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When you die are you present with the Lord, or at the second coming, when the graves are opened?

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The answers have been categorized as follows:

a. present with the Lord

b. at the resurrection

We will start with a. present with the Lord


Dear friends,

Let no one deceive you, the Bible is clear on this topic.  The idea of soul sleep (you are “asleep” until the resurrection) is proclaimed by two denominations, while the idea that we are immediately translated to heaven when we die is proclaimed by Christianity at large.  Those who believe in soul sleep firmly believe that the Bible teaches this doctrine.  I could go on in a lengthy defence, but I prefer to let God’s Word to defend itself.  If you believe in soul sleep, please answer the following Bible texts:

Rom 14:9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”  (How can you be Lord of people who cannot communicate with you?)

1 Thess 4:14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.NIV (If the dead are not with Jesus in heaven, how will they be able to come back to earth with Jesus? The whole context of this text is Jesus’ second coming!)

2 Cor 5:1-10Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (This text makes no sense if you believe that the dead believers are not in heaven.  Peter clearly tells is that the tent is our body! 2 Peter 1:13I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body.”)

Phil 1:21-26For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,  so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”  (Again, how can death be a gain if you are completely dead?  If you are completely dead why does Paul say that he wants to die and be with Christ, “which is better by far”?)

Please prayerfully consider these Bible texts and ask God’s Holy Spirit to guide you to His truth.  Jesus has promised us: Rev 1:17-18 "Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever!  And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

Rob Chaffart  


When a person dies, he will be in the Holy presence of Jesus. You either accepted Jesus or not. You either led a holy life or not. NO excuses.



Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord.2corinthians 5-8.

Johnny Jackson


The Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord that is a pretty clear undebatable statement....Because of Christ The Best is soon to Be.



I have always had a vision in my mind's eye that when people die we go right to God (or wherever we will be going), and we will be in a happy place with our loved ones my grandfather, who always was a little agnostic although a very fine, gentle and good person lost my grandmother when they were about 89 years old. he was lost without her said he had lost his "best friend". my mom, who also for a long time wasn't very much into hearing about God, told me about 3 years ago that when grandaddy Bryant died, he sat up and reached out his arm and said, "Maybelle" my grandmother's name as if he saw her. Well, that changed my mom's mind a whole bunch about being sceptical about God and everything.

I believe that I and all those I love will be with the Lord in Heaven and I will see again all those I love who died in Christ, and we will be so happy together. I don't believe we will just be "unconscious" until the 2nd coming of Christ......where did that idea come from, for heaven's sake.



I went to Israel about 4 years ago and got very sick as I haven't traveled on an airplane and didn't know how to turn the vent off. I flew all the way freezing. I didn't know I was sick until after I got baptized and I had a bad coughing spell at dinner a day or so later. We were going to the Church of the Nativity and I couldn't keep up as they were doing construction work. I thought it was from having polio. A fine man piggy backed me to the church and I had to get a cab back to the bus. I woke up during the night and was having a problem breathing. But, felt that my sister could back clap me and I would be OK. She woke up and did the back clapping but to no avail. I don't remember how hard of a time I had breathing but it must have been pretty bad as my sister asked me if I wanted to call the desk and find out how much a Doctor would charge. He checked me and told me to go straight to the hospital. I remember walking in the lobby and seeing the Dr. But, after that I don't remember hardly anything.

I was in ICU and I had this experience, now I didn't die!! I was drawn into this most awesome peace, that I can't describe and I could see a beautiful sheer glowing white veil. I couldn't see myself or anyone else. I couldn't see through the veil even though it was so sheer. I feel like it was a bright light behind it. But, I remember wanting to put my hands through it and go to heaven. But, God had other plans, He brought to my mind my family, Pastor and his wife and I decided to stay. I was very upset that I had to stay as this world is death and dying is life to a Christian. I talked to Brother Peter and told him that I saw the veil and he told me that I kept saying that I had a hard decision to make.

