Don’t be too sure of that, qaz— though it really looks that way in reading modern translations. For example:
Luke 23:43 (ESV) And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
In the Greek manuscripts there was no comma before today. Indeed, there were no periods either or even spaces between words. What if we insert the comma after “today”?
Luke 23:43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”
With the comma in this position, it could be thousands of years later that the thief would be with Him in Paradise! Indeed, as I see it, the thief as well as the rest of us won’t be with Him until He raises us from the dead at the last day—the last day of this age—the day when Jesus returns.
Some people have objected to placing the comma after “today” saying, “We don’t talk that way, 'I say to you today.” Well… I would translate it as, “I’m telling you today.” And we do talk that way. Haven’t you sometimes heard a person say, “I’m telling you right now…” I have—many times.
I don’t believe in “soul sleep” either. I go much further. I don’t believe we exist after death until Jesus raises us from the dead. It seems that Paul didn’t either. He indicated that unless there is a resurrection, we might as well eat, drink, and be merry, for there would be no after-life for us. Here are Paul’s words:
(1 Cor 15:32) … If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
But, praise God, the dead are raised! Jesus will raise to life His disciples on the last day:
(John 6:40) For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
(John 6:44) No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
(John 6:54) Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.