Dear Dr. Lindstrom, If when we die we go up to heaven to meet the Lord, why then, at the rapture, does Jesus call the dead in Christ up to meet Him? Aren’t they already there with Him?
Our souls go to meet the Lord upon death. Our new bodies will be called out the graves at the time of the rapture. II Corinthians 5:8 says, “absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” But we must wait to receive our new bodies. II Corinthians 5:1-5 says, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” Notice that the passage says that our souls are naked without a body. We are promised a new body and we must wait until the rapture to receive it.