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. janet denatale says:

    I am not in good health and should not live on this earth much longer. I know this seems silly, but, I want to do cremation because it will be cheaper as I don’t have much to leave my daughter. If our souls go to heaven….does it matter if we are buried or cremated?

    1. BGEA says:

      Hi Janet,

      Thank you for reaching out to us and we just prayed for you. Here is an article by our BGEA staff to help answer your question:

      We also encourage you to visit Peace With God to see how you can know Christ personally or to click and chat with someone online. If you’ve never made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and be assured of your salvation, you can do that right now. You can also call 1-877-247-2426 if you want to talk to someone by phone.

      God bless you!

      – BGEA Team

  2. Bertha Chavira says:

    Is paradise on earth true

  3. Chrystal says:

    I lost my best friend less than a week ago. He became so low that he decided it would be better to not be in this world and deal with the pain and problems any longer. I wish he had waited on God for a solution to his problems. Please pray for his mother and family to bear the pain of his loss.

    1. BGEA says:

      Hi Chrystal,

      We are so sorry to hear about your friend…you must be heartbroken. We prayed for you and for his mother and family as well.

      Here is a link that you can share with them as they grieve:

      God bless you,

      BGEA Team

  4. Patricia Ridpath says:

    “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.” Yet the Bible clearly states that the “dead” praise not the LORD!! Also, “the dead know not anything” and “the dead-in-Christ RISE first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up” to meet the LORD in the air and EVER be with the LORD” and Job believed that He would see God in the latter day. ” Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold though my reins be consumed within me.” Why would the Bible teach there are two resurrections if the majority of the dead are already in heaven with the LORD.

  5. Robert says:

    In Revelation at Jesus’s second coming it says the dead in Christ rise first so if they are all in heaven how can there be a resurrection for the dead in Christ. In Acts it talks about king David asleep in his grave. When we die our souls are returned to God but in a spiritual sense not that when you die you’re walking around in Heaven with God. I don’t think the Bible teaches that.

  6. Ben says:

    Thank you for sharing the truth.

  7. junior weir says:


  8. MATTHEW says:

    If we go directly to heaven when we die then what is the point of Jesus Second Coming? Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus was dead for a few days and never mention anything about heaven. It would not have made any sense for Jesus to pull Lazarus from heaven back down on this sinful Earth

    1. Rich S. says:

      Because it’s not true. It’s a false teaching and incorrect. You are correct in your thinking and the Bible backs this up. We sleep at death until Jesus calls us out of the graves aka “the rapture”.

    2. Rich S. says:

      jesus also said “Lazarus is sleeping” not “wait a second I have to pull him down from heaven” so again you are correct and don’t believe otherwise like Satan wants everyone to do.

    3. Alecia says:

      Lazarus did die before Christ’s redemption on the cross. He would not have been resurrected from heaven but from Paradise. Depending on whether his second death was before or after Christ’s resurrection, he would have either gone back to Paradise or to heaven.

  9. Jan says:

    Is there scripture that says how soon we see the face of Christ ?

    1. Rich S. says:

      16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words….1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

  10. Lebogang says:

    Hi. on the 21st June 2016, My sister went to be with the Lord. I miss her so much, I never thought she would leave me so soon. but I have hope that I will see her again and the Lord Jesus. Heaven sounds like a very wonderful place.