Q. When a believer dies supposedly his/her spirit goes directly to the presence of the Lord but in what form? Some say we receive a perfect body at death but if so what is the purpose of the resurrection then? It appears that when we die as believers we have some sort of conscious awareness but do we have a temporary body?
It seems cruel or even scary for us to be disembodied until the resurrection. I think this is why some are tempted to agree with soul sleep because it seems to be the most logical explanation without being contradictory or perhaps we need to admit that we just don’t know.
A. Paul said believers who die go directly to be with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). He also said that at the rapture the dead would be raised (1 thes. 4:16-17). The first statement refers to our spirit and the second to our body. When we die our body goes into the ground where it quickly decays, while our spirit goes to be with the Lord. No one knows what form we take on then, although from passages like Luke 16:19-31 it appears to be recognizable to others in that realm. At the resurrection we receive a new physical body that, unlike our current one, is not subject to aging, illness or decay (1 Cor. 15:53).
You say that all this sounds scary and maybe you’d rather just sleep through it, but the fact is this will surely be the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to you, and besides that we aren’t given a choice in the matter. Soul sleep might appear to be the most logical explanation to you now, but that’s just because you only have the experience of this life to draw on. Personally, I can hardly wait to see what the next life will be like.