NOTE: All Links are in red.
Bible verses have a link which allows you to go to the actual verse and see it and most of the translations,
and also you will be able to click through and read the whole chapter so you can see the context of the verse.
DO WE GO TO HEAVEN RIGHT AWAY?
Let's look to the Bible (my favorite place) to see what happens at our death.
CRIMINAL GOING TO HEAVEN 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.”
Picture credit :FaithDirection.com & neverthirsty.org & christianministeryfellowshipinteranational.org
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)
JESUS GOING TO HEAVEN RIGHT AWAY
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).
Luke 16:22; 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.
BEGAR LAZARUS WENT TO HEAVEN RIGHT AWAY
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 PROVIDED WE ARE NOT FLESH
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 HEAVENLY BODIES LOOK LIKE?
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
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.”.
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.
WHAT WILL WE DO WHEN WE ARE IN 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.
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.
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.
Photo credit: Lavistachurchofchrist.org
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
Matthew 16:24; Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
Jesus is talking about our "soul" as different from the human world which would include the body/brain/flesh. Then it goes on to say how the "soul" will be rewarded "according to what they have done". Which means the soul must live on after body death.
John 6:47; “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die.
What does it mean "will never die". What remains after death, after the body has gone into the ground? It must be the human spirit.
We know that all spirits are eternal and can never die, that is one of the reasons there is the eternal lake of fire for the evil, and an eternal life in paradise for the good.
NOTE: Manna is bread dropped by God to the Israelites and sustained them during their exodus. Exodus 16:4.
1 John 3:16; For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
It says we "shall not perish, but have eternal life". If we do not perish, what does? The body/brain/flesh perishes. The human spirit does not. It can pretend it perished, by thinking it is a body/brain and hang around the grave for thousands of years. However, it is not possible for a spirit to perish/die.
John 11:25; Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
It is very specific “though they die” (body + brain death) they “will live”. What else could live on, when the body and its brain are dead? There is only the human spirit.
See also 'JUDGEMENT DAY'
on these subjects.
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