We've had soul sleep discussions from time to time on the boards, including recently in another ongoing thread or two.
My personal belief is, there's probably some truths somewhere in the middle that we're missing/just unable to see. Maybe it's too big for us. Maybe we're not ready for it. Maybe we won't know for sure until "later". My question is, "how much is there that we just don't know"?
Seems to me there are these basic beliefs in Christendom.
a) Belief; we live, die, immediately go to heaven or hell for eternity. Related issues; somehow (usually unexplained) later on there's still a judgment, then people are REALLY put where they're going to be forever. (they leave for awhile then go back?)
b) Belief; we live, die, go to some sort of holding place until judgment. Related issues; this may be thousands of years later. There are different levels in this place, some better, some worse - better for the Christians/good folks, worse for the non-Christians/bad folks, but still not eternal heaven or hell. That comes later after judgment.
c) Belief; we live, die, and stay dead knowing absolutely nothing until resurrection/judgment. Related issues; some state the scriptures this is often based on, actually have a larger context - that they are talking about IN THIS EARTHLY REALM, having to do with activities and "knowing" in THIS life - not necessarily excluding that they could be somewhere else
d) Belief; we live, die, and have already been judged IN THIS LIFETIME. Related issues; What has actually happened to bring the people to the Lord that didn't know him in this lifetime? Simply dying? What about the Lake of Fire, the work of God to bring mankind to Him in the 'aions', the "works destroyed and the saving of the spirit in the Day of the Lord", etc.?
e) Belief; we live, die, and are immediately judged upon death - different times for everyone, not all judged at the same place/time. Related issues; same as (d) above.
I've thought and wondered about all the above. I've waffled/changed my POV at times (obviously
, from (a) when I believed in ET). IMO, there's more to it than ANY of these options fully entail. I believe we're missing something, that's it may be a mixture of a couple of these.
Some related thoughts; what I shared about my dad in this post [last paragraph] http://www.tentmaker.org/forum/judgement_and_punishment/why_is_death_feared_thing_9956.msg128234.html#msg128234;
NDEs I've read; a statement I saw on a documentary about 9/11, where a man states (I believe his brother, killed in the horrible attacks) "said" to him, "I can't explain to you how beautiful it is here". [Really "him" in some plane/realm? Something posing as an angel of light? Imagination? I'm not sure.]
REQUEST: Please don't just "jump" to defend your current position tooth and nail, just because as humans we can, well, get defensive.
Do you think it's possible the question is valid, "How much do we not know"?