What Happens When a Christian Dies

What Happens When a Christian Dies? Hint: Not Heaven

Last updated on October 31st, 2019

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What happens when a Christian dies? If you grew up sitting in the pews of a church, I’m guessing you grew up believing when a Christian dies they either go straight to heaven or straight to hell. That was something I believed growing up too. But have you ever looked to see what the Bible says on life after death? If we look for the answers there, we might be surprised to find that it’s not as obvious as we’ve always been taught.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-16

1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 states “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For 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.”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 Context

Now in the beginning, it seems Paul is trying to comfort Christians who are grieving those who’ve died. He appears to be reminding they have hope, unlike those who aren’t Christians who have no hope. And the basis of that hope is Jesus. if Christians believe Jesus died and rose again, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. We can perhaps reasonably conclude that fallen asleep in this verse is referencing death. It was mentioned in relation with Jesus having died and risen. And the verses later in this passage confirm this. 

Then Paul expresses to the Christian Thessalonians that those alive in Christ will not precede those who have fallen asleep. The next verse is very important to think about in relation to what happens when a Christian dies. Paul writes the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God. Then the dead in Christ will rise first. 

The first thing I’d like you to notice is that it says the Lord Himself will descend from heaven. What is the location Jesus came from when he descended? Heaven. Then after discussing the sounds that will be heard, the verse mentions the dead in Christ will rise first. So if Jesus is coming down from heaven, and the dead in Christ are going to rise, where were the dead in Christ located? We’ll discuss more on that later, but let me ask you a different question. Where were the dead in Christ not located? If Jesus is coming down from heaven, and the dead in Christ are going to rise, that would suggest they’re not heaven in already. If so, this debunks one of the biggest assumptions in church teaching. That Christians don’t go straight to heaven when they die.

This begins what I’m going to lay out as a challenge to your beliefs on what happens when a Christian dies. Let’s move on to the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16.

Luke 16:22-23

Luke 16:22-23 states “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luke 16:22-23 Meaning

Prior to these verses, Jesus spoke to the disciples about a rich man who joyously lived in splendor. Lazarus, a poor man, was longing to be fed crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table. Jesus gives a vivid description detailing the dogs were licking the sores on Lazarus. So all of that leads up to this section of the passage. Lazarus died and went to Abraham’s bosom, while the rich man died, was buried, and went to Hades.

Some argue that Abraham’s Bosom is a metaphor for heaven. If Abraham is in heaven, then obviously that would be where Lazarus went after he died. Though I don’t see that as a definitive conclusion where Christians are, given that Lazarus was not a Christian. This passage is prior to when the first people became Christians. Acts 2:41 states, “41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand [an]souls.” 

Philippians 1:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:8

Some people point out these verses as proof that what happens when a Christian dies is they go to straight to heaven. Philippians 1:23 states, “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;” 2 Corinthians 5:8 states, “we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” At first glance this looks like strong evidence that we as Christians will be with Christ in heaven as soon as we die. But I suggest to you that the context tells a different story.

Philippians 1:23 Context

Philippians 1:21-23 states, “21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 [s]But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know [t]which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;

Notice in verse 21 and 22, Paul refers to himself with the words “me” and “I”. And in verse 23, he speaks of himself departing to be with Christ. He never mentions that Christians will depart to be with Christ after death.

2 Corinthians 5:8 Context

2 Corinthians 5 is a little bit more challenging to point out who the pronouns are referring to. But there is a section of this chapter after verse 8 that helps us.

2 Corinthians 5:6-12 states “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by [c]sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for [d]his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. 12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.”

In verse 11, it’s clear that Paul refers to himself and Timothy (read 2 Corinthians 1:1). Paul hopes for himself and Timothy to be made manifest in the consciences of the Corinthians Christians. Verse 12, “we” refers to them again as Paul writes that they’re not commending themselves to them. They’re hoping for the Corinthian Christians to be proud of them (Paul and Timothy) to answer those who take pride in appearance.

So with this understanding, it must be at least considered whether verse 8 is Paul and Timothy referring to themselves as well. The only place where you could reasonably conclude “we” is referring to Christians is verse 10. Verse 10 states, “10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for [d]his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” Notice that Paul wrote “all”.  He went out of his way to be clear that he was stating something specific to Christians as a whole. So you have to question if it’s the case verse 8 refers to Christians in general, would Paul not have gone out of his way to make sure that distinction was clear. In addition, one has to ponder on the word “I” that is in verse 8.

Reading verse 8 again, Paul wrote, “we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord”.  The placement of the word “I” to indicate he’s speaking for himself would seem to further suggest he’s speaking for himself and Timothy about him preferring to be absent from the body and present with the Lord, and not Christians as a whole. And it should be kept in mind that we’ve already seen in Philippians how Paul was referring to himself on that point.

This understanding of both verses in Philippians and 2 Corinthians would seem to fit with what we read in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

So what actually happens when a Christian dies?

I’ve been giving you reasons to question whether heaven is the answer to what happens when a Christian dies. But I haven’t given you an alternative conclusion yet. I can only tell you what the text already tells us. Beyond that, everything else I could tell you would just be speculation. What we know is what 1 Thessalonians 4:16 told us. Jesus will come down from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Some argue the dead is just referring to the bodies of those who have passed, and the souls are already in heaven. My response to that would be if that’s the case, wouldn’t Paul have specifically detailed that. I see that conclusion as taking an extra step of speculation beyond what the text specifically states. 

I think the answer to what immediately happens when a Christian dies is we don’t know. There’s a timeline between death and dead in Christ rising that isn’t specifically detailed in the text. And what has happened over time is people inserted the story of Lazarus, or the words of Paul, to fill in the hole of that timeline. But as we read through the different verses on those subjects, the context seems to suggest that those verses about Lazarus being with Abraham, and Paul talking about longing to be present with the Lord aren’t specifically referring to Christians as a whole.

Conclusion

The only question I think we have the answer to is this question. What will eventually happen after a Christian dies?  And the answer to that is they will rise from the dead when Christ descends from heaven. And for us who are alive, 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 states, “17 Then we who are alive [n]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. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

Any thoughts, questions, or comments are welcome. If this post really made you think, I’d appreciate if you would share this across your social media. Click one of the “Share:” buttons below. Peace to all those who are in Christ.

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249 thoughts on “What Happens When a Christian Dies? Hint: Not Heaven

  1. The proof positive of what you state in truth, is found also in Revelation 20……The righteous awaken for the new Covenant:

    Revelation 20:4

    “And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. THEY CAME TO LIFE AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS.”

    NO one goes to Heaven after death! Bravo…

    1. Hi humanity777,

      Yes, another good verse that highlights the truth of where scripture concludes on this matter.

      Thanks! Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      1. The verse of Luke 16 about the poor man in Hades took place prior to Christ’s crucifixion, after which He went down into Hades to liberate the souls there. Read:

        http://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/when-prophecies-echo/

        There are many other verses about the afterlife like when Paul said ” To be absent in the body is to be PRESENT with the Lord.” Where do you think the Lord is? In Heaven

        Read:

        http://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/life-death-and-the-afterlife/

        1. Hi Biblicism Institute. Thank you for your comment. If you’re citing the verse in 1 Peter for your first point, I would suggest to you in never explicitly states the souls followed Christ to heaven. To your second point, I conclude based on the surrounding verses you’re citing, that the Apostle Paul is specifically referring to what his experience will be. Thank you for sharing your links. Always nice to see an alternative point of view.

          Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    2. I am responding to the original blogpost here. I want to say thanks for liking my post on Flat earth. However, I respectfully disagree with your post here. First it starts with the term “Christian”. The term was first used by unbelievers in a derogatory sense towards followers of Christ. Acts 11:26: “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” The term Christian means followers of Christ. So guess what? People like Abraham was a follower of Christ even though the term Christian was not used yet. John 8:58, “(56) Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. (58) Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Abraham had communed with Jesus on earth. Genesis 18:1, 13-14: (1) And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; (13) And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? (14) Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” Read Genesis 18 for a more detailed lesson on when Abraham spent time with Jesus & two angels. Note: not ever person claiming to be a Christian are actually Christian. Some are actually unbelievers posing as believers. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15: “(13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” I posted that because I hope you are a believer and not an imposter. Your post contradicts scripture.

      Believers of Christ do go to heaven now. Ephesians 4:8-10: (8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) Before Christ died and rose, all people went to Hades (or Sheol) which was divided, one part like heaven or paradise (Abraham’s Bosom) the other part like Hell. When Jesus rose, He went there to carry believers of Christ to heaven. So now when believers die, they go to heaven. Unbelievers go to Hades which is now only like Hell and wait to die the second death in Hell (Gehenna). By the way two men went straight to heaven without dying Enoch and Elijah. Genesis 5:24 “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Hebrews 11:5-6: “(5) By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” 2 Kings 2:1, : “(1) And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. (11) And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” So there are two men in heaven right now, Enoch & Elijah, who did not die.

      You are unfortunately misguided and led astray by the spirit of confusion, a demonic spirit. You have misinterpreted bible passages like 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 for example. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17: “(13) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Yes the dead in Christ shall be risen by Jesus but you have misinterpreted death. Did you know that there are 3 immaterial parts of each person? Each person has a physical body, soul, and spirit. Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The point is when a person dies, their body is separated from their spirit & soul which is the 1st death. Most people will deal with this. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, the dead in Christ will rise, meaning God will reunite their bodies with their spirits & souls and give them new glorified bodies like Christ. Those who are alive are those who won’t suffer any type of death, but be given glorified bodies too. Remember God is a Spirit. John 4:24: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” So when Jesus came to earth to live amongst mankind, He took on a physical body and when He died on the cross, His physical body was in the tomb, but His Spirit was in heaven at the same time. Why I say this? Luke 23:42-43: “(42) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
      (43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” When the thief asked Jesus to save Him He told the thief he would be with Jesus in paradise (heaven). Jesus is no liar. So yes the thief was with the Spirit of Christ in heaven that day while Jesus body ended up in the tomb. When Jesus rose from the dead His body & Spirit was reunited and Christ became glorified.

      However, those who die not believing in Christ will die 2 deaths: the 1st death of their physical bodies being separated from their spirits & souls. Then they’ll face God at the Great White throne judgment to die the 2nd death, to be cast into the lake of fire for an eternal death. The 2nd death is complete separation from God forever: body, soul, & spirit. You also misinterpreted those going to Hell. While there is eternal life for believers the exact opposite will happen to those who die not believing in Christ, eternal death. Why I say Ithis? Matthew 25:41, 46: “(41) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (46) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9: “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

      So yes Jesus has the power to destroy body and soul by casting it into Hell, but the destruction is an eternal destruction. God is beyond our comprehension. So if His Word says Hell is eternal then we must believe it is possible because He said so. Eternal life is to live forever and eternal death is to die forever. I pray for you Eric because you are confused and leading people astray. I hope and pray you seek the Holy Spirit for clarity on this and all other matters. Your post is not pleasing to God. I urge to remove this post for good or until you learn the truth about this subject. I’ll pray for you. God bless!

      1. Hi Cordell79. Thank you for your comment. And yes, I did find your flat earth post intriguing, even though I didn’t necessarily support the conclusion. With regards to your assessment of my post, I think two people can respectfully disagree on this subject. I hope you, like myself, are humble enough to admit that neither of us know everything correctly of the scripture, and can only understand as much as our small minds can comprehend. Respectfully, while some points you state are accurate I simply believe the full conclusion you have is based on inferences you’re placing on the text that aren’t explicitly stated in the verses you make your conclusion. In my view of Ephesians 4:8-9, understanding it in context, the verses afterwards would seem to suggest something else being talked about in the present, with the Ephesians being designated as prophets, evangelists, etc in the next verses. 1 Thessalonians 4, others have suggested that conclusion you have made, but since there is no explicit statement of such in the verses, I opt for the simpler conclusion, which is people are simply at rest somewhere until Christ comes back for them to rise first. Finally, I do not conclude the thief’s experience can be generalized to the death experience of those who are saved according to the formula of salvation given by Christ in Mark 16:16. I think it’s okay if we agree to disagree, because we both agree that all Christians that continue in the faith are going to heaven eventually. Thank you again for your comment.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  2. A good stab at the matter as always… But mightn’t be the last word on the matter..I was precisely wondering where 1 peter 3:19-20 fits into it….For what was the essence of Jesus descending into Sheol for 3 days??

    I think prior to Jesus’s Resurrection your assessment is accurate. For he was to be the 1st born among brethren…. But Post resurrection He led the ‘righteous dead (occupiers of Abraham’s blossom) into heaven and changed the path & journey afterwards for all under the new covenant.

    In reconciling 1 These 4:16 I’m of the opinion that its referencing a reconciliation of the corrupted body of the dead with their souls descending from above.

