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. Barb says:

    Thank you for this. So much.

  2. Sara Read says:

    I think you are right and I respect your opinion on this :) I can’t wait to meet you in Heaven. God Bless you. Amen

  3. Stephen says:

    There are alot of Bible verses that we sleep until the coming of Christ. If we immediately went to Heaven Jesus would never have to come. We would simply go to Heaven when we die

  4. George Hovious says:

    I need help. I’m Addicted to some pills but I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ and now I’m more addicted to him please pray that God would use me to raise up the name of Jesus and declare he is the way the truth and the life I ask this prayer in Jesus name amen

  5. margaret kervin says:

    I was told we do not go right to heaven but I think we do. they said how can we rise again? our bodies are decayed.

  6. Sigrid Blancheri says:

    I believe we enter God’s presence upon our death. Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him that day in paradise. To that verse said it all!

    1. Joanne says:

      There had been a lot of controversy over that can read it 2 ways jesus said i am telling u today u will be with me in paradise…or i am telling u today, u will be with me in paradise..that comma says it all…i do believe we go straight to heaven when we die

  7. Pam says:

    Let’s don’t forget about the thief on the cross. Jesus told him “Today you will be with Me in Paridise.”

  8. Mike says:

    After we die and go to heaven will we have a body as those who came back ( “Heaven is for Real” boy) mentioned seeing family members who had died?

    1. Catherine Mclellandye says:

      Yes I agree I do believe that when we die we become immediately in the true presence of God and our Lord Jesus Christ in paradise if we. Truly repent and truly accept Jesus as our one and only true Saviour and God as our one true Father. Catherine McClellan.

  9. Elizabeth Jenkins says:

    I lost my daughter 2 yrs.ago this May to a prescription drug over doze ,, I have had this battle in me wondering if she is in heaven with our Lord [ she was a Christian ] or if she was asleep in the grave waiting for Jesus to come back ,, I trust Mr.Graham with his knowledge of the bible more than anyone and it is a great relief to read his words that she is indeed with Jesus and just her body is asleep . I gave thanks to Jesus and I rejoiced that my daughter is safe and at great peace in heaven ,,,

    1. kim says:

      Elizabeth I to lost my son last month to an overdose and it is comforting to know they are in the presence of the Lord. God bless you.