That is, what happens between our death and the Ressurection?
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After reading all the comments about: "What happens after death", points me to the Word...Ecclesiaste 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgottens. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” Believers must be careful when using one or a handful of verses written to prove a point of doctrine, especially when the language used is ambiguous. The apostle Peter warns us in 2 Peter 3:15, 16, “As also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” If we aren’t careful, we might end up twisting Paul’s writings to our own destruction. Instead, we must be critical about the text and examine it to see what it truly says. We see that the text in 2 Corinthians 5:8 does not say that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. One does not equal the other. Here is the entire passage in question so that we can understand the full context: “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:1–8). Paul likens our existing mortal bodies with an “earthly tent,” and says we should not worry if it is destroyed because we have a “building from God” that awaits us. The context does not support the claim that we will be in God’s presence without a body; rather, Paul simply says we will not have THIS body. He likens our bodies to clothing that we must wear. In verse 4, Paul specifically says he does not want to be unclothed (without a body), but rather further clothed (different body). That’s quite a different picture than a disembodied spirit that lives on after death! When we compare this language to 1 Corinthians 15:51–54, also written by Paul, it becomes even clearer. The passage reads: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ” Here, as in his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul uses clothing imagery to describe our bodies. We currently wear a mortal body, but in God’s presence at the resurrection we “must put on” an immortal one. So Paul makes a true statement when he says he prefers to be absent from the body and … present with the Lord. When we stand in God’s presence, we will not be in the same body we have now. And the Bible tells us that this transformation will happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. Although we all will die, we will sleep in death, and the next conscious thought we will have after death is when Jesus sounds the trumpet of God, when we are raised from the dead, when we put on immortality forever. When we consider all of Paul’s writings as a whole representation of his theological position, we see that his position on life after death supports the notion that deceased people go to sleep at death and await their bodily resurrection at the return of Jesus Christ.
When a doctrine seems stretched, as the idea does of a temporary holding bin of torment or paradise until resurrection, I suspect it is an attempt to fit God in a box. Difficult bits in scripture are places where our worldly understanding simply falls short of God's greater system. Rather than trying to see these matters in terms of what it would require us to reconcile in our world, sometimes it helps to first postulate that God is infinite and His truth is too. The usual answers to this question apply a perspective limited to temporal existence, but I speculate that what happens after death cannot be described in terms only of what we experience in life. In this world we have very limited perception and substance; we experience life through time in a physical body unable to sense reality fully. This is not the case with God, nor (I think) with spiritually aware beings like angels and dead people. God certainly does not experience time as past/present/future; to Him all is present. He is omnipresent in time as well as space, which is why He calls Himself "I AM". He is not "I WAS" or "I WILL BE". Our perception of time may be very different after we die, as will our bodily existence. There is no contradiction in saying that we will immediately be with Christ and that we will be resurrected on the Last Day. Both are supported by scripture. Keep in mind that Christ is always with us; it is merely our inability to sense His existence that prevents our perception that we are, even now, with Christ. To die is gain because we will see and feel what has been our real environment all along. Resurrection into the new Heaven and Earth cannot happen until the Last Day because the current creation has not yet been done away. At death, our physical bodies are done away, but our spirits need not sleep or float about disembodied. If our sense of time takes on a spiritually aware mode similar to God's sense of time, we will perceive the Last Day and the moment we die physically both as events in the present. We will "know Him as He knows us"—I don't think it means we will be omniscient; our eyes will simply become opened to a much less limited reality in space and (more importantly in this question) in time. What happens after death, I conjecture, is immediately experienced and permanent, with no need for soul sleep or Purgatory or a temporary pre-heaven/hell. Believers in Christ instantly see Jesus and are resurrected into a greater paradigm than this Earth and universe on the Last Day, but we may not perceive it as a later event than the moment of death because past and future tenses may lose their meaning in eternity. If so, nonbelievers have the same translation, but theirs is into instant and permanent regret, experiencing death, separation from God, and resurrection into eternal punishment as the same moment in the present tense. After death, reality truly becomes real, which is why we must view our lives in this world as the temporary version. Immediate or after a temporary sleep or situation, it really won't matter. Destination matters.
