We Stop Sinning When We Die, but That’s It Until Jesus Comes Back Here Again

We stop sinning when we die, but we are not resurrected until Jesus comes again. Now Christ is seated in heaven (Acts 2:34; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:13). None of the justified elect are now in heaven. None of the justified elect have ascended to a place from which they never descended. (John 3:13)

Psalm 110:1–”The Lord says to my Lord; Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The justified elect do not share God’s throne and do not sit at God’s right hand.

An ascent directly into heaven from death without a resurrection would be Plato’s pagan idea of death as the release of an immortal soul. Gnostics teach going to heaven without resurrection. Some of these gnostics are preterists, but most of them simply do not think straight about the need for the second coming of Christ.

They also hold onto unbiblical ideas about what “soul” is. Since they do not know that the living soul is body plus breath (Genesis 2:7), they tend to think of the “immortal soul” and they cannot deal with reality of Christ the servant pouring out His soul unto death (Isaiah 53). Since they change Christ’s death into “spiritual death”, they also tend to change Christ’s bodily resurrection into “going to heaven.”

Ephesians 1:20 describes God’s mighty power “which He exercised in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and enthroned Him at His right hand in the heavenlies.” See also I Peter 1:21, 3:22; Eph 4:8-10; and I Timothy 3:16

Acts 3:15–”You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead.”

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11 Comments on “We Stop Sinning When We Die, but That’s It Until Jesus Comes Back Here Again”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    Let me explain.

    there can be no dis-analogy
    since the life is eternal, the punishment must be eternal

    if we are going to live forever, they are going to have to get punished forever

    and death as a punishment that lasts forever would not be enough
    just like a redemption that lasts forever would not be enough

    you see
    eternal life is not “mere” endless existence, because
    it’s a quality of life

    which means

    that eternal punishment is not “mere” endless existence, because it means to continue living in a state
    with an extremely low quality of life
    what with all the sinning
    and all the being tortured

    so you see
    those who teach punishing forever are “pro-life”
    we don’t have to feed you, give you health care, etc
    we want you to have life even if it’s low quality

    the wages of sin is not extinction
    the soul that sins shall not die

    and oh by the way
    even though eternal punishment is not merely endless existence
    but very low quality,
    it turns out it’s also endless existence

  2. markmcculley Says:

    1 Corinthians 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

    1 Corinthians 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

    2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

    James 1:18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    Revelation 14:4. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb,

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Dale Allison—A Presbyterian minister once shared with me that, when he attended seminary in the 1950s, he was taught that immortality is unbiblical and bad, resurrection scriptural and good. Trusting his teachers, he took their claim to heart. So when, after getting his first church, a grieving widow asked him where her husband had gone, he told her: your beloved is in the ground, dead to himself and the world, awaiting resurrection. Other mourning parishioners received the same news. In each case, the pastor perceived, they took no comfort. On the contrary, their anguish was augmented. His people wanted to hear that their loved ones were in heaven, or with Jesus, or in a better place. Imagining them cold in the dirt didn’t console. This occasioned much reflection on the pastor’s part. He eventually decided that, if the gospel is good news, and if his doctrine was bad news, something was amiss. Souls, heaven, and immortality returned to his ministerial vocabulary.

    Mark—when being “pastoral” means being “pragmatic”


    If, as 4 Ezra avows, illness will be banished, we won’t need white blood cells, antibodies, and the rest of the immune system. And if, as Revelation promises, we’ll neither hunger nor thirst any longer, then we won’t require kidneys to reabsorb water. Nor will we, if immortal, need blood, veins, arteries, and a pumping heart to circulate nutrients and remove waste products. One understands why Calvin proposed that plants in the world to come won’t be for food but for pleasantness in sight,

    I remember a dinner with N. T. Wright. Given that he has been so insistent that Jesus’ tomb was empty and that God will raise the dead for life on a refurbished earth, I asked him what he makes of all the old riddles, such as the puzzle of shared matter. Unruffled, he opined that Origen long ago had solved most of the issues. So the great modern apologist for resurrection turned out to be less than a full literalist. His view wasn’t that of Jerome. He was rather closer to a church father who minimized material continuity and thereby secured for himself widespread condemnation. Wright’s judgment stands for a dramatic change in Western Christianity. Locke has won, which means Origen has won. Even those who still defend resurrection no longer fret about diffused particles.

  4. markmcculley Says:

    mark: all the elect are glorified at one time together, not individually when they die.

    I Thessalonians 4: 15 We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive will be caught up TOGETHER with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage ONE ANOTHER with these words.

    Hebrews 11: 39 All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us

    Bodily resurrection isn’t about the lone individual. It’s rather a public and communal event at one point in time. In Matthew 25, all the nations are gathered before the Son of man, and in Revelation 20, all the dead stand together before the great white throne. Here Christian art follows the Bible and gets it right. Scenes of the resurrection typically depict large crowds.

  5. markmcculley Says:

    resignation and acquiesence bias
    do not cancel out regrets
    we need resistance to “current events”

    memory loss helps us forward
    toward indifference
    about choices past
    and future

    what does it matter
    what did it matter

    Tuesday is Roots Market
    jazz on Thursday night
    notes to remind ourselves

    buy Chuck Taylor shoes for Kevin’s birthday
    mother’s day was Chanticleer
    Longwood Garden our anniversary

    the stream is still conscious

    psalm 116 i will walk
    before the Lord in the land of the living

    whose husband will he be in the resurrection?
    they say there is no being raised from the dead
    but this age is passing away
    the time is limited
    from now on
    as it was already

    time was always short
    from the beginning
    the age purposed to pass away

    God is not the God of the dead
    except insofar as God raises the dead

    Revelation 20: 5 The rest of the dead did not again until the age was completed. This is the first resurrection.


