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By OT believers it is assumed that you mean all those who had died not having heard Jesus preach but were believers in God through the Jewish levitical system. What about the vast numbers of non-Jews pre-Jesus? Rom 1:20 takes care of the latter. Of the Jewish faithful, the bible is also clear. 1 Kings 2:10, 1 Kings 11:43, and so on throughout 1 and 2 Kings. When people died, they slept, with the implied expectation that they would be awoken unto judgement Dan 12:2, Heb 9:27. It is judgement that leads to everlasting life, or a death that you can't be re-resurrected from. That judgement does not occur at the point of death, or else there is no reason for Jesus to return to earth 'to judge the living and the dead'. So all the OT folk died like we all do, and await a judgement like we all do. To pin an alternative using a single parable in Luke is dangerous and makes a sweeping doctrine from one colourful story (that's not about the 'after-life'). The truth is, David is not in heaven, and Peter knew this Acts 2:29-34, so if that was the case after Jesus's resurrection, why should we assume we 'go to heaven when we die'? The only difference between Christians and OT/pre-Christians is when they are resurrected to receive their reward or punishment. 1 Thess 4:15-17, Matt 24:27-31 tell us what happens at Jesus's triumphal return to earth. The living believers are transformed into eternal beings, but not before the dead IN CHRIST rise first. Rev 20:4-6, 11-12 states that (along with those martyred) Christians reign with Jesus, on earth, before the final end of days. Then all people, including all OT believers in God, will be resurrected to be given eternal life or the consequence of the lake of fire, total destruction. So, to sum up, OT 'believers' are still dead, will remain so even after Jesus returns (the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than any OT character Matt 11:11), will be resurrected to be presented at the Great White Throne and rewarded with eternal life. PS Jesus did not transit to a Greek mythological underworld, call a huge rally, preach the gospel, and escort the ensuing Christians to heaven. That is a huge distortion of a few unclear scriptures.
They went to a place wich Jesus called "paradise "; an intermediate place or state where the righteous departed await resurrection and judgement. (Matthew 17:3; Luke 23:42-43).
There is great confusion about this issues. However, it’s our duty to study the Scriptures, to learn the truth and not be deceit. Acts 17:11. 1 Kings 2:10 tell that David went to sleep and was buried. “Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.” Same for king Jehoiakim 2 Kings 24:6, Abijam 1 Kings 15:8 and Solomon 1 Kings 11:43 and many others. This means one thing: all these people from OT times to our days they died, went into an unconscious state of sleep, are in their graves Acts 2:29, 34 and are awaiting the resurrection John 5:28-29 And we know this because the Bible is very clear about this subject. In Genesis 2:7 we learn how man became a living soul. Then Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells us what happen when we die. Also from James 2:26 we know that a body without spirit is dead. Nobody should be confused about what the dead are doing in their graves, Solomon, the wisest man ever, writes: Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 Also Job 14:12 tells the same thing. In John 11:11-14 Jesus also describe the state of the dead as a sleep. This Lazarus (Jesus friend, brother of Mary Magdalene) should not be confused with Lazarus mentioned in the parable of Luke 16:19-31 which is only a parable and should not be taken literally. Hope these verses will help anyone searching the truth.
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