28. Death is the natural consequence of Sin and is caused by persisting in Self-centered rebellion.

For sin pays its own wage; the wage is death. But God’s gift to us is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. {Romans 6:23}

Have you figured it out yet? Do you know who has the power to totally separate you from God’s gift of eternal life and destine you to extinction, the Death of body and soul?

You. Only you have the power to destroy your body and soul by irrevocably cutting yourself off from the Source of Life. Technically, God also has this power, but you are His precious child, and there is nothing you can do to make Him sever His connection with you. He loves you with an everlasting love, even if all you ever do is spit in His face.

In Ezekiel 18, the Bible records God’s anguished cries over His wayward children, the ones He loves so much who refuse to repent: “Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you Die? For I take no pleasure in the Death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!”

Obviously, God cannot be referring here to the Sleep that we often call "death." No matter what the people of Israel did, no matter if they were righteous or wicked, they all eventually went down to the grave. They all closed their eyes and entered that time of restful pause. They are all now Sleeping in the dust.

God wasn't begging them to avoid Sleep; He was begging them to reconsider their rebellion. He was begging them to return to Him, to trust Him, and to submit to Him. He was begging them to let Him restore them and give them new hearts and right spirits. Without this, Sin will eventually pay its wage, which is Death, total extinction. But there is no need for this, especially when God is longing for us to cling to His gift—eternal life in Christ Jesus.

If you want to dig deeper—
Proverbs 19:16
Ezekiel 18:20-24, 31-32
John 10:10
Revelation 20:6, 14
Revelation 21:8