Originally posted by @romans1009
I would not recommend this article too easily.
And here are a few reasons why.
First, for the believer in Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that after death believers’ souls/spirits are taken to heaven,
I don't find that in the New Testament.
I do see the immaterial part of man (soul and spirit) resting in a pleasant place. It is not conclusive that it is heaven.
In fact the next verses from Second Corinthians
would indicate otherwise. God does not want souls to be "unclothed"
before Him in heaven. This is an abnormal state for a human being.
To be without the body is to be found naked. And God does not want the unclothed and naked soul to dwell in heaven.
Also, this teaching gives people the impression that He is the God of the DEAD rather than the God of the living. Ie. You have to go into death in order to fully meet God.
This makes God more a God of the realm of DEATH.
He is a God of resurrection more so, IMO.
because their sins are forgiven by having received Christ as Savior (John 3:16, 18, 36).
But nothing in those verses say where the departed soul / spirit of man resides upon physical death. I'm sorry but neither verse 16
talk about WHERE the departed soul is located upon physical death.
We should be careful.
For believers, death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23).
"Therefore being always of good courage and knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are abroad from the Lord. (v6)
This has to be taken relatively because in another sense Christ the Lord is WITH all the believers while they are physically alive too.
"The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you." (2 Tim 4:22)
" And behold, I am with you all the days until the consummation of the age." (Matt. 28:20)
" ... do you not realize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, ...? (2 Cor. 13:5)
So to be "at home with the Lord"
(in physical death) in Second Corinthians must be relative. It should be MORE at home with the Lord but not at one's final destination for eternity.
The apostles did not want to be found "naked"
. They could not be really "at home with the Lord"
in an ultimate eternal sense as long as they were unclothed with their resurrected and glorified new bodies.
"For also in this we groan, longing to be CLOTHED UPON with our dwelling place from heaven. If indeed, being clothed, we will not be found NAKED. " (2 Cor. 5:2,3)
To be naked in heaven is not normal.
To be unclothed with the glorified body is abnormal.
The apostles did not want it so. And assuredly their God did not want it so.
BUT to be AWAY from the body is to be AT HOME with the Lord - relatively more so
then to be away from Him while physically alive on earth.
The final "at home"
is that their whole being be "swallowed up"
in the divine and resurrection life - totally.
Then they are really and finally "at home"
"For also, we who are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened, in that we do not desire to be UNCLOTHED, but CLOTHED upon, that which is mortal may be SWALLOWED UP by [divine] life." (v.4)
So where would they be "at home with the Lord"
but not in heaven? In Paradise
another place - where Jesus and the dying thief went together in their soul / spirit.
"And He said to him, truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Jesus did not die and go to heaven.
He died and went three days to the heart of the earth.
" For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights." (Matt. 12:40)
must be in the heart of the earth.
For it was there that Christ and the believing thief went on that day - "Today you shall be with Me in Paradise."
The heart of the earth is to where the departed believers go to be in Paradise
. They do not go to be unclothed and naked souls without resurrection bodies - in heaven.
But relatively so, they are more "at home with the Lord"
also says that when Jesus died He went to "the lower parts of the earth."
(Now this, "He ascended," what is it except that He also descended into the lower parts of the earth."
is also the place of the faith holding followers of Abraham. it is also called "Abraham's bosom"
This is the pleasant part of Hades (Luke 16:23
I think the article takes some of this into account, about the resurrected and glorified body.
However, passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 describe believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies. If believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, what is the purpose of this resurrection? It seems that while the souls/spirits of believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical body remains in the grave “sleeping.” At the resurrection of believers, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21-22).
But the unclothed body is in Paradise, in the heart of the earth, in Abraham's bosom, and not in heaven.
Examine closely, consider, and your reply is welcomed.