Absent from the body, Present with the Lord

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Do believers who die after the redemptive work of Christ on the cross go directly into the presence of the Lord?
Do Old Testament believers who died go to Sheol until the redemptive work of Christ on the cross is completed
and than are released to go into the presence of the Lord?

John
 
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I think I answered my own question through prayer and Bible study over the Easter weekend?

I am persuaded now that Christ after His death and finished work on the cross, descended in to a compartment in hell known as paradise ( Abraham's Bosom - Sheol etc ) and remained there until Resurrection Sunday. On Resurrection Sunday, along with Christ resurrection, this compartment in hell was raised up into Heaven with all the souls of the believers who died before the finished work of Jesus on the cross and the age of Grace. Now when Paul teaches, after the finished work on the cross, and the age of Grace, "absent from the body, present with the Lord", he is referring to the Paradise raised by Christ up to Heaven and now in the presence of the risen Lord. Hopefully I am getting this correct?

John, A work in progress!
 
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bobinfaith

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Hello John;

I believe when we die we are immediately in the hands and presence of Christ. This is His promise, through the Biblical revelations of physical death and bodily resurrection before we are with our Father in eternity.

We need to carefully follow the Biblical revelations in 2 Corinthians 5:6-9, Hebrews 12:22-24, to Revelation 21 - 22, and many teachings of the Scriptures in between.

God bless you and your family.
 

rtm3039

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Hello John;

I believe when we die we are immediately in the hands and presence of Christ. This is His promise, through the Biblical revelations of physical death and bodily resurrection before we are with our Father in eternity.

We need to carefully follow the Biblical revelations in 2 Corinthians 5:6-9, Hebrews 12:22-24, to Revelation 21 - 22, and many teachings of the Scriptures in between.

God bless you and your family.
"After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it." (Revelation 4: 1-2 (NIV)).

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"After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it." (Revelation 4: 1-2 (NIV)).

rtm3039
Thanks Bob, I agree totally!

I am sure you are referring to the time after the completed work on the cross
and Christ resurrection?

I would still like an opinion about where Jesus went after His death on the cross
and resurrection and before His ascension to heaven? I should think all the pre
resurrection believers were in the same place? My understanding is this place was
called by several names including Paradise, Sheol, Abraham's Bosom etc.?

John
 
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Most of the stuff you have learned from various denominations is based on an assumption that God is the God of magic. Well, not so. Our God is the God of rightness.

First, Jesus had to stay in the tomb for three days and three nights to be legally dead according to the law of the land. God's people have always obeyed worldly laws. Even Jesus. Even when he was dead.

Second, paradise is defined to be a place on Earth. You probably assume that paradise is a synonym for heaven. Well, it is not. The garden of Eden did not exist at that time.

Third, hell is a hole is a grave. Check any dictionary.

Psalm 6:5 King James Version (KJV)
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

Ecclesiastes 9:10 King James Version (KJV)
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.

Isaiah 38:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 King James Version (KJV)
5 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.

6 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.

Anybody can do a word search at any online bible site. That is how I found these verses. You can then adjust your believing according to what you learn from your search.
 
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rtm3039

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Thanks Bob, I agree totally!

I am sure you are referring to the time after the completed work on the cross
and Christ resurrection?

I would still like an opinion about where Jesus went after His death on the cross
and resurrection and before His ascension to heaven? I should think all the pre
resurrection believers were in the same place? My understanding is this place was
called by several names including Paradise, Sheol, Abraham's Bosom etc.?

John
OK, I am not yet comfortable enough to render an opinion on this, but want to make sure I understand the question. You are talking the time after his resurrection and before His ascension to heaven, right?

The best I can find is that He remained on earth for 40 days and that, during this time, "After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:5 (NIV)).

Again, I will leave the answer to those that are wiser.

rtm3039
 
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OK, I am not yet comfortable enough to render an opinion on this, but want to make sure I understand the question. You are talking the time after his resurrection and before His ascension to heaven, right?

The best I can find is that He remained on earth for 40 days and that, during this time, "After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:5 (NIV)).

Again, I will leave the answer to those that are wiser.

rtm3039
I understand and appreciate your candidness! I am quite clear on what happened after Jesus resurrection! I am most interested in where Jesus spirit/soul went after His death on the cross and His mortal body laid in the tomb?

