In the Bible, human death and judgement for rebellion are associated.
For every individual, death leads to the judgement
From Hebrews 9 (esv)
… it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment …
More than that, we can see when human death is judgement.
From Genesis 2 and 3 (esv)
[Before human sin] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
[After human sin] “Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.
So far, so straightforward.
But what about the argument that death always means ‘sin is present‘? It’s an argument in the opposite direction from the Bible material, which move from sin to death.
And yes, this is a post about young earth creation theories, which say that death is therefore impossible before human sin.
We’re not justified to argue in reverse, and we know this from the gospel.
The gospel of Jesus tells us that all who die trusting Jesus do so in perfect assurance of forgiveness. They certainly die, but not for their sins – it was Christ who died for their sin. In other words, there is at least one situation that uncouples death from judgement. Which means, of course, that there may be more than one such situation.
Perhaps I am mainly writing this for myself, and for thinking it through. That is, it’s likely I haven’t explained every step of the process or all the implications. But if you’d like to comment or ask for some more, go ahead. I’ll see if I make any sense!