The Shocking Truth About II Corinthians 5:8

What does being absent from the body and present with the Lord really mean? Does it prove that we will immediately go to heaven when we die? Or, we are missing the whole point of Paul’s statement? Discover the surprising truth today!

What does being absent from the body and present with the Lord really mean?
What does being absent from the body and present with the Lord really mean?

II Corinthians 5:8 tells us:

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

The majority of Christians today believe that this verse supports the idea that righteous people go to heaven immediately after they die.

They interpret this as the phrase “absent from the body” means passing away and “present with the Lord” means being in heaven where Jesus is.

However, what if I tell you that the majority of Christians today are wrong in their understanding of II Corinthians 5:8?

What if I tell you that II Corinthians 5:8 means entirely different from what most Christians believe?

What if I tell you that the Scripture doesn’t actually teach that we will go to heaven immediately after we die?

Will you believe me?

Of course, don’t believe me, believe what the Bible says. 

That’s why in this blog, I invite you to examine II Corinthians 5:8 and what it really means.

What did Jesus teach about II Corinthians 5:8?

Most Christians believe that after a righteous person dies, he/she will go to heaven. One of the bible verses they use is II Corinthians 5:8.

However, if most Christians today are correct in their teaching that righteous people go to heaven, then they will surely go against what Yahshua the Messiah or popularly known as Jesus Christ taught.

Here’s what He clearly said in John 3:13:

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

Now that’s one verse that goes flying right in the face of Christians who believe that they will go to heaven when they die!

So, we have a situation here:

Jesus said no one has ascended to heaven.

Most Christians say they will go to heaven.

Who is lying? 

Who is telling the truth?

Who are we to believe?

It’s a question you have to personally answer, but as for me, I would rather believe what my Savior has said.

To make things even clearer, Jesus talked more about death in John 5:28-29:

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

Where are those people who will hear the voice of the Messiah?

Did Jesus say heaven? It says, “graves!”

Now, perhaps, you will think the wicked are the only ones who are in the grave. But we read that BOTH the wicked and the righteous are in their graves waiting for the resurrection. Some to the resurrection of life and some to the resurrection of condemnation.

What the Bible teaches about II Corinthians 5:8

We just read what Yahshua or Jesus taught about II Corinthians 5:8.

Now, what does the rest of the Bible teach?

We read in Acts 2:29, 34:

29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day… For David did not ascend into the heavens.”

We know that David is known to be a friend of God. If there’s anyone who will go to heaven, it should be David. However, we read here that he didn’t ascend to heaven.

We also read in Revelation 5:10

10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”

We shall reign where? In heaven? No, on the earth!

Now, there are more passages I can share with you, but what I have presented to you should already establish the fact that we are not going to heaven immediately after we die. 

All of us are going to the grave, where we wait for the resurrection of the dead.

Paul contradicting himself?

We know that Paul was taught by Yahshua Himself through special revelation (Galatians 1:11-12). Therefore, surely, he knew the truth about heaven and hell.

Paul knew that the dead are like sleeping in their graves. 

We read:

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Paul knew that death is like sleeping. The dead are not consciously singing and dancing in heaven.

That’s why Paul was saying that the dead are waiting for the resurrection.

Think about it for a second, if the righteous are already in heaven, what is the need of resurrecting them again? There’s none simply because the popular teaching of heaven is false!

Paul even wrote:

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8

We see here that the crown of righteousness, the reward of the righteous, which is eternal life, would be given on that Day, on His appearing!

When is this day? When is His appearing?

A few verses before gives us the answer:

1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Timothy 4:1

So, this will happen in the future, on the day that Yahshua or Jesus will appear during His second coming.

⚠️ Must read: What does the bible say about death? ⚠️

Death is a big topic in the Bible and yet it is among the most misunderstood. If you want to learn more, here are the 7 most unbelievable truths about death!

If not heaven, what does II Corinthians 5:8 mean?

We just read the overwhelming pieces of proof that the righteous will not immediately go to heaven when they die.

If it is, then Paul didn’t simply contradict himself, but also Jesus and other clear passages in the Bible.

So, if II Corinthians 5:8 doesn’t mean we are immediately going to heaven when we die, what does it really mean?

Let’s read this verse once again:

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

If you look at the Greek word of Absent here, it is ekdemeo, which is defined by Strong’s Dictionary as:

From a compound of G1537 and G1218; to emigrate, that is, (figuratively) vacate or quit: – be absent.

On the other hand, the Greek word for present here is endemeo, which means:

From a compound of G1722 and G1218; to be in one’s own country, that is, home (figuratively): – be at home (present).

If you read the whole context of II Corinthians 5, we see here how Paul was trying to use an analogy.

We read:

1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Corinthians 5:1

Here’s the main point of II Corinthians 5:8 and I want you to pay SPECIAL attention because this will open your eyes to the truth:

Paul was saying that in order for us to be present in the Lord, we must be absent in the body!

As simple as that!

The problem with some people is that they add their interpretation to a passage.

Nowhere in this verse does it say that we are going to heaven nor does it imply that we are going to heaven when we die.

The fact that Paul was making clear is that you can’t stay physical if you want to be with Christ. 

You have to pass from physical to spiritual. 

That’s the reason that in the future, the saints, including Paul, would be turned into immortal beings so that we can be present in the Lord.

Now, we don’t immediately become immortal when we die. That will happen during the return of Christ. So, once we leave this body to be “absent”, we then receive eternal life to be “present” in the Lord.

I hope that is making more sense now.

Your next waking moment

When we die, we are like sleeping. We are unconscious in the grave. 

When you read II Corinthians 5:8, it doesn’t say when we will be present in the Lord. It only tells you that we have to leave our physical body to receive a spiritual body.

Nowhere in II Corinthians 5:8 will you read that the process happens immediately after death.

However, for those who died, the process may feel like an instant change.

Why?

Because when they die, they are like sleeping, and their next waking, conscious moment would be when they will be resurrected to eternal life!

So, for Paul who has the right understanding of the truth about heaven and death, he knew that when he becomes absent from the body, his next waking moment would be with the Lord.

 For him and many of us, the process seems to be “immediate” and quick.

When we die, time seems to stand still because our awareness of the passage of time has stopped. 

So, in a way, for Paul, the time gap between being absent from the body and being present in the Lord is rather instantaneous.

However, this doesn’t mean that the righteous people will immediately go to heaven when they die as we have already proven.

Does II Corinthians 5:8 teach that we are going to heaven?

The answer is no. This means that the common teaching that II Corinthians 5:8 tells us that we will immediately go to heaven when we die is false and unbiblical.

Instead, II Corinthians 5:8 is telling us the process of the physical-to-spiritual transformation of human beings. It tells us that we must leave our physical body first before we can become spiritual beings.

I hope this has helped you in better understanding II Corinthians 5:8 and its deep and surprising meaning.

3 thoughts on “The Shocking Truth About II Corinthians 5:8

  1. Thank you for your presentation on II Corinthians 5:8 and I have now a clear meaning of it. Continue your good works and I’m spiritually learning alot from your writing and presentations.
    May the good Lord bless your Ministry.
    Regards,
    Paul.

    Like

  2. Good evening sir, indeed u seem to have some understanding about biblical things.i already knew this before now.but still u will continue to remain one of my good mentors concerning spiritual things.once again thank u I,m grateful sir.

    Like

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