Is There a State of Existence Between Death and Resurrection?

The New Testament doesn’t give a detailed description of what has been called “the intermediate state” of those who die as Christians. The focus of the apostle Paul is on the wonder and joy of the resurrection ( Romans 8:18-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ). However, he said that to die is gain because it is to “be with Christ” ( Philippians 1:21-23 ), and that to be away from the earthly body is to be “at home with the Lord” ( 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 ). Another significant passage is Jesus’ promise to the thief on the cross that when he died he would be with Him in “paradise” ( Luke 23:43 ).

It’s likely that even in the intermediate state we will have some kind of body. Paul said that at death “we have a building from God” ( 2 Corinthians 5:1 ). Man was created to be whole only as a being with a body.

These strong assurances that death brings us into the immediate presence of God are comforting. They clearly imply that Christians who have passed on are enjoying a conscious state of blessedness in God’s presence.

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