The whole concept of linear ‘time’ is a construct created by the One who is not subject to what He created. He exists outside of time. In eternity, there is no past, or future. Eternity is always the eternal present.
As impossible as it is for us who are trapped in time to comprehend the timelessness of eternity, the apostle Paul nevertheless seemed to have had every expectation to be with Jesus immediately upon his death. Here is what he tells the Christians at Corinth:
“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-9
He repeats himself in his letter to the Christians at Philippi: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Philippians 1:21-24
And again, in his letter to Timothy: “As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8, NRVCE)
So, my point? The apostle expected to be immediately in God‘s presence when he died.
What about you? What do you expect about yourself when you die – and why?