DEATH IS OUR RAPTURE
You may have, like most, interposed a space of time between departure from this life and the last day when our bodies are to be resurrected, where in fact there is no "time" for such a space to exist in. You have done this because you have confused time and eternity, making eternity not so much an entirely different order of experience but merely an extension of time, and time merely a fragment of eternity. When the dying soul leaves the world of time, then that which for those who remain in the world is still future becomes for him an immediate present. Those who "dip their feet into Jordan" discover that the Lord's return, which appeared to them in time to be a future event, is upon them NOW. When Stephen's feet touched the waters of his "Jordan" he saw the Lord standing to receive him. This was not a pre-vision. The Lord really did receive Stephen unto Himself. But since the Lord will not receive any of us until He returns for us, then for Stephen both events —- his dying and his reception by his Lord — must have occurred at one and the same moment. No one, in dying, has to wait for the coming of the Lord. We cannot speak of waiting when "time is no more" (Revelation 10:6). . Only those who are still bound in this space-time world have to wait. As each saint leaves this world, there is, instantly, a moving forward to that end point — the Lord's return to receive him unto Himself.
So as we one by "die" we pass at once into the presence of the Lord whom we rise to meet in the air as He returns, and our new bodies rise with us to make us COMPLETE in our identity as individual persons. We will discover that those who went before us have also that instant joined with us, while those who (in the process of history) are yet to die in the Lord before He comes, are also joining us as we make the journey. Because we will experience the telescoping of past, present, and future — that future which, from the point of view of the living, intervenes between our being laid in the grave and the Lord's return. But we who have gone to be with the Lord will not experience "the delay" which is yet to be experienced by those left behind who must still complete their pilgrimage in time. For us, our pilgrimage and their pilgrimage will have been completed at once. It will be as though we'll observe their coming to see us off on the "train" as we approach the crossing over into eternity only to find that when we arrive at our destination, they too are on the train and have made the journey with us.
As each child of God passes out of this world, he passes at once into glory, actually experiencing no death nor the slightest loss of consciousness nor any time interval in which events continue to unfold in the world he has left and which still awaits the Lord's visible return as a future event. Nor does the dying saint experience any sense of separation from the loved ones who remain behind. For him the "time" that must elapse until those left behind will rejoin him at their dying, is completely eclipsed. They thus arrive in the presence of the Lord when he does.