    I align with this view here: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/he-descended-into-hell & recommend you read it.

    1. Hello Wale.

      Interesting you bring up Sheol. I thought about including that in this writing given it’s fascinating there’s really not any concept of heaven in the Old Testament. As the article you cited accurately pointed out, after death it appears the destination of the soul was Sheol, the abode of the dead. There’s an interesting episode in 1 Samuel 28 for anyone interested in reading where Saul uses a medium to bring up Samuel’s soul from below to talk with him.

      Anyway, let’s talk about that verse in 1 Peter. Let’s look at the verse before and after those two to make sure we’re understanding things in context. “1 Peter 3:18-22 states, 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the [p]water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God [q]for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.”

      Okay, so Christ died for the sins of the unjust, so He might bring us to God. He was made alive in the spirit, and went to make proclamation to the spirits now in prison. The spirits apparently being referred are the ones that were disobedient during the time of Noah. I looked up the meaning of the word proclamation in the Greek and it means to herald divine truth (the gospel), preach, proclaim, publish. So Jesus went to those specific spirits to presumably proclaim divine truth, likely the gospel, to them. Then as we jump to verse 22 after Peter explains how salvation occurs now, he explains Jesus has gone to the right hand of God with angels, authorities, powers, subjected to Him. Now I’m not sure if your saying these verses confirm your conclusion that he led a group of righteous dead in Abraham’s bosom into heaven (correct me if not), but if that’s what you’re using to confirm your conclusion, I would be inclined to disagree because there’s nothing stated in this verse that he brought the imprisoned spirits in this chapter to heaven, or that where these imprisoned spirits were was even at Abraham’s bosom. Looking very closely, Peter states, “now in prison”. To this writer’s eye that sounds like those imprisoned spirits being referred to in this chapter are still there.

      With regards to your alternative conclusion on 1 Thessalonians 4:16, I would only say the verse doesn’t give the same detailed explanation as you have given, merely just stating “the dead in Christ will rise first”. It perhaps doesn’t necessarily mean their corrupted bodies reuniting with their souls, though I understand what would potentially give that suggestion credence since bodies are what die. We do know our bodies will be transformed to His glory, as to how the transformation process will occur, I’m not aware that we’re given full detail of that. I think then what we’re left to speculate here is what does the phrase, “asleep in Christ/dead in Christ” mean? And you have concluded it means saved souls already in heaven, while I am skeptical of that conclusion given the lack specificity stated of that, making me more inclined for the simpler explanation, being that these Christians who are dead are just simply at rest until Christ comes to get all of us. Curious, what do you make of humanity777 using Revelation 20:4 to make the same conclusion that Christians are not in heaven?

      The article you gave was a pretty good read. I think portions of what was stated presented some interesting speculations with regards to Sheol and different compartments, but with regards to the parts that dispute my conclusion, those spots I found the author made two leaps in conclusions that find to be too much of a stretch to be accurate in my estimation.

      Leap #1: “After his resurrection, Jesus ascends to heaven and brings the ransomed dead with him, so that now Paradise is no longer down near the place of torment, but is up in the third heaven, the highest heaven, where God dwells (2 Corinthians 12:2–4).” Okay, so the author is correct in understanding Paradise to mean the third heaven in this particular instance, as the verse seems to be making the same connection as well. However, where the author makes the leap, is assuming the person that Paul is speaking of is there right now. The verses only state that the person was caught up in the third heaven/paradise and heard inexpressible words. Paul never says that this man died and is resting in heaven currently or that this is going to be what happens with all Christians that die, as we seem to find in the more specific addressing of dead Christians in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. He only specifically states that he knew this man in Christ 14 years ago that got caught up in the third heaven and heard inexpressible words.

      Leap #2: “Now, in the church age, when the righteous die, they aren’t merely carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom; they depart to be with Christ, which is far better (Philippians 1:23).” The author is assuming Paul’s statement is reflective of the Christian experience, but I argued in my writing it’s specifically reflective of the Chosen Apostle experience since he is only speaking of what he’d rather have for himself, and speaks later in his writings to the Thessalonian church about the Christian scenario that Christ will come to get the dead first, which would seem to contradict Philippians 1:23 being the scenario of what happens to Christians after death if it were the case that verse was describing that. In the Gospels Jesus stated he was going to go away to prepare a place for the Apostles. John 14: 1-4 states, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” Now I know Paul and the Apostle they replaced Judas with were not there at the time Jesus made this statement. But He did make this statement specifically to the chosen Apostles that were there (Thomas and Philip for sure we know since they were named), Paul considers and proclaims himself as equal in authority to the original 12. You can find him defending that in Galatians. I would make the conclusion that this statement by Jesus in John 14 ended up applying to Apostle Paul as well which is why he stated what he stated in Philippians 1:23.

      So with those two scriptural conclusions by the author that I find to be too much of a stretch to be accurate conclusions, I’m still more inclined to think the more accurate conclusion is that dead Christians are not in heaven right now. But happy to listen to further thoughts and continue this good iron sharpening iron discussion. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      1. Hi, I am trying to understand why you think that when Jesus said “you”, He was only talking to or of His Apostles? When He addressed His disciples, which He did severally, and He had hundreds of disciples, we know there were at least seventy plus the 12, He also said “you”. Consider when He told them that they will be persecuted, He didn’t simply mean the 12.

        I think you are wrong to say that there is a different expectation after death for the Apostles, or that Jesus was only going to make a place for the Apostles, or that Jesus only said to the Apostles that THEY were the branches grafted in. Even if you read Paul’s writing, when he addresses the Believers, he told them that they too had been grafted in, and “if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either…” (Rom 11:21).

        When Jesus said “you”, He meant all of us who believe in Him, and so we are ALL called to bear fruit that will remain. I think what you have done with separating the Apostles from other Christians is dangerous, because you have exalted them, such that you believe that they are the only Jesus prepared a place in Heaven for (at least that is the message that comes across from reading your comment). It is good to remember that Jesus also said:

        “So the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matt 20:16).

        Cheers, Ufuoma.

        1. Hi Ufuoma. Thank you for your comment. I would suggest to you there are numerous instances where Jesus was only speaking certain things to his 12 apostles. Matthew 10:5, Matthew 11:1, Matthew 19:28, just to name a few. Usually when there were other disciples with them, to my knowledge it was explicitly stated, Mark 4:10 would be an example.

          Now with regards to the verses I cite in John being specifically directed to the Apostles, it’s important to look at the previous chapter going into chapter 14. This was an extended conversation occurring with the Apostles because Jesus was specifically stating one of “you” (12 Apostles) will betray me, and he goes into detail about Apostle Peter being one who will deny Him three times. And in the chapter which I cite the verses I’m using in my comment to Wale., Apostle Philip is noted asking a question to Jesus. All of this leads me to conclude this was a moment Jesus was specifically addressing his 12 apostles. There are no explicit statements of any of the other followers being amongst Jesus and the Apostles at that time like you see explicitly stated in other verses.

          I would suggest to you Jesus is the one who made a distinction between the 12 Apostles and the followers of Christ. After the Lord’s Supper, with just the 12 there, he states in Luke 22:28-30, “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; 29 and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” To clarify, I’m not saying the Apostles are the only ones who are going to be in heaven, I’m saying Jesus stated specific things to them about what’s going to happen when they’re in heaven.

          I hope this helped expand more knowledge of my conclusion. I understand if you may still choose to disagree, but we at least agree Christians will all go to heaven eventually, which is the most important thing.

          Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  3. Some of this has to do with our spirit vs. body. Spiritually, we’re one spirit with the Lord. I don’t think physical death can affect that bond. Paul says we are raised in Christ now (Eph. 2) yet await bodily resurrection (Rom. 8). So I’ve concluded at physical death we continue a spirtual existence in Christ until bodily resurrection (in a new heavens & earth–not disembodied in heaven). But you’re right that the main thing is the ultimate salvation of believers, however that looks 🙂

    1. Interesting chapters you referenced. I think it’s plausible to say even at death we are still with Christ in some sense going back to the phrase “asleep in Christ” stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Then those dead in Christ will rise first as the chapter goes on to detail. I think Romans 8:11 further solidifies this conclusion. Interesting blog post you shared as well. I didn’t know about the Gnostic’s theology on this topic. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  4. I think you’ve made several good points, but in regards to 1 Thessalonians 4, I agree with many others that Paul is talking about the reconciliation of body and spirit/soul. In Luke, Jesus is crucified between two criminals. After one of them asks to be remember in Christ’s kingdom, Christ responds with, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43). The words today and paradise makes it seem like he is referring to the criminal going to be in God’s presence, or heaven. Also, in Revelation 6:9-11, the martyrs cry out for God to avenge their deaths. They are described as being “under the altar”. Heaven, where God’s presence dwells, is described using temple imagery all throughout Revelation (8:3-5, 9:13, 11:1, 15:5, etc.), the altar is in the very presence of God. I don’t think we should take this as they were literally under an altar, but that their souls were in the presence of God.

    Just a few thoughts. Really enjoy your blog!! God bless! 🙂

    1. Hello Krystal. Thank you for your comment. With regards to the thief on the cross, I would probably include him in the same category of non-Christians that I wrote about in my scriptural conclusion. It’s possible what happened to him was perhaps reflective of his experience alone after he died, and not necessarily the experience of Christians after they die, given he was a non-Christian since the command of how one became a Christian was not given until after Jesus died and came back to life.

      With regards to Revelation, I’ll first be transparent in stating that I currently debate in my mind how much of Revelation is referring to things that already occurred in the past or things that are to happen in the future. Putting that issue aside for a moment though, I would first say the first verse you referenced does interestingly say in verse 11 in my translation “rest a little while longer”. Similar idea of resting to what 1 Thessalonians 4:16 states, “asleep in Christ”. Which would seem to return us back to the question again which I left in Wale.’s comment, what does “resting in Christ” mean? One could opt for the more cautiously simple explanation as I choose, or take an extra step further in something not necessarily explicitly stated.

      I do see your point within those verses though about the altars being before God, an angel throwing stuff from the fire of the altar down to earth in one verse, which if it’s going down, the angel has to be above it somewhere, and thus the altar as well. The verse in Revelation 6 says the souls are under the altar, so I can see where one would think in their mind, “therefore, the dead souls in Christ are resting in heaven”. But one thing to consider here, is it states specifically within verse 9, “the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;” Now this could go back to my debate in my mind currently of whether this is talking about future or past events because some people have the thought that Revelation has more to do with the destruction of the temple in 70ad than some future event yet to happen, which could potentially explain why it is specifically the slain souls that are under that alter in that verse. I don’t say that as a definitive conclusion that I hold, but more so just a thought. But let’s say one were to concede and conclude that thought is not accurate at all, I think one would still perhaps have to concede, the slain souls that maintained their testimony is again seeming to refer to a specific circumstance of a specific people much like the “non-Christian category” I highlight in my post, in which case, perhaps can not be generalized to the Christian death experience as a whole, given there’s no explicit statement concluding that to be the case.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and feel free to continue sharing, as this is good iron sharpening iron discussion. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. We may be kindred spirits… (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Here are my two thoughts. One: The spiritual realm is a place, that no living person has seen. We have what the bible tells us, and that is about it. I wanted to add to your thoughts, Samuel’s spirit and the witch of Endor, Enoch, Elijah, and the transfiguration were Moses and Elijah visited Jesus. Also, another thing to add, Mt. Sinai, if we see God, as flesh, we die. This says to be if eternity was shown to us, or explained in detail beyond what the bible offers, we couldn’t handle it. Two: The heaviest focus of the bible is our interaction with others. I have a great fascination with the afterlife, and in recent years, I am really attempting to shift my focus on what I can do for the spiritually weary and wounded in the land of the living. Again, I really enjoyed reading your post. Well done!

    1. Hi ZacharyWGilbert. Haha, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my post so much. Exactly. I think at times we can occasionally get in the habit of going beyond what we have in scripture rather than sticking with what we do have even if it doesn’t necessarily fully satisfy our own personal curiosities. As to your point on comprehension of eternity being beyond what we could possibly understand, that would seem plausible to me as well.

      That’s very excellent that you actually pay attention to what things are primarily emphasized in scripture. Whatever God emphasizes most in scripture is what we should all be emphasizing most in our thoughts, understanding, and actions as it relates to our faith. In one of my posts (I forget which one) I discuss how much of a theme connecting together as a group connecting with God is emphasized in scripture (Adam and Eve, Moses and the Israelites, Jesus and the Apostles, the church, etc.). I think unfortunately that’s something that’s been increasingly lost in today’s cultural Christianity, particularly within western culture that tends to be more individualistic in focus with regards to discussing Christianity.

