When you die are you present with the Lord, or at the second coming, when the graves are opened?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Receive our free newsletters
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.