My father has just passed away. I had always thought that once a person died, that they went to heaven right away. Then in reading in the bible, I was left with the impression that everyone stays dead until the next coming of Christ at the end when the trumpets blast. Only then do the dead Christians rise from the dead. Which is right?
Ginny, don’t let your heart be troubled dear lady. When this old flesh dies, the soul is released and goes straight to the Lord if we’re born again. We’ve got a cleansed, new creature inside us that can’t be corrupted by the grave because of salvation. 2 Corinthians 4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 4:12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
When our Savior was on the cross, He had two men being crucified with him. One of them yelled to our Lord “If you are Christ, Save us from this death and yourself too.” He didn’t realize that Jesus had to die there on the cross as a final payment for our sins. The other man, fearing God knew that the man (Jesus) hanging there on the cross was of God and fearing God, asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his Kingdom. What Jesus said can’t be mistaken! He said “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Verily means certainty, without a doubt. This man would be with him in paradise. Not next week or next year or on the resurrection but today! Luke 23:39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 23:40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 23:41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 23:43: And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
It’s this old corrupt flesh that can’t enter into heaven because it’s made of sin. In the last day’s, Jesus himself will call the dead from the grave and the souls that are with him will be joined with their new bodies, and those bodies will be incorruptible like the Lords. 1 Corinthians 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 15:45: And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 15:46: Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
It’s plainly written in the Old Testament in Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Isn’t that one of the sweetest truths you have ever heard? And also in the New Testament 2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
Read the following passages carefully. 1 Thessalonians 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. 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 4:16 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: 4:17 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. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Did you notice what I underlined in those passages? It says “God will bring with him” concerning those born again who died before His coming. They were already with Him.