      I’m glad to hear you’re focusing more on interacting with others, and I hope your interactions will encourage and inspire others to do the same.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  6. I thank you for visiting David’s Logical Lagoon and the like for “The will of God in a Godless nation”….As a Southern Baptist I am not in agreement with Christians Don’t go to heaven when they die…Scripture can be quoted and Greek and Hebrew words defined but the one overriding word is Faith…I am saved by Jesus Christ and my soul will go to heaven when I die…You have a very well done site…God Bless David

    1. Hi David. You’re welcome. Thank you for your kind comments. I respect your difference of opinion.More importantly we agree that souls need to and can only be saved through Christ. Lord wiling, we’ll all hopefully help in guiding as many to salvation as possible.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  7. Wow! This is eye-opening. I can’t imagine how much we can see God’s thoughts expressed in His Word, provided we ask Him to open our eyes to see wonderful things in His Word. Thanks for revelation.

    1. Hi Prosper Anang. Thanks for your comment. Indeed, when we carefully follow what God has written in his Word and avoid adding our own presuppositions to the text, it’s amazing what knowledge we can discover that helps bring us in even closer connection to God.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  8. What about “We are confident, yet, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord,” in 2 Corinthians 5:8? And, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise” in Luke 23:43. And, when the dead in Christ are raised, it is their bodies that are raised. When we die, it is our spirits that go to Heaven until the reunion on the day of 1 Thessalonians 4 or if we are alive when Jesus returns.

    1. Hi Martha. Thanks for your comment. With regards to 2 Corinthians 5:8, I believe that’s describing the experience of what the Apostles would have upon death rather than Christians as a whole. I think one thing that’s important to consider when reading scripture is considering pronoun designation. I’ll use an example from the chapter you cited. 2 Corinthians 5:12 “We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.” Consider who the “we/us” and who the “you” is in this verse. If you agree that the “we” in this verse is the Apostles speaking saying they’re not commending themselves to “you” (the Corinthian Christians), then it follows the rest of the pronoun designation has to be individually analyzed who is being referred to in each pronoun in the chapter and book as a whole through careful reading of the text, because sometimes a “we” and “us” does refer to the church as a whole. And thus I would suggest when the Apostles are saying “”we” are confident, yet, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord,” they’re possibly referring to what will happen of their own particular experience as Apostles when they would be absent from the body. I reference John 14 where Jesus states he has a place specifically prepared for the Apostles and plans to come back to get them. Even though Apostle Paul wasn’t present as an Apostle in that chapter, I think it’s possible that reward was extended to him as well when he became one.

      With regards to Luke 23:43 and the thief on the cross, since he was specifically a non-Christian, I don’t think his experience can be generalized to be describing the Christian experience upon death. Had this statement been given to a Christian, then I would probably give more weight to that verse as evidence of your conclusion. Other commenters of this post have made the same conclusion about souls/spirits going to heaven, and then bodies being risen at death. I myself see that as an extra step taken beyond what the text explicitly states in 1 Thessalonians 4, that the dead in Christ are at rest until Jesus comes back and they rise first. If there were a verse that explicitly stated the spirit/soul conclusion, I would agree with that position, but because there is not a verse that does, I choose to opt for the simpler explanation that Christians are asleep/dead in Christ as the verses state. One other commenter suggested they’re not in heaven but existing in some other spiritual existence with Christ, which could be possible, but I don’t see any definitive explicit statement of that in scripture to make that conclusion. But in the end of course, we can all agree that saved sin-forgiven souls will be in heaven eventually.

      Appreciate the iron sharpening iron conversation. Feel free to continue sharing your thoughts if you like. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  9. You’ve got a very good blog page going, just a few thoughts on Heaven and Hell:

    1. God created the Heavens and the Earth both will be renewed, Heaven was created alongside the Earth. Heaven is the realm which God resides in now. See Genesis Ch1 v 1 & Revelation Ch21 v 1 from these verses it’s very clear that heaven and earth began together and will be re-created together.

    2. Earth – the renewed earth – is where the “reign” will take place, which is why the New Testament regularly speaks, not of our going to be where Jesus is, but of his coming to where we are.

    3. When people say why will God torture people, but there is a difference between tormented and tortured.

    4.On our Resurrection our bodies will be transformed, just like Jesus’ body was transformed.

    5. The early Christians believed that Resurrection would happen to everyone at the end of time not to one person in advance (Jesus). When Jesus raised people from the dead they would still die later on in life.  Resurrection is to live for ever in a new transformed body (still keeping our identity).

    6. When Jesus declares that there are many dwelling-places in his father’s house, the word “dwelling-place” is moné which denotes a temporary lodging.

    7. In 1 Corinthians Ch15 Paul is misunderstood  as people think he means our new bodies will be spiritual body (non-material) if this was the case Jesus’ tomb wouldn’t have been empty. Our new bodies won’t be like our current ones animated by the normal human soul but animated by God’s spirit which will be incorruptible.

    Just some food for thought.

    Look forward to receiving your blog posts in the future.

    1. Hi dczy79. Thank you for your comment. Interesting thoughts. To point 1 and 2, those conclusions seem reasonable. To point 3, I’m not quite sure the point you were getting at in that statement, but feel free to clarify that one for me. Sounds interesting. To point number 4 and 5, I would say those conclusions seem reasonable as well. To point 6, I have to admit, I never did look into the Greek on that particular word. I’ll have to delve into that more. This is one of the reasons I enjoy when people comment with different thoughts than mind. It makes me think and consider things I may not have considered before. To your final point, I looked through 1 Corinthians 15, and I suppose when people see that word spiritual body in verse 44 if they’re using the translation I’m using, that’s where they make the conclusion. But I kind of misunderstood your assertion based off of Jesus’s resurrection. You’re saying Jesus’s tomb would have been full if it were the case that new bodies are transformed into spiritual bodies?

      Thanks! I hope to publish a new blog post this week. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    1. Hi Maureen. Thanks for your comment, and I really appreciate you reblogging this. I’m glad that this post could be a thought-provoking experience for you.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  10. I agree with you that the ultimate goal is that Jesus will return and renew the Earth. However, the more I read the more I am convinced that there is a two-stage resurrection. The first is a waiting room in Heaven (if you like, but not in the throne room). Paul implies this when he says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Phil 1:21-23). The brigand on the cross is told, “Today, you will be with me in paradise. The Greek word for paradise is paradeisos. It comes from the Persian meaning enclosed, well watered park where wild animals where kept for hunting. By Roman times, it had come to mean a park or garden for travelers who had not reach their destination like our modern rest areas on highways. Therefore, Jesus is telling the brigand that today he will go to the rest area. So it seems to me that there may be a place where we wait our new bodies. Outside of most temples in antiquity there were large gardens before you entered the temple. It seems highly likely that we will be waiting in something like that.

    1. Hi Jeff. Thank you for your comment. In the first verse you cited, I think it’s possible Apostle Paul was describing his own personal experience as an Apostle with what would happen to him upon death stating “I” rather than stating “we”, “us”, “all” or any form of group pronoun which would more plausibly convince of me of the conclusion you suggest. With regards to the thief on the cross, given he was a non-Christian, I don’t see it as plausible that his experience can be generalized to all dead Christians. I choose instead to opt for the more explicit statement of Christian experience upon death stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 as perhaps being more definitive. So these are the reasons why I don’t think these particular verses necessarily definitively prove that Christians that are dead will be in heaven or as you put it, in a waiting room in heaven.

      Quite an interesting topic of study this is. Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  11. Very good analysis and thoughts. I tend to think there are 2 comings. The first is the rapture when believers will be taken out of this world, and I assume would be in heaven. Then Christ will return after the 7 year tribulation to reign on earth for 1000 years and then the final judgement, final hell and the final version of heaven (a new heaven and earth). When Christ returns after the tribulation, we will all be reunited (church age, prior church age, apostles and prophets). I don’t know if the Bible is specific enough on whether we are all together before then, just as the Bible is not specific on exactly what heaven is like. But we do know that we are not in hell if we are believers, and that the prior church age was saved by faith in a Messiah to come. What about the verse on the cross where Jesus tells the repentant thief that he will be in paradise with him today?

    1. Hi Life and Heart Matters. Thank you for your comment. I apologize that my response to you is a few days late. I must have missed it sifting through all the other comments I responded to. It’s my thinking that a lot of people make the heaven assumption because it’s the cultural tradition many of us have grown up with, and as a result, we tend to place assumptions on to the text based on the tradition. What led me to questioning that cultural tradition was reading that verse in 1 Thessalonians 4. In diving through the text, I could not find a verse that explicitly stated that when a Christian dies they immediately go to heaven. I would suggest that this is the same case with the verse you’re asking about with regards to the thief on the cross. He was not a Christian. So it’s in my estimation that his experience is not something that can be generalized as the Christian experience of what happens after death. I find it more of a solid footing to stand on to go with the more explicit statement stated of Christians after death in 1 Thessalonians 4, which is that they will be asleep in Christ, and when Christ descends from heaven with a shout, those who are dead in Christ will rise first. Because Christ is descending to get them and that the dead are rising first to meet Christ is what gives me the conclusion that they’re not in heaven.

      Apologies again for the late response, and peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    1. Hi Helena. Thank you for your comment, and you’re welcome. Always good to be reminded to be giving of ourselves as followers of Christ.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  12. Hi, I really liked this read! I have pondered and pondered this very same thing.
    The only thing that still challenges my brain is this…. and I apologize if someone in the earlier comments already mentioned these verses. I haven’t read all of the comments.

    2 Corinthians 5
    1For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.
    6Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

    What are your thoughts on the absent from the body at home with The Lord portion?

    And then another scripture that follows along with your writing is when Saul consults the medium. This clearly goes along with it.

    1 Samuel 28:3-25
    11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

    And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”

    12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”

    13 And the king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What did you see?”

    And the woman said to Saul, “I saw a spirit[a] ascending out of the earth.”

    14 So he said to her, “What is his form?”

    And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle.” And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down.

    15 Now Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

    It all comes down to trust and lean not on our own understanding. But I still can’t help but ponder it.

    1. Hi gloryguides. Thank you for your comment. It’s okay. This is what I wrote in response to another comment that brought up 2 Corinthians 5:8.

      “With regards to 2 Corinthians 5:8, I believe that’s describing the experience of what the Apostles would have upon death rather than Christians as a whole. I think one thing that’s important to consider when reading scripture is considering pronoun designation. I’ll use an example from the chapter you cited. 2 Corinthians 5:12 “We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.” Consider who the “we/us” and who the “you” is in this verse. If you agree that the “we” in this verse is the Apostles speaking saying they’re not commending themselves to “you” (the Corinthian Christians), then it follows the rest of the pronoun designation has to be individually analyzed who is being referred to in each pronoun in the chapter and book as a whole through careful reading of the text, because sometimes a “we” and “us” does refer to the church as a whole. And thus I would suggest when the Apostles are saying “”we” are confident, yet, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord,” they’re possibly referring to what will happen of their own particular experience as Apostles when they would be absent from the body. I reference John 14 where Jesus states he has a place specifically prepared for the Apostles and plans to come back to get them. Even though Apostle Paul wasn’t present as an Apostle in that chapter, I think it’s possible that reward was extended to him as well when he became one.”

      With regards to your reference of 1 Samuel 28, it appears in the Old Testament after death the destination of the soul was Sheol, the abode of the dead. Many verses in the Old Testament reference this place. It would seem to fit with Samuel being stated in this episode as having been brought up by the medium, because Sheol is the underworld. Job 7:9 states of Sheol “When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, So he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.” Interestingly there’s no mention of Sheol in the New Testament. I presume because after Christ’s resurrection souls no longer went to Sheol, but instead as 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 indicates, are just asleep in Christ.

      Indeed, it all comes down to trusting the Lord, which consequently means trusting His Word over any traditional or cultural teachings one may have been taught, which is the main thing I challenge people to do with everything I write in this blog. I hope I was able to give you some deeper understanding, and please feel free to ask any further questions or share any other thoughts you may have.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      1. HI thank you for replying. I agree we have to dig in a little deeper and not be so quick to jump to an interpretation. Thank you for your insight. its definitely important to stick to the word and decipher it carefully. Its so easy for people to be slighted and swayed by a feel good pretty picture. They see a quick half truth and jump. I appreciate that your writing challenges people to take a closer look. Thank you for boldly tackling the gray.
        May God Bless

    1. Hi godschildshari. I hope to eventually get around to creating a contact e-mail for this blog at some point. Until I do, you’re welcome to pm me on my twitter account that I use (@Noneother_EO).

