The Dead Believers and the New Jerusalem
The Bible teaches that the dead believers are not in the New Jerusalem but rather are sleeping in their graves awaiting the resurrection. They don’t receive their rewards at death but at the second coming of the Lord. Jesus declared, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then, He will reward each according to his works” (Matthew 16:27). And He again affirmed, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).
People do not go either to heaven or hell at death. They sleep in their graves to await the resurrection day. Paul says that the saints will receive the “crown of righteousness” at Christ’s appearing (2 Timothy 4:8). Then the believers will be raised, given immortal bodies, and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. “The Lord himself shall descend… and the dead in Christ shall rise” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). There would be no purpose in a resurrection if people were taken to heaven at death. The Bible tells us that the prophet “David is not ascended into the heavens” (Acts 2:29, 34). He will ascend at the resurrection.
Jesus called the unconscious state of the dead “sleep” in John 11:11-14. After death a person: returns to dust (Psalms 104:29), knows nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), possesses no mental powers (Psalms 146:4), has nothing to do with anything on earth (Ecclesiastes 9:6), does not live (2 Kings 20:1), waits in the grave (Job 17:13), and continues not (Job 14:1, 2) until the Resurrection. The dead will sleep until the great day of the Lord at the end of the world (Job 14:12).
According to Scriptures, souls do die “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). Man, who is a soul is mortal (Job 4:17). Only God is immortal (1 Timothy 6:15, 16). But at the second coming, the believers will receive immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). The concept of an undying, immortal soul goes against the Bible, which teaches that souls are subject to death.
For more Bible evidence on the state of the Dead, check the following link: The Intermediate State
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In His service,