I just attended the funeral of a dear Christian Brother. My thought was, “He is with the Lord and we are still here.” This, of course, is based upon Second Corinthians 5:6-8. Therefore . . .
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
But then, we are familiar with another passage from the Apostle Paul,
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – First Thessalonians 4:16-17
So, how do we reconcile being “absent from our bodies and present with the Lord” with the further statement that those who are dead “will be resurrected at the sound of the trump of God?”
The answer is the fact that the Lord is outside of time. He and the spiritual realm are not affected by time as are we in this physical realm. Frequently, when we read a prophecy in the Old Testament, it is phrased in the past tense. That is because God, Who is outside of time, views the prophecy as an accomplished fact even though it has not yet occurred, and speaks of it as such.
My dear Brother-in-Christ is with the Lord right now, because in the spiritual realm it is always now. As yet, in our physical realm which is based on time, the Lord Jesus has not called us Home and the Resurrection has not yet occurred.
This is my opinion, based upon Scripture. If I am correct, when we are called Home by the Lord Jesus, we will arrive in Heaven at the same time (now) as parents and loved ones who have gone before us. The time in Heaven is always now. When we get there, it will be now. What a glorious reunion that will be. I look forward to it!
Praise the Lord for His wonderful Plan and for including us in His Plan! Praise the Lord Jesus for shedding His blood for our sins. Pray for the lost, that they might experience that glorious reunion also. The Day has to be near!