  13. Reblogged this on ProphetPX on WordPress and commented:
    This article was decent and getting good UNTIL HE BORKED IT ALL with the last 2 paragraphs (which DO NOT give any conclusive answers and the end result is nothing more than a confusing frazzle of bizarre PRO-DISPENSATIONAL GARBAGE and ignorance) 🙁
    But i am sharing this because everything until the last 2 paragraphs is worthy of discussion (even if the DARKENED end result conclusion, and FALSE DOCTRINE at the end, is CRAP).

  14. This article was decent and getting good UNTIL HE BORKED IT ALL with the last 2 paragraphs (which DO NOT give any conclusive answers and the end result is nothing more than a confusing frazzle of bizarre PRO-DISPENSATIONAL GARBAGE and ignorance) 🙁
    But i am sharing this because everything until the last 2 paragraphs is worthy of discussion (even if the DARKENED end result conclusion, and FALSE DOCTRINE at the end, is CRAP).

  15. AND HERE, EXACTLY, is why this post and article GOT “BORKED” — this writer shows a lurid ignorance of the principles of COVENANT THEOLOGY and shows an OBVIOUS SKEW or BIAS towards FALSE, HERETICAL, barely 170 year old DISPENSATIONALISM, with implications that no Old Testament believe can be a Christian because such people never existed until “after Acts chapter 2″…. SMH

    Behold, the NON-REFORMED and pitiful BORKING:
    “Another possible idea that we also have to keep in mind is that the parable never said Lazarus was a Christian. As we know from our studies, there were no Christians until Acts 2 when the first people got saved according to the Gospel of Christ stated in Mark 16:15-16. You might stop me here and say wait, are you saying there are non-Christians in heaven? Well, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not in the category of Christians. The command given for all people being able to come to heaven by becoming a saved Christian was given at the end of the gospels.”

    Covenant Theology teaches that EVERY SINGLE believer since the time of Adam (more accurately stated: starting with Abraham, really, since he was the first one to have any redemptive faith) until the very last Christian saved right before Judgment seat of Christ — that ALL are Christians, and there is NO (FALSE) difference between Christians and those who lived under the sinking sands of the constantly apostasizing kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

    sigh

    i wish this had been a better blog. 🙁

    1. Hi Ryan. Thank you for your comments and re-blogging my post. Could you give me some scripture references with regards to your points on “Covenant Theology”? I’d greatly appreciate whatever knowledge you can pass on to me.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  16. I spent many years fixated of death, because my best friend committed suicide in 1984. I was fourteen then, and my only source of God at that time was my father and his wife. I made the mistake of asking them if I would see my friend again in heaven. I was told no, that he was burning in hell for killing himself. It sent me into a depression where I nearly did the same thing. Fast forward to 2016, where I was led by the Holy Sprit to discover he had a brother and what his brother’s name was. it turned out he was a pastor at a church in Houston. He corrected the damage done to me by my father’s wife by giving me this verse: “…God is not god of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:32). He did not pump me full of unknown garbage of where he is, other than he is alive somewhere. Truth be known, he didn’t know either, other than that he is alive. He gave me hope, that he is still and will arise in one of the resurrections. For this, I am thankful.

    1. Hi tvmasterc. Thank you for your comment. Can’t imagine how devastating of a loss that would be, and also how crushed you would feel after what your father and his wife told you. I’m glad that you were able to find out of your best friend’s brother who was a pastor and he could give you some hope in the midst of the loss of your friend. I appreciate your sharing of your personal story that can hopefully give comfort to those who see your comment that are dealing with a similar situation.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  17. I have only heard the truth, that Christians don’t go to Heaven when they die, taught by one particular Christian faith group. After reading scripture and asking God to help me to rightly divide His word of truth, I agree with that teaching. It is interesting to find that there are other Christians out there who also believe the same. If I happen to mention my belief of this particular topic in my regular Christian circles, I always feel like they are looking at me as if I had two heads and came from another planet!

    I appreciate the thoughtful manner in which you respond to those who don’t agree with you.

    1. Hi godschildshari. Thank you for your comment. I applaud you for studying the issue of the Christian life after death for yourself, and coming to your own conclusion not based on what tradition has always taught, but what scripture seems to teach. It’s refreshing for me as well to see others such as yourself and the other commenters in this post that hold similar conclusions. Hopefully with those who have never encountered our particular belief, it encourages them to review scripture for themselves. Hence why I try to do my best to engage people thoughtfully and respectfully rather than be argumentative.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  18. Christians will see heaven, and will be caught up into heaven at the ressurection, but not before then. And we don’t know what part of heaven, as the bible indicates several heavens—Paul was caught up to the 3rd heaven. A short 7 years after that, we shall return with Christ along with the armies of heaven (angels), to earth, when Christ shall destroy the armies of the Gentiles who will at that time be surrounding Jerusalem and they are led by AntiChrist, and two thirds of the Jews will be killed. Then Israel, as a nation shall cry out to Jesus, finally accepting Him as their long awaited Messiah, and Jesus returns at that time to physically stand upon the Temple Mount and Mount of Olives. We shall reign as Priests and Kings upon the earth with Christ, and then Satan will be loosed from his 1000 year bondage. He and all the lost shall then be dealt the final blow and stand before the Great White Throne judgement, and Jesus Himself shall divide the sheep from the goats.

    1. Hi Sheldon. Thank you for your comment. Indeed, when Jesus returns, then Christians will see heaven. The descriptions in Revelation are quite fascinating . I can’t say I’ve come to a full understanding of what it all means myself (if one could ever), but nonetheless, it’s an astonishing read.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  19. Hello,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Heaven and death. I remember studying about the timing of the story of Lazarus and the Rich man. Yes, it could have been a parable or a real story. At that time, before Christ opened to way to Heaven through his blood, the dead were in Paradise or in Sheol. When Jesus died and went into the realm of death, he cleared that place out of believers. The souls of those who trusted God by faith, what your referred to as “non-Christians” met Christ. Just like we look back to Christ for our salvation, they look forward to His coming as the Messiah. So, in many ways all the Old Testament symbols that they knew and loved, how they put their faith in God and salvation, were fulfilled in Christ. Now, the door is opened and of what I read, when we die we are absent from the body, but our soul, our real self, is with the Lord. When the Bible refers to those who have fallen asleep, their bodies are dead in the grave. When Christ comes again, he resurrects those old bodies into something brand-spanking new and puts our souls back in a everlasting body. I tell friends all the time that I am thankful the body I am in is the first test model. The real is coming later that won’t age, will be young, and do all the things that we can only dream of now. All of this is Biblical and part of our hope.

    Thanks,

    Gary

  20. Hi Gary. Thank you for your comment. I chuckled at your “first test model” line. I’m assuming with regards to your conclusion of Jesus taking the unbelievers from the realm of death to heaven you’re referring to 1 Peter 3:19-20, but please correct me if you’re basing your conclusion off of a different verse. If you don’t mind me borrowing from another comment I responded to, this how I addressed this point.

    “1 Peter 3:18-22 states, 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the [p]water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God [q]for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.”

    “Okay, so Christ died for the sins of the unjust, so He might bring us to God. He was made alive in the spirit, and went to make proclamation to the spirits now in prison. The spirits apparently being referred are the ones that were disobedient during the time of Noah. I looked up the meaning of the word proclamation in the Greek and it means to herald divine truth (the gospel), preach, proclaim, publish. So Jesus went to those specific spirits to presumably proclaim divine truth, likely the gospel, to them. Then as we jump to verse 22 after Peter explains how salvation occurs now, he explains Jesus has gone to the right hand of God with angels, authorities, powers, subjected to Him. Now I’m not sure if your saying these verses confirm your conclusion that he led a group of righteous dead in Abraham’s bosom into heaven (correct me if not), but if that’s what you’re using to confirm your conclusion, I would be inclined to disagree because there’s nothing stated in this verse that he brought the imprisoned spirits in this chapter to heaven, or that where these imprisoned spirits were was even at Abraham’s bosom. Looking very closely, Peter states, “now in prison”. To this writer’s eye that sounds like those imprisoned spirits being referred to in this chapter are still there.”

    With regards to the absent from the body verse you cite, I question whether the Apostles were simply speaking of themselves given you see other verses within that passage where they say “we”, and it’s clear they’re referring to themselves, and not Christians as whole. I think it’s very important to pay careful attention to whom certain pronouns are being attached to. And I also think back to the verse where Jesus said he had a specific place He planned to prepare for the Apostles. Apostle Paul of course wasn’t there when He said that, but I suggest perhaps that statement could have been applied to Paul too. To your last conclusion, while that could be possible, it’s not explicitly stated to be the case, so it’s in my personal estimation the more plausible conclusion is the simpler conclusion that as the verse in 1 Thessalonians 4 states, people are simply at rest in Christ. I understand the desire for wanting heaven to be the place we all immediately go after death. Certainly that would be quite nice. We may not agree on how the process happens, but the more important thing is we agree that those of us who endure in the faith will be in heaven in the future.

    Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  21. C.S. Lewis wrote that we are amphibians. That is that we live in our flesh and in our spirit at the same time. If our spirits have been reborn by the work of the Holy Spirit it seems logical that when we die our spirits go to heaven while our dead bodies (empty shells subject to the vagaries of nature) remain behind. Judging by Revelation it seems our spirits either join the heavenly choir or, in the case of martyrs, exist under the throne of God. At the end of time we will receive resurrection bodies (presumably related in some way to our physical bodies), eat at the wedding feast of the Lamb and go to live forever in the New Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

    1. Hi waltsamp. Thank you for your comment. With regards to the verse you reference about martyrs, if you don’t mind, I’ll quote to you an excerpt of my response from another comment that brought up that point.

      “But one thing to consider here, is it states specifically within verse 9, “the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;” Now this could go back to my debate in my mind currently of whether this is talking about future or past events because some people have the thought that Revelation has more to do with the destruction of the temple in 70ad than some future event yet to happen, which could potentially explain why it is specifically the slain souls that are under that alter in that verse. I don’t say that as a definitive conclusion that I hold, but more so just a thought. But let’s say one were to concede and conclude that thought is not accurate at all, I think one would still perhaps have to concede, the slain souls that maintained their testimony is again seeming to refer to a specific circumstance of a specific people much like the “non-Christian category” I highlight in my post, in which case, perhaps can not be generalized to the Christian death experience as a whole, given there’s no explicit statement concluding that to be the case.”

      With regards to the choir, I’m assuming you’re citing Revelation 14:3 which states, “And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.” As I expressed in my full response I quoted the excerpt of to you just now from another comment, I have my questions about how much of Revelation is referring to future events vs events already happened. But putting that issue aside, there are two specific things in the next verse that seem to make it unlikely for one to conclude this is referring to the Christian death experience as a whole. Revelation 14:4 states, “These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.”

      1. These are all men. 2. These are men who have not been defiled by women. The Greek word translated to defile is molyno, which means “to pollute, stain, contaminate, defile, used in NT of those who have not kept themselves pure from the defilements of sin, who have soiled themselves by fornication and adultery.” So in my estimation this verse is not an indication of Christians being in heaven after death given this verse negates women, and negates men who soiled themselves in adultery or fornication with women. All that said, while we may agree to disagree on the process by which Christians eventually end up in heaven, we can agree that all Christians will go there one day.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  22. Hi dear… I agree with you based on Paul’s teaching about the rapture. However, I was hoping your post would have addressed what Jesus said to the criminal who was crucified beside Him, that TODAY you will be with Me in Paradise (Luke 23:43). I think that is majorly where the belief that we will go to Heaven when we die comes from.

    Cheers, Ufuoma.

    1. Hi Ufuomaee. Thank you for your comment. If you don’t mind, I’m going to quote from a response I gave to another comment asking about the thief. “In diving through the text, I could not find a verse that explicitly stated that when a Christian dies they immediately go to heaven. I would suggest that this is the same case with the verse you’re asking about with regards to the thief on the cross. He was not a Christian. So it’s in my estimation that his experience is not something that can be generalized as the Christian experience of what happens after death. I find it more of a solid footing to stand on to go with the more explicit statement stated of Christians after death in 1 Thessalonians 4, which is that they will be asleep in Christ, and when Christ descends from heaven with a shout, those who are dead in Christ will rise first. Because Christ is descending to get them and that the dead are rising first to meet Christ is what gives me the conclusion that they’re not in heaven. ”

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  23. This post was interesting. I agree with a lot of what you said but some of it I wonder if it has to do with pre new covenant and post new covenant. Also Hebrews 11 talks a lot about the believers in the Old Testament and how though faith it was accounted to them as righteousness or a right relationship with God which is the basis for Christianity through the sacrifice Christ made on the cross and by defeating death with the ressurection. There are many passages in the Old Testament that point to the same belief in that sacrifice and victory that Christiand hold today it was just a this is going to happen vs. it has now happened: David and Isaiah are the ones I can think of that best display this. What are your thoughts?

