|FAQ ID # 183|
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|Question / Issue|
|The Bible says "the dead in Christ shall rise first". How can they rise if they are already in Heaven and return with the Lord at his coming?|
|Answer / Solution|
|The Bible says in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 that the Lord Jesus returns with those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. It's at that time that they meet their new, resurrected bodies in the air. The new body will rise from the grave (or the earth) to meet the believer who is returning with the Lord at the rapture.
When we die our soul and spirit is separated from our body. A believer's body is referred to as "sleeping" in the Bible. That's because sleep is not final, nor is is fatal. You may also want to read I Corinthians 15 which describes in detail the resurrection of the dead and the resurrected body.
Here are some other helpful verses that have to do with a believer and death:
Man has a three-fold nature:
I Thessalonians 5:23;
The Greek word for death is "thanatos", which means, "to separate".
Being "dead" does not mean we are non-existant or "unconscious":
I Timothy 5:6
The term "sleep" is never applied to the soul or the spirit, but only to the body of a believer:
I Thessalonians 4:14
The soul is conscious after death:
I Thessalonians 5:9-10
2 Corninthians 5:8
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