I had Pneumonia, White Lung and possible Legional disease. Not sure on the spelling and they didn't think I would live. My husband had been called with the news that I may die. They ran with my bed and crash machine everywhere they took me for a while. I don't remember the days.

My Dr. was shocked to see my x-ray after I was put on the ward and said he wouldn't have believed it was mine if he hadn't seen my name on it. He called me the Miracle and gave my name and state.

So when you exit this body you are present with the Lord at that time. You just pass from this lift to heaven or hell. There is no fear it's just to awesome to explain.

With the Love of Jesus,

HOSTLFSTIM4JC@aol.com ________________________________________________________

In answer to the question that will we go directly to the Lord when we die or wait for the resurrection. The bible indicates is several places that we go directly to the Lord. That we don't remain in a soul sleep. It was said in the bible that it would be better to be in the presence of the Lord and be absent from the body. We read about the rich man and poor man that died and how they maintained their identity and did not go into a soul sleep. Also several of the Old Testament characters appeared again after they had died. This to me most definitely tells me that we go strait to the presence of the Lord.

Joy ________________________________________________________

When you die, your spirit is with Our Lord. When He returns, our bodies and spirits will become one.

Rose ________________________________________________________

Jesus said to the repentant thief on the cross: "TODAY you shall be with me in Paradise." Evidently the one who said to Jesus "Remember me..." was ALIVE with Christ in Paradise. Also, the apostle Paul declared: "...I have a desire to depart and to be with Christ..." and "To be absent from the body is to be present with Christ." Since Christ is not dead, but alive, and the crucified "thief" is with Christ, of course, there is "life after death." The illustration of the "rich man and Lazarus" also indicates that the soul of man is alive when the body ceases to function and is either in a state of peace with Christ or separated from Christ.

Dr. Roy K. Luckenbill ________________________________________________________

b. at the resurrection


God said: Genesis 2:17-AV But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Or `dying, thou shalt die')

Satan said: Genesis 3:4-AV And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: One of them is lying. Who would you believe? Unfortunately mankind has always been keen to believe that they do not surely die.

Consider this verse: Ec 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all [is] vanity. That is a rather clear statement that man is no different in death that the beasts. The body returns to the dust and the breath of life returns to God who gave it. Many think this breath of life or spirit has consciousness and is able to appreciate being with God.

Psalms 146:4-AV His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Psalms 104:29-AV Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

Job 14:21-AV His sons come to honour, and he knoweth [it] not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth [it] not of them.

Job 14:12-AV So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens [be] no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.

Ecclesiastes 9:10-AV Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Ecclesiastes 9:5-AV 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 9:6-AV Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any [thing] that is done under the sun.

These are plain statements taken from a number of different bible writers. King David wrote the book of Psalms. He was described by God as "a man after my own heart". David is going to be among the saved. But we have a clear bible statement that David has not risen to heaven but that his sepulcure is still with us. That is, he sleeps in the dust with the rest of the dead.

Acts 2:29-AV Men [and] brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

Acts 2:34-AV For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.

But you say, "But we have an immortal soul!" No we don't! No created beings have immortality. They can have immortality conferred upon them by being given access to the tree of life, but no one is created immortal.

1Timothy 6:15-AV Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

1Timothy 6:16-AV Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen. In any event the 'soul', which is the whole man. A combination of body and breath of life can die.

Ezekiel 18:4-AV Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Ezekiel 18:20-AV The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. The soul (person) that sins, will die.

Those of us who have fulfilled the requirement for eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, will still die a mortal death. This death is described in the bible as a 'sleep' only because we will one day be awakened from it at the resurrection. Those who do not have Jesus will die a second time which shall be eternal death.

