Read the Westminster Standards in a year.
Shorter Catechism

𝒬 37. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?

𝒜. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness,1 and do immediately pass into glory;2 and their bodies, being still united to Christ,3 do rest in their graves, till the resurrection.4

  1. Hebrews 12:23

    and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (ESV)

  2. Luke 23:43

    And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

    2 Corinthians 5:6

    So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,

    2 Corinthians 5:8

    Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

    Philippians 1:23

    I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. (ESV)

  3. 1 Thessalonians 4:14

    For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (ESV)

  4. Daniel 12:2

    And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

    John 5:28-29

    Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

    Acts 24:15

    having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. (ESV)

Larger Catechism

𝒬 86. What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death?

𝒜. The communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death, is, in that their souls are then made perfect in holiness,1 and received into the highest heavens,2 where they behold the face of God in light and glory,3 waiting for the full redemption of their bodies,4 which even in death continue united to Christ,5 and rest in their graves as in their beds,6 till at the last day they be again united to their souls.7 Whereas the souls of the wicked are at their death cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, and their bodies kept in their graves, as in their prisons, till the resurrection and judgment of the great day.8

  1. Hebrews 12:23

    and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

    Acts 7:55

    But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

    Acts 7:59

    And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (ESV)

  2. 2 Corinthians 5:1

    5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

    2 Corinthians 5:6

    So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,

    2 Corinthians 5:8

    Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

    Philippians 1:23

    I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

    Acts 3:21

    whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

    Ephesians 4:10

    He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

    Luke 23:43

    And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (ESV)

  3. 1 John 3:2

    Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

    1 Corinthians 13:12

    For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (ESV)

  4. Romans 8:23

    And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

    Psalm 16:9

    Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure. (ESV)

  5. 1 Thessalonians 4:14

    For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

    1 Thessalonians 4:16

    For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (ESV)

  6. Isaiah 57:2

    he enters into peace;
    they rest in their beds
    who walk in their uprightness. (ESV)

  7. Job 19:26-27

    And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I shall see God,
    whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
    My heart faints within me! (ESV)

  8. Luke 16:23-24

    and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’

    Acts 1:25

    to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”

    Jude 1:6-7

    And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.