I have taken a lot of heat for daring to assert that II Pet 3:8 might mean what it says, that is, a 1000 earth years is a day to God. Some expositors want to make Peter’s words mean that God has no regard for time. I take it to mean that God actually views 1000 years as one day. The truth of this can be seen in the fact that Adam died when he was 930 years old. In God’s view Adam therefore died in the same day that he sinned (Gen 2:17). If 1000 years is a day, then 930 years from Adam’s sin would qualify as the day in which Adam ate of the tree, and he died the same day. Some have contended that Adam died spiritually in the same 24 hour day in which he sinned, but that was not the penalty for sin. God never threatened to punish Adam with spiritual death. God’s actions in Genesis 3 shows that His intent was that Adam would die physically, for He cut Adam off from the tree of life in order that Adam might experience physical death (Gen 3:22-24). Men do not inherit Adam’s sin, and men do not die spiritually because of Adam’s sin, at least not directly. However, every man dies physically as a direct result of Adam’s sin (Gen 3:19). Some conclude that Rom 5:12 is regarding spiritual death because Adam and Eve hid themselves from God and were thus separated from Him. While it is true that they hid themselves from God, that was not the physical death that both of them were promised. Spiritual death did not pass upon all men as a result of Adam’s sin, because we don’t inherit Adam’s sin, nor are we forced to sin. Millions of people (idiots and babies) that never sinned die physically every year. Even though they never sinned, they die physically. Spiritual separation from God was never given as punishment. Physical death was. Like Paul says, he was alive to God once, apparently when he was an infant, then sin revived in him at his age of accountability, and he died (Rom 7:9). Paul was a baby born without sin. Then sin came alive in Paul’s life and he died to God.
Spiritual death is not what Paul has in view in Rom 5:12. He is talking about the common problem of man–everyone dies physically. THAT is the universal problem that Adam has brought upon men. Not everyone dies spiritually. However, physical death is a universal problem brought to all by the first man. It has a universal solution: salvation through the second Adam, Jesus. In Jesus there is a reversal of what Adam did. It starts with the last and goes back to the first. Salvation (eternal life) started with the Last Adam in the first resurrection and it goes back to Adam at the general resurrection. Likewise, in Jesus he who is last, will be first. The Jews who were God’s people first will be saved last (Rom 11:26). The Gentiles who were last have been saved first. Adam, who was first, is to be subordinate to the second man, Jesus (Eph 1:21). Because of the Second Adam, at the resurrection our last enemy will be destroyed (I Cor 15:25-26), and that enemy is physical death. Our bodies literally come forth from the grave. Our flesh literally rises from the dead as Christ’s flesh arose. We literally come to life again in substantial, material bodies (Rom 8:11).