2 Cor 5.8 – looking for wisdom

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    • #18904
      Todd Tomlinson
      Participant

      I had an eye opening experience this weekend looking at 2 Cor 5:8

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

      And seeing how I missed the point that Paul was making and how that verse has been interpreted to mean “absent from the body = present with the Lord.”    I believe many pastors that I’ve listened to used that latter interpretation, but it appears that isn’t what Paul was saying.    If I look at his words “and willing to be absent from the body” appears to say that its Paul’s desire and his willingness, but it doesn’t say “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

      What spurred that discovery is digging into Thessalonians 4:16-17.

      “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.” “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

      Reading commentaries many say that the dead are already in Heaven and that the first to rise are those who return with Christ at the rapture and are reunited with their eternal bodies.

      In my finite mind – I am not able to assemble 2 Cor 5:8 and Thes 4:16-17 with the understanding that the dead are in Heaven.    My brain hurts trying to figure this one out.   Anyone have wisdom on this topic?

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    • #18907
      tenderreed
      Participant

      Indeed a conundrum!  Check out my latest thread.   TR

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    • #18908
      MyWhiteStone
      Moderator

      Does the claim, “…the dead in Christ shall rise first…” become part of your question, Todd?  Does “rise” mean bodily from a grave, wherever that may be?  (i.e., lots of bodies decay and even “graves” themselves over thousands of years disappear / disperse / explode / get washed away / …)

      How about this?  I suspect (not dogmatic) that souls / spirits do not necessarily possess locale — like possessing some certain coordinates in a certain frame of reference.  The phrase “with the Lord,” then, may not necessarily specify locale.  When saints’ spirits are reunited with bodies (incorruptible) then they again possess locale.

      I dunno.  Good question. :yes: :yes: :yes:

      Is “soul sleep” mixed into the examination?

      PS – you asked for wisdom and merely got a bunch of questions returned.  Sorry.

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    • #18910
      tenderreed
      Participant

      Seems to come down to understanding and interpretation!

      That’s where the notion of doctrinal truth comes from.

      That said, God who is love and loves us will sort out the details!

      TR

       

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    • #18915
      Todd Tomlinson
      Participant

      Great questions MWS and great point TR.     As for the dead in Christ are first to rise – I’m ok on that front.   I’ll just rest in the fact that we’re going to be with Jesus and how/when is up to the Father — amen to God loves us and will sort it all out TR!

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    • #18926
      Tammie
      Participant

      Todd, how about another level to contemplate—- because God is outside of human time, our earthly tent may meet death but we have confidence in Him who raised Jesus from the death will also raise us up, but the soul /spirit of who you are is already present in eternity.
      Is it too hard of a thing to think that the God of the universe who created matter with a spoken “let it be so” could do such a simple thing as raise a mortal body into immortality, a perishable seed to be imperishable? Just my two cents :wacko:

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    • #18927
      John C
      Participant

      Hello all from a new member enjoying lockdown in the UK. I am always wary of preachers who use verses withou context in their sermons but happily I am not a preacher so here goes. Luke 23:43 is a good starting point. The thief would be in paradise that very day. In Phil 1:23 Paul seems clear to me that if he is no longer in the flesh he is with Christ. Eph 2:6 says that we have been raised up together and made us sit down together inthe heavenlies. Rom 8:23 shows that we have the firstfruits of the Spirit and await adoption which is redemption of the body. I interpret Heb 6:18 to 20 as reinforcing that in a sense we have already entered within the veil. So we already are not only companions of Christ but already are partakers of the divine nature but await the redemption of our bodies. I could amplify much of what I have written but would just finish with a couple of points. It is because we are partakers of the divine nature that we can witness because only God can speak of man’s condition (John 2:24 and 25). Finally the spirit and the soul are not the same as far as I understand it. The spirit of a person is that which gives them life on this earth (Ecc 12:7) and the soul is that part which needs to be saved. Heb 4:12 shows that the spirit is capable of being divided from the soul.

       

      I hope that this is helpful and not too long winded.

       

      John

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      • #19015
        Tammie
        Participant

        Welcome John C.
        Not to banter on this point and I am not, nor do I claim to be a Greek scholar (maybe a bit of Latin as related to my profession) — remember also to understand the verse in the context of “what would they have thought and understood”,  but in this verse it has some pointed and clear definitions from the Greek language …
        Truly = Amen (Hebrew also)  – to you = soi – I say = lego (not the building blocks Dan B-) ) – today = semeron – <b>with</b> = met’  – <b>me</b> = emou – <u><b>you will be</b></u> = ese (no comma) – in = en – paradise = paradeiso

        When seen in this light, there are no commas to discuss and it is obvious Christ was concrete and concise in meaning. So, as the body might return to dust, you will be with Christ at the moment of death. Soon this discussion, although fun banter, will be a seen truth as we who are alive and remain are Harpazo (almost favorite word), to meet him in the air…. :yahoo: :prayer-hands:

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    • #18928
      tenderreed
      Participant

      I feed we are already seated in heavenly places!  That works for me.

