Before sin, Adam and Eve were given conditional immortality based on their obedience to God’s command (not eating of the forbidden tree). They were to continue on living by eating of the Tree of Life as long as they remained in the Garden of Eden. This tree had an antidote for death and its leaves sustained life and immortality. But when Adam and Eve sinned, they were expelled from the Garden of Eden and they lost access to the Tree of Life and thus were subject to death (Genesis 3).
The gift of immortality
About the timing when God will grant the gift of immortality to his saints, the apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian Church wrote, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).
The Scriptures make it clear that the gift of Immortality will be given at the second coming of Christ, for it is then that the “trump of God” will sound, and true believers who have passed away will be resurrected in bodies that are completely free from all signs of corruption.
Then, Christians who are alive and looking eagerly for the coming of their Lord will undergo an amazing change, whereby all traces of corruption and imperfection will be removed from their bodies (1 John 3:2). They will be granted a glorious state (Colossians 3:4) and have bodies “fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21) with “flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). And they will obtain a most incredible experience of being taken from earth to heaven without dying, like Elijah, who was a type of all true believers who will be living when Christ comes again (2 Kings 2:11). Each one of the redeemed will retain his own individual character and will be known to others (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Eternal life to the believers
The gift of everlasting life, which Adam and Eve lost by their sin (Romans 6:23), will be restored to all those who are willing to receive it and prepare themselves for it by devoting their lives to doing God’s will (Romans 2:7; 6:22; Revelation 21:4; 22:2, 3). It will be granted “to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (Romans 2:7 also John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:4).
In His service,