What if another person could serve the penalty which resulted from your sin? For this to happen, that person could not already be under the same judgment. If you are under a death sentence, you cannot substitute your life for a friend who is also on death row. Under that circumstance your life has been forfeited and is no longer yours. You cannot be guilty of the same crime as the person for whom you are substituting. In addition, you must serve his full sentence. The sentence cannot be renegotiated. Under the New Testament, Jesus suffered our punishment of death so that we could inherit eternal life. Jesus could give His life for ours as He lived a sinless life and did not have to die. The wages of sin is death, but He never sinned. Therefore, His life could be given for ours.
However, if you believe that all humans are born with an immortal soul living within a physical body, you have created a conflict for yourself! Your punishment for sinning cannot be the second death as stated in the Bible, because you are immortal! Therefore, today's mainstream Christianity has changed man's punishment from death to eternal torment in the fires of hell! Consequently, Jesus did not serve your sentence! Jesus Christ should presently be burning in hell and should stay there for all eternity because this is the punishment which is now ascribed to mankind! Dying on the cross is a walk in the park compared to eternal pain in the fires of hell. Under this false "Christian" theology Jesus did not pay the price for your sins. He simply died!
This false belief that nonbelievers burn eternally in hellfire and never die, trivializes the death of Jesus Christ! In comparison to what present day Christian theology holds in store for one nonbeliever, Jesus' crucifixion on the cross is like a mosquito bite! Being crucified daily for a thousand years would be preferable to burning alive for eternity. Christian theologians apparently need this false belief to bring people to Jesus through fear!
The true punishment for your sin is the second death, which is eternal. You never live again after suffering the second death. It is the death which is eternal, not the act and torment of dying by fire! Jesus did indeed serve our penalty when He died as a human being. Therefore, we can now escape the second death and live forever thanks to His sacrifice. Humans who fulfill the requirement of the New Testament do not suffer the second death since their penalty for sinning has already been paid. That New Testament requirement for inheriting eternal life is believing in Jesus as your Savior:
Notice the obvious future tense "but have everlasting life." Everlasting life is something those believing in Jesus Christ will have in the future. It is not a birthright of every human as almost universally taught!
Those who believe the immortal soul myth must interpret perish in John 3:16 to mean something other than death because their "soul" will never perish. One common erroneous interpretation is that it means "spiritual death" or "eternal separation from God." But if the punishment for sinning is "eternal separation from God," then once again Jesus did not serve your punishment! Jesus is not separated from God! He is one third of the Trinity of God!
There are some topics in the Bible which are difficult to understand. This is not one of them! Jesus paid the penalty for your sins. What are the wages of your sinning? Death! What did Jesus do? He died on the cross. Was he a valid sacrifice? Yes, he did not have to die since he came to earth as a human and never sinned. In fact, Jesus Christ is the only human to qualify for eternal life under the Old Testament. That is, the wages of sin is death but He never sinned, therefore He did not have to die. He laid down His life willingly.
The plan of salvation as inspired by God in the scriptures is so incredibly simple! The wages of sin is death, and all have sinned, therefore all are headed for the second death. God intervenes and sends His Son to earth as a human. Jesus lives a sinless life and does not have to die. Therefore, He can lay down His life for ours. He willingly dies in our stead for our sins. Humans who now accept Jesus as their Savior do not die the second death since Jesus took their punishment upon Him. Those who do not accept Jesus as their Savior are not forgiven and must pay the penalty for their sinning, which is dying the second death:
All men are appointed to die only once:
The second death is optional based on whether or not we accept Jesus as our Savior. However, being ignorant, man believes he is immortal due to use of the word "soul" in the King James Version of the Holy Bible and Satan's statement that, "Ye shall not surely die." Man's new plan of salvation becomes extremely complicated as he designs myths to create new punishments for sinning. The true punishment of death as defined by the scriptures is no longer viable because man's "soul" lives forever and cannot die!
However, no matter what mythical punishments men create to protect the immortal soul myth, none of them pass one simple and obvious test. Jesus Christ had to pay the full penalty for our sinning to become our Savior. He had to serve our full punishment. What did He do? He died! He died! Read it once again! He died! The wages of sinning are death, and He died in our place. He is not burning in hell for eternity, He is not eternally separated from God, He did not have to write, "I will not sin" one trillion times, or any other ridiculous punishment! He died. So what happens to those who do not believe in Jesus? Those who choose not to believe in Jesus must pay their own wages for sinning. Therefore, they die! Can this be any simpler? On the other hand, if you are involved with any Christian church, run this simple logic past your pastors and observe how complex their explanations become due to believing the immortal soul myth that all humans are born with immortality!
It is no problem to those teaching the immortal soul myth that their false beliefs cannot be verified through the scriptures. They simply reinterpret the scriptures to support their inherited beliefs. After all, with their numerous doctrinal degrees, they certainly know more than the original authors, whose only motivation and inspiration was God! Thus, perish becomes "spiritual death" or "eternal separation from God." But the Bible clearly warns against making these private interpretations of the scriptures:
The original scriptures are the inspired words of God and need no additional "interpretation" by man. Thus, perish means perish, and the wages of sin is death! The wages of sin is not living eternally in the fires of hell!