A little boy in a second grade class was demonstrating a flashlight he had been given. He told us it was so bright that it was visible all the way to his friend's house. "And it was really dark that night," he said. We smiled that he thought the darkness was an obstacle to his light.
There is a universal tendency to try to mitigate the terrible things contained in the Bible, by denying them. A denial of the plagues in Revelation is made by calling them symbolic events of the past, or just not reading about them at all. Denial of terrible truth begins in Eden, when God said that Adam would die and return to the dust from which he was made. The Devil, the first denier of truth in the Bible, led the way when he said, "Thou will not surely die."
Death is such an obvious and universal experience that to deny it, we have created a two-part person. The physical, and the invisible or "soulish state". Is there a pagan that does not believe this? So God was wrong when he said we would die.
Now why do I insist that this denial is not true? Am I a sadist who enjoys destroying peoples' hopes? If you knew me, though you might not like me, I do not believe you would think me so cruel. So why do I "push" for the reality of total death? It is because to deny it cheapens and detracts from the glorious resurrection God has promised us.
I talked to a very nice lady who maintained that the physically dead's souls were already in heaven. I asked her, "Then what is the purpose of the resurrection if we go to heaven right after we die?" She said, "Well, in the soulish state we can't fully enjoy the wonders of heaven as much as when we have bodies."
I do not wish to interfere in peoples' freedom to believe anything or nothing. It is only when they claim that such scenarios are based on the Bible that I will object.
Soon my faith in the resurrection will be fully tested. I will sleep the sleep of death. In this undeniably helpless state, I will await the call of my Savior to come up to join him in the clouds. My dark night will not prevent the shining of that wonderful light.