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Are the dead with Jesus?

Submitted: 10/31/2010
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Question: If the Bible says 'absent from the body present with the Lord,' why then do the dead rise first when Jesus comes a second time? Aren't they with him already since they have already died?

Answer: In the Bible, death is often called sleep. The idea is that just like sleep, when a person is dead he loses the ability to recognize the passing of time. So when a true believer dies, the very next thing he will know is being alive with Jesus, even if he has been dead for 1000 years. But this will not actually occur until the second coming of Christ.