What does it mean "the dead in Christ shall rise first" if to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord?


2 Corinthians 5:8

ESV - 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Clarify (2) Share Report Asked November 06 2013 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Bob Rutz Jesus loves me.
Great question, with an even greater answer.

We've got all these verses which says our departed friends are with the Lord, and other verses say they are lying there in their graves, waiting for resurrection day.

So our theologians splice these two together, leaving them wandering around Heaven as disembodied spirits until the Lord gets around to resurrecting their bodies from moldering graveyards.

His Word gives us a better answer:

Isaiah 57:15 says that in addition to the hearts of millions of His people, He "inhabits eternity." Now if your human brain arbitrarily draws a timeline with you at "now", the line stretching back into "eternity past" and forward into "eternity future" with God stuck in time at the same point you are, this issue will remain insoluble.

But if you place The Lord OUTSIDE your time line, you get instant clarity. The Lord can now be seen as able to communicate simultaneously with John in the future (Rev 7:9), you now, and Adam and Eve, and even able to answer before called ("Before they call, I will answer.") and even give us a Bible which is as much as one-fourth prophetic.

So, from my human point of view here on my timeline, the Apostle Paul is still in his grave, waiting for Resurrection Day.

From Paul's point of view, being dead body, soul, and spirit, he went straight from the instant of his death to Resurrection Day with no consciousness of any time interval.

If you start digging into it, Peter's statement that WITH THE LORD, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day, you will find explanations for many, many Bible mysteries. One of them is this very question, and Jesus used it in proving the Resurrection to the Sadducees: He used the verse quoting God as being The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then affirmed: "He is NOT the God of the dead, but of the living.

Because you have not only been made alive in Christ through His death and resurrection and have been seated with Him in the Heavenly Places per Ephesians 2:6, He can enable you to see, from HIS viewpoint, all of Eternity from a point of view OUTSIDE your earthly timeline.

From there, all the Scriptures are floodlighted, helping us, collectively, to start seeing how everything He said fits together better than a fine Swiss watch.

November 07 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

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