Answers

By   •   July 29, 2004

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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36 Comments

  1. Jody says:

    Tiffany- your sins are washed away– no matter what they are– if you ask Him to come into your heart and live there forever more. You become his servant to bring glory to His name, but He does not hold you captive to your sins. You are free once you accept his free gift of salvation!! Don’t be anxious once you make this decision! That is not from The Lord!!:)

  2. Tiffany says:

    i have done two things in my life when i was confused about the lord that i terribly, deeply regret. the first, is i denied having faith in the lord out loud to friends and some family. and the second is far more awful to explain. my soul hurts at the thought that He knows what iv done. but most of all, i am very, very ashamed that i took His soul of mine, and could do that to Him. I will never do either of these things again, but i am afraid he will banish me to hell for all eternity and that i am forever doomed now. Even though i feel that way, i cannot, and will not do those things again. and i will, for the rest of my human life, try to bring good when i can and stop bad if it is possible. can somebody please give me some words to rest my uneasy soul. i feel i am doomed, and the anxiety feels like its eating me alive.

  3. J Smith says:

    I believe the spirit lives on and goes to heaven. Read Luke 16. Passage is about Lazarus the beggar and the rich man.

  4. les r says:

    I am comfused a lot and the answers here helped some, I just lost my dad, 2 days ago, I was his only son, and its very lonesone now. I just wondered if you go straight to heaven or aware of what’s taking place now on earth, anyone the reads this and believes I can use your thoughts and prayers.Thanks

  5. Manuel Klimis says:

    Christ sayed I am the reserection that all those who believe in me say have eternal life. He paved the way for us to ascend.

  6. David S says:

    I believe we stay asleep until Christ comes again to rapture his church. then we go to Heaven and meet and be with the Lord while the unbelievers stay here on earth. Then after Lord Jesus defeats Satan the righteous are judged for their rewards and deeds while the unbelievers are judged at the Great White Throne.

    1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    Revelation 20:13 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell (the grave…according to my King James version) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

    so with those verses in the good book i believe we stay asleep until either Christ awakens us to be with him in Heaven or to be “woken up” to be judged to hell. Because to me it didn’t make sense to die to go Heaven/Hell just to be pulled out and judged then to be put back in either Heaven or Hell…thats my opinion. Christ spoke of one judgment for the righteous and one for the wicked.

  7. Alan Hart says:

    Jesus told the thief on the cross “today you shall be with me in paradise”. Because he believed in who Jesus was he was promised eternity with Christ. To me that sums it up praise God.

  8. Jacob OHair says:

    I am scared I will never wake up

    1. Mary G says:

      Jacob, if you ask the lord to come into your heart and put your faith in Him you will definitely be waking up and meeting the Lord. I will be praying for peace for your soul.

  9. Peter Uwabor says:

    I am very much pleased with these words. That when a christian dies the spirit went goes up to God awaiting the final day of resurrection when christ shall finally come to rapture the church.

    1. Lillian Morabu says:

      I have never been happier before! This is just very good news! Its like there’s no death at all. Exactly! No death for God’s children! I used to think of everlasting life starting when Jesus comes. How wrong I was! Its a transition. From earth to the presence of the LORD! That makes me wanna go but then not before accomplishing His purpose in my life. As soon as I am done, take me home LORD!!! Take me to Yourself!!!! Very comforting to know. Thank You Holy Spirit of God for the revelation!!!!!! :) ))))

  10. Rick Armstrong says:

    Yes I believe we do go to heaven or hell when we die!! I believe that hell is refered to as the place of bodiless souls awaiting judgement and condemnation, if you have recieved the free gift of eternal life from God, then you go to heaven! Heaven is eternal life with God and hell is etetnal separation from God after the Judgement!! I believe it say we live here on earth in these tents or earthen vessels, but Jesus said in my fathers house are many mansion…which I believe are our tempirary bodies until the reserection…not mansion as a house to live in but a body to live in temporarily…and who knows how long that will be? The spirit of Christ is given to everyone who has been birn again..meaning the spirit is born again in us and in our soul!! Our soul is us..the way God designed us….so when we Christians die our souls with our born again spirits go to be with God and live in those mansions Jesus spoke of. Because is the Deciples went to heaven…they would need some kind of body to interact with Jesus as eating and drinking wine! This Is why I bekieve we go to heaven when we die!!