Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

Immediately after Death: with Christ

August 6, 2018

“Today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43

What was this like for the thief? And what does the experience of a Christian believer look like immediately after death?

Jesus promised that the thief would be with him, and he said that it would be today: “For you death will be an immediate translation into the joyful presence of the Father in heaven. You will be with me!”

Jesus died before the thief, and he committed his spirit into the hands of the Father. When the thief died, he went immediately into the presence of Jesus. After all that he’d been through, there was no post-traumatic stress for him in heaven, no wounds from the past, and no fears for the future—only complete healing in the presence of Jesus.

The experience of the thief is a prototype for the death of every believer. “While we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord… We would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6, 8).

When a believing loved one dies and you wonder, “Where are they now?” your first answer should be: “With Christ!” You will draw great hope from the clarity of this answer. They are away from the body—that is why we lay the body to rest—and they are at home with the Lord.

How might this truth bring comfort to a person?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

Explore this topic further

The Real Thing

Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17 (NIV) There is a direct connection between faith and serving. No passage of Scripture puts this more clearly than James. But this emphasis is not unique to James; it is the unanimous witness of the New...

Read Post

How Faith Comes to You

Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17 God creates by speaking. That’s how the world was made, and that’s how faith comes. Christ creates the capacity to hear, and this hearing produces faith. If you do not have faith, here is what you must...

Read Post

God Is Not Building Robots

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim). Romans 10:8 (NIV) Infant Christians want to be spoon fed. They always ask: ‘What’s the bottom line?’ ‘Where’s the takeaway?’ However, when a preacher reduces application to a list...

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

The One Year Unlocking the Bible Devotional

Unlock the mysteries of the Bible

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.