Be absent from the body/pretrib/post trib

(Butch) #1

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV

Some people use this verse to say that when you die you go directly to heaven. Others say it says you would rather be absent from the body and doesn’t mean you go directly to heaven.
This ties into pretrib rapture or post trip rapture.
If you go to heaven as soon as you pass away what does it mean in - For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJV

There are three separate questions here that connect.

Which is correct pretrib rapture or post trib rapture?

And if you pass away are you immediately in heaven or are you asleep while waiting for second coming?
If you are present with the Lord as soon as your absent from the body what does dead in Christ will rise first mean?

(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #2

Hi Butch. I appreciate your questions. I’ll answer your questions based on my eschatological view, which is historic premillenialism. I’m fairly new to this view. There are other Christians who differ in their views and we must be charitable towards each other regarding this type of discussion.

  1. “Which is correct pretrib rapture or post trib rapture?”

The term “rapture” seems to imply a dispensational premillennial view. This came from the Latin word rapio, which means to snatch or carry away, and is used to refer to a secret coming of Christ to take believers out of the world before the great tribulation.

What I affirm is that Jesus will return to establish His millennial kingdom after the great tribulation. Then the believers who died will be resurrected, and they will reign with Christ on earth for a thousand years.

I believe this, because this seems to be the best interpretation of the eschatological texts in the Bible. Take Matthew 24 for example,

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. (v21)”

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. “And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (v29-31)”

This is post-tribulation.

  1. “And if you pass away are you immediately in heaven or are you asleep while waiting for second coming?”

This article I believe answers your question. Here is an excerpt:

"Following his death for sin, then, Jesus journeys to Hades, to the City of Death, and rips its gates off the hinges. He liberates Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, John the Baptist, and the rest of the Old Testament faithful, ransoming them from the power of Sheol (Psalm 49:15; 86:13; 89:48). They had waited there for so long, not having received what was promised, so that their spirits would be made perfect along with the saints of the new covenant (Hebrews 11:39–40; 12:23).

After his resurrection, Jesus ascends to heaven and brings the ransomed dead with him, so that now paradise is no longer down near the place of torment, but is up in the third heaven, the highest heaven, where God dwells (2 Corinthians 12:2–4).

Now, in the church age, when the righteous die, they aren’t merely carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom; they depart to be with Christ, which is far better (Philippians 1:23). The wicked, however, remain in Hades in torment, until the final judgment, when Hades gives up the dead who dwell there, and they are judged according to their deeds, and then Death and Hades are thrown into hell, into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13–15)."

  1. “If you are present with the Lord as soon as your absent from the body what does dead in Christ will rise first mean?”

Based on my view, after the great tribulation, Jesus Christ will come back to establish the millennial kingdom. The believers will then be resurrected first. You will see this in Revelation 20:4-5,

“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.”

(Ted Kilcup) #3

I’ll respond to the last two questions,

What scripture seems to say about what happens when we die is that as a believer we are present with the Lord. At this point we do not have a body, but we are in the presence of the Lord. This is possible without a body. This is clear, because it states, “to absent from the body, and be present with the Lord.”

When it says the dead in Christ will rise first, it is referring to the bodily resurrection. You get your body back, but not just your old body a better body.

I think this is clarified in 1 Corinthians 15

(Butch) #4

Hi Ted
Does the scripture say that to be absent from the body is to be with the Lord or does it say prefer to be absent from body and to be with the Lord. That could be speaking of the future couldnt it?