      Welcome John C. glad your here and will enjoy your fellowship!

      TR

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    • #18931
      DonnaDonna
      Moderator

      Remembering our Lord announcing assuredly to the thief on the cross . .   “TODAY you will be  WITH ME in paradise ”  ~ ~     Luke 23:43.  . .   . . I trust  by faith, that souls in Heaven (awaiting bodily glorified resurrection)    are ‘clothed’  with the righteousness of Jesus NOW in His Presence ~ ~

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    • #18935
      MyWhiteStone
      Moderator

      Yes, John C.  Thanks for piping up.  Welcome.  Helpful yes.  Not so long, and some great “new” wind.

      So “absent from the body” applies to both soul and spirit?  But according to Solomon, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”  (Ecclesiastes 12:7)   I don’t know if I like the often circular discussions and lack of agreement on terms discussing what’s soul and what’s spirit; but regardless my likes lack value to others.  I’ll often go straight to “Uncle!”  (Is the word touche’ French for Uncle, by the way?)

      I don’t believe those who have gone on before are in limbo or soul sleep or something, awaiting their first ever encounter with their creator.  It almost has to be in spirit that our soul encounters the Savior at our death.

      I have wondered, assuming all the people who claim that their entire life they saw flashed before them in an instant, (e.g., reported after an NDA), that maybe the Bema Seat judgment (1 Corinthians 3:10-15) could possibly occur right after a believer’s death and before the final decision and induction into that spirit / (soul?) realm.  So if they got all that out of the way, not only would they better understand the non-corporeal nature of Paradise(?) during their stay, but not having to wait for their adjudication time with Jesus might leave only us rapturees to each experience the same kind of judgment instantly.  A happy thought is that with those resurrectees already done, the wedding supper could be held sooner.  Those who have already spent even hundreds of years with the Savior in “spirit” would like that too since none of them have had a single bite to eat since before they left here.  But it’s a meaningless speculation too, of course.

      So does Paradise possess a locale of any kind, do you imagine?

      Did the thief have to wait three days until Jesus Resurrection while He went through the gloomy dungeons?

      Do souls or spirits have any dimensions — whatever “dimensions” may actually be…?

      Should our inability to actually comprehend “time” be worked into this mosaic?

      Does mosaic law apply here?

      Still kinda fun to think about, but not to argue about…

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    • #18936
      tenderreed
      Participant

      Just glad the Lord knows what He is doing!

      Being with Jesus is all that counts!  I’ll forego the vain disputations!

      TR

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    • #18937
      tenderreed
      Participant

      I’m simply not that smart, anyway!

      TR

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    • #18938
      Todd Tomlinson
      Participant

      Interesting points.     I’ve had people argue with me over what Jesus said on the cross to the thief.  Since they didn’t have punctuation – did Jesus say “Assuredly I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise” – or did he say “Assuredly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise”.    The placement of the comma changes the context of the sentence.   My personal vote is “today you will be with Me in Paradise.”    But its interesting how interpretation drives division in the church.    I’ve had people argue until they’re blue in the face over the placement of that comma.    When people do things like that I feel like singing   “Let it go… let it go…”  – what matters is we get to spend all of eternity with Jesus…

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    • #18940
      DonnaDonna
      Moderator

      Jesus no doubt meant that THAT day the thief would be with Him in Paradise ~   else Jesus would have been obligated it seems to have  begun every word He spoke, starting with the word: “TODAY”    ~~ hope that makes sense ~~

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    • #18941
      tenderreed
      Participant

      Not only will we be surprised by whom we meet in Heaven, but just as surprised to find the true meaning of His words!

      For then He will no longer speak with parables and veiled words!

      He does take pleasure in that we immerse ourselves in His Word!

      TR

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    • #18942
      Todd Tomlinson
      Participant

      Totally makes sense Donna – just interesting how man gets in the way of the message.  There are some interesting folk out there….

       

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    • #18946
      tenderreed
      Participant

      If I’m not getting dumber on a daily basis, then you all must be getting smarter!

      TR

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    • #18992
      Geri7
      Participant

      Well I can only give personal experience that I “think” our saved loved ones in heaven are in some temporary body as they wait for their glorified one.

      After my mom’s memorial service that night I was laying in bed and I asked the Lord if my mom saw it and if so, can He show me.  Then I closed my eyes and I saw white puffy clouds and they rolled back as a scroll … I saw her young face amongst the clouds looks down smiling … then another flash of light and then the memorial service was in progress with the pastor speaking and flowers on display and the people in attendance and then another flash of light and the clouds were rolling back over to cover her smiling face and I woke up.  I found the image of her in her wedding album … she was 20 or 21 yrs old.

