Q. Some say that 2 Cor. 5:6-8 means we Christians when we die, our spirit will go to be with the Lord. Our bodies and souls (mind, will, emotions) stay asleep until Christ returns at the last trumpet. I am confused as to whether the body with the soul is asleep and the spirit goes to be with the Lord. If the soul is asleep with the body, then what does the spirit do with the Lord and what about those who are alive will be caught up in the air with those who are raised from sleep?
So where do we, and what part of us go, when we die?
A. What 2 Cor. 5:6-8 says is that the eternal part of us is separated from physical or temporal part at the body’s death, and goes to be with the Lord. Then at the resurrection we get a new body, suitable for eternity. (1 Cor. 15:42) The only difference is that at the rapture there’s no death and the replacement of our body is instantaneous.(1 Cor. 15:51)
Paul’s use of the word sleep is not meant to be taken literally. He used it in place of death, because he knew that believers don’t die. The phrase soul sleep cannot be found in Scripture. It’s man’s attempt to explain the interval between the death and resurrection of the body.
But we have to remember that time as we know it is a relative thing, and only applies to physical beings on Earth. No one knows how or even if time applies to non-physical beings in other places.
God is outside of time altogether. Perhaps, once it’s released from our bodies, the non-physical part of us is as well. If so, we wouldn’t be aware of any passage of time between the loss of of our old bodies and the acquisition of our new ones.