Questions and Answers: With the Lord or Asleep Until Resurrection?

Ecclesiastes 9:5  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
QUESTION: I was taught by my parents that when we die, we go to be with the Lord. Now I am told by others that all go to sleep in death till the resurrection. If you can, please enlighten me about this. What does Eccl. 9:55For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 9:5) mean, "The dead know not anything"?
ANSWER: The death of the Christian is often spoken of as sleep. (See Matt. 27:5252And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, (Matthew 27:52); Acts 7:6060And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:60); John 11:1111These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. (John 11:11); 1 Cor. 11:30; 15:6, 18, 20, 5130For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (1 Corinthians 11:30)
6After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. (1 Corinthians 15:18)
20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (1 Corinthians 15:20)
51Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (1 Corinthians 15:51)
; 1 Thess. 4:13-15; 5:1013But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:13‑15)
10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:10)
.) But being asleep refers to the bodies, so that they know not anything; they are away from all that is going on here on earth. Ecclesiastes is wisdom under the sun. We need what the Lord Jesus and His apostles tell us, to know the full truth.
We find clear evidence from them that neither saved nor unsaved are unconscious as to the spirit. Death in Scripture is NEVER ceasing to exist. There is no death to the soul or spirit.
Man, the highest of the animal kingdom, is a responsible being, and his existence is for eternity. The body decays at death, but the soul or spirit has gone either to be with Christ in paradise, or to the prison under chains of darkness, awaiting the day when the body will be given again to stand at the Great White Throne to receive the sentence—the wages of the sins of which the person was guilty The saved are seen in Luke 16:23; 20:38; 23:43, 4623And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Luke 16:23)
38For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. (Luke 20:38)
43And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)
46And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. (Luke 23:46)
; Acts 7:5959And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. (Acts 7:59); 2 Cor. 5:88We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8); Phil. 1:21, 2321For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
23For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: (Philippians 1:23)
; Rev. 14:1313And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them. (Revelation 14:13), and another picture of the martyrs in Rev. 6:9-119And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:9‑11).
They are warned to "fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell." Notice it is after He has killed. We see the unsaved, who would not listen to Noah's preaching, are now in prison (1 Peter 3:1919By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (1 Peter 3:19)).