    1. Hi littlemissbearpaw. Thank you for your comment. I’m not quite sure I’m understanding the point you’re making. Are you suggesting in the Old Testament that there are verses showing people professing a belief in the sacrifice of Christ to come? And if so, what point are you making with this conclusion in relation to this post?

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      1. So before Christ came there was the Abrahamic covenant with Jews this was the old covenant under the law. David under this law still wrote about a Savior who would suffer and die Isaiah the same thing thing. Jesus hadn’t come yet but that was the hope of their faith. From your points I would conclude that they went to the bosom of Abraham when they died. Once Christ sent the Holy Spirit back to the believers after his resurrection and ascension that established the new covenant all Christians live under now. I guess I’m just wondering if the transition between the two changes the point of destination when you die… If you before the new covenant was established people went to Abraham’s bosom and after now people do go directly to Heaven. I guess even now as I’m thinking about it, it doesn’t make a lot of that it would be that way either since there is still that bit about, “the dead in Christ will rise first” and there is the judgement before the White Throne judgement where the names are read in the book of life and each person has to give an accounting of their actions. So you’re probably right and this isn’t a real question but I still don’t like the conclusion that leads to. Like Paul I was and am VERY excited to see Jesus when I die. I want to go home! Not to some inbetweeny place. Also how does this relate to the Catholics’ Purgatory?

        1. Thanks for the clarification. Yes, I’ve seen some make that assertion about people prior to Christ going to Sheol, which some conclude to have had two compartments, one being paradise which people suggest to have been located at Abraham’s Bosom, and for the unbelieving of that time, Hades. All quite possible, which I’m inclined to grant because there are verses that at least seem to explicitly state of a person having gone to these places. The only verse I can recall we have of in the time after Christ someone being stated as having gone to heaven is when Paul discusses someone being taken into the third heaven. As I mentioned to another comment that brought that point up, it never states that person stayed there, only that they were caught up there and heard inexpressible words. So I don’t see that as a strong enough point to conclude all Christians go to heaven upon death. It never even explicitly states that person even died.

          Which then leads me back to the simpler conclusion, that the Christians will rise and go to heaven when Jesus returns. But I certainly understand the desire people hold so strongly of wanting to believe after death, eternal joy immediately starts. I don’t know if we’ll just be in some inbetween place or just simply resting as some conclude. As far as Catholic’s purgatory I never really looked into that much before. Just from a brief glance of the theory of one being in a place of judgment prior to final placement, I don’t know. I can see where they would think that, but because I haven’t studied that deeply into the issue of what state one could possibly be in after death prior to heaven or hell, I can’t offer much of a conclusion for now. But I do find myself confident on the heaven point.

  24. Theologians speak specifically about an intermediate heaven and the eternal heaven where believers will spend all eternity. The eternal heaven–final destination of believers — will be on this earth, that is the New Earth when the New Jerusalem is brought down from heaven to earth. Until then, deceased believers are with God in heaven, temporarily awaiting their eternal heaven which is the New Earth (Revelation 21:1-3). Jesus told the thief on the cross, “today, you will be with me in paradise”. That certainly is where Christ is now.

    Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells us clearly that “The dust [the body] returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God. This tells of the human spirit going to Heaven or Hell to await the final judgement.

    So the text in 1Thessalonians 4:13-17 speaks of the resurrection; the reuniting of the body with the spirits of departed souls for final judgement.

    Look carefully at v.14: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus”. These people, spirits of death people will descend with the Lord in v16 to join with their bodies.

    Also, speaking of the Old saints before Christ, though technically they are not called Christians, they all believed in Christ for their salvation. For example, we are told that Moses “… considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:26-27). We are also told Noah “became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith” ( Hebrews 11:7). The faith of the old Testament saints is a faith in Christ. The new testament believer and the Old Testament believer are all saved by faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:19).

    I think you must ponder your article again. I will recommend Randy Alcorn’s book titled Heaven(that is if you haven’t already read it).

    Grace to you.

    1. Hi Enoch Anti. Thank you for your comment. With regards to the thief on the cross, I don’t conclude his specific experience after death can be generalized as the Christian experience. If Jesus or the Apostles went on to state such was the case to the early Christians at any point, I would be more inclined to that conclusion. With regards to Ecclesiastes 12:7, I would ask if your conclusion of that verse is the case, why is Sheol frequently mentioned in the Old Testament of where souls went? With regards to 1 Thessalonians 4 other commenters have suggested it referring to reuniting of body and souls, but I’ve reasoned that given 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 doesn’t explicitly state that being the process and simply states that those asleep in Christ will rise first, that the simpler conclusion of going with what is specifically stated is the better conclusion. They’re asleep in Christ and will rise first. But in stating Christ comes back to get them first with no mentioning of this process of soul and body reuniting, I can only conclude they’re not in heaven. I could certainly be wrong about all of this, and we may continue to disagree on the Christian experience after death, but the more important thing is that we agree that all Christians will eventually go to heaven.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      1. I don’t see any reason why the thief on the cross experience is any different from any Christian experience. He acknowledged he was a sinner, acknowledged Christ’s innocence and placed his trust in Him. Our conversion experiences might differ, but at the end of the day, it is faith in Christ which matters.

        Consider this thief’s experience today as a man who receives Christ on their death bed–just minutes before they passed on. Will you say their experience is not a Christian experience? I doubt.

        I think I can end on your last statement: “the more important thing is that we agree that all Christians will eventually go to heaven” That to me is important too and I can graciously spare any further discussions because of that.

        Bless you

        1. For myself in my interpretation style, I’m very careful not to infer specific situations involving specific people in scripture as something that can be generalized to apply to all Christians unless it’s explicitly stated in teaching to Christians. It’s a contrast with a more eisegetical view of interpretation of scripture, and I respect if others find more confidence that style of reading. It’s always interesting trying to understand the meaning of what scripture is trying to get us to understand.

          With regards to the death bed scenario, I have to confess that I don’t believe one is saved until one is baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. If you’re curious for my reasoning, you can see my post on the top of the front page of my blog.

          Always refreshing to have a respectful disagreement. 🙂

          1. Yes you are right. We are not to build doctrines out of every incident of the Bible. But where an incident clearly aligns with biblical teachings, we have to give attention to it. Exegesis also demands we look at the whole context of the Bible.

            Baptism I believe is not a necessarily condition for salvation. The only condition for salvation is faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). The biblical testimony is clear. We are saved only by faith in Christ and the thief demonstrated that by asking Christ to remember him when he gets into His kingdom.

            If a man is not saved until they are baptised, then we will have to question the salvation of the thief on the cross. Now, to add to the death bed experience, assume a man gets converted in a meeting and on his way home, he is involved in an accident and dies; are you saying that man is going to hell because he was not baptised though he has been converted and placed his faith in Christ?

            I believe in baptism. I have been baptised. But baptism is only symbolic and an outward expression of what has happened to us. Baptism in itself doesn’t cleanse us of our sins. It is only symbolic of our death and resurrection with Christ.

            Do you believe in Justification by Faith Alone?

          2. With regards to the thief on the cross, I would suggest to you that you’re using that example out of chronological order with the story of the Gospel. Jesus did not make the command of how one could become saved until after he resurrected and he states to His apostles in Mark 16:16 “”He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” Had the thief on the cross been alive when Jesus made this command, he would have had to have been baptized. Furthermore I would suggest to you that Christian salvation did not begin until Acts 2 when the first people were converted to Christianity following Apostle Peter’s command “repent and be baptized for forgiveness of sins”. It would seem that it wouldn’t make sense for Jesus to state how one becomes saved mentioning baptism as a part of that if things were the case as you concluded on the basis of thief on the cross.

            With regards Ephesians 2:8-9, I’m going to quote to you a passage from my post, and also a response to a commenter who brought up this verse.

            “One of the verses that people will pull up often is Ephesians 2:8-9. It states, “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Now, there’s nothing incorrect about this verse, because all of God’s Word is correct of course. But what’s incorrect is the understanding of this verse being a denial of baptism as a part of salvation. Let me ask you a question. Where in this verse does it say baptism is a work? If we’re reading the same verse together, the answer is nowhere.

            Next question, where in the Scripture does it say baptism is a work? Well, I don’t know about you, but to my knowledge it doesn’t. So what we have here is an assumption being made and no evidence to support this conclusion. Now secondly what I would want you to think about, is what are these “works” that Paul is referring to? Well, we don’t have to make an assumption about this because Paul already tells us what the works are that don’t save numerous times in scripture. But just to give you one example, Romans 3:20 states, “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” So here we see that the works in Ephesians 2:8-9 that are being referenced as not saving, are works of the Law. And to my knowledge, baptism was never a work of the Law.”

            Response to a commenter quote: “Something else interesting to consider is when Apostle Paul first visits these people of Ephesus whom he eventually writes this letter which you’re citing the verse in question from. Acts 19:1-5 states, “19 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” So Paul told them to believe in Jesus, and immediately after they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, following the same salvation pattern instructed by Jesus in Mark 16:16.

            I think a good question to consider is why does it not say, they believed after they heard Paul’s instruction to believe in Jesus, but instead it says after they heard this they were baptized? I would suggest to you because believe/faith is not merely a strongly professed feeling of something to be true. It’s an act based on something you firmly conclude to be true. This is the point I illustrated when I discussed Acts 16:31-34 in my post, where it appears to show the family’s belief was confirmed through their action, in Luke (the author of Acts) confirming their belief in God happened after they were baptized. In my estimation, the same thing is happening in this passage as well. Their belief becomes established through the choice of acting on it through getting baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and thus obeying the command that Jesus instructed the Apostles to preach to all creation in order to be saved.”

            With regards to your man dying before baptism scenario, I address this in a part 2 post I did on baptism. If you don’t mind, I’m going to quote to you from that as well.

            “Another common argument is really not an appeal to Scripture, but more so an appeal to emotion. What if a person dies before they get baptized, but they believed in Jesus Christ? Are you really saying that person who did not get baptized will be spending eternity separated from God and in hell? Well one, we should recall when belief is accomplished according to the sequence of occurrence in Acts 16:31-34 as I stated in my previous baptism post. But also my fellow students of the Word, obviously none of us want to see anyone spend eternity away from God and in everlasting destruction. It’s why we make it urgent that people obey the Gospel in order to be saved, in the same way that the people who protest against the necessity of baptism for salvation stress the urgency of belief before someone dies.

            So one could easily turn this respectfully flawed argument around and ask the protester, which atheists use this similar flawed logic to protest God’s goodness, are you really saying a person who dies not believing in Jesus in spite of how good and caring they were, they will spend eternity away from God and in hell? This is the same argument of emotion that the baptism protesters don’t fall for, and in the same instance, when they turn it around on those of us preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, that we should not fall for either. Let’s recall what we actually know about God through Scripture. Consider these descriptions in the following verses.

            Psalm 145:17 states, “The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds.” Psalm 18:30 states, “As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 119:137 states, “You are righteous, LORD, and your laws are right.” Romans 2:5 states, “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” I think you get the gist here. God is perfectly righteous in who He is, what He commands in His Word, and how He judges. Therefore, God being the all righteous perfect distributor of judgment, would set up the most righteous perfect system for one to be fairly judged for eternity with Him or separated from Him, and thus found the belief and baptism formula to be a part of that perfect system.

            If God concluded belief and baptism was best to be a part of the process of the perfect right way for one to be judged on whether they were saved or not, then we need not feel too saddened by certain circumstances or situations. We can trust that in God concluding this would be the fairest perfect right way for salvation to be obtained, belief and baptism a part of the process (Mark 16:16), that He knew this would be the fairest way for everyone to have an opportunity to receive it. The harsh reality is, some people are going to be separated from God for eternity because they didn’t do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21-23). But we all will hopefully be a part of the cause in trying to help get as many people as we can to become saved according to Scripture, and committed to the faith according to Scripture, in order for as many of us to eventually reach the hope of eternity we’ve been promised through Jesus Christ.”

            I believe in justification by faith according to how scripture appears to desires of us to understand it, which is by obedience to the Gospel of Christ as referenced in 2 Thessalonians 1:8 which states, “8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”. Jesus states that Gospel to be obeyed in Mark 16:15-16, Apostle Peter teaches that in Acts 2:38, and every subsequent salvation in Acts follows that formula. I hope this helped answered some questions, and if you have further questions or thoughts, I’m happy to help, but if I may make one small request, I would ask that you please read my necessity of baptism post part 1 and 2 to see if I’ve addressed the points you may bring up in your next comment.

            Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  25. God is not bound by our concepts of time and space. When we awaken to see Christ in the resurrection, it will seem like the blink of an eye since we died. It is as J.B. Phillips said, our God is too small. We put Him in a box based upon our limited human understanding of experience. Someday we will see it all clearly.

