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When a saved person dies, will his body go back to the dust and his spirit go to Paradise?

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Not quite. When a “saved person” dies, his body goes back to the dust and his spirit or breath goes back to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells us this:

Ecc 12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

We find one of the few references to “Paradise” in Luke 23:

Luk 23:42-43 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (43) And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” [* see note at bottom of page]

The thief on the cross had asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom. Jesus assured him that on that day, the thief would be with him in Paradise. Paradise = the kingdom. The Kingdom refers to God’s Kingdom that Jesus will establish and rule over.

The saints do not enter the Kingdom at death, but at the resurrection at the return of Jesus. Some verses indicating this include:

John 6:39-40:

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. (40) For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Daniel 12:1-3:

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. (2) And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (3) And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Matthew 25:31-34:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. (32) Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (33) And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. (34) Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

To summarize:

  • The redeemed will die at the end of their life.
  • They will sleep the unconscious sleep of death until the return of Jesus to the earth at the last day.
  • Jesus will waken them from sleep and give them immortality.
  • They will then, like the thief on the cross, be with him in Paradise.

* Luke 23:43 is not well translated. It probably should have been translated either:

“Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise,” with the comma after “today”,

OR

“Truly, I say to you, this day you will be with me in Paradise” — “today” can equally well be translated “this day”.

We know the meaning of the verse couldn’t have been “today, you will be with me in Paradise”, because that day Jesus was not in Paradise but in the grave.

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1 Comment

  1. B Edwards

    When reading the Bible, reading the context. Jesus said “this day you will be with me in paradise”. What day? Well, the thief on the cross said “remember me when you COME INTO YOUR KINGDOM”. Has Christ come? Has the kingdom been set up? No.

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