About Jesus Steve Sweetman
What is "soul sleep"? Some theologians say that once we die our souls go to sleep until the day comes when Jesus returns and raises our dead bodies into new eternal bodies.
The opposite opinion to "soul sleep" is that once we die, our souls go immediately to be with Jesus. We get our new bodies later.
Some proponents of "soul sleep" suggest that there are conflicting statements in the N. T. concerning this subject. Some passages suggest that we will be resurrected at the last day, while others tend to suggest that we go to Heaven as soon as we die. In order to bring these 2 ideas together these people have come up with the idea that at death our souls fall asleep. At the resurrection day our souls come alive and are united with out new bodies. In that sense of the word, once we die, it is like immediately entering God's presence because the time in which our souls sleep goes by quite fast.
I have never been convinced in the doctrine of "soul sleep". Paul told the Philippians that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. I don't think there is any way around what this statement implies. If one is dead in his body, then he is alive in the presence of Jesus, assuming he is a true believer. "Soul Sleepers" try to interpret this statement by Paul in light of other statements that he makes concerning the resurrection of our bodies. (see 1 Cor. 15) They come up with "soul sleep".
I don't see the discrepancy in Scripture as "Soul Sleepers" do.
There is also the statement made by Jesus to the thief on the cross. Jesus told him the He'd see him in paradise that very day. Laying aside the definition of "paradise", it is clear that the thief's soul would not sleep, unless you interpret the word "day" as being a very long period of time, which I don't.
This is my idea. We die. Our souls go to be with Jesus. Jesus returns to earth. Our souls are united with our glorified body.
If this does not satisfy the "Soul Sleepers", here is another idea. It is only a possibility. I'm not saying this is truth. We live in time and space. God is outside time and space. God, including Jesus is already in the future. When we die, we leave time and space and enter eternity where there is no such thing as a clock. Therefore, when we die, we immediately enter the moment in the future when Jesus returns and gives us our glorified bodies. Our souls don't sleep. We are with Jesus immediately, and we get out new bodies immediately. Just an idea.