      Then after my dad died in Aug 2015 … I went into deep depression because I was all alone and had to pack and quickly start looking for a new place to live.  I didn’t even have my dog yet.  One night I asked the Lord if I could see my loved ones.  As I closed my eyes … I felt myself flying and the next thing I was in a white room and there they were standing in a semi circle … they all looked the age of when they got saved except for my sister-in-law’s mom … she was the age of when I first met her.  They were dressed in American clothes and were so happy.  Nobody talked … I got a chance to hug and kiss each one and I felt them hug and kiss me.  The last in the lineup was my grandfather so after we exchanged hugs and kisses the next thing I was immediately back in the family room and I was sad again because I wanted to be with them.

      I had a few encounters with angels and they were wearing American clothes so my view is there is a big wardrobe up in heaven … I don’t think we will just be wearing white robes for all eternity. B-)

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    • #18993
      tenderreed
      Participant

      Cool!  Thanks for sharing.  God must like you in order to grant your request in such a marvellous way!

      TR

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      • #19000
        Geri7
        Participant

        I’ve been begging for a rapture dream or a heads up rapture date … but to no avail.   I even made Chinese food last week since some watchers eat that and it triggers their dreams.   So I stir fried veggies in with the rice and added some hot sauce in with the sweet and sour sauce AND ate 2 garlic pickles on the side hoping this will trigger a dream.  Nope … just bad Agita instead. :cry:

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    • #18996
      David W. Roche
      Moderator

      Todd, I don’t see a contradiction there.  One passage deals with where the dead are upon leaving this life and the other focuses upon those who are alive and remaining  until Christ appears.  When He does, “thus shall we ever be with the Lord” in person, in a renewed body.

       

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    • #18997
      tenderreed
      Participant

      Good eye to distuingish Paul’s personal preference!  Many ha e since automatically assumed that same position!

      TR

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    • #19002
      David W. Roche
      Moderator

      As for why Jesus would emphasize “this day” in his response to the thief on the cross, remember the context.  He had just asked Jesus to remember him when the Lord came into His kingdom.  Evidently, the dying man must have been thinking of “someday,” but not immediately.  Jesus is reassuring him that he wouldn’t have to wait long to be with Him and see the results of his faith.

      I have heard the view that since there aren’t any grammatical markings, Jesus might have meant, “I say to you this day,” but that really doesn’t have much force behind it.  What would be the point, really?  Of course He was saying it on that day, and wouldn’t be saying it tomorrow.  That interpretation might be possible grammatically; however, it reduces the impact to where it is only a dramatic flourish.  “I say to you this day–you shall be with me in paradise!”  That doesn’t really offer much comfort in the present moment, I would think.

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    • #19008
      tenderreed
      Participant

      Agreed!  TR

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    • #19030
      John C
      Participant

      Hello all. Thanks for the welcome. I am using a Blackberry as I do not have broadband and just spent an hour composing a post which promptly disappeared when I tried to submit it! The gist is that OT prophets are described in 1 Peter as having the Spirit of Christ and Moses and Elijah were talking with the Lord on the mount of transfiguration so there is no doubt that even before our carnal bodies are raised incorruptible we have some sort of bodily form. Also, as members of one body there must be no room for vain disputation, and finally it was in Gen 2:12 that God breathed on Man and Man became a living soul. The spirit gives life to creation but the soul was breathed into Man by God.

       

      Once again, thanks for the welcome!

       

      John C

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    • #19032
      Todd Tomlinson
      Participant

      @geri thank you for sharing about your mom and your experiences.   On July 27, 1978 I was walking down the sidewalk and a car went up over the sidewalk and ran over me.   It happened so fast I didn’t realize what was going on but I vividly remember laying on table with a white sheet that draped down to the ground that was blowing in a warm breeze.  It was so peaceful and calming.   I remember looking up and seeing people that I knew standing around the table smiling at me, but nobody said anything.   The table was in the middle of field surrounded by rolling hills.   And then I heard a voice saying that I had to go back and at that moment I woke up underneath the car with people screaming.   I was pretty banged up but nothing was broken, just deep bruises.    Its on my list to ask Jesus about when I make it to Heaven…

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    • #19042
      DonnaDonna
      Moderator

      Yes,  good point, David . . The thief calling out to the Redeemer:   “‘REMEMBER me WHEN You come into your Kingdom, Lord'”   . . ~~ of course Jesus was about to enter His Heavenly Kingdom THAT DAY ~ ~ `

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    • #19057
      tenderreed
      Participant

      Thanks John!

      TR

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