“We do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope, or those who donâ€™t have faith in Christ. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus, or died in Christ, before us. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep, or died in Christ. For the Lord, Himself, will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
There is confusion, and perhaps some concern, about the timing of when Christians receive their new bodies. Does it occur at the moment of death or is there a waiting period before they are issued? When a Christian dies, the physical body begins to decompose, but our spirit is immediately with the Lord in heaven. But when Christ is preparing for His return, there will be the rapture. While the word “rapture” itself doesn’t appear in Scripture, 1 Thessalonians 4:7 does talk about being “caught up together” (which is what the word “rapture” means). So those who are alive when Christ comes will be joined in the clouds with those who have already died and are with the Lord. Those who have already died will, at that time, be given a resurrected body that is like Jesus’ body. Those who are Christian and alive here on earth will also receive a new body. It will be a body that will not get sick. It will not be contaminated by sin. It will be a new body like Jesus’ – a resurrected body that never dies. Bottom line: as best as I can tell, we receive our new bodies at the rapture, not the moment we die.
If you’re not a Christian, not sure if you die today your spirit will be in Heaven with the Lord, don’t wait any longer to be sure. You don’t want to miss out on Heaven and you don’t want to miss out on a new body that never gets sick and dies.