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 14:9 “For 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 4:14 “We 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 5:1-10 “Now 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 1:13 “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body.”)
Phil 1:21-26 “For 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.”
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.
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,
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.
When you die, your spirit is with Our Lord. When He returns, our bodies and spirits will become one.
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
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