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As indicated in Biblical passages such as 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 and Philippians 1:23, as well as by previous discussions of this issue on this website, believers in Christ are spiritually, consciously present with Christ immediately after death. Therefore, even prior to the resurrection of the dead at the time of Christ's return, it is correct to characterize believers as being with Jesus. At the resurrection of the dead when Jesus returns in glory, those conscious spirits will be reunited with their physical bodies in an immortal form.
That depends. If the person who passes is "in Christ," that is if s/he has heard Christ's word, i.e. as He said in John 5:24, (NLT) “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life." Both in the OT and in the NT faith is the only basis of salvation. Faith is the means by which God's grace in Christ, and with him the blessings of salvation, is received. Eternal life is promised to believers only in John 3:16, 36; John 5:24; John 6:40, 47.
An elder in the Lord mentioned to me indicating, "The deceased is in the Lord's hands," which can have more than one primary meaning. Salvation is offered only by God AND God determines whether a person's response to Christ is genuine. Omniscience would be necessary to ABSOLUTELY KNOW if each individual person responds to God's provision of salvation and the man who God appointed as the judge (John 5:26,27). That one was spoken of by Moses (Dt 18:18-19) and Daniel of the one who is allowed to be in the presence of the Ancient of Days (Dan 7:13,14) for those who had previous exposure to the OT Moses and Daniel are appropriate witnesses. We are obligated to notify the living individual participating in your current discussion of how scripture describes the New birth as it applies to those participating in this discussion. Timing is in the Lord's hands, but even atheist Penn Gillette notes social awkwardness should NOT govern our choices.
The Word of God clearly states that whether we live, we live unto the Lord and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we live or die unto the Lord. In short, we all return back to him when we leave this earth and await the judgement on the Day of the Lord where we then enter into eternal life or death. The Word of God that states that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord does not only apply to believers as the church has taught. We have to get away from leaning to our own understanding, as the body often does, when the bible clearly explains and defines itself if we search it, by giving 2-3 witness accounts of every statement in the Word. God bless.
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