John 11:11-AV These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

John 11:14-AV Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. Possibly one of the most definitive statements in the whole bible on the state of the dead is found in

Job 3:1-19. In this passage Job is lamenting the night of his conception and the day of his birth. He expresses in verse 11 the desire that he had been stillborn and verse 16 that he had been miscarried. The other verses make it clear that had either of these events happened Job would have been asleep with the rest of the dead. All of the dead, the good the bad and the ugly. This passage from Job also throws light on how God deals with the unborn dead. Job would have slept with the rest of the dead if stillborn or miscarried, and he could only have slept if he would one day awaken.

Many arguments are presented to support the view of consciousness in death, but the whole bible is the inspired word of God and any such argument must consider the verses quoted above, and somehow dismiss them, if that belief is true. How can one do that? I don't know, it looks quite straightforward to me. Let us consider some of the modern arguments for continued existence after death.

Mediums can call up spirits of the dead. Talking to these spirits is called necromancing. This is one of the arts of witchcraft for which a death penalty was imposed by God. These are not the spirits of the dead at all but evil spirits impersonating the departed loved one. Some claim a first hand experience gained from a near death experience.

Well, I have had a near death experience. I had the perception of watching from across the room as two doctors worked on a body with the electric paddles. I heard them calling the body by my name and realized it was me. I saw one of them look at his watch and heard him pronounce me dead and read out the time. I heard the other doctor say to give me one more jolt. Now my eyes were taped shut at the time and I was comatose.

I believe there is a window of awareness at the moment of death, when the body has given up and the brain still lingers, but I do not believe the spirit has any mind of it's own because the bible tells me that it clearly does not. This memory has been written to my brain and that is still inside my head. The near death experience therefore is simply the brain's reaction to traumatic circumstances. I do not rule out a vision being given by a guardian angel, as a means of comfort to the dying, but I do rule out a spirit that can see and hear, floating around in clear defiance of the word of God.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: And for those who would place the experiences of man and the false studies of man ahead of the clear word of God;

Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

Some find it hard to understand how Christ could bear to be separated from His church, the dead saints, for sometimes thousands of years, before the resurrection. Do not limit God to linear time. God exists outside linear time. He created linear time. He is in the future and in the past both at the same time. He sees the end from the beginning.

Even for us when we die our very next conscious thought will be at the resurrection. It will be no different for someone who died thousands of years ago to one who dies today. Neither will have any perception of the intervening time, it will seem to them that the very next moment after death, they will be awakened at the resurrection. Dear reader.

If the view I have expressed here is contrary to your present understanding, I would like to challenge you to prove me wrong. To do this you must prove from the bible and the bible only, another meaning for all the verses I have quoted. You can not refer to the traditions of men and churches or to personal experience. We are easily deceived by demons who have much greater intelligence and science than we do. We can rely ONLY on the sure word of God, which is consistent throughout the whole bible without contradiction. This is of necessity only a short study and there is much more material available on this subject.

If anyone would like to discuss this further with me please feel free to do so. It is my belief that this doctrine of consciousness in death is one of the doctrines being advanced by Satan in an effort to deceive. It is necessary for people to believe this if he is going to counterfeit a resurrection when he comes to impersonate Christ and claim to be Christ returned. While a clear view of this doctrine is not necessary for salvation it will make it harder for you to be deceived. If you do not presently have salvation, or are not sure, answer 'The Savior's Call" in this newsletter.

Lance Wearmouth  _______________________________________________________

If you're saved it makes no difference. When you die you sleep in the grave, and time passes, but you know nothing. You get to rest and no nothing that goes on in the world anymore. You die and the next instance you're resurrected and see Jesus. And you have a brand new body with none of the pains and sufferings you had at death. I want a nice slim one.