In my readings, scripture indicates that we will die and our next conscious moment will be in the sight of Jesus. But I also agree that other scriptures can lead us to believe it might not be that simple. Bottom line, we will never know for sure what actually happens in between so I guess we are to mainly just focus on where we will end up at the time God opens thes doors to Heaven, no matter when that is. It is so interesting to try to figure out the exact answer, but I also believe this is an area where God may not want us to exactly understand everything completely, and just have faith, that no matter the path we take to end up in His Glory, the bottom line is that if we believe, we WILL spend eternity with him.
Well. I am not totally sure if we go to Heaven immediately or not but with the work Christ done for me on the cross I definitely have fire insurance.
1+1=2 1- The breath of life 1- The body (Dust) 2- A living soul And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7. A body without the breath of life is just a dead body or dust that will “return to the earth as it was after death.“Ecclesiastes 12:7. The breath of life is just that if it is not in a body. A living soul must be a combination of body and breath of life. It was only after the breath of life was breathe into the body the man became a living soul. Therefore, a soul is a combination of the two. Removing one from the other destroys the soul. So the question still remains, what happens after death. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:7. What is the "spirit" that returns to God at death? "The body without the spirit "breath," is dead." James 2:26. "The spirit of God "the breath which God gave him," is in my nostrils." Job 27:3. The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life. Nowhere in God’s entire book does the "spirit" have any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. It is the "breath of life" and nothing more.
What Happens After Death… What happens when we die… For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.. Ecclesiastes 9:5 Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go. Ecclesiastes 9:10 His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Psalm 146:4 So man lies down, and rises not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. Job 14:12 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Acts 2:29 For David is not ascended into the heavens: Acts 2:34 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them who are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them who are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1Corinthians 15:50-53. If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man who is in heaven. John 3: 12-13
He was made a threefold being-- body, soul, and spirit (1Th. 5:23; Heb. 4:12). The soul and spirit (inner man) leaves the body immediately at death (Jas. 2:26; 2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Eccl. 12:7; Num. 16:22; 27:16; Lk. 8:49-56; 16:19-31; 23:43; Rev. 6:9-11; 1Ki. 17:20-22; 2Sam. 12:19-23). At physical death the immortal soul and spirit of the righteous go to paradise (Lk. 23:43; Eph. 4:8-10), while those of the wicked go to hell (the torment compartment of sheol-hades) to await the resurrection (Ps. 9:17; Isa. 14:9; Lk. 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15) Souls of the righteous have eternal life even after the body dies (Jn. 3:16; 5:24; 6:47, 53, 63; 11:25- 26 14:19). Souls of the wicked are also conscious after the body dies. Souls of the righteous go to heaven at death (2Cor. 5:8; Eph. 3:14- 15 Php. 1:21- 24 Heb. 12:23; Rev. 6:9- 11). Their bodies go to graves (Dan. 12:2 Jn. 5:28- 29). Souls of the wicked go to hell while the bodies go to the grave (Isa. 14:9; Lk. 16:19- 31 Rev. 20:11- 15). The body is the house of the inner man (Job 4:19; 14:22; 32:8; Zech. 12:1; 1Cor. 2:11; 2Cor. 5:1- 8 Php. 1:21- 24 2Pet. 1:13- 15). The soul and spirit design; the body executes. Man through his body has consciousness of the material world; through the soul, self- consciousness; and through the spirit, consciousness of God. Man has a body but he is not just a body; a soul but he is not just a soul; and a spirit but he is not just a spirit being (1Th. 5:23). Man has a will, making him in every sense a free moral agent and a responsible being (Jn. 3:16; 7:17; Rom. 7:18; 1Cor. 7:36- 37 9:17; 2Pet. 1:21; Rev. 22:17). The body can be put off and put on again (2Cor. 5:1- 8) Resurrection of the dead refers to the bodies coming to life again, not the souls (Dan. 12:2; Jn. 5:28- 29 1Cor. 15:35- 54 Rev. 20:11- 15).
A Christian who passes away goes instantly to the Judgement Seat of Christ for rewards and from there into His Eternal Presence, SPIRITUALLY! At the Rapture the body will be reunited with the SPIRIT (not the old embalmed or decaying body, but a NEW MODEL) caught up to meet Jesus in the air! It is a SPIRITUAL happening! Just think, a NEW MODEL, fresh off God's assembly line!