In my opinion, believers who died before the coming of Christ are now in God's presence due to Christ finished work on the cross, the one and only required blood sacrifice that was acceptable to God for the forgiveness of sin? Where believers, the righteous, were before Jesus paid the price for their ransom, is not as clear to me as I wish it was? The bottom line, on the grand scale of things, since we live in the age of grace, aka the age of the church, I have no doubt where believers will go!

The main reason I am interested is because when I talk to some family or friends about salvation and the consequences of not being saved before Christ returns to claim His Church ( Hell ), I sometimes get the response that there is no hell and God would never send a good living ( nice ) person to burn for all eternity in hell? There seems to be a misguided impression that hell is on earth and we are living in it now and some bad outcomes during our time on earth are punishment enough for any failings? The more I can backup my biblical assertions that, yes, there is an actual hell and some have willingly accepted this outcome when salvation through the free gift of Grace is such a better outcome?
 
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rtm3039

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I understand and appreciate your candidness! I am quite clear on what happened after Jesus resurrection! I am most interested in where Jesus spirit/soul went after His death on the cross and His mortal body laid in the tomb?

In my opinion, believers who died before the coming of Christ are now in God's presence due to Christ finished work on the cross, the one and only required blood sacrifice that was acceptable to God for the forgiveness of sin? Where believers, the righteous, were before Jesus paid the price for their ransom, is not as clear to me as I wish it was? The bottom line, on the grand scale of things, since we live in the age of grace, aka the age of the church, I have no doubt where believers will go!

The main reason I am interested is because when I talk to some family or friends about salvation and the consequences of not being saved before Christ returns to claim His Church ( Hell ), I sometimes get the response that there is no hell and God would never send a good living ( nice ) person to burn for all eternity in hell? There seems to be a misguided impression that hell is on earth and we are living in it now and some bad outcomes during our time on earth are punishment enough for any failings? The more I can backup my biblical assertions that, yes, there is an actual hell and some have willingly accepted this outcome when salvation through the free gift of Grace is such a better outcome?
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matthew 23:33 (NIV))

To the best of my sometimes faulty recollection, the bible does not actually provide a grid coordinate to where Heaven or hell is. Obviously, hell is mentioned enough times to make the believer understand that, while I may not know where hell is, I do I do not want to find out.

It’s funny you should mention your conversation with family, as I had a similar conversation last night. All of my family members believe there is a God but are skeptic of the Word and are not fully committed to Christianity. They often say that they are good people and that should carry the trough the process. I get it, as that was my justification for being a “good agnostic” for over 40 years.

"…Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 1:13 (NIV)). “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)).

In my very humble opinion, Christianity is not a spectator sport. It you are in, you have to be TOTALLY in. This is why it’s called a faith. If you can’t, maybe go Roman Catholic and hope purgatory is a real place.

Everyday we take giant leaps of faith. We each get into our cars and, without performing any type of check list, we turn the key and drive off. That’s a great deal of faith to place in mechanical breaks and steering mechanism.

So, here is what I think. I know that what the Lord wants from us, aside from loving each other, is that we spread his Word. “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:8 (NIV)). I’ however, believe that this only works if the receiver is ready. For many years, many of my ‘born-again” friends bent over backwards to make a disciple of me. Guess what, it did not work and actually pushed me away. On the day I decided to accept the Lord as my Savior, it was just me, my bible, and the good Lord.

When the time came, and thank the Lord I had time left to ask for forgiveness and change my ways, I bought into my faith fully. I am a work in progress, but I am a work none-the-less.


As for the comment about God would never send someone to hell, I recommend you have your family/friend read Revelations. Up until that time, you really do not get a full appreciation why we should all fear God.

As for Jesus, I thought that he descended to hell and then, three days later, arose. As usual, I was wrong. The answer you seek is here: https://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/did-jesus-go-to-hell-faq.htm

rtm3039
 
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I understand and appreciate your candidness! I am quite clear on what happened after Jesus resurrection! I am most interested in where Jesus spirit/soul went after His death on the cross and His mortal body laid in the tomb?

