By   •   July 29, 2004   •   Topics:


Do you think we go to heaven the instant we die, or do we sleep (or something like that) until Christ comes again and we are awakened? We had a discussion about this in our Bible study, and I was surprised to find out how many different opinions there were.


Yes, Christians can sometimes sincerely disagree on minor matters—although you should never forget that all Christians agree on those things that are really important, such as the divinity of Christ, His death on the cross for our salvation, His resurrection from the dead, and our hope of heaven.

From my own study of the Bible, I’m convinced that when we die, we immediately enter the presence of the Lord. At some future time, we will be given new bodies, similar to the body Jesus had after His resurrection. But in the meantime, our souls are with the Lord, and we are fully conscious of being in His presence.

This certainly seemed to be the Apostle Paul’s hope. He faced many dangers, and he knew that at any moment his life on earth could end. But he faced death with hope: “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).  Elsewhere he declared, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23).

Never forget that we have hope of life after death for one reason: Jesus Christ removed the barrier between us and God—the barrier caused by sin. Is your hope in Him?  If not, put your trust in Christ without delay.

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  1. Deborah Taylor says:

    The dead in Christ shall rise first or absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Jesus told the thief on the
    Cross…today you will be with me in Paradise.

  2. Angel says:

    Don’t worry: Jesus will come one day. Just keep believing. I suggest you go watch “Heaven Is For Real” It’s a great movie. But most importantly it’s a TRUE movie.

  3. Mary says:

    Has anyone thought about time? There is no time in heaven.. So it all can be now.. Time can be a limiting concept on earth…..

  4. Sanchez says:

    I believe, as in the case with Lazarus, we rest until the last trumpet. Then we will be before the Master.

  5. Wolfden says:

    When your earthly human body is dead your soul instantly is with Jesus. You will be melded with His spirit and not one thought or memory of sin will exist. You are washed clean and all tears are wiped away. You will than know the infinite power, love, glory of God. As a human it is impossible to experience or accurately describe. God is so pure that only by being washed by the blood of Jesus could we be with Him. You will still have your personality and recognize yourself as an individual. What amazement to have a Father in Heaven that even in spirit loves us individually. Time as we know it now is only for earth. Eternal is when time is not relevant.

  6. Zuri lopez says:

    No one resurrects till the second coming of Jesus Christ. Matt 10:15 trully i tell you, it will be more beareable for sodom and gomorrah the on the day of judgment than for that town…. And John 11:24 Martha answered “I know he will rise again in the ressurection at the last day”…

  7. Deb says:

    Will we be sad when we get to heaven if we realize our loved one did not make it to heaven?

    1. Don says:

      Once you see the bigger picture you will set aside your sadness by your own choice

    2. Alayna says:

      There is no sadness in heaven. So in my opinion we won’t be. It also says in heaven your mother is not your mother and your father is not your father. We are one family. So I believe we will know that it’s your earthly family member. But we will have a different mindset, one we can’t understand now.

  8. Lola says:

    Cor 15:13-23 And it says; Christ is the firstfruit to be resurrected and the rest of the dead at their own time: the ones who are Christs AT HIS COMING. He has not come again yet, so how can the dead be
    with God in heaven now? John 3:13 Says;and no man has ascended into heaven but he who has come down from heaven. Also, in Act 2:34 It says For David is not ascended into the heavens…….can you please explain these verses to me.

  9. maria says:

    It is true we will be we our Lord Jesus Christ when we died , Prays God for the Cruz for Jesus sacrifices.

  10. vicky walker says:

    I would like to know the scriptures that tell us that when we die our souls go to be with the Lord and we dont wait in the tomb for when he returns

    1. maria says:

      Luke 23:43 (KJ21) | In Context | Whole Chapter

      43 And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee,’ TODAY ‘ shalt thou be with Me in Paradise
      as well us who believe in Christ Lord, yes we will be we our Lord in heaven when we died .
      ,I’m very excited!

    2. tomhartman says:

      Jesus Christ said in John 3:13: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” That seems clear! Why is it so hard for so many to believe?
      He says over and over again that death is like “sleep”….and that when he returns the dead will rise first to meet Him. If they are already with Him, who is rising?

    3. Boyce says:

      The , is suppose to be after today, not before. It changes the complete meaning and lines up with the rest of scripture. Remember there weren’t punctuation in their language so it should read like this.

      I assure you today, you will be with me in paradise.
      He was assuring him on that day.