There is no "death" for a child of God we never die. Our bodies are just a temporary container for our spirit and soul...2 Cor 5:1...they may waste away but a believer will not For anyone that believes in Jesus never dies but has already passed from death to life! [Jhn 5:24 NIV] "Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Whether we go to be with Lord or we go to the temporary location with Abraham, it'll be much better than living here on this earth as it is now and better than where the unbelievers will go! Praise the Lord!
This is simple. IF you keep to what the New Covenant reveals. AND if you let God define the answers where He has spoken clearly. Cults, divisions, and denominations arise when we insist on setting aside passages that are clear, in favor of speculations about the meaning of passages that are not clear. 1. When anyone dies, they immediately go somewhere--either to conscious ease, or to conscious torment: "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' 25 "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' 27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'" (Luk 16:19-28 NIV) Note: There is no other passage to compare with this one, where none other than the Lord Jesus tells us what happends when people die. They are conscious--either in torment, or in rest. "But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell." (Pro 9:18 KJV) Note: the (wicked) dead are in hell. Here is activity in Hell, when a notable person goes there: "Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones." (Isa 14:9 NAU) " I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better." (Phi 1:23 ESV) Unless a person comes to this with an agenda, it is obvious what it is saying--when a Christian dies, he goes to be with Christ. "And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise." (Luk 23:43 NAU) Jesus is THE authority: if he says the man who is about to die will be in Paradise that very day, that is what it is! "we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord." (2Co 5:8 NAU) Again, unless one comes to this verse with an agenda that makes it hard to accept what it says, the obvious meaning is that when a Christian dies, he goes to be at home with the Lord. "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" (Rev 6:9-10 KJV) Note: this is before the resurrection: the souls of dead Christians are conscious, and speaking--just the same as with Lazarus and the rich man. 2. At the end of the world, the bodies of every person that has ever lived shall rise again. They shall stand before God for judgment. Those who are written in the Lamb's book of life shall enter into New Jerusalem, to dwell and worship forever in the presence of God without suffering; those who are not written in the Lamb's book of life shall be cast into the lake of fire, to tormented under the wrath of God forever. "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt." (Dan 12:2 NIV) "Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." (Joh 11:23-24 KJV) "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." (1Co 15:20-23 KJV) Note: BTW the resurrection of Christ, who is the firstfruit, was bodily: "Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace to you." 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." 40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, "Have you any food here?" 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence." (Luk 24:36 NKJ) Our resurrection therefore, being like his, will be bodily. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1Th 4:16-17 KJV) "we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Rom 14:10-12 KJV) Note: the fact of the believer facing judgment is often not taught in the American churches. "When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world....Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels!".... "And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."" (Mat 25:31-45 NET) "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev 20:10 NKJ)
Putting all Scripture together on this subject, it would seem that when a believer dies he does not go directly to the Bema of Christ, or the judgment seat of Christ. There is a time delay, (see above answers). It seems the best fit is that the Bema occurs some time during the seven year tribulation. Remember, Christians are NOT judged for their sin as Christ took care of the sin of those who believe in his work on the cross. Christians will be "judged" for their works for Christ and there are five crowns that we can earn or qualify for. Meanwhile, unbelievers are still in the "place of the dead" or Sheol. That place has remained unchanged apparently since the beginning of time. OT believers went there too, but in the part of Sheol called Abraham's bosom. When Christ died He went to preach there. Then apparently, He took believers up to that time, out ("took captivity captive"), to be with Him. Yet to come is our eternal home, the holy city New Jerusalem in which there are three classes of people: angels, OT saints and NT saints. What wonderful things we have to look forward to! There is lots of Scripture for this, but didn't want to take up so much room. Thanks for listening.
Yeshua responding to the current dogmas : dead are dead, dead go to Abraham's bosom. Yeshua said: Mat 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Mat 22:33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. Luke 20:38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. Luke added For all Live unto Him! Yeshua said to the theif that was about to die: Luke 23:43 To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. To die is to be with him - The rest is summed up in John 3:16 For this world has been judged.