Sandra Cruz ________________________________________________________

WE are all waiting for the first resurrection then the dead in CHRIST will rise up those who remain on the earth will be caught up then we will be with the LORD for eternity praise his holy name.

sis Isalene Brown


I believe that we don't go to heaven when we die, but rather, at the Second Coming when the Lord comes to take His faithful followers home to dwell with Him. The Bible tells us in Gen. 2:7 "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. God gives us the breath of life. When we die, we lose that breath of life and eventually through decay our body returns to dust. Psalms 146: 4 - "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Eccl. 3:20 tells us "All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Nowhere in the bible are we told that we go to heaven when we die. If that were the case, who are the people woken from the dead, who go to heaven with Christ at the Second Coming? Daniel 12: 2 - And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

All the dead 'sleep' in their graves until Christ returns and the graves are opened. John 5: 28 - Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in their graves shall hear His voice.

We know Christ is coming back to take us to live with Him. John 14: 1 - 3 Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me.

(2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Again, if the righteous went to heaven when they died, why would Christ tell us that He is coming again to take us home to live with Him?

These following verses of scripture describe the events of the Second Coming:- Cor. 15: 51 - 58 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.

(52) 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.

(53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.

(54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

(55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

1Thess. 4: 13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.

(15) 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 prevent them which are asleep. (16) 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: (17) 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.

Maranatha! "Even so, come, Lord Jesus"

Layne  ________________________________________________________

The only thing that goes back to the Creator is the breath. When Adam was formed from the dust of the earth and was ready for the spark of life from God. He had every thing he needed. The only missing ingredient was his breath. That is why God breathed into his nostrils and Adam became a living person. In fact all living creatures have the breath of life from God. And all of the creatures that God created each of their breath goes back to God no matter if they are good or evil. The bodies remain in the ground until Jesus returns to give life evermore to those who are faithful and obedient to Him through the Holy Spirit.

Tim Ball  ________________________________________________________

God knows the true condition of the dead, therefore we turn to God for the answer.

Job 14:10-12 - But man dieth and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost and where is he? Vs. 11: As the waters fail from the sea and the flood decayeth and drieth up: Vs. 12: So man lieth down and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.

Daniel 12:2: And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Matthew 27:52. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose

Acts 7:60. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Stephen was stoned to death)

Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10: For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing..... Vs 10: Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

According to the bible, the dead are sleeping, and are not aware of what happens on earth or in heaven. In Luke 16: 19-31, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus was used as a popular fable to illustrate a sermon.

The Bible does not teach that believers go to heaven when they die. David's sins had been forgiven and in Acts 2: 29, we read that he is both dead and buried. In verse 34 it is made clear that he did not ascended into the heavens.

In Isaiah 26:19 and Job 14:14; 17: 13-16, The dead are resting in their graves, waiting for the great change that Jesus promised would come at the end of time.

At creation, the component parts that were given to man by God were the body and the breath. (Genesis 2:7). The body + the breath of life = a living soul. When a person dies, what happens to these components is that: Psalms 146:3,4: ......His breath goes forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Ecclesiastes 12:7: Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

In Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 What befalleth the sons of men befalleth the beasts; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea they have all one breath.......all are of dust and all return to dust again. Nowhere in the bible is the spirit of man said to survive the death of the body as an immortal, conscious entity. In the bible, spirit refers to the mind of man, his capacity to reason, as well as his ability to feel and choose (Daniel 2:1; 5:12; Matthew 26:41; Romans 1:9). If the breath of life is withdrawn, man is a dead soul. If souls can die, they are not immortal. Ezekiel 18:4: ....The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Revelation 16:3, The second angel poured out his vial upon the sea;.....And every living soul died in the sea.

In conclusion, when people die, they do not go to heaven to be with God but they sleep in the dust of the earth until that bright and glorious morning when He shall return to resurrect the dead incorruptible, cover their mortality with immortality and take them to heaven; All the dead will remain in their graves up to that moment when all who are in their graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28,29). Acts 24:15 talks about there being a resurrection of the dead, both the just and unjust. 2 Corinthians 4:14; He who raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also by Jesus and shall present us with you. 1 Corinthians 15:16-22, 51-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 further put light on the second coming of Jesus, and the resurrection of the dead. God bless you all.



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