By   •   August 30, 2010   •   Topics:


Do we go to heaven when we die, or do we have to wait until Jesus returns to enter heaven? My husband died a few months ago, and it would bring me great comfort to know he's with Jesus. But a friend of mine says she thinks this can't happen until Jesus returns.


I don’t doubt your friend’s sincerity, but my own study of the Bible has convinced me that when we die, we enter immediately into God’s presence if we know Christ.

This certainly seemed to be the Apostle Paul’s conviction. On one occasion, he was in jail awaiting trial for his faith, and he knew that his life might soon come to an end. But he didn’t face this possibility with fear. In fact, he welcomed it, because he was convinced that at death he would go immediately to be with the Lord. He wrote, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23).

It’s true that at the end of this present age our souls and our bodies will be reunited, and we will be given new bodies — bodies like that of Christ after His resurrection which will never age or perish. The Bible says, “The body that is sown (in the grave) is perishable, it is raised imperishable…. a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42,44).

Thank God for the hope we have of heaven — a hope that is secure because of what Jesus Christ did for us. Thank Him, too, that your husband is now safely in His presence forever, and that some day you will see him again. Until that day, make it your goal to live for Christ and point others to the hope we have of heaven because of Him.

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  1. ruthie says:

    Thankyou for asking this question. As I get older (I’m 53) I wonder what will happen when my darling husband dies … he is 15 years older than I and has several health problems. In fact when we married I didn’t expect to have the years we have had. Now, I know that I will grieve for him but also that he will, when he dies, be utterly safe with Jesus. God has done amazing things for us!

  2. Linda says:

    Thank you for providing such reassuring answers to much debated Biblical questions.

  3. Peggy Braden says:

    thank you awsome and reasuring

  4. Tammy Clark says:

    I meant to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord. It says that three different times in the Bible

  5. Tammy Clark says:

    Dear Rev. Graham. I read my Bible almost on a daily basis. I have read it like three or four times. I’m always highlighting certain scripture. I know there is a verse I think in the old testament that says when we die we come into the presence of God/Lord. I have that verse marked twice. Unfortunately I have marked so many passages in my Bible that i am over looking it. But I will find it again when I do. I’m gonna be glad, cause many times I could have used that passage in just a few months.

  6. Susanne says:

    No, or you were not his to begin with.

  7. Curious.. says:

    I have always been curious as to why… like Paul, I believe that when we die our souls depart our earthy bodies and we enter Heaven. But, what I don't understand is when Christ returns why does our soul reunite with our bodies? our soul has been with God, (I would assume in some miraculous form) .. what it the purpose of the reunion?

  8. Blake says:

    Can a Christian lose salvation? I know it is a little off-topic, but I've been asking myself that question for too long.