Mankind iscreated for a freely chosen, eternal relationship with a loving God. He could have createdunthinking robots, with no ability to choose -- or made slaves of men, by forcing obedience. Thathas never been God's plan or purpose.
The Tree of (eternal) Life in the Garden of Eden, confirms God's choice for man. TheTree of Knowledge, represents a 'tree of free choice' for man. God did not say, "if you eat fromthis tree, I will kill you". He said, "do not choose to eat from this tree; because that choice willbring certain death!". Suppose we love our children enough to tell them that poison (or drugs)will kill them. Our love for them will not keep them from dying, if they reject the truth. Theirprotection is in whether they love us enough to believe us and obey. Those who reject God'slove and purpose, have chosen to make themselves god of their lives.
The choice remains today: God's gift of life (eternal) OR the death, the consequence("wage") of sin (Rom. 6:23). One cannot reject God's rightful authority over created life, without rejecting eternal life. Still, rebellious men cry out: "I am God!", "I will rule!", "I ammy own creator", "I will decide life and death", "I will judge right and wrong", "there is noGod, but me". Unless they repent of their sin and accept God's offer of eternal life in Christ,they will die in their sin, without eternal life.
Adam and Eve's disobedience opened the human spirit to the rebellious spirit of Satan,who had exalted himself in heaven, and "sought to be like the most high" (Is 14:12-14). Fromthat point, man's freedom to eat freely from the Tree of Life, was blocked. Still, neither the treeor man was destroyed, reconfirming God's continued love and purpose (Gen. 3:22). Sincepeople are born separated from the Tree of Life, they are born without eternal life. Every personmust choose to receive that life in this lifetime. From the beginning, Satan has challenged God'smotives and love, seeking to rob God of his rightful glory and man of his created purpose,through lies and subtly perverted truth : (Gen 3:1-6) "Did God really say you must not eat from any tree?"  -- (Lie: It is necessary tocheck out what God says, before obeying). "You will not surely die"  (Lie: perhaps God liedand there are no consequences). "God knows that when you eat, your eyes will be opened"  (Lie:God's motive is to keep you from what you desire, rather than bless you). "you will be likeGod, knowing good from evil"  -- (Lie: You will be like God, making your own choices --after all, God's choices surely cannot be trusted). "Eve saw that the fruit was [desirable]  (Lie: In her heart, she had already decided to disobey God, and was now trying to justify choosing the lie overGod's truth.
This is the model of all rebellion against God. God might be better understood by man ifdisobedience was simply destroyed, or the Tree of Life forever removed from man's reach. God,however, does not desire the condemnation and death of man. He instead seeks freely chosenlove and relationship. Jesus Christ is the 'Tree of Life' (Jn. 6:35). Those who repent of sin andchoose God, may eat from the 'Tree of Life'. Just as "sin entered the world through thedisobedience of one man (Adam), through the obedience of one man (Jesus), many are maderighteous" (Rom. 5:19).
If a person's rejection of Christ has cut them off from the "Tree of Life", they have"judged them- selves unworthy of eternal life" (Acts 13:46, Jn 3:18). No person is lost anddead because of poor decisions or bad behavior, but because they cut themselves off from the"tree of Life". "God has set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life,so that you and your children may live (Deut 30:19, NIV)