An Intermediate State?

Q. I was on a website you recommended and read an article by E.W. Bullinger on The Rich Man and Lazarus. An Intermediate state? He says that when we die our body goes into the grave and our spirit falls into a sleep mode and won’t be awakened until the Rapture when it will be rejoined with our body.

I have always understood that when we die our spirit goes immediately into the presence of the Lord. Jesus told the thief on the cross that today you will be with me in Paradise. Like wise 2nd Corinthians states that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

What do you think happens to our spirit when we die? If it goes to be with the lord do we have a temporary body and what do we do There while here on earth the church is waiting for the rapture.

A. I recommended philologos.org because it contains Bullinger’s work on the symbolic use of numbers in Scripture. It wasn’t meant to be a general endorsement. Sorry for the confusion.

The idea of an intermediate state, sometimes called soul sleep, was popular a couple of generations ago before we understood the nature of time. It was their answer to where deceased believers went to await the Rapture/Resurrection even though it conflicted with Paul’s explanation in 2 Cor. 5:6-8 and Phil. 1:22-24.

Now we know that time doesn’t govern the spirit world the way it does ours and realize that Paul was right. The spirits of departed believers go directly to be with the Lord and are reunited with physical bodies at the Rapture without experiencing the passage of time in the way that we do.

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