    1. Hi Zachary. Thank you for your comment. That’s true. With God’s vastly different concept of time and space, we may not even really be aware of how much time passes or what really happened when one who is dead rises to meet Christ. We only have what Scripture tells us, and what our minds are able to understand of it. It’ll be fun knowing all the answers by the end of all of this. 😉

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  26. I was expecting you to also cite Revelation 21 where it talks about the Holy City of Jerusalem, with God in it, coming down out of heaven to earth. God will reside with creation, not humanity being swept up to heaven. Otherwise, great stuff. Thanks.

    1. Hi laceduplutheran. Thank you for your comment. I didn’t think about that chapter, but that does appear to show further that the Christian death experience doesn’t involve going to heaven instantly. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  27. Hey fact, interesting read. I was wondering how your musings might shift if you placed God and heaven outside of space/time so that people are simultaneously awaiting the Lord after death and yet already with Him in heaven. Is it plausible that He enters our space/time to interact with us here while we are already with Him because in His realm he has already gathered us? Food for thought.

    1. Hey Turtle. Ah yes, another commenter (Zachary P. Hubbard) made a similar point as yours. That it could very well be the blink of an eye when one awakens to meet with Christ. That’s certainly possible and certainly none of us have minds big enough to put God in the box of our understanding of time.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  28. What do we do the with such passages as Luke 23:43 (this day you will be with me in paradise), or 2 Corinthians 5:8 (to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord)?

    When we understand the mind and context of the Jewish reader of most of the Bible, we begin to gasp the figures used. They viewed death a bit differently that we do – for example the concept of “Sheol” – literally the place of the dead. It was a literal place outside the walls of the city, but that isn’t the place actually where the dead go, it was used as a figure off speech. Just as the figure “sleep” was also often used as a figure for death (sleep with his fathers). Soul sleep, a doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, has no basis in Scripture, unless one plucks passages out of said context and twists them.

    Paul’s words to the Thessalonicans were, in context, reassuring words the they hadn’t missed Christ’s return. They saw brothers and sisters dying though the promise was that they would see Christ’s return. Their bodies are in the grave, but their spirit is not. When Christ returns, the dead in Christ will be reunited with their resurrected body.

    And the concept of “Abraham’s bosom” is yet another illustration. To the Jewish reader, being in Abraham’s bosom (literally in front of) would symbolically mean a place of comfort and peace. After all, Abraham was the greatest man in Israelite history, so being in the presence of Abraham would imply being in what is also known as Paradise or Heaven. But it is only your spirit there, as your physical body remains on/in the earth until Christ’s return.

    1. Hi TheLonelyPastor. Thank you for your comment. I argue the thief’s experience was specific to him and there’s nothing to suggest it should be generalized to all Christian’s death experience given he was not a person saved under the barometers set for all people after Christ rose. We’re talking about specifically what happens to all people after Christ rose. To the other verse, I argue the Apostle is describing his own specific experience of what will happen to him after death given the verses surrounding that verse the “we” is them referring to themselves. In your view of Sheol being figurative, how do you explain the incident where Samuel’s soul was brought up from the dead by the soothsayer in 1 Samuel 28?

      To your explanation of the verses in 1 Thessalonians 4, it’s my view that that explanation is not specifically stated within the text, and I opt for the simpler explanation that they are simply at rest. I don’t necessarily conclude soul sleep, since one can be resting without sleeping, but just concluding what it specifically states, rest. Lazarus going to Abraham’s bosom I would conclude also was specific to his experience as well.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  29. That’s right : absent from the body present with the Lord (if you are his) … I am the only one (that I presently know of) who was immediately with Christ, (pushing shoulder to shoulder against me) when my heart just stopped during Army water survival training in 2005. The NEAR DEATH COMMUNITY is packed full of “heavenly experiences” after death, yet I was marginalized as having “not gotten that far”… I really wonder now, just who is deceived by these experiences, and who are found in the completed work of Christ?

    1. Hi Lightship. Thank you for your comment. You know, I find experiences like yours and other people who professed to have had supernatural experiences quite fascinating. I can’t necessarily challenge your perspective of your subjective experience, but I can tell you my thoughts on the verse you referenced. I take that verse to be the apostles specifically speaking of their own personal experience when they would die based on the surrounding verses where they appear to be speaking of themselves when they’re using the subject “we”. I hope I presented my position on that particular verse clearly. And regardless of our potential differences, I’m very glad to hear you survived your heart incident, and live to profess Christ to others to this day.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      1. The Lord is not a respecter of men, anyone who is of the Lord, will end up being with him when their bodies pack up. The world hates Jesus Christ, and I can tell you that in the book “Heaven is for Real”, by Cecil Murphey & Twila Belk that they edited out my testimonial of Christ being next to me. This is not a fore brained calculated thing to do at all, rather it is a visceral reaction to what is found naturally in fallen man.

        1. Indeed, He’s no respecter of men. My understanding though is that the Apostles are distinguished in their role given that they will judge the twelve tribes of Judah. And interesting you were almost included in that book.

          Peace in Christ. 🙂

  30. I enjoyed your post. I think you addressed one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Bible. While I do believe that there is life after death in some form or the other, that is not what is the promise, the prize. It is not resurrection! We are not promised some disembodied existence as our future for eternity. That was not the belief held by First Century, Second Temple Judaism. The belief they held, and we have to remember this was the age in which Jesus lived and taught as well as Paul, was that at the end there would be a bodily resurrection. Jesus sort of messed up the paradigm when he was resurrected in the middle of history. But we learn from his what the resurrection will be like. The body will be recognizable. It will have both physical as well as spiritual aspects (Jesus eats yet he walks through walls). This physical body of the risen Christ is what was taken into Heaven in Acts 2. At the end it is my believe that the Bible teaches all things will be made new and there will be a physical body resurrection. I enjoyed your post!

    1. Hi Bobby. I enjoyed reading your post as well on this topic with some of the background information you seemed to provide. And that’s an interesting thing about understanding our resurrection on the basis of how Christ’s resurrection occurred. I hadn’t thought about that, but it does seem to be further proof of what is illustrated to us in 1 Thessalonians 4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  31. My favorite part of the whole piece was this “and after I came to my own conclusions”… I researched and discovered that theologians have had a number of different conclusions on this topic. It is so important for us to each take our own walk with Christ by searching in His Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to do His part. Let’s not forget that the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity – a Person. He leads us through the conclusions we need to find from the living, breathing Word of God.
    Love in Christ, RB

    1. Hi RB. Thank you for your comment. I’m glad that was your favorite part. I certainly encourage everyone to study this issue for themselves, and just trust what the Word specifically states, which Holy Spirit authored.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

        1. I appreciate your kind encouragements, Michael. Perhaps there was a reason. I’m glad my blog can be a blessing to you.

          Peace in Christ. 🙂

  32. Really enjoyed reading this and also the comments (lots of’em didn’t read them all). Though I don’t see enough evidence to say either the Christian is at rest or straightaway with Christ in a heavenly place, I liked how at the end you stated that ‘that people who have obeyed the Gospel of Christ and remain committed to the faith will be in heaven with Jesus eventually’. Which is true whichever way it happens. I may not agree with your conclusions I enjoyed reading through your exploration of scripture. You have a passion! We will find out one day how these things work.
    God bless you and keep you 🙂

    1. Thank you, Alex! Yes, I definitely enjoy exploring the scripture on this and many other things trying to configure a perspective that fits with what I read. It’s something I hope my writings are encouraging with all my readers, even if they come to different conclusions than I do on certain things.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

  33. I would like to bring a question to your first premise. You conclude from verse 16 that the dead will rise first, and therefore did not go to heaven. Why would you not start with verse 14 first, where it states that He will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Christ? For that matter, why would you use only the Thessalonian and Luke passages, and not also include Philippians 1 or II Corinthians 5? When seeking to arrive at a truly Biblical conclusion of a matter, it’s most helpful when one incorporates all pertinent passages into there deductive reasoning. Then, there’s so much more concerning whether we are tri-partite, or not; body, soul and spirit, and where each goes upon death. Scripture addresses all these things.

    1. Hi ForeverKingdom. Thank you for your comment. I think it’s clear that verse 16 expounds on when the statements of verse 14 will happen, given the usage of the same differentiating between those who are alive and those that are asleep/dead in Christ within the passage. To the other two verses, please read the second paragraph of the section “What does it all mean?” again.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  34. Acts 2:34. This is after Jesus had already risen, yet, even at this point, Paul clearly states that David had not ascended to the heavens. But God called David a man after His own heart. Surely if anyone is saved, David is. So if he isn’t in heaven, there are only two possibilities: either the dead don’t go straight to heaven, or none of us have a chance.

    As for the answer concerning where the dead are (because if none of us are going to be saved, then Jesus died for nothing), it seems the answer is staring us right in the face. Your very first verse, 1 Thessalonians 4:13, tells us. Jesus said Lazarus was sleeping (not the parable Lazarus, the real one, who died right after Jesus told that parable – John 11:11). Paul says they fear are asleep (1 Thess. 4:13). And the wisest man who ever lived (Solomon), who was given his wisdom as a gift directly from God (2 Chronicles 1:11-12), says they know not any thing (Ecclesiastical 9:5). So it appears that the dead are… well, dead. And you’re right in that they are waiting for Jesus to return, because the gift of God is eternal life (Romana 6:23), but Jesus brings our reward (salvation/eternal life) with Him when He returns (Revelation 22:12). He can’t bring us a reward we’ve already received.

    Which leads to another interesting question: if the gift of God is eternal life and the wages of sin are death, why do the dead get to live eternally in hell? They aren’t supposed to receive immortality, but, we have all been taught that hell is a place of eternal torment. Eternal. Meaning they never die. So, either God is a liar and everyone gets immortality (and no one gets actual death), or we’re missing something there, too.

    BTW, the parable of Lazarus and the rich man is a parable, so I wouldn’t get too hung up on its details. The kingdom of heaven is only LIKE a pearl, leaven, etc. It isn’t actually made of those things, but those examples illustrate a truth about it. It’s the same with this parable. Jesus is making the point that, even if someone rose from the dead, these leaders weren’t going to repent. And, shortly thereafter (if you compare the sequence of events across the gospels), we saw it play out. The real Lazarus rose from the dead and the leaders sought to kill him (John 12:10). Instead of being converted, they wanted to get rid of the evidence.

  35. I have been dead, and I can tell you that if you are not “with Christ now” – you won’t be with him when your body packs up!
    Absent from the body, present with the Lord is the issue, not just the location of one’s soul after death; as heaven is but a holding place which you speak about, and I would also like to remind people that Jesus said that the “kingdom of heaven” was inside of his disciples as it is a spiritual place foremost, and paradise secondly. I will not get into Hades (death) and Hell except to say: they are but holding places too, for the lake of fire after judgment.
    I know these things from experience, not just a learned up doctrinal position…

  36. I definitely won’t debate your conclusions as I have not studied this topic in depth and I’m not sure where I stand on it. I feel it’s enough to trust completely in God and to know that whatever happens after I die, I will be in His hands. I’m wondering though, how Christ’s statement from the cross, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 fits with your theory?

  37. Another thing to consider is whether the scriptures referenced above refer to the body or the soul. Once we believe, we are joined to Christ; spiritually, we are already raised from the dead (Eph. 2:6). I don’t believe death changes that union. So when we physically die, we are where the Lord is, in a spiritual state. Physically we await resurrection (Rom. 8:23). This happens around the Lord’s return when redemption expands to all creation. So we “go to heaven” temporarily, until such time as bodily resurrection occurs. Eternity is spent bodily in a new heavens & earth (not disembodied in heaven as we usually understand it), where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).

  38. While I can follow the argument you’re making here with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, there’s a crucial aspect that you’re overlooking: eternity and the nature of time with regard to future events.

    Even though it’s true that the general resurrection of all believers (both dead and living) is a future event, it’s not actually “future” for those who have died in the past because they’re already there—in other words, they’re already residing on a new earth and existing in eternity.
    This is why Jesus was able to affirm to the thief on the cross that he would be with him “TODAY…in paradise.” In regard to the time constraints of earth, Jesus was most certainly in a tomb over the next few days, and he was resurrected following that to be on earth for several more weeks. But he still wasn’t lying or misleading the thief. Once the thief died, he didn’t experience any gap in time; he was immediately fast-forwarded to eternity future. So even while 1 Thessalonians offers a clear chronology of events, those who have already died are not experiencing some mysterious “interim period.” On the contrary, they’ve already been experiencing the future for quite some time. Well, outside of time, that is.