What could possibly come after death I believe is the resurrection. Death is the cessation of life - the very opposite of life. In death there is no knowledge or memory of anything at all. Death is synonymous to sleep. You don't know how much time you spend in sleep not until you wake up. The same is true with death, by the time we die, we lose our consciousness, all memory is forgotten - and the next moment is the resurrection! As Paul says in Hebrews 9:27,"Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment." Paul knew that when he die, he will be facing Jesus Christ in the next moment of his consciousness, because in death he knew that there is no knowledge of passing time, whether the resurrection happens 100 or1000 years later. Paul makes it clear then of what he is saying in 2 Cor 5:6-8:"...to be absent (in death) from the body, is to be at home (at the time of resurrection) with the Lord." And in Phil 1:23,"having a desire to depart (die) and to be with Christ (at the resurrection) which is far better." As for the living, we know that Paul is still dead and buried like king David awaiting for that great moment - The great day of the Lord - when the dead will rise from their graves to inherit eternal life. Paul goes on to explain in 1Thes 4:14-17, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those who have fallen asleep (died) in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we tell you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God's trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the lord in the air. So we will be with the lord forever." Now this is Paul's own words speaking about the first resurrection which will take place when the lord returns in his glory bringing back to life the dead in Christ - to inherit eternal life. This is the moment Paul is waiting. In Hebrews 9:27, Paul is referring to temporal death or the first death, then judgment after the second resurrection which will take place after the 1000 year reign of Christ here on earth. Rev 20:5, 'but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished (verse 4). 11 'And I saw a great white throne... 12 and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life..' -This is the second resurrection Paul is referring to, after death is judgment. This is how God is bringing everyone to justice, by raising the rest of the dead back to physical life. Those who are neither saved nor lost will be given a chance or a second chance for salvation while the wicked will be thrown into the lake of fire. They will be turned into ashes (Mal 4:1).There will not be anymore a resurrection in the lake of fire.
The story of the rich man and Lazarus tell us what happens when we die. Luke 16:20 the rich man was taken to Hades and Lazarus was taken in Abraham's blossom.
I believe we must consider the meaning of "death". When God forbid Adam and Eve from eating of the "Tree of Life", he said if they did so they would surely die. Did he mean they would "cease from existence?" They ate and what happened? They died. They became separated from God. They lost connection with God that they previously had. In this case they kept their personalities, and their connection with their physical bodies. Their eternal spirits given by God from God himself became separated from God Death in the human experience simply means the soul and spirit becoming separated from the physical house which they dwelled in. The body does not have personality, or the ability to sustain or generate life. That part of man came from God and as the wise man says in Ecclesiastes, at physical death, "the spirit returns to God who gave it". It remains to be seen how much we will remember from our experience in the physical body. Paul says, "we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face." We shall be known as we are known. Much of what remains for us is a mystery to us. As believers in Christ, those saved by God, our eternal future is in his hands. We will live with God in his prepared place. We can only imagine the glories that await us in the future.
I believe that it's in good faith that we try to find answers to these matters but as the scripture says "... now we know in part..." -1Corinthians 13:9-10. I believe that this question is part of what we shall know in full "when the perfect shall come". So I would concern myself with doing the will of God -obeying His Word in totality and then await His decision after death.
Before we answer this question, let us ask ourselves what is death? Throughout scripture it speaks of separation. Solomon the preacher said "and the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7 ASV). It would be good for readers to know that the God of the Bible is the Creator of all life. There is no life without him. Every living person lives because of him, irrespective if he believes in the God of the Bible or not. When a person dies his spirit goes back to the one who gave it and his body to where it came from. The question "What happens after death?", does this refer to Believers only? If we would first look at where the unbeliever would be after death it would help us to know where the believer would be. Scripture is very clear that all life would go back to God, believer or not. God is the God of light and darkness. It is my understanding that all the spirits of the dead would be with God waiting resurrection, the just and the unjust. But the resurrection would be in different stages. There would be first the resurrection of the believers, than the resurrection of unbelievers. The bible speaks of the coming of a Jesus in the Clouds of glory with the saints of God to reunite them to their bodies which will be changed from moral to immortality, this is the first resurrection of the just. At the first resurrection of the just there would be a judgement for rewards and crowns given. Thereafter there would be a presentation of the Bride (Church) by the bridegroom (Jesus) to God the Father. All the Just from the old and New Testament would than reign with Jesus their King in his Kingdom for 1000 years. Than there would be a resurrection of all unbelievers or the unjust who would be judged for rejecting the SAVIOUR. The destiny of the unjust would be the Lake of fire. After the 1000 years, the earth would be destroyed by fire and there would be a new heaven and a new earth where the saints would dwell with their King and lord for eternity. There would be many stages that follow after the resurrection of the just and the unjust. Further, the bible says "absent from the body, present with The Lord."