In my opinion, believers who died before the coming of Christ are now in God's presence due to Christ finished work on the cross, the one and only required blood sacrifice that was acceptable to God for the forgiveness of sin? Where believers, the righteous, were before Jesus paid the price for their ransom, is not as clear to me as I wish it was? The bottom line, on the grand scale of things, since we live in the age of grace, aka the age of the church, I have no doubt where believers will go!

The main reason I am interested is because when I talk to some family or friends about salvation and the consequences of not being saved before Christ returns to claim His Church ( Hell ), I sometimes get the response that there is no hell and God would never send a good living ( nice ) person to burn for all eternity in hell? There seems to be a misguided impression that hell is on earth and we are living in it now and some bad outcomes during our time on earth are punishment enough for any failings? The more I can backup my biblical assertions that, yes, there is an actual hell and some have willingly accepted this outcome when salvation through the free gift of Grace is such a better outcome?
"now in God's presence" -- Let's study this concept.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 King James Version (KJV)
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:

So according to this "in God's presence" idea, saints have to leave heaven to go back to Earth and get back into their graves so they can rise when Jesus shouts, and then they go to heaven, where they just came from. This makes no sense.

It is very common to assume that our God is a God of magic, but that does not stand up to careful inspection. God claims to be the God of rightness. That means the dead are dead, as the old testament says several times. The soul dies, the body rots, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. All life is spirit, but that does not mean the holy spirit given at the moment of salvation, and it does not mean eternal life spirit. Soul is a Hebrew concept, a synonym for a living breathing creature. Soul is not the same as spirit, and it certainly does not remain alive after death.

There are several places where the bible casually speaks of the soul as "spirit of man". You are free to sort those verses out and see what you learn. You do that with a concordance. A concordance is a directory listing every word in the bible, basic meaning, every verse where it is used, every way it is translated, and every other word translated the same way. You can learn a lot by loooking up the first usage of a word in the bible; that is usually a definition by context. First use of the word soul:

Genesis 2:7 King James Version (KJV)
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.
 
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rtm3039

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"now in God's presence" -- Let's study this concept.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 King James Version (KJV)
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:

So according to this "in God's presence" idea, saints have to leave heaven to go back to Earth and get back into their graves so they can rise when Jesus shouts, and then they go to heaven, where they just came from. This makes no sense.

It is very common to assume that our God is a God of magic, but that does not stand up to careful inspection. God claims to be the God of rightness. That means the dead are dead, as the old testament says several times. The soul dies, the body rots, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. All life is spirit, but that does not mean the holy spirit given at the moment of salvation, and it does not mean eternal life spirit. Soul is a Hebrew concept, a synonym for a living breathing creature. Soul is not the same as spirit, and it certainly does not remain alive after death.

There are several places where the bible casually speaks of the soul as "spirit of man". You are free to sort those verses out and see what you learn. You do that with a concordance. A concordance is a directory listing every word in the bible, basic meaning, every verse where it is used, every way it is translated, and every other word translated the same way. You can learn a lot by loooking up the first usage of a word in the bible; that is usually a definition by context. First use of the word soul:

Genesis 2:7 King James Version (KJV)
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.
Ok, while I am again impressed with how much you know, I am still a little confused (despite the fact I did not ask the question).

OK, Jesus died so that we may be forgiven for our sins and receive eternal life. I mean, I could have written this a bit more eloquent, but the message is the same. Now, prior to Jesus's sacrifice (we are talking OT now), could people ask for forgiveness from God and receive it? It appears to me that the blessing of forgiveness is the result of Jesus' sacrifice and it cannot be made retroactive (mostly because you cannot ask of forgiveness once you are dead).

Am I even close to being right?

rtm3039
 
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Ok, while I am again impressed with how much you know, I am still a little confused (despite the fact I did not ask the question).

OK, Jesus died so that we may be forgiven for our sins and receive eternal life. I mean, I could have written this a bit more eloquent, but the message is the same. Now, prior to Jesus's sacrifice (we are talking OT now), could people ask for forgiveness from God and receive it? It appears to me that the blessing of forgiveness is the result of Jesus' sacrifice and it cannot be made retroactive (mostly because you cannot ask of forgiveness once you are dead).

Am I even close to being right?

rtm3039
You are jumbling two contexts: before Jesus and after Jesus.

