Q. Daniel 12:2 says, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the Earth will awake, some to everlasting life and others to everlasting shame and contempt.” If we are either with Christ in Heaven or in Hades at death before the resurrections, why does it say “those who sleep in the dust of the earth?” Either we are in the ground or with Him or Hades, awaiting the resurrection, which is it? No wonder people are so confused.
A. It’s really quite simple when you think about it. The verses that refer to sleeping in the dust or something like that refer to our bodies that die and are buried. These verses are mostly in the Old Testament.
The verses that talk about us going immediately to be with the Lord upon death are talking about our spirit. These verses are in the New Testament, because before the cross, spirits of dead believers went to Paradise (Hades or Sheol) to be with Abraham, not to heaven to be with Jesus. Jesus took them to heaven when He ascended after His resurrection (Ephes. 4:8).
At the resurrection of the Church, the spirits of believers who have been with the Lord will be joined with resurrection bodies and it will be like people who were dead have suddenly come out of their graves.