When we die, our body dies, but our souls or spirits will continue to live on without bodies. So, our souls will be without bodies. While our bodies are living, our souls live within our bodies (2 Corinthians 5:1-10).
When we die, our souls exist in the angelic realm without a physical body, yet still has shape and substance. Revelation 6:9-11 says, "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?' Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been."
Our present world is blemished by sin. You and I are sinners, but as Christians, we are becoming more holy. We still struggle with sin, but when we die, our spirits, or souls, will be temporarily separated from our bodies, but God will make these bodyless spirits perfect. We will be without bodies until the resurrection day and will not be in the final heaven for a time.
At our point of death, God will see "the spirits of the righteous made perfect" (Hebrews 12:23). This Hebrews passage is likely referring to the bodiless spirits of believers who have already died and who are presently existing in the angelic heaven and have been "made perfect."
After we die, no more temptations. In our spirits, we will be completely sanctified. Holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:4). We will "become partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). We cannot share the divine essence but we share the divine character.
We will be happy on the other side. When we awaken on the other side of death, we'll be in the angelic heaven where Jesus is in his glorified body, seated at God the Father's right hand.
As Jesus was hanging on the cross, one of the thieves who had been crucified with him expressed a genuine faith in Christ when he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus replied, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:42-43).
As we lie on our deathbed, these should be the words that flow through our minds: "Today you will be with me in paradise."
Paradise is where we will awaken on the other side of death. How good is that?
Jay Craig of Shelbina, Mo., has worked with Shiloh Christian Children's Ranch for nearly 40 years. He's a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Craig attended Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, Mo. He can be contacted by email to email@example.com.