KEY SCRIPTURE: John 5:28 KJV “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,”
The Lord made mention of a time that He will call for all those in the grave to hear His voice and then respond, by resurrecting from their graves. This statement has brought lots of controversies among certain bible teachers. Some say when people die, they sleep in the grave till the resurrection. The others say, when men die their Spirit depart to be with the Lord. What does the scriptures actually teach? I will want to make the following statement about the interpretation of scripture according to Isaiah 28:10 KJV “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” it says to do justice in the interpretation of scripture, it must be done by being very judicious and looking at the scriptures, line upon line. Precept upon precept, here a little there a little. If you are to make a doctrine or interpretation without looking at other parts of the scripture that are related to the event you are considering, then you may be going into error.
From the statement our Lord made, it may mean all the dead are in their graves. Meaning the Spirit, soul and the body, are in the grave. Is that what really happens? Let’s take a journey through the scriptures and look at all the related issues concerning people who die.
1. What happens when people die? We would look at a couple of scriptures to help ourselves. The scriptures always use the term ‘gave up the ghost or the Spirit. I will give a number of instances. Genesis 25:8 KJV “Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.” The following scriptures also describe the death of Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and any other person as giving up the ghost. The references are as follows: Ishmael (Genesis 25:17), Isaac (Genesis 35:29), Jesus (Matthew 15:37).
When the Lord was dying, He said in Luke 23:46 KJV “And 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.
When one dies his Spirit leaves the body (James 2:26). In the Lord’s case He committed His spirit into God’s hands. His Spirit left to be with the Father. In Philippians 1:23, Apostle Paul said the following ” For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” he said when I depart, or when I give up the ghost or Spirit, I will be with Christ, who is presently in heaven. He says the same thing concerning every other believer in 2nd Corinthians 5:1 “That when we live this body or tabernacle, we would be clothed with a heavenly one. He went on to say that, we leave this place to be present with the Lord. 2nd Corinthians 5:6. Let’s look at what Ecclesiastes said concerning the Spirit of man when it dies. Ecclesiastes 3:21 KJV “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”
From this journey through the bible, we can establish that;
1. When a man dies his Spirit leaves the body.
2. The Spirit departs to be with the Lord, if the person is a child of God.
We would continue with this study to understand what it means for those in the grave to hear his voice and respond.
THOUGHT: THE CHRISTIAN DEPARTS TO BE WITH THE LORD
James 2:26 KJV “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Acts 5:5 KJV” And Ananias hearing these words down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.”