1 Thessalonians 4:16
ESV - 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
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Before identifying the "dead in Christ," we should note the context in which this phrase is found. The immediate context is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, which deals with the question of what will happe...
This subject is pretty simple once a person looks at the preponderance of the Biblical evidence. Jesus explains in John 5:29 that there are two resurrections. You can see this in Revelation that "the rest of the dead lived not again until the 1000 years was over". The first resurrection are the dead in Christ, and the second is the "resurrection of damnation". Revelation 20:15 So to meander into the state of existence, at death we see that the breath of God returns to God and we are dust. Gen 3:19 Man does not have a soul, he became a soul. Genesis 2:7 The breath returns to God who gave it, not the soul. Ecc 12:17 It is one breath, not a specialized breath or spirit entity of person. Ecclesiastes 3:19, You perish at death Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 When a person dies they perish, their thoughts perish so they are not praising God. We go into silence. Psalms 115:17. There is no reverence. Psalm 6:5 Psalm 146:5 Souls die. Ezekiel 18:14. The breath is explained dually with spirit as can be read in Job 27:3 and man expires Job 14:10 and is not raised until the resurrection. The raising at the resurrection is not explained in the following, but the state of death is in Job 14:12. When you are dead you are dead so cling to Jesus in this life because as explained in Isaiah 38:18 and Ecclesiastes 9:10 it is in this life your love, praise that is alive and not once you die. In Adam all die, but in Christ all shall be made alive. 1 Cornthians 15:22 at the last day as we have this example John 11:11-39 Lazarus spoke nothing at all about paradise after he was raised, and he was raised because Jesus is the resurrection, not our own immortality. What a gyp if he was in paradise. (: In those verses it was agreed Lazarus would be raised at the resurrection, Jesus told them who was the resurrection. 2 Samuel 7:12 shows what happens when your days are done, and in Daniel 12 we see when Daniel will receive his inheritance along with those that are saved. There are some verses used to convey life after death. The phrase "I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise". If it is wrong that I move the comma, first study if Jesus went to paradise that day and did the thief on the cross even die that day? In the arranging or speaking the word "today" would have been used at the end of the sentence if Jesus meant to convey paradise would be that day, instead it is at the end of the first portion to emphasize that in spite of the appearance of circumstances that He assured the thief he would be in paradise. Truly I tell you "today", not today you will be in paradise. Btw, there is no punctuation in greek, phrases are simple to place punctuation except bias can effect even a comma. Paul is correct that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, whether praying in the spirit EUPHEMISTICALLY, or the very next thought after a sleep of various duration for people will all seem instantaneous to each person. To read much into this to mean life after death goes against the preponderance of evidence and even Peter said Paul writes things "hard to understand" 2 Peter 3:14-18 So I would suggest not to take this verse by Paul as literal to explain a life after death bias. Revelation 6:9 is an example as blood crying out of the ground, just as Abel's blood cried out. Here is the most symbolic book of all time and people use this to suit a need, but deny it's full context. They are told to REST a little longer as their brethren will be killed as they are. Have some been resurrected with new bodies and/or never seen death? Enoch, Elijah, Moses and many at the resurrection of Jesus do have imparted life from Jesus, credit if you will ahead of the rest of us, but the dead are asleep and thankfully Jesus sees the saved as asleep for He is the God of the living, not the dead. You will die or surely you will not die? Your choice. Jesus is the Resurrection, not the serpent's lie to Eve.
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