  6. markmcculley Says:

    when humans pass away (die), do they go back to nothing (or dust)?
    \when the old earth passes away, will the old earth be destroyed?
    was the world after the flood made out of the world before the flood?
    will the new earth be created out of nothing?
    I Peter 1: 7 You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials 7 so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which PERISHES THOUGH REFINED BY FIRE—will result in praise, glory, and honor AT THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST.
    II Peter 3: 5 Long ago the heavens and the earth were brought about from water and through water by the word of God. 6 Through these waters the world of that time PERISHED when it was flooded. 7 But by the same word, the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and DESTRUCTION of ungodly men
    II Peter 3: 10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will PASS AWAY with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be DISCLOSED. 11 Since all THESE THINGS things are to be DESTROYED in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in HOLY CONDUCT and godliness
    Malachi 3: 2 But who can endure the day of His coming? And who will be able to stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire and like cleansing lye.
    Revelation 21: 4 the previous things have passed away 5 Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.

  7. markmcculley Says:

    William Tyndale, 1530—- “Nay, Paul, thou art unlearned; go to Master More, and learn a new way. We be not most miserable, though we rise not again; for our souls go to heaven as soon as we be dead, and are there in as great joy as Christ that is risen again. And I marvel that Paul had not comforted the Thessalonians with that doctrine, if he had known it.” An Answer to Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue (Parker’s 1850 reprint), bk. 4, ch. 4, p. 180

    William Tyndale—“When More proveth that the saints be in heaven in glory with Christ already, saying, “If God be their God, they be in heaven, for he is not the God of the dead;” there he stealeth away Christ’s argument, wherewith he proveth the resurrection: that Abraham and all saints should rise again, and not that souls were now living hell or in purgatory or in heaven; which doctrine was not yet in the world. With that doctrine More taketh away the resurrection quite, and maketh Christ’s argument of none effect.”

  8. markmcculley Says:

    Seeking sainthood in the Catholic Church? If you’re from outside Western Europe, things are looking up. A Harvard University study suggests both an uptick in saint-making and a larger portion of new saints coming from outside Western Europe, thanks to increasing competition for worshipers around the world from Protestant religions. Sainthood is quite an exclusive club for American Catholics. Pope Francis’s plans to canonize a Spanish missionary next week will be only the 11th canonization of anyone with close ties to America. During his trip to the United States later this month, the pope will canonize Junipero Serra, who spread Catholicism in modern-day California. Declaring Serra a saint — meaning the Catholic Church recognizes that a person has made it to heaven and can intercede for those on earth. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/09/14/so-you-want-to-be-declared-a-saint-by-pope-francis-see-your-odds-here/

  9. markmcculley Says:



    but protestants don’t understand heaven either


    John 3:12 If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.

    sudden death is not sudden glory—but not because of purgatory


    Luther vs praying for the dead,

    from Carlos Eirie, A Very Brief History of Eternity, p 108

    A mere three years after he challenged Tetzel to a debate on indulgences with his 95 theses, Luther would be arguing that praying for the dead was as wrong as praying to the dead. To believe that the dead in heaven could pray for anyone on earth was dead wrong, as the pun would have it, or even worse. “The Scriptures forbid and condemn communication with the dead… For Luther, the communion of saints mentioned in the Creed was not to be understood as anything other than a eschatological hope.about the promised resurrection and the kingdom to come.

    Luther summed it up in a sermon in 1522—-The summons of death comes to us all, and none of us can die for another. Everyone must fight his own battle with death by himself, alone. We can shout into each other’s ears, but everyone must himself be prepared for the time of death. I will not be with you then, nor you with me.

  10. markmcculley Says:


    N T Wright In I Cor 3, Paul does not say that the people who have built with gold, silver and precious stones will go straight to heaven, or paradise, still less to the resurrection, while those who have used wood, hay and stubble will be delayed en route by a purgatory in which they will be punished or purged. No: both will be saved. . This is a solemn passage, to be taken very seriously by Christian workers and teachers. But it does not teach a difference of status, or of celestial geography, or of temporal progression, between one category of Christians and another.
    In fact, there are so many things said in the New Testament about the greatest becoming least and the least becoming greatest that we shouldn’t be surprised at this lack of distinction between the post-mortem state of different Christians. There is no reason whatever to say, for instance, that Peter or Paul, James or John, or even, dare I say, the mother of Jesus herself, is more advanced, closer to God, or has achieved more spiritual ‘growth’.

    Think about one of Paul’s best-known chapters, often rightly read at funerals. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ,’ he writes (Romans 8.1). The last great paragraph of the chapter leaves no room to imagine any such thing as the doctrine of purgatory, in any of its forms. ‘Who shall lay any charge against us? … Who shall condemn us? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?… Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor the present nor the future, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!’ And if you think that Paul might have added ‘though of course you’ll probably have to go through purgatory first’, I think with great respect you ought to see, not a theologian, but a therapist.

  11. markmcculley Says:

    Hebrews 9: 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered (ON EARTH) once to bear the sins of many, will appear (ON EARTH) a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are WAITING for Him.

    Hebrews 10: 12 But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. 13 He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool.

    how many times do the justified elect go to heaven? none
    how many times does Jesus come to earth? twice
    what does Jesus do between His two comings to earth?

    Hebrews 9: 24 For the Messiah did not enter a sanctuary made with hands (only a model) but into heaven itself, in order to NOW APPEAR in the presence of God FOR US.

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