Where do believers who died go before the return of Christ?

Ridderbos talked about the intermediate space between death and Parousia. This is such an interesting subject and make an interesting paper. Though some may argue there is not much redemptive historical significance attached to it, it nevertheless carries a comfort and assurance to these who have loved ones departed in Christ. And it’s motivating as well. Parousia is defined as the second coming of Christ.

So  when Parousia happens, trumpets sounds, and the dead in Christ will be raised first.

1 Corinthians 15:51–53 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

Paul’s exposition here promises that upon Christ return, trumpet will sound, the dead in Christ will be raise imperishable with an imperishable body.

Ridderbos is arguing that when a Christians in Christ died, where would he be? He took especially from:

2 Corinthians 5:3–4 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

We long to be unclothed, to be clothed that mortality will be swallowed.  v Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Paul rather to be with the Lord at home with the Lord. But that will be before the second coming of Christ, therefore the glorified body will not be available yet. (507). So that’s what he introduced the concept of an “intermediate place” between “death and Parousia”.

I think that fits in very nicely with the conversation between Jesus and the thief on the cross.

Luke 23:42–43 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

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