Where Are Those Who Died Before Christ?

Q. Where are those who died before Christ? Such as David, Moses, or any Jew or gentile ( assuming that they were saved). Are their spirits with the Lord? And will they be reunited with bodies at The Rapture like The Church dead will be? I read that The Rapture is for The Church solely. Yet from my own studies I can’t find out . All I am clear on is that The Church , both the living and the dead, will be raised and caught up.

A. Before the cross, the spirits of those who died in faith of a coming redeemer went to a place that came to be known as Paradise. The Jews also called it Abraham’s Bosom. It was located in Sheol, which is Hebrew for “the abode of the dead. ” Its Greek name is Hades.

This is explained in the Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). They did not go directly to Heaven because Heaven was only opened to believers after the cross. When Jesus rose from the dead these spirits were taken to Heaven (Ephesians 4:8), where they’ve been joined by Church Age believers who die.

The rapture of the church includes living believers and those who have died since the Church began. We’ll all be taken to the New Jerusalem (John 14:2-3) to be protected from the End Times Judgments. After the 2nd Coming, the New Jerusalem will descend out of Heaven to take its place in the vicinity of Earth where it will be the source of light for the world (Rev. 20:2,23-25).

The New Jerusalem is the exclusive home of the Church (Rev. 21:27) so we will not be joined there by Old Testament believers. They will be resurrected at the end of the Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:1-2) and will live in Israel, where they’ll be governed again by King David (Ezekiel 37:24-25). I believe their resurrection will happen at the same time as the Tribulation martyrs mentioned in Rev. 20:4.

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