FURTHER STUDY: What did Paul mean when he longed "to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8)? Compare Phil. 1:23.
"From a superficial reading of vs. 6-8 some have concluded that at death the soul of the Christian goes immediately to be present with the Lord,' and that Paul, ardently desiring to be with the Lord (v. 2), welcomed death. But in vs. 3, 4 Paul describes death as a state of being naked,' or unclothed.' He hopes, if at all possible, to avoid this intermediate state, and ardently desires to be clothed' with his house . . . from heaven.' In other words, he hopes to be translated without seeing death. . . . Elsewhere (see on 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; 2 Tim. 4:6-8, etc.) Paul makes it certain that men are not clothed' with immortality individually at death, but simultaneously at the resurrection of the just."--SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 863.
SUMMARY: Death is a sleep, a state of unconsciousness. The Bible teaches that a living person is a mortal soul; a dead person is a dead soul. The soul is not immortal. Even though Adam's sin introduced sin and death into our world, Christ's sacrificial death earned eternal life for all. By accepting Him as Saviour and Lord, eternal life is ours now and immortality at His second coming.