1-Jesus Himself stated that death is a state of sleep. “These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead” (John 11:11-14). There are many other references in the Bible that show that death is a state of sleep (1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Corinthians 1:18).
2-The Lord teaches that people do not go either to heaven or hell at death. They go to their graves and wait to be awakened at the Resurrection Day. “All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28, 29).
3-Rewards or punishments are given only at the Resurrection Day not at death. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
4-The Lord confirms that the righteous dead don’t go to heaven at death but later at the Resurrection, “David … is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” And he adds that, “For David is not ascended into the heavens” (Acts 2:29, 34).
5-Some claim that Jesus went to heaven during the 3 days in the grave. But Jesus denies that. When Mary saw Him in the garden after His resurrection, Jesus said to her, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (John 20:17).
Jesus being our example (John 13:15) in every thing slept in the grave till the day of His resurrection (Psalms 13:3; Daniel 12:2; Acts 7:60; Job 14:12).
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In His service,
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