Since Jesus came to this world the first time and inaugurated the Kingdom of God on earth, the time has come when many “dead” people hear the voice of the Son of God and He grants them eternal life.
Jesus also described a time in the future, His second coming, when people will actually arise from their graves and those who believe in Him will arise to eternal life and those who do not will be condemned and perish: “An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28-29).
So those who hear and believe the message about Jesus, the Son of God, have passed from a state of existence defined by death to a state of existence defined by life (vs. 24). And they start living that eternal life, now.
Believers in Christ are as those who live among the dead, those dead to God because of their unbelief.
It’s almost like the Kingdom of God is being built in a cemetery and its heavenly mission is the recovery of dead bodies!
Yes, the Kingdom of God inhabits a lost and dying world and it is our duty to assist in the recovery effort.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, ESV).