Do our souls “sleep” until the resurrection at the Rapture? When will we get our new heavenly bodies?
When a believer dies, his body goes in the grave and “falls asleep”. But his soul does not sleep; his soul goes to heaven. In the Bible, “falling asleep” is a less harsh term for the believer’s death. A Christian who has died, their body “sleeps”, awaiting the resurrection at the Rapture – while their soul goes to be with our Lord in heaven.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or
to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died
and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have
fallen asleep in him. According to the Lords own word, we tell you that we
who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not
precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down
from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with
the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we
who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
At the time of Jesus second coming, Christ is going to come in the air, the trumpet will sound and those who have died in Christ are going to be raised up first, followed by those who remain on the earth. In the process of the resurrection, at the last trumpet, the bodies of believers will be immediately transformed into their permanent, heavenly bodies.
Whether we have a body in a grave to be resurrected or our body is destroyed by fire or some other disaster, an incorruptible body will be resurrected to join Christ in the air on that great day.