“The souls of believers are conscious, active, happy and with Christ between death and the resurrection.” A A Hodge*

Although there are some seasons of sorrow in the Christian’s earthly pilgrimage, in God’s mercy, there are also many seasons of great joy.

And even when we are going through sufferings, we can look forward to the prospect of resurrection with a perfect body, mind, and soul. That happy prospect generates many a happy thought in anticipation.

But what about in between times? What about the time between our death and the resurrection? What happens then?

In-Between State

That state, often called the intermediate state, is often quite scary for us to think about. It’s scary because to be without our body is unlike anything we’ve every experienced.

It seems so unnatural and abnormal that many have taught that at death the soul simply goes to sleep until the resurrection. We enter a kind of dreamy unconsciousness, and wait until the Lord wakes us up with our new bodies on the last day of time and the first day of eternity.

In-Between Happiness

However, that’s not what the Bible teaches. Although the Bible teaches that our consummate and complete happiness will have to wait until the resurrection, it also teaches that we will experience an intermediate happiness in the intermediate state.

No, it won’t be the ultimate happiness yet, but it will be far better than anything we’ve experienced in this life in this world. As Hodge said: “We will be conscious, active, and happy with Christ.” That’swhy theApostle Paul said that to depart and be with Christ is far better (Phil. 1:23).

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent fromthe body and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8)

* A A Hodge, A Commentary On The Confession of Faith (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1869), 525.

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