posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 06:08 PM
There are a number of things you need to consider here:
1) Prior to the death of Christ, the dead 'slept'; that is, they were neither glorified (with new heavenly bodies, as 1 Corinthians 15 discusses)
nor translated into heaven. Jesus outlined the dichotomy of the afterlife in Luke 19, talking about 'the Rich Man and Lazarus'. Both were in
Sheol; one in the place of the dead, the other in 'Abraham's bosom'. One in great suffering, the other happy and healthy. Neither, though, were
2) After the death of Christ, we know that this paradigm has changed.
We can see that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord", but at the same time, as you've quoted, "the dead in Christ shall
This comes down to the nature of man. We know that man is composed of body, soul and spirit (and yes, soul and spirit are distinct entities, for the
Word of God is "able to divide between" them (Hebrews 4:12).
Upon death, our bodies die. They decay and turn to dust (this term, 'dust', is a Biblical term for atoms, or component parts). Our spirits,
however, go to be with the Lord. At the Rapture (the event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, which you quoted), the dead in Christ will rise,
those still alive and remaining will rise up to meet with them, and with the Lord, and the bodies of both those living and Raptured, and dead and
Raptured, are translated and glorified. Scripture uses the word 'oikiterion' to describe these bodies - the word literally means 'housing', and
describes an 'outer covering', which is what our bodies are. Our current bodies are flesh; the new bodies will be spiritual flesh. I don't take
this to be an airy-fairy concept, but a technology statement of sorts. Our current bodies are limited to three dimensions; spiritual bodies are not
(e.g. see Jesus entering/leaving rooms without opening doors, appearing and disappearing on the Emmaus road, and so on).
So, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord - but spiritually, not bodily. It is not until the Rapture that the resurrection of the
saints takes place, and both the living and the dead in Christ will be instantly clothed with new, spiritual bodies (read 1 Corinthians 15 for a full
rundown on this). The only criteria for participation in this event is a saving belief in Jesus Christ, marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit in
Those at this time who are not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ will remain here on earth. At that point, a period that the Bible calls "the
Tribulation" will commence, marked by seven years of horrific pain and bloodshed - both through man's inhumanity to man, through Satan's influence,
and through God's own judgment. This will be a time when, in large measure, the restraining power of God will be removed, and more than half of all
life on earth will die. This will be the final seven years of this period of history, and "there will be none like it, either before or after".
I believe we are on the cusp of this time period right now. I don't know how long we have; the Bible doesn't give a date for this event's
occurrence, it merely says "be ready". The Rapture (the evacuation of God's people) occurs first, then the Tribulation - and after that, the
Second Coming of Jesus Christ. When He returns, however, He comes not in peace, but in judgment upon the nations of the world.
Time is quite literally running out - and if you've never investigated for yourself the claims of Jesus Christ, the time to do that is now.
If you don't have a Bible, get one.
If you can't get one, message me and I'll mail you one. My cost.
It's that important. I believe we may very well have mere weeks or months until these events occur, and, as mad as that might sound (and as much as
I'd love to throw on a sandwich board and run out into the street screaming "THE END IS NIGH!!!"), the signs are all around us. We discuss them
here every single day. We KNOW something is wrong, we KNOW something is about to happen... but it's like we just can't quite place our finger on
what that thing is. It's why we look for false flags, it's why we discuss conspiracies, and it's why we have so many doom porn lovers! ...but the
truth is, the Bible told us thousands of years in advance that this was coming.
First, the reunification of Israel.
Second, the Rapture
Third, the Tribulation
Finally, the Second Coming of Christ.
There are other signs, of course - wars that the Bible presents in great detail that include players never before aligned together (Russia/Iran/China
being the big one), and numerous other events that we can see just waiting to be unleashed.
Time is short.
Make a decision, and make it now. If you're not informed enough, get informed... and if you don't have a Bible, get one, or ask me to give you one!