Sin, singular, is the absence of spirit. Adam had a spirit but it died and so he was unable to bequeath a spirit to his offspring. That is why everybody is born in sin, not because Mommy and Daddy did the big nasty. That is why a savior had to die in our place and make it possible to create a new spirit for us.

Sins, plural, are mistakes, such as throwing a dart and missing the bullseye. Christians are baptised into Christ's death, and dead bodies don't commit sins, so sins are not an issue for Christians. There is no more forgiveness. Either you believe in Jesus and are saved or you don't believe and are lost.

Christians are not forgiven for sins, we are dead to sins. Romans 6, the full chapter.
 

rtm3039

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You are jumbling two contexts: before Jesus and after Jesus.

Sin, singular, is the absence of spirit. Adam had a spirit but it died and so he was unable to bequeath a spirit to his offspring. That is why everybody is born in sin, not because Mommy and Daddy did the big nasty. That is why a savior had to die in our place and make it possible to create a new spirit for us.

Sins, plural, are mistakes, such as throwing a dart and missing the bullseye. Christians are baptised into Christ's death, and dead bodies don't commit sins, so sins are not an issue for Christians. There is no more forgiveness. Either you believe in Jesus and are saved or you don't believe and are lost.

Christians are not forgiven for sins, we are dead to sins. Romans 6, the full chapter.
Ok, this is both interesting and confusing. I'm on a Bible site looking up some information. In between Proverbs and John, I come across this advertisement. Not sure I get it. No wonder we are in such a mess.

[Image removed by moderator.]
 
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rtm3039

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You are jumbling two contexts: before Jesus and after Jesus.

Sin, singular, is the absence of spirit. Adam had a spirit but it died and so he was unable to bequeath a spirit to his offspring. That is why everybody is born in sin, not because Mommy and Daddy did the big nasty. That is why a savior had to die in our place and make it possible to create a new spirit for us.

Sins, plural, are mistakes, such as throwing a dart and missing the bullseye. Christians are baptised into Christ's death, and dead bodies don't commit sins, so sins are not an issue for Christians. There is no more forgiveness. Either you believe in Jesus and are saved or you don't believe and are lost.

Christians are not forgiven for sins, we are dead to sins. Romans 6, the full chapter.
Saul Mine, your responses are always very thoughtful. I would find it interesting to learn more about your background. If Christians are dead to sun, why are we told to ask for forgiveness when we pray? How then do we reconcile the fact that we live in constant sin? Am I just not getting it?

rtm3039
 
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Saul Mine, your responses are always very thoughtful. I would find it interesting to learn more about your background. If Christians are dead to sun, why are we told to ask for forgiveness when we pray? How then do we reconcile the fact that we live in constant sin? Am I just not getting it?

rtm3039
I decline to discuss my background. I am dead to that.

Please find bible verses that say what you say and we can discuss them. You probably learned those things from some beloved relative who got them from random preachers. Confusion is dispelled by studying the bible, forgetting everything you have been told it says.

I know that might be hard to do. One of my fellow students in bible school remarked "Spare the rod and spoil the child, that's what the bible says!" I was flabbergasted. The bible does not say any such thing. Some day I might get around to posting the result of that encounter, a study of the word "rod".
 
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Ok, this is both interesting and confusing. I'm on a Bible site looking up some information. In between Proverbs and John, I come across this advertisement. Not sure I get it. No wonder we are in such a mess.

[Image removed by moderator.]
Sorry about that.

rtm3039
 

rtm3039

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I decline to discuss my background. I am dead to that.

Please find bible verses that say what you say and we can discuss them. You probably learned those things from some beloved relative who got them from random preachers. Confusion is dispelled by studying the bible, forgetting everything you have been told it says.

I know that might be hard to do. One of my fellow students in bible school remarked "Spare the rod and spoil the child, that's what the bible says!" I was flabbergasted. The bible does not say any such thing. Some day I might get around to posting the result of that encounter, a study of the word "rod".
Sorry Saul Mine, was not trying to get into your business. Just impressed with you biblical knowledge.

I've am actually almost our of beloved family members. For sure, I have none that are active in the church. The good news is that I start attending bible study on Tuesday as part of my small group program. This should provide good guidance.

"Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them." (Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)) comes pretty close to what your fellow bible school student claimed. What am I missing?

PS. Did as recommended and read all of Romans 6. Still a little confused :(

rtm3039
 
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Sorry Saul Mine, was not trying to get into your business. Just impressed with you biblical knowledge.

I've am actually almost our of beloved family members. For sure, I have none that are active in the church. The good news is that I start attending bible study on Tuesday as part of my small group program. This should provide good guidance.

"Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them." (Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)) comes pretty close to what your fellow bible school student claimed. What am I missing?

PS. Did as recommended and read all of Romans 6. Still a little confused :(

rtm3039
"PS. Did as recommended and read all of Romans 6. Still a little confused :( "

That's ok. Give God time to work with you.

"Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)) comes pretty close to what your fellow bible school student claimed. What am I missing?"

First, it's a misquotation. When you reword a scripture you no longer have the word of God. Second, the speaker never has a rod in his hand. Third, the speaker doesn't know what a rod is. As the word is used elsewhere in Proverbs, it is the rod of correction, not the rod that is used to beat enemies or wild animals.

BTW I feel compassion for family deficiencies. I always felt like I grew up in a bus station: lots of familiar faces coming and going, but nobody wanted to get chummy.
 
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bobinfaith

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Sorry Saul Mine, was not trying to get into your business. Just impressed with you biblical knowledge.
I've am actually almost our of beloved family members. For sure, I have none that are active in the church. The good news is that I start attending bible study on Tuesday as part of my small group program. This should provide good guidance. "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them." (Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)) comes pretty close to what your fellow bible school student claimed. What am I missing?
PS. Did as recommended and read all of Romans 6. Still a little confused:( rtm3039
Hello brother Ray;

I want to take a step back on this topic and encourage all of us.

What we have been reading in
thorndale's thread is mixed with Scripture and from our study can form an opinion of what one believes.

rtm3039, you're asking a lot of questions, discussing what we arrive at from our study of the Scriptures and thank you, brother, for your honesty of being "confused", "distraction", "what am I missing" and "am I getting it?" Yes to all! You are getting there by engaging in this topic and thank you for asking.

In 2019 after reading your many testimonies at Christian Forum Site I'm very blessed that you have this zeal for your relationship with Christ and to follow Him, be the priest of your family, serve our Lord in your ministry at church, prepare for your new job and become a disciple (disciplined student of Christ) of studying His Word.

In some of the posts in this topic I was reading encouragement from one of our members to read the Scriptures and re-read the Scriptures. Another good lead from our member is to write down what you read. For years I wrote and continue to write down Scriptures and take the time to cross reference article teachings of the Old and New Testaments. You don't have to write a novel, but just write notes and add your devotional thoughts.

Pray and allow God to speak to you what you are studying. Share with your Bible study teacher. Continue to ask questions.

You will minimize the "confusion", "distraction", "what am I missing" and "am I getting it?" because its a promise from the Lord, your academic discipline of the Bible will increase and you will begin sharing your knowledge with other Bible students.

As far as Romans 6, In verse 6:2, in Christ we died to our sins but when we study deeper in verses 6:1-8:39, Paul is teaching sanctification. Sin's power is broken. When Jesus rose from the dead, the Father viewed us as rising with Him positionally. But there's more. Our union with Christ in His life, death and resurrection provides the basis of our justification, sanctification and glorification.

In Romans 6:11, "count yourselves dead to sin" means that we should regard our old sinful nature as dead and unresponsive to sin. We no longer have to be forgiven for past sin. Going forward, every part of our bodies may still be vulnerable in sin, but in Christ, for every part we are empowerd to be a tool for service. For example, the tongue and mind of my body can be used to preach the Gospel. My hands and feet can be used for physical service.

Point is, God takes His believers through His process in Romans, not a slam dunk done. The same goes for His promise.

In Absent from the body, Present with the Lord we need to carefully follow the Biblical revelations in 2 Corinthians 5:6-9,
1 Thessalonians 4:16, Hebrews 12:22-24, many more teachings of the Scriptures in between to Revelation 21 - 22, the study of
Biblical revelations of physical death and bodily resurrection before we are with our Father in eternity.

God bless you, rtm3039 and your family.
 
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