Today people are called all manner of names and said to be heretics for believing this simple truth that the Bible teaches. Less than a hundred years ago Christian churches would have banished someone as a heretic for believing that we go directly to Heaven when we die or that the dead are looking down on us today. Folks the Bible teaches that those who have died since the Crucifixion of Christ, are asleep. They are asleep and know nothing about what is going on down here on earth or anywhere else.
If people went straight to Heaven or Hell when they died what would be the purpose of the Judgment Day (Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10) when EVERYONE will be judged before Jesus Christ? The Bible does tell us that at the end of the world He will separate the wheat (saved) from the chaff (unsaved), (Matthew 13:24-43), but then He will judge who has been faithful and who has not. Then He will say depart or He will give rewards accordingly before He says to any of us "enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:21).
I will say however for those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, that nothing I say here will make sense or fit in with your perception of the end of life. One must first recognize and understand that there is no rapture until after the Great Tribulation and before the Wrath of God is poured out. In the parable of Matthew 13:30 Jesus tells us that it will actually be the tares, the unsaved, that will be gathered up first. Christ is coming back to the earth one more time before the last day, not two times as is popularly believed. Most make the mistake of assuming these two events, the rapture and the wrath of God to all be the wrath of God. That is an error fostered to deceive people. It is two separate events which a careful reading of Revelation reveals.
The teaching that the dead are not asleep is Roman Catholic doctrine and teaching that was started by the Jesuits who have vowed to subvert the Protestant doctrine and faith in order to bring it back under Roman Catholic control. Think about it folks...If the dead are asleep and know nothing then there can be no communication and no prayers to the Catholic so-called
Saints could offer no protection or help to the living as the Catholic Church claims they now do. If the dead are asleep when they die then no one is in Purgatory and never has been. Actually there is no Purgatory and never was according to the Bible. Think of the billions of dollars these and other lies have raised for the Catholic Church over the centuries.
The Bible even warns us to have no dealings with the spirit world. Why? Because it is not your dead loved one communicating through that medium, it is a demon from Hell imitating them and deceiving you. Mockery and intimidation have been used since shortly before the Protestant Reformation to silence the Biblical facts on this and many other subjects.
Still, others will argue and insist that the Bible teaches that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Friends, that is not what the Bible is teaching in that passage or anywhere else. It is a misquote which many refuse to hear the correction of. In 2 Corinthians 5:6b we read
...whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. Then in 2 Corinthians 5:8 we read;
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. The Apostle Paul is writing to the Church at Corinth and he is saying that though I am yet in my flesh and blood body where I am comfortable and familiar, I am very willing to leave this body, this world and go be with the Lord. Many take this as proof that we go right to God upon death but there is nothing there to suggest any such thing, neither is there any other verse or passage in the Bible to suggest that teaching.
In John 11:11-17 we learn about the death of Lazarus. Jesus said He had to go wake Lazarus from sleep. The Disciples said that if he was asleep he was doing well so why wake him. Jesus finally said plainly,
Lazarus is dead. When they arrived they found Lazarus had been dead four days, yet Jesus raised him to life. As Jesus said, he was
asleep and when we die we go to sleep unless the Lord has returned. I have no doubt that death is like when we lay on our bed and lose consciousness in sleep, next thing you know it is morning, assuming you had good rest. It seems strange that so much time passed since we went to bed, seemed like five minutes. We will wake at the sound of the Trumpet when Christ returns, which will seem only a few minutes later perhaps. At this time we also receive our new body, and then we will be with Christ as the last day unfolds.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:52
[Christ] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. ~ Ephesians 1:13-14
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. ~ Ephesians 4:30
The day of redemption is on
the last day as is found in several verses.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. ~ John 6:54
In the book of Job the dead are referred to in several places as being asleep and we learn when the
last day referred to will actually arrive. The last day comes when the Lord returns and the earth and the heavens are destroyed.
So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. ~ Job 14:12
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. ~ 2 Peter 3:10
Seems rather clear that the dead will sleep until the heavens pass away and the earth is burned up, on the last day of time. Folks, don't let the devil confuse you and deceive you. What you believe should come only from the Bible. If we are saved when we die we
sleep in Jesus are
at rest, and many other things the old timers used to say of the Christian dead. To believe otherwise is to disbelieve the Word of God and to embrace the doctrines of men. When we create our doctrine or other beliefs from only one verse or passage while ignoring related verses and passages on the subject, we fall into error and misunderstanding every time.
All emphasis and underlining of Scripture ihas been added by the author of this article, JimO