God of Living
Jesus was confronted by the Sadducee's. They did not believe in life after death ;spirit-demons ,angels and man's sprit ; the resurrection. Jesus soundly refuted all of their central teachings. Read: Matthew 22:23-33 ;Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20: 27-38
Here is Matthew's account of Jesus' teaching on life after death:
"...I AM the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. " 'I AM or now at this present time the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. He [God] is now at this present time God, not of the dead ones, but right now of living persons."
Literal expanded Greek translation based on Greek grammar.
"I AM" "AM" is Present Indicative Active.* This means in Greek grammar that God is saying -while speaking to Moses- the God of those three principle men who had already died when Moses was conversing with God! This means that they knew He was their God as did God Himself while in the spirit world of Sheol/Hades their bodies having died (one 'can't kill the soul Matt 10:28) CORRECT A nd were buried! We are told to "rightly divide the word." Where their spirit was (SHEOL) and where their remains were-(GRAVE-TOMB QABAR Heb.- NOT SHEOL Heb. l) are different. But, they were 'alive' to God as He was/is their God. Present indicative active. **
"He is" Present Indicative Active which Jesus said, "He [God] is not the God of the dead ones.. ."Jesus told the people then as now God is still the God of those that have died in Him and remains until that day as it is" He is "present tense!
"Of the living." Present Indicative Active. Those three men according to the Master were' living' unto their God and that God was observing them as their God when Moses was at the burning thorn bush (Heb. thorn bush The Messiah was to have a thorn bush woven into a wreath and placed on His head). Note: God is used three times for each man -a' trinity.' God could have said; He was the God to Abraham; Isaac and Jacob. It shows too He was a personal God to each of the three men thus named.FYI
So we have three PIA's or present indicative actives all agreeing in life after death!
ll Corinthians 5:8 To be "...absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" our God in heaven.'
Now at the end of Luke's account and he makes it clear Jesus was referring to all who believe who have ever died past present and future in this same confrontation it says in Lu.20:38;
"He is a God -not of the dead ones-but to the living ones as all are living to Him."
Present tense again; God was then and is now the God of ALL (panta Gk.every single] believers who were dead as to their bodies ,but alive in their spirits.
The Greek expert Dr. Verkuyl in his NT translates this verse correctly and literally; "He is not a God of corpses, but of the living, for to Him they are all alive." God is not waiting until the resurrection to be their God- He is their God now as living spirits!
Again, these scholars after Jesus's refutation was finished; Some of the scribes remarked ,"Teacher, you spoke well." For they did not dare to ask Him anymore questions." v.39
*Now, if it were future indicative active-it is not- then we would have the false teaching of 'soul sleep' which supposedly when the dead come back to life at the resurrection that is, He 'becomes' their God again when they are resurrected; but what "astonished" them was that Jesus said those men and as well as those who died in the Lord have God as their God then and by implication now was right in that verse. They as well as the Pharisees and Sadducee's had never seen or fully realized the teaching all spirits were 'alive' after they died in that particular Scripture before until Jesus showed them!
Life after death ;
Luke 23:43; "...Then he [the criminal while hanging on the cross with Jesus] said to Jesus, "Remember me when you enter into your kingdom !" Jesus told him, I assure you today you will be with Me in paradise ." Where did Jesus go when He died on the cross? Peter under inspiration tells us : '''...put to death as he was physically but made alive in the [His] spirit, by which he went and announced to the spirits in prison [paradise area]..." l Peter 3:18-19
So it was revealed to Peter that as soon as Jesus died His spirit (Gk. grammar-the Holy Spirit was present too ) went directly and immediately to paradise see (Luke 16:19-31;Acts 2:22-27 ) and announced that their 'captivity' was over. Cf. Ephesians 4:7-10 ;Psalms 68:18 ;Hebrews 2:10 So since Jesus told the criminal "Today you will be with Me in paradise " then his spirit went where Christ's spirit went. He died later after Jesus did.
John 11:25-26 ""...I am the resurrection and the life; the believer in Me will live even when he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never, never die."
John 5:24 Conversion is instant -it is not progressive -so in this verse when one believes in Jesus he has eternal life. He instantly passes from death into life!
Matthew 10:38 The soul can't die it lives on after death.
Romans 8:35-39 Not even "death" of the body can separate the believer from Christ Who is in heaven.
Revelation 6:9-10 The souls spoken of here had died on earth as martyrs , but they were conscious in heaven and speaking .This was before the resurrection.
Philippians 1:23 Paul desire was to 'depart this life and be with Christ.'
ll Corinthians 5:1 The 'earthly tent' is the body and if it dies believers go immediately to a permanent 'house' in heaven. Paul was a tent maker and he knew they were a temporary place to live; but he taught heaven's "house" was eternal right after a believer dies.
Life after death - Words of early church fathers. They knew Greek and understood the teaching of immediate life after death.
"They [martyrs] are in their due place in the presence of the Lord [heaven], with whom they also suffered." By Polycarp (who was a faithful disciple of the Apostle John himself) 69-156 AD
"The souls of the godly remain in a better place [heaven], while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse place [hades],waiting for the time of judgment. " By Justin Martyr 100-165 AD
"And when he [Peter] at length suffered martyrdom ,he departed to the place of glory[heaven] due him...In that manner [execution] he [Paul] was removed from the world and went into the holy place [heaven]."
By Clement of Rome first century - a companion of Peter and Paul (Phil.4:3). He knew the teachings of Peter and Paul relative to immediate life after death, etc.