Soul, glorified body reunited at resurrection
Editor, The News:
What happens to Christians when they die?
The Bible tells us that their souls/spirits are taken to heaven, because their sins are forgiven by having received Jesus Christ as Savior (John 3:16, 18, 36). For Christians, death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23).
Additionally, passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 describe Christians being resurrected and given glorified bodies similar to Jesus’ resurrected body.
Since Christians go to be with Christ immediately after death, what is the purpose of this resurrection? While the souls/spirits of Christians go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical body remains in the grave “sleeping” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). At the resurrection of Christians, the physical body is resurrected, glorified and reunited with their soul/spirit. This reunited, glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of Christians for eternity in the new universe and earth (Revelation 21-22).
2 Corinthians 5:8 declares “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:1 states “For we know that since our earthly house of this body were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
We are told in Psalms 16:11 “in God’s presence is fullness of joy; at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Paul said, “...we want you to know what will happen to Christians who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope”. At the death of Christians, their souls/spirits are instantly transported from their earthly bodies into the presence of Jesus awaiting a glorious resurrection.
Dr. Max C. Bungard
New Castle Bible Church