    One area where you err significantly is in saying that Christians didn’t exist until Pentecost. This is a common belief within Christian circles, but it’s misinformed because it doesn’t take into account the covenantal issue that commenter Ryan D. Hall brought up earlier. The book of Hebrews is very clear about this: salvation has always been through faith in Christ, whether we’re talking about the New Testament or the Old Testament. There’s no way that anyone can deny the presence of Christ in the Old Testament as a savior and redeemer. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4: “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”

    The salvation that leads to redemption and eternal life has always been a salvation through faith, apart from the Mosaic Law. Even the entire Levitical system of sacrifice, of course, was a shadow of an actual, future redemption that would occur in Jesus. So anyone who received that system and its benefits through faith was still a Christian, but with an orientation that was looking forward to the cross. New Testament-era believers, on the other hand, are looking back on the cross and the resurrection.

    So I definitely hold the position that the Church and faith in Christ existed in the Old Testament. Many modern Christians will simply gloss over or miss the teaching of Stephen in Acts 7:38 that Moses led “the church in the wilderness.” The word “church” here is the Greek noun ekklesia, the same word that Jesus uses when He says, “upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” In Hebrews, too, there’s a mention of how Moses “chose to suffer oppression with God’s people rather than to experience the fleeting enjoyment of sin. He valued disgrace for Christ above the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his reward.” Remember: This is Moses, in the Old Testament, somehow suffering for the sake of Christ. This is unexpected language, to be sure, but it’s definitely there. How do you deal with this if you truly maintain that those who lived under the Old Covenant had no conception of Jesus Christ?

  39. Ok. That’s very true that at a normal instant, every normal Christian is keep at place described as under the Alter in Rev. 6:9-12 which makes it clear that they are there waiting for others to join them so that judgement would be made as a revenge ( though they at a place nearly like Heaven, they are not in Heaven).
    But Rev. 7:5-17 makes us understand that some large multitude from earth (after their death) found their way in Heaven (ie. before the Throne and the Angels and the Four Living Creatures and The Elders worshipping day and night).
    I therefore conclude that some Christians may go straight to Heaven while others may wait in a special place prepared for them to wait for the Judgement day. Let us not misunderstand and underestimate God and what He is capable of.

    1. What do you do with Jesus’s statement to the thief on the cross when He says “Today, you will be with Me in paradise.” Jesus ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. God the Father rules from Heaven. Therefore, Jesus spent no time anywhere else, and the thief on the cross didn’t either if Jesus’s word was good.

      1. Hi pensiamentopeligroso. Thank you for your comment. I conclude the thief’s experience was specific to him and there’s nothing to suggest it should be generalized to the Christian’s death experience given he was not a Christian. If there were a verse that explicitly stated a Christian goes to heaven immediately after death, or a scriptural passage illustrating a Christian person that did, then I would reconsider.

        Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      2. Please bear with me. It would have been very busy just to give a answer of a few words. But, I felt that ti was important to do more than that. You question was a very good one, and is one that most people don’t ask, for whatever reason. I should have a post of that subject completed late Tuesday afternoon. It will answer a lot of other questions; I thank you for your question. Please have a good night.

      3. Hello brothers/sisters in the Lord. pensiamentopeligroso has a point. Eric, I admit, Paul was right when he said, “Behold, I bring you a mystery…” He knew it was an ongoing debate and unseen fact that we believers will be with the Lord forever. Your well thought out blog rightly brings up the “when”. In your reply to your reader, you defined there was a difference, an exception to God’s management of souls taken to Himself. However, scripture is firm throughout that there is no difference between any in Christ, or earning merit for advantage. If we say that the thief on the cross was given “special treatment”, “specific to him”, or as to go so far as to say that we, as believers, or even believers prior to the resurrection,
        are translated depending upon God’s whims, then we are in the school of thought that teaches we all arrive by various methods which is contrary to scripture and lends credence to false doctrines that arise pushing that all roads lead to the Father. (I know I am leaving the arena a bit bringing in false religions, but it does open a can of worms.) If I arrive in heaven another 100 years before you do, or in the case of the thief, 2000 years before you do, then we can say God plays favorites. There’s no longer a need to not think of one brother higher than another. Then again, “Behold, I bring you a mystery…”

      4. In Matt. 12:40 the Lord Jesus told us that the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. (after which He resurrected and ascended.) And He says “Today [not ‘after three days’], you will be with Me in paradise.” Together these say that paradise is in the heart of the earth.
        Related to this, Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 12:2-4 that he was caught away twice – once to the third heavens and once to paradise. This too indicates that heaven and paradise are not the same.
        One interpretation is that the place under the earth has two sections, a pleasant section (paradise) where Abraham and all God’s people are and a section of torment where the rich man and many others are.

        1. Hi Don. Thanks for your comment. Hmm, I’d heard that two compartment theory before but never heard it expounded upon like that. So you conclude that saved people who die are waiting there until they rise in the air to meet up with Jesus?

          Peace in Christ

      5. “Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” John 20:17

        “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” John 3:13

        Jesus did not ascend into Heaven immediately after the crucifixion. The story of Lazarus and the Rich man is a parable, not about Hell (which would have been an unknown concept to those hearing the story) but was a social commentary on the church. That is a different discussion.

        I think the key is found in understanding the Jewish belief in Sheol. Hades was a Greek word from mythology, but was used because that was the term Greek readers associated with the afterlife. In Sheol, depending on which theology you follow (Sadduccees did not believe in an afterlife at all, for example) there were divisions (Paradise being one of them) but it was a place for all dead.

        1. Hi Terry. Thanks for your comment. Hmm, you make an astute observation about considering how the listeners of that story would have understood that parable, given there wasn’t necessarily an understanding of a hell after death at that time. And yes, others have mentioned the potential two compartment theory being the destination of souls after death, which I find to be a possibility. And never knew that about the Sadducees. Interesting information you’ve provided for pondering. Thanks for sharing your insight.

          Peace in Christ.

      6. Well that’s an interesting question…If you study the narrative of the cross you can observe that the scriptures never record that Jesus went to heaven the night he died. In fact on the resurrection morning he didn’t allow that woman to touch him because he had not been to the father. So if Jesus said tonight you will be with me in Paradise, then Paradise has to be what was understood to be Paradise traditional by the Hebrews, which is Abraham’s Bosom. Hope this Helps

    2. The chasm in Hades was dissolved after the resurrection. Now after believers exhale their last breath on earth they are in the presence of Jesus.

      1. Hi Ro. Thanks for your comment. What do you make of the people who are asleep in Christ going up in the air to meet Jesus first in relation with your conclusion that believers after their last breath exhaled are in the presence of Jesus?

        Peace in Christ

      2. To support Ro, I’d say that the “bodies” are sleeping awaiting a new body – we (our soul; our real self) are with Jesus, as 1 Thes 4:14 makes clear — “them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring WITH him” (capitalization mine). The bodies of them that sleep will be resurrected and united with those whom God brings with Him.

        1. Hi Richard. Thanks for your comment. I’m conservative when it comes to my analysis of scripture. I do my best to stick to what’s written in the text. I see no distinction made of soul and body within those verses. With no added distinction given, I presume the text to mean generally that people who are dead are awaiting to rise to meet Christ in the air at the appointed time when this event will occur.

          Peace in Christ

  40. If the thief on the cross was not a Christian, then he was not saved, because Jesus very clearly says; “Nobody comes to the Father except through Me”. Therefore, paradise implies Heaven if for no other reason than Jesus’s description of Heaven in other parts of Scripture. Where did the thief go if he didn’t go to Heaven? There are no interlopers in Heaven – only the saved souls that God chooses. Jesus told His disciples that He chose them, and that they did not choose Him. Paul reiterates that “Jacob I loved; Esau I hated.” You may conclude anything that you like, but good hermeneutics and exegesis would dictate something other than your conclusion.

    1. I agree with you that the thief went to be with Christ in paradise. What I suggest is that the thief’s experience was specific to his circumstance being nailed on the cross next to Jesus. Just like most Christians agree that the Law was specific to the Israelites, and don’t generalize as something applied to Christians. I’m glad I can have a respectful disagreement with you on this.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    2. John 3:3 is what Christ said to Nicodemus, and was the same teaching as 2 Cor 5:17 and Ezekiel 36:24-29. “We must be born again.” The thief saw that by his faith in Christ that he has been born again. I encourage all to study my post. The scriptures work together to show the point of the post. Again, thanks for your question.

  41. First of all, thank you for initiating challenging and engaging Biblical commentary beyond the status quo, as it is refreshing to find.

    I agree with your assertion that we do not enter heaven individually, but as some have already mentioned, I believe it is plausible that there will be no waiting period for united entry as II Peter 3:8 indicates, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Also indicated in Psalm 90:4 potentially by David, “For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.” When Jesus was defending himself against the Sadducees in Mark 12:26-27, he said, “Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” If they were alive at the time that Jesus spoke this, they are alive now (in the context of heaven) and will not be raised at a later date.

    As for the story of Saul and the medium, her conjuring would have to have addressed Samuel in a pre-heaven state as I don’t think it would be possible to remove anyone from heaven once we have all arrived. I do believe that the post-death/pre-heaven state exists (and that is the only place she would have been able to conjure Samuel from), but I do not think that we sense that state in terms of time as we know it now.

    I’ll admit that your view on baptism as a necessary function of salvation (as presented) challenged my long-standing view consistent with many of the previous comments regarding the thief on the cross. But, you say that his experience is not consistent with the typical Christian experience. How is it that you define the typical Christian experience…and at what point do you believe it reaches that definition? Is it after baptism? In your example of Paul speaking to the believers at Ephesus, Paul is referring to their acceptance of the Holy Spirit…not their acceptance of salvation. The two are not necessarily synonymous. Still, Mark 16:16 is a tricky one where Jesus says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Notice that Jesus did not mention the lack of baptism with regard to condemnation. That is because our belief by which we are saved is IN a baptism…THE baptism. The baptism that we undergo as believers is a symbolic representation of the death and resurrection of Christ…the ONE act by which we are saved. It is His baptism (death and resurrection) that covers us all, and our symbolic reenactment of that baptism is a public acknowledgment of that understanding and nothing more. If we assign to it the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, we render His act powerless, and if His act is powerless, what is the point of the symbolic reenactment? We would then have no salvation-giving act to symbolize.

    Again, thank you for initializing this discussion.

    1. Hi T.A. Fuller. Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, I agree that it’s possible given our finite view of time there might not be any waiting period at all. I suppose we won’t know until we know. To your next point, while that point may be accurate, it does not directly dispute my argument, which is that Christians do not go to heaven when they die. The people you referenced are all not Christians in the context of how people became defined as such through the parameters given that Jesus commanded to follow for salvation. I think your next point with regards to Samuel falls in line with my not Christian point I made.

      I’m glad I could give your view a challenge. Good way to get to the best possible conclusion. When I state the phrase “typical Christian experience”, I refer to the parameters that Jesus, Apostle Peter, and Apostle Paul all re-iterate as the means in which one becomes saved. Believe, repentance, confession, baptism. All mentioned at one point another in scripture as a part of one’s receiving salvation. I could see how you could make the conclusion Paul is referring to the Ephesians receiving of the Holy Spirit, but it was not the baptism that caused them to receive it, it was his laying his hands on them. So I would still contend that the baptism in the name of Jesus (same exact phrasing we find in Acts 2:38 talking about salvation) was for the purpose of their salvation.

      With the regards of the lack of mentioning baptism in the latter part of Mark 16:16, here’s a quote from one of my other posts in response to that you’re welcome to read sometime (https://christianityunfiltered.com/2017/05/09/a-reflection-on-baptism-and-salvation/).

      “Mark 16:15-16 states “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” A common difference expressed discrediting baptism’s necessary role in our salvation is some will say it only states disbelief shall condemn, so therefore baptism is not necessary. It seems like a logical point at first glance, but it’s only logical if one inserts their own understanding of disbelieved merely meaning one who does not believe Jesus rose from the dead and confess Him as Lord shall be condemned. But that’s not what’s in this text, and it’s important to base our understanding on what’s in the text.

      In doing so, the disbelief would more closely seem to be disbelief of the gospel to be preached, belief and baptism in order to be saved. Let’s recall what 2 Thessalonians 1:8 states, “8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” So the gospel of Lord Jesus must be obeyed to avoid retribution. Mark 16:15-16, Jesus states preach the gospel then immediately states commands to be obeyed (belief, baptism), which that appears to be the gospel to be obeyed. One other alternative thought on theses verses different from my conclusion, there are well respected commentaries that state there would be no point in reiterating not be baptized as part of what condemns, because a person who doesn’t believe is not going to be one who gets baptized. But beyond this alternative thought, we can agree that one can’t use the latter part of a verse to disregard the first part of the verse which ties the words “baptized” and “saved” together. Perhaps a really great question to ask would be why include the word “baptized” in this verse and other verses at all relating to salvation if only belief/confession were necessary? All interesting to ponder.”

