Ministers, pastors, elders, overseers, leaders of churches have made many comments to those who have lost their loved ones prematurely, in a car accident, natural disaster, war, and the like, which have caused more harm than good. What does the Bible really say?
There are numerous passages in the Bible that address the condition of the dead. In general, the Bible teaches that death is a natural part of the human experience after the sinful rebellion of Adam. According to the Bible, the dead are unconscious and do not experience anything. In the book of Ecclesiastes, it is written: “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten” (Ecclesiastes 9:5). This passage suggests that the dead are not aware of anything and do not have any consciousness or perception of their surroundings. The Bible also teaches that the dead will be resurrected on the last day. When the Bible talks about the condition of the dead, it presents it in five senses, (1) knowing nothing, (2) asleep-like state, (3) being powerless, (4) returning to the dust of the ground, (5) and awaiting a resurrection.
Why did God warn Adam about death but not eternal hellfire? Is it justice, was God righteous for withholding eternal hellfire from Adam? Was God lying to Adam when he told Adam, “if you eat from the tree in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die”?
It is worth noting that the doctrine of hellfire, like all other aspects of the Christian faith, should be understood within the broader context of God's character as a loving and merciful God and what the Bible authors meant by the words that they used. While the Bible does speak about the reality of hell (Hades, Sheol, Gehenna, Tartarus and the punishment (eternal destruction) that will be inflicted on those who are condemned to it, it also emphasizes the fact that God is willing to forgive sin and to restore a right relationship with those who turn to him in repentance and faith.