What Happens To Us When We Die?
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David B. Curtis
This is one of the wonderful things about the preterist doctrine. In futurism, when we die our spirits go directly to be with God in Heaven, only to be taken away from Him some day and put back into our reconstituted, physical bodies on Earth.
In contrast, preterists do not believe that Christians in Heaven have been waiting for centuries to leave Heaven and to be put back on a refurbished planet Earth. Preterists believe that when we die, we not only go immediately to be "with Christ," (Phil. 1:23) but we stay with Him forever. "So shall we ever be with the Lord." (I Thess. 4:17)
After we die, we "rest" and are "blessed," because our "deeds" "follow with" us. (Rev. 14:13) To live on Earth is to do the works that our Father has ordained for us. (Eph. 2:10) To die is "gain." (Phil. 1:21)
After we die, we are judged. "It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment." (Heb. 9:27) We are saved by grace through faith in Christ's blood, and when we die we are rewarded according to the works we did while we were in the body. (I Cor. 3:14; II Cor. 5:10)
After we die, we become "like angels." (Matt. 22:30; Mk. 12:25; Lk. 20:36) In Heaven we will be spirits. (Heb. 12:23) Not naked, disembodied phantoms hovering about, but spirits in the way that God Himself is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24), and that the angels are spirits (Heb. 1:7; )
After we die, we enjoy every blessing that futurists on Earth today think we will not obtain until an allegedly future Parousia at an alleged end of the New Covenant Age.
When I think about what it will be like when we die, I think of Moses and Elijah on the "Mount of Transfiguration." Those two men lived in glorious splendor and talked with Jesus, (Lk. 9:31) Who Himself was as radiant as the sun and as a flash of lightning before them. (Matt. 17:2; Lk. 9:29) Moses and Elijah were so glorious in their "afterlife state" that one of the Lord's apostles wanted to build tabernacles for them. (Matt. 17:4)
Yet the Bible also tells us this: Not only was John the Baptist greater than Moses and Elijah, (Matt. 11:11; Lk. 7:28) but the very weakest of all Christians is greater than was John the Baptist:
"He that is least in the Kingdom is greater than [John the Baptist]." (Matt. 11:11; Lk. 7:28)
The glory of Moses (II Cor. 3:13) and Elijah, and of John the Baptist, as bright and as consuming as it was, was nothing in comparison to the eternal and transcendent Glory of "Christ in you." (II Cor. 3:10-11; Col. 1:27; Heb. 11:39) The eternal Glory of the Kingdom of God (Lk. 17:21) is "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. ...Amen!" (Eph. 3:20)
One of the three things that forever "remains" throughout the Christian Age is "Hope" (I Cor. 13:13). As individual believers today, our living Expectation (I Peter 1:3-4) is to be forever with the Lord and His holy ones in the unimaginable joys of Heaven.
"Comfort one another with these words." (I Thess. 4:18)