By   •   March 4, 2010   •   Topics:


Did people in Old Testament times go to heaven when they died? Or is heaven reserved only for people who lived after Jesus came? I haven't found anything about heaven in the Old Testament.


Heaven was meant for people of faith in Old Testament times just as much as it is for us. It’s true that God didn’t reveal as much about heaven to them as He has to us, but they still understood that heaven was their final home — just as it is ours.

I think of Job, for example, who in the midst of his suffering and loneliness still knew that some day he would be in God’s presence forever. He declared, “After my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:26-27). Or think of the familiar words of King David in Psalm 23 — words of hope and confidence in God’s promise of eternal life. He wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. … and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:4,6).

Yes, they believed God’s promises of heaven — but you and I have even greater certainty, because Jesus Christ has opened heaven’s door for us. Only one thing will keep us out of heaven, and that is our sin. But Christ came to take away our sin, and because of His death and resurrection we can be saved.

Do you have this hope? You can, by turning to Jesus Christ and receiving Him into your life today. Put your faith and trust in Him without delay.

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  1. James Oldham says:

    We agree that these Saints are in heaven with God. What have these Saints been doing over the hundreds of years?

  2. Anyomonus says:

    Yes they can. It still applies to them as well. Jesus died for everyone so it would apply to the people of the old testament as well.

  3. Solomon says:

    I would appreciate an answer, the question me and my daughter grapple with is, can a person once saved be always saved? if so can a person who commits sins after being saved go to heaven regardless?

    1. Anna Stearns says:

      I used to struggle with this question too, and many Christians do. Once we have truly placed our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we cannot lose that salvation. John 10:28-29 says, “And I give to them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish forever, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
      Basically what we can take away from what Jesus says here is. “Once you’re mine, you’re mine. Nothing and no one can take you away from me.” And I think that is such a beautiful and comforting promise; to know that we can never lose him.

    2. Anna Stearns says:

      And in regards to your question on sinning after salvation, I can offer this. I know without a doubt that Jesus died to save me, and that I get to spend eternity in heaven with God because of that, and I still sin every single day. When Christ died for us, his sacrifice didn’t eliminate sin, it simply provided forgiveness for our sins. Salvation doesn’t make us perfect, it gives us God’s perfect grace. I believe when Jesus said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) it meant the debt for our sins has been paid forever. Not that our sins were finished, but that paying the debt for them was. I believe this meant sins that occurred before salvation, and after. I hope these verses can be somewhat helpful and comforting to you and your daughter!

    3. Samuel says:

      Yes. because Jesus said I am the way and the light, nobody goes to my father except through me, and also once you confess in front of man and God that Jesus is lord and God’s true son, and you give him all of you, even if you commit a sin no matter what, you are always and will always be His child and nothing can change that. So rejoice because Jesus said “God doesn’t want the death of a sinner except he repent.” So no matter what the sin was, you are saved.

  4. Stenford Mushavatu says:

    The material that you give us on this platform is so helpful , continue inspiring us through the word.

  5. Rebekah says:

    Did Adam and Eve go to heaven?

  6. hombang francky says:

    As for me i thnk there is nothing to be complained of or considered as injustice (unfair). God has his ways of dealing with people. we reap as we sow….

  7. Shawn says:

    But does this mean when they died they immediately went to heaven or are they “sleeping” in their graves until the final judgment?

  8. Andrew hillaby says:


  9. Jerald says:

    Thanks for publishing this it is important to me.

  10. Charles E. Miller, Jr. BA, Old Dominion University; MAR, Liberty University Baptist Seminary says:

    I believe that Dr. Graham has given an excellent answer to this question. I must say that he is a wise man of God. I can remember the film about his life and when he knew Dr. Templeton. That movie truly had an effect on me. I wish the Billy Graham Organization would make more. God bless!