Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
We are coming upon the time of year when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Many of our loved ones in Christ have already preceded us to heaven. What is their state like now is asked by many. We are told they are at rest, but this refers only to their earthly bodies. I Cor.15:35-39 tells us God created different kinds of bodies; those which are celestial, terrestrial; those that are natural and spiritual in nature. The unique thing about human beings is we are both natural and spiritual. Our natural mortal bodies house our God given spiritual immortal soul. And our souls will one day leave our bodies in death. The sad fact is that our souls have been corrupted by sin and since no sin can enter the presence of God, our sins must be purged from our souls prior to death. There is nothing we can do to purge ourselves of sin so God sent his Son, Jesus Christ who paid the sin debt which we owed to God, the debt of everlasting judgment. Once you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, your judgment is forever removed and your soul is cleansed of all sin. You thus are qualified, because of what Jesus Christ did for you, that you will enter heaven when your body dies and releases your immortal soul. Your soul will remain there until the resurrection of the New Testament saints at the close of the Church Age.
We think mostly of the time of the rapture/gathering of saints in their resurrection bodies, but what is their state until then?
Since believers will not receive their resurrection bodies until that day, then in what form do they exist today as they await their bodily resurrection?
It is obvious that they do have some kind of tabernacle or home for the soul and human spirit because of the documentation in Lk.16:19-31 and other passages. Eph.4:8-9 tells us that at the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead that he led those captive in the Paradise side of Hades up to heaven.
From Lk.9:27-36 at the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, the disciples, Peter, James and John saw not only Moses and Elijah when they awakened, but they also saw a transfigured Jesus Christ with these two Old Testament men as these men talked with Christ.
II Cor.5:1-8 gives evidence that an intermediate body is prepared in heaven for believers until their resurrection day. It is said to be a body made in heaven.
From Lk.16:19-31, where we have the narrative of the rich man who speaks with Abraham and the beggar named Lazarus, we saw where they recognized one other thus they had to have a body of some sort to see and experience where they were, whether they were on the Paradise side or the torment side of Hades.
In the Transfiguration passage of Lk.9:27-36, it is evident in v.30 that Moses and Elijah talked with Jesus Christ as He too was bodily transfigured. It is documented from Scripture that we will be recognizable in heaven in our intermediate body as we were on earth before death. Obviously this same truth will be carried through in our glorified state.
The intermediate body is a body which is heaven oriented whereby it is not disposed to corruption. Also it is a body, as will be the resurrected and glorified body, which will not depend on the inhale and exhale of oxygen for survival. When the men who are mentioned in our Luke study were deceased and out of their earthly bodies, they were alive as any man, but not by the means that keeps us physically alive today.
And just as a note on this point; the infant in the womb, though questionably conscious, is not required to be breathing of its own power to be a living human soul, for even after you die you too will not be breathing, yet consciously you still will remain for all eternity as a vibrant living human soul. You do not have to be breathing to be a living soul because the soul is from God and God is eternal, thus the soul never dies. Ps.97:10 tells us that God preserves the souls of his saints. Ecc.12:7; Isa.57:16 and Ezek.18:4 tells us that all souls are made by and belong to God. However, because God gives to each one of us the free will to choose or reject Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven, then it is up to each individual as to the location of where he or she will spend eternity, with God in Heaven or forever alone in Hell.
Brethren, do not fret over the condition of your loved ones who have passed on in Christ in physical death. They are enjoying the fruits of heaven and the presence of the Lord. They are not asleep in the graves from the soul standpoint, only the earthly bodily standpoint.
So, until it is your time to go, prepare your souls for heaven by believing in Jesus Christ and living for him every day of your life.