Answers

By   •   July 29, 2004   •   Topics:

Q:

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.


A:

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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100 Comments

  1. B says:

    I really struggle with what the Bible teaches about the dead. Is there any scripture that actually says that WE will go to heaven when we die? And I say “WE” as in the world wide followers of Jesus Christ. When Jesus told his disciples that he was leaving “to prepare a place” for them, how do we know that was meant for all of mankind who surrender to Christ and NOT just his faithful disciples? Plus, there is plenty of scripture that says the condition of the dead is nothingness (Psalm 146:4, Ecclesiastes 9:5, John 11:11) and God, Himself said “until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:18. Some clarity would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    1. T says:

      Hey B,

      The two quoted by this site are good, but another one that really answers in context with proof is the following from Revelation – what John sees and describes makes it very clear.

      Rev 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne;
      Rev 6:10 they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”
      Rev 6:11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.