      I can cite you many verses that explicitly state baptism and saved in the same sentence. So I respectfully disagree on baptism being merely a symbol. Thank you for your thoughtfully engaging response. And I’m happy to continue this discussion if you have more thoughts.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      1. BTW…thank you for visiting my blog and liking my post, “The Air We Breath”. I appreciate the support.

        I read your post on baptism, and I appreciate your approach. However, I continue to differ in opinion. I’m sure we could cite the same verses on baptism and being saved, but I haven’t yet seen a challenge to my interpretation of its inclusion in those verses.

        Peace and love to you.

        1. Thank you for your engaging conversation, and I pray whatever truth God specifically wants us to believe, we all come to the point of believing it.

          Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    1. Hi The Voice. Thank you for your comment. I define Christian according to how scripture seems to define it, which is one having obeyed the parameters for receiving salvation in Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38. I conclude based on what I’ve read that all people under those parameters are not currently in heaven. Feel free to ask any further questions you may have.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    2. No one was ever said to be a Christian., which is a word that is found only three times in the Bible. It was first a term of derision, and came in the year A.D. 42. Acts 11:26, then in Acts 26:28, and finally in 1 Peter 4:16. The name has stayed with believers in Christ. John 3:3 is the point of entry into eternal life, “the new birth.” Old testament saints, such as you mention were also born again, and will be found in the Kingdom of God, and are presently in the Presence of God.

    3. I’m not sure if I made another reply to you, or if it went elsewhere. I invite you to follow my blog. I am write a series of posts on the end times, using Revelation and Ezekiel. Many blessings to you.

  42. Good post and I want to re-read again. I also want to look up a few things to respond with, for some more thought on this, if you do not mind. Enjoyed the thoughts which entered into my mind on this. God Bless, SR

  43. we need to define our terms. What is heaven and where is it? Is heaven the place where the Divine lives? When Jesus ascended into heaven at Bethany, was Jesus the Woman united with Jesus the Father and Jesus the Son and his Gracious wife? Is heaven that place where divine eternal bodies live in love with each other? Or is heaven some place in the sky where only ghosts, spirits without a body, live?

    1. Hi Linda. Thanks for your comment. All excellent questions. And what did you mean by “Jesus the Woman”? I’d say for the purposes of what I’ve laid out in this post, the first thing I’m referring to is the point at which Christians rise into the air meeting Jesus. It seems as if that no Christians have gotten to that point yet, all the bunch of people in these comments have mentioned possible discrepancies of the passage of time, which may be true, but that’s all speculation. I conclude based on the passage stating Jesus descended from heaven before the meeting in the air event is stated will happen, after we meet Jesus, the destination which we will go next is heaven. I would presume. Though interestingly looking back at this passage, there’s nothing here that states that’s the next place we will go. It only states we will always be with the Lord after that.

      Peace in Christ.

      1. When I said Jesus the Woman, I was talking about Jesus the Woman Jesus the Rabboni calls Mary. When he and she return to Bethany (Luke 24: 50-51) and they Jesus the Woman and Jesus the Rabboni are reconciled with Simon the Pharisee, the Father of the Law and Oral Tradition who said. If this man were really a prophet he would know what a sinner this woman is (Luke 7:39). Bethany is where Jesus ascends…and is taken into heaven. Many Christians cannot or are unable to see Jesus the Woman because Patriarchal language, grammar and edits hide her in the pronoun HE. You can find her in John 20 if you read the Greek. There the text reads he says…Jesus Woman why are you weeping? People do speculate and have speculated as to what and where heaven is. Many assume Jesus dies again after the resurrection and ascends to join the Father in Heaven. In John 20:17 -18 “Jesus says do not cling to me…I have not yet ascended to the Father. But you go instead to the brothers of me and tell them: I ascend to the Father of you and me.” According to the Thessalonians 4… When Jesus returns, Jesus will descend from heaven…and people will meet Jesus in the air. So one might think heaven is a place in the air…or at least a high place. The name Bethany means house of Grace…so I think Heaven is a house of Grace…a state of Grace. So …Jesus will fall from Grace once again…and be once again forgiven and Jesus followers will see this happen again…and write letters and posts witnessing to Jesus’ return.

  44. After thinking and praying about this for years, this is what I believe.
    You know how you can go to work in the city, and when you’re at rest relax in a garden? Everyone can relax in a garden. But not everyone can go to the City to work. You have to have a job, a role to fulfill.
    Christians get Paradise and the City confused. Everyone has access to Paradise, even the creatures. It’s God’s rest. All we have to do to enter that rest is to believe and in faith receive the good news of the salvation provided by Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:1-11.
    “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.” Hebrews 4:9
    We can see that that’s where the thief went after Jesus promised, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43.
    But did the thief have any inheritance in the City?
    If our entrance to Paradise is based on faith in Jesus Christ, why will our works be evaluated? Is it possible to gain Paradise – but lose an inheritance by building on the wrong foundation? The Bible says the quality of each person’s work will be tested; “If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.
    Paradise is a reward for faith and it is a reward for all.
    Although the City incorporates Paradise, it’s bigger.
    We can see the City in Hebrews 12:22. It’s described as “Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, with thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, and the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.”
    The firstborn is about inheritance and special privilege.
    Christians imagine a bland socialism in Heaven where we are all the same. Not so. They get the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15) confused with the Book of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16).
    The Book of Life admits the saved to Paradise. The Book of Remembrance records people’s works.
    “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.” Malachi 3:16.
    So our deeds follow us.
    Finally, I want to deal with those who’ve never been given the Gospel or the Law of Moses.
    If they’ve obeyed the law through their conscience, they will be admitted to Paradise. The Bible defines them as “those who do not have the law, but by nature do things required by the law.”
    Obeying the law of their conscience will make them righteous.
    “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”
    “They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ.” Romans 2:12-16.
    I hope I’ve made all of this clear and you find it useful.

    1. Hi Jo-Blogs. Thanks for your comment. You wrote a lot here that was really interesting. Some stuff I’ll have to dig deeper into. So are you concluding that Christians will immediately be in heaven at death?

      Peace in Christ.

      1. Thanks for your question. There are different parts of Heaven – there’s Paradise, the City, and “the Father’s house” which could be part of the City. The rooms or mansions in the Father’s house are based on rewards and are still being prepared.
        The dead in Christ immediately go to Paradise. “This day,” Jesus said to the thief who believed in Him.
        They’re just as alive as Jesus is and they’re present with Him.
        To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord; “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
        In what form I don’t know. Our resurrected body will look human, as Jesus’s body did.
        The butterfly comes to mind. First you have the caterpillar, then the chrysalis, and then you have the beautiful butterfly.
        God likens our bodies to a tent.
        “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Corinthians 5:1
        The building from God – the Father’s house, has “many rooms.” Jesus said He’s gone to prepare a place for us.
        “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
        Our works do play a part in the kind of “house” we are awarded with at the resurrection.
        The early Church taught on this. Why did martyrs die not accepting deliverance from torture? Why were they prepared to face the lions? They wanted a better resurrection. Hebrews 11:35.
        Their reward hasn’t been given as yet, as the race is not yet finished.
        This is a huge subject just on it’s own.
        Why is it called the race of faith? It’s like a relay. After you’ve finished your leg of the race, you go on the stands. Hopefully the baton has been passed on to children or family members.
        “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” Hebrews 11:39-40.
        The race of faith isn’t finished yet, and you can see from Hebrews 11:40 that we have our part to play. If we have come to faith because of the actions or words of someone who has gone before, it adds to their inheritance. While we’re running the race with a baton they’ve helped hand on, do those ‘in the stands’ know? Who are the witnesses?
        “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

        The parable that Jesus taught (Luke 16) about the dead being in Abraham’s bosom no longer applies, as the righteous dead are no longer locked up in Hades. The Gates of Hell could not prevail against Jesus or the Church He is head of.
        In the three days that we was ‘dead,’ He went down to Hades, preached to the imprisoned souls from the flood of Noah, and came out with the keys of death and Hades.
        “He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.” 1 Peter 3:19-20
        See what Jesus has got in His hands?
        In Revelation 1:18 Christ says “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
        So I hope this helps and I’ve written it all clearly.
        God bless, Jo

  45. I love all the comments on this subject that I have read so far but one scripture always scratches that itch for me whenever there is a difficult biblical question. It is found in 1Cor13:9. The great Paul admitted against the back drop of all he had written that he and his colleagues only had part knowledge. Building a house with part materials is never like building it with complete materials. Building a house with part plan falls shy of a whole plan.
    So when it comes to the subject of where we go when we die, I let myself dream and yes using the scenario of the thief on the cross, I dream of paradise. A place where God is. A place where I don’t have to wait for nobody to start enjoying its bliss.
    A place of total understanding and answers to all the questions that plagued us here on earth.

    And to be honest, I don’t really care much for the doubts of others cause I know tue end of my life will be perfect because God is not just a good God, He is the best and only God there is.

    1. Hi Mostincrediblejohnson. Thanks for your comment. Indeed, all of us who are saved will have a paradise to look forward when the time comes, which is the most important thing.

      Peace in Christ.

    1. Hi khobdy. Thanks for your comment. It’s definitely important to consider who’s being spoken to or spoken of in the passages we read. I think to generalize every verse with a group pronoun as directed to Christians as some do misses the meaning of what was written.

      Peace in Christ.

  46. Dear Factbasedtruth, I am replying to your September 8 comment since we exhausted the reply levels above. Yes, that is what I believe, but I won’t push it on anyone. That’s why I said, “one [not “the”] interpretation is.”
    Peace in Christ to you!

  47. Very interesting topic and I loved reading the comments. Sharing my two cents here. I believe that waiting period between death and arrival to heaven is what us Catholics call Purgatory. Regarding the thief on the cross, I don’t think Jesus played favorites by allowing him to enter heaven that very night. Jesus had the ability to read what was in his heart and saw this man’s belief and acceptance of who He was (and is). God’s love is bigger than religion. In the end the Father knows what motivates us to follow the commandments. Is it fear of being stuck in hell or is it wanting to make our life worth living regardless of what follows?

    1. Hi Klara. Thanks for your comment. Indeed, I don’t think He played favorites either. For myself I conclude it was just the circumstance of the moment. The circumstance of our moment is what I’ve suggested in the post and the comments seems different. But all in all, regardless of whatever the process, we should be desiring to follow God’s commands and exhibit our faith in the way He wants for greater glory to God.

      Peace in Christ.

  48. I agree that it’s a bit more complicated than our typical understanding has allowed for. We might also consider the perspective, are we looking at it from those who have died, from our point of view, or from Gods? Then there also is this verse from Revelation: ‘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.’ Clearly some form of existence, but not perhaps the final form.

    I think often where we go wrong is to look at ‘Heaven’ as some kind of end point, without ever asking what that means. Bodily resurrection is actually the NT promise.

    NT Wright has written on this – you might find this interesting: http://ntwrightpage.com/2016/07/12/rethinking-the-tradition/

    Blessings,

    Peter

    1. Hi Peter. Thanks for your comment. The perspective I’ve tried to lay out in this post is one that’s as best trying to look at it from God’s perspective in accordance to His Word. With regards to the slain souls verse, I’ll quote to you a response I left to another comment that brought up that verse.

      “But one thing to consider here, is it states specifically within verse 9, “the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;” Now this could go back to my debate in my mind currently of whether this is talking about future or past events because some people have the thought that Revelation has more to do with the destruction of the temple in 70ad than some future event yet to happen, which could potentially explain why it is specifically the slain souls that are under that alter in that verse. I don’t say that as a definitive conclusion that I hold, but more so just a thought. But let’s say one were to concede and conclude that thought is not accurate at all, I think one would still perhaps have to concede, the slain souls that maintained their testimony is again seeming to refer to a specific circumstance of a specific people much like the “non-Christian category” I highlight in my post, in which case, perhaps can not be generalized to the Christian death experience as a whole, given there’s no explicit statement concluding that to be the case.”

      By stating bodily resurrection is the promise, are you concluding that going to a place called heaven will not be something that happens once Jesus descends from heaven for us to meet him in air?

      Thanks again for your comment and also sharing your blog post.

      Peace in Christ.

  49. To Paul, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 5:8
    The “angel” that brought the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” to John told him not to worship him because:
    “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” –Revelation 19:10

    In the first Resurrection, the one you referred to, is when we “re-incorporate” to our new glorified bodies. Before that I don’t know but there is plenty of instances of saints who have died in the flesh but continued acting on earth.

    Samuel spoke true prophecy to Saul, using the Witch of Endor: God can use the devil however he wants. The witch recognized him. Some say it wasn’t Samuel but the only evidence is witches bad, Samuel good.

    There are the many “prophets of old