BETWEEN DEATH AND THE RESURRECTION
"Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.Ē††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† ††††-- 2 Corinthians 5:6
When speaking of the believer's death, the Word of God always represents it as an immediate entrance into heavenly blessedness. Actually, for the believer, death is not death at all, but the beginning of life. God's elect never die! The Lord Jesus stated this plainly in John 11:26. The death of a believer's body is the liberation of his soul. And as soon as our souls are freed from this body of sin and death we shall enter heaven. This is the doctrine of God's Word. Listen to the Scriptures.
According to Isaiah 57:1-2, -- When the righteous perish from the earth they live in uprightness forever. Those who have been made righteous by the grace of God, having the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, when they die, are taken away from evil. They enter into a world of peace. They rest in their beds, their bodies in the grave and their souls in the arms of Christ. And they live in the uprightness of glorified spirits forever.
In Luke 16:22-25 we are told that as soon as the believer dies (as soon as his body dies) he is carried by the angels of God into heaven, "Abraham's bosom," the place of endless comfort.
Our Lord Jesus declares in Luke 23:43, that death every repentant sinner is taken at death to be with him in paradise. Paradise is heaven, the garden of God (Rev. 2:7). It is that place of assured blessedness promised to sinners who seek the mercy of God in Christ. Our Savior said, to the dying theif, "Today," immediately, "shalt thou," assuredly, "be with me," in endless company, "in paradise," heavenly glory.
Philippians 1:21 and 23 tell us that death for the believer is infinite, immeasurable, immediate gain. Believers, upon leaving this world, lose nothing but sin and sorrow, and gain everything good and glorious.
WHAT IS THE STATE OF THE SAINTS' LIFE BETWEEN DEATH AND THE RESURRECTION? I will not say more than God has revealed. But we are assured that God's saints are not floating around in the sky or sleeping in the grave. These bodies must sleep in the earth until the resurrection, but not our souls. Godís saints who have left this earth have gone to a specific place called heaven, where Christ is. There they are assembled as a glorified church (Heb. 12:22-23). And their souls exist in a recognizable form: i.e., Lazarus, Moses, and Elijah (Lk. 16:23; Matt. 17:3). Do God's saints have a body between death and the resurrection? A physical body? No. A spiritual body, a heavenly form, a house for their souls? Most definitely! (Read 2 Cor. 5:1). Every believer, as soon as he leaves this body of flesh, enters into heaven with Christ. It is this assurance that makes death a desirable thing for the believer.