Question: In your TBC for September [1996] you answered a letter about David and his baby in heaven. Surely your knowledge of Scripture is not as minimal as that…. | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

Question: In your TBC for September [1996] you answered a letter about David and his baby in heaven. Surely your knowledge of Scripture is not as minimal as that….[C]onsider what Christ inspired to be written in Acts:2:34: “For David is not ascended into the heavens” and verse 29: “David is both dead and buried and his sepulchre is with us to this day….” Paul wrote, “If the dead rise not…and if Christ be not raised…they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

Response: I’m not certain what you mean by your question. If you mean that David is not in heaven, then you are misreading Scripture. Peter was quoting David’s statement about his Lord being exalted to the right hand of God. In that context he says that David (obviously at the time he wrote that psalm) had not ascended to heaven. That prophecy was fulfilled in Christ in His resurrection and ascension. As for David being “dead and buried and his sepulchre with us,” that is true of anyone except Christ. He left His tomb empty. The tombs of all others (except those saints who came out of their graves and appeared to many at Christ’s resurrection before being taken to heaven - Mt 27:52-53) will only be emptied of their decayed bodies at the Rapture when “the dead in Christ shall rise” (1 Thes:4:16).

If you are teaching “soul sleep” (that those who die remain unconscious until the Resurrection), once again you misread Scripture. The rich man and Abraham were clearly conscious (Lk 16:24). To die is “to be absent from the body and present with the Lord” (2 Cor:5:8). Surely the body itself cannot be absent from the body, so Paul can only be referring to the soul and spirit. As for this state, he calls it “far better” than being on earth (Phil:1:23), which he surely would not say if it meant to be unconscious rather than here serving Christ.

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