WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE
DO WE GO TO HEAVEN RIGHT AWAY?
NOTE: over the years 'heaven' and 'paradise' have been used interchangeably. I have called 'heaven' the waiting place for the spirits who are waiting for Judgement Day and Paradise the place they go after Judgement. I have not taken the time (maybe later) to locate the Bible verses necessary to establish which is which. But we can tell there is a place where 'waiting spirits' go. Certainly, this information will be in my book God, Us, and Satan.
Criminal going to heaven/paradise that same day.:
Luke 23:39; One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Here Jesus is talking to the criminal being crucified beside Him. He lets him know that "TODAY" he will be in paradise with Jesus.
It doesn’t say anything about any time lag or I'll see you in several thousand years, as some belief. (soul sleep).
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Picture credit :FaithDirection.com & neverthirsty.org & christianministeryfellowshipinteranational.org
Death of Jesus going to heaven right away.
Luke 23:46; Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Jesus, as God's Son, knew He would be spiritually present in the Father's "hands" at the very moment of His death, not asleep in the grave (soul sleep).
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
Beggar Lazarus was carried right away to Abraham in heaven by angels.
This is Jesus talking. When the beggar (Lazarus) died the angels carried him to heaven right away. It doesn't mention anything about 'soul sleep' (hanging around the dead decaying body for thousands of years). Also notice Lazarus had a body which was recognizable.
John 3:5-6; Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
We can enter the Kingdom of God provided they are born of water and Spirit
In other words, in order to enter the Kindom of God you need to be borne again with baptism (usually) and accept God wholly. This for me means that I can enter heaven right away because I do not listen to the flesh, but to God's Holy Spirit which I have gladly invited to indwell me. This is the application of Bible verse: Galatians 5:24; And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
WHAT WILL OUR BODIES LOOK LIKE?
Jesus transforms our bodies to be like his.
Philippians 3:20-21; But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
This verse tells us that our bodies will be transformed "so that they will be like His Jesus) glorious body.
Jesus tells his disciples about his new body He is appearing to them in.
John 20:27; Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving but believing".
Luke 24:39; "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”.
What will our bodies be like when we go to heaven and paradise?
Revelation 6:9-11; When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.
As we can tell from Philippians 3:20-21 (above) that our bodies "will be like His glorious body.
We can tell from these 2 verses, when Jesus is showing his transformed body to His disciples, that it is recognizable to them.
Photo credit: Word Press
Revelation 6:9-11; These are beings who are very much alive and communicating. (They are not in 'soul sleep'). It says that "each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been."
If they were given a white robe, then they are most likely in human form. (Not in a flesh form as we are today, but in a transfigured human form, but still recognizable)
As we can tell from Philippians 3:20-21 (above) that our bodies "will be like His glorious body. This verse also talks about Moses and Elijah appearing. They must have been in the form of human bodies because they were recognizable to Matthew who wrote this verse.
Photo credit: Lavistachurchofchrist.org
I have faith that I will go straight to heaven when I die, but there again, I believe what will happen to us when we die, will depend largely upon what we believe, since God is a God of choice. (See 'FAITH' chapter in God, Us, and Satan and 'Miracles are with Us Today' below.)
I will be glad to be judged on Judgement Day, which will happen at it’s appointed time. Meanwhile, I will probably be working humbly for Jesus in heaven, while waiting for that day to arrive.
SUMMARY: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE?:
The body + brain goes into the ground and the human spirit goes directly to heaven where (I believe) it is occupied in some endeavor, until Judgement Day. And the demons have to find someone else to bother. LOL