And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Note 15 at Joh 11:26: Some people have interpreted this verse as saying that it is possible to never die. Therefore, there are people today who believe that they will live physically until the Second Coming of Jesus, even if that is thousands of years away. Although it is understandable how someone could interpret this verse in that manner, it is very doubtful that this was what Jesus truly meant.
First, a doctrine as profound as this would certainly be well documented in other scriptures. Other scriptures may sometimes be quoted as supporting this claim, but they would not lead people to this conclusion by themselves. There would already have to be a prejudice in favor of this stand within people to lead them to interpret these scriptures in this light. That is not a sound method of Bible interpretation.
Also there is not a single scriptural example of anyone who obtained this. That should make people suspect of this teaching. Enoch or Elijah might be cited as examples, but they were translated so that they didn't die (Ge 5:24 and 2Ki 2:11). They are not still in their physical bodies on this earth.
This type of belief would have to conclude that Peter, Paul, and many others lived far below their privileges as New Testament believers. While it is true that the only perfect one is Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we are admonished to follow Paul's example (1Co 4:16 and 11:1). He is not still on the earth in his physical body. No other New Testament saint from hundreds of years ago is still alive either, or someone would know about it.
There have been periods in church history where certain truths were suppressed, such as the baptism of the Holy Spirit or healing, and then revived through a move of God. But there was always a remnant of the church that continually experienced these blessings of God. That cannot be shown to be true with this belief that believers can remain on the earth in their physical bodies until Jesus comes. To receive this doctrine as truth, one would have to say that this generation can attain something that no other Christians have ever attained.
Therefore, this passage of Scripture concerning never dying is generally accepted as referring to the eternal life that we receive at salvation. The promise of never dying spiritually is made many times in Scripture, and it is promised to every believer.