When we die, we go to the grave and return to the dust again like the beast. (Psalm 49:14, 19-20; Psalm 89:48; Job 34:15).
Well you either go into Paradise or Torment. Then when Jesus comes back, we will then be given our heavenly bodies and those in Paradise will go into Heaven, those in Torment, will go into Hell.
Few questions will ever receive such wide interest! One thing that we seem to agree on is that we have differences of opinion here! One gets the feeling that we are so entrenched into our own beliefs that we may never embrace other views. I am African, and I can tell you all my friends that the basis of all forms of ancestral worship is the notion that when we die we are not really dead. That the "spirit" ascends to a higher level of consciousness, becomes superior, wiser and benevolent. Elaborate rituals are conducted regularly to please them so that they can look after you. I am sure all Christians will immediately say this is unBiblical. I agree with all you, but don't you think the same notion that a part of us lives on after death plays into the same tune as ancestral worship? If you want to kill off ancestral worship remove the "spirit" living after we die and there is no more argument. Another thought, what does this imply about the death of Jesus on the cross? Jesus did not really die! Who benefits from casting doubt on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross? I wonder. Just my humble thoughts to be considered by all the well read contributors to this question.
Christ during His incarnation existed as a hypostatic union of two natures. Human and God together without mixing. 100% God and 100% man. When He died on the cross the deific nature did not die, but the man. If God could die He would not be God. The man nature was only able to survive the wrath of God being poured out on him because of the strength of the God nature.
My problems or questions with the prevailing views on the "intermediate state" after death have been as follows: 1) If there is an immediate afterlife of the disembodied soul, in which the soul possesses all the essential elements of "personhood" (such as intelligence, memory, senses, and the ability to recognize others), why is the subsequent resurrection of the body (even if in immortal, "glorified" form) necessary? What would it add to our eternal existence that we did not already possess? 2) On the other hand, if the soul "sleeps" after death awaiting the resurrection of the body, then, in my view, "eternal life" would not really be "eternal": There would be an indeterminate interval in which we would have no conscious existence. This seemed to me to contradict passages of Scripture (such as 2 Corinthians 5:8) that clearly indicated an immediate post-death experience. (In my view, the common explanations of advocates of "soul sleep" as to their interpretation of these passages could either be refuted from Scripture, or were based on incorrect readings of the original text.) A reference that I have found that resolved this issue for me in a sound, well-reasoned manner that was consistent with Scripture was the free e-book Journey Out of Time by Dr. Arthur C. Custance. This book is fully viewable online at http://www.custance.org/Library/Journey/ Briefly, Dr. Custance contends that, the instant we as Christians die, we enter eternity, and therefore time will no longer exist for us. There will thus be no interval in which an "intermediate state" in disembodied form can occur. Instead, we will find ourselves immediately present at Christ's return in our resurrected, glorified bodies, along with all the rest of the redeemed from eternity past to eternity future, who "arrive" simultaneously with us. To those we leave behind on earth, our bodies will appear to be lifeless, but that is because those we leave behind are still "trapped in time". When I first encountered this viewpoint, I thought of several passages of Scripture that seemed to pose problems with it, but Dr. Custance's book addressed these texts in a well-reasoned, defensible, Scripturally-consistent manner. To me, adopting this perspective combines the Biblically-supported assurance of an immediate, conscious afterlife in God's presence for the believer with elimination of the temptation for those on earth to resort to the unscriptural practices of involvement with spiritualism in an attempt to contact the dead, or of praying to the souls of the dead to mediate or intercede for them with God. I recommend this e-book to anyone interested in this question. It has given me peace, comfort, and joyous expectation in dealing with death that I had not been able to find previously.
For those that believe in heaven after death, please ponder this: There is a sequence that God has in place that needs to transpire prior to anyone seeing God, it is called prophecy. I believe we all know what lies ahead because of the foretold prophesies that have been preserved for us. God only dwells with man after the 1000 yr rein of Christ, when all the enemies (including death) have been made a footstool. John wrote in Rev 21:3, God will dwell with his people, but "only" after the 1000 yrs reign has come to pass. If we are in God's presence at death, then this verse makes incomplete sense, a lie really. Why would John teach us God dwells with his people after Christ's 1000 yr rein, if we are in God's presence immediately at death? 1 Tim 6:16 also comes to mind. God "alone" is the only immortal. I find it incomprehensible to think otherwise.
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