
(Matthew 10:28 NLT)
It’s not the purpose of this post to discuss whether the unredeemed will suffer continual conscious torment in hell forever, however the above are among the simpler verses which tend toward the idea that those who refuse repentance will ultimately be destroyed and be no more. The human soul, from my study of the scriptures, appears to be mortal unless enlivened by the Spirit of Christ.
And that brings us to the second reason Adam’s having eaten from the Tree of Life after his fall would have been an even worse disaster than the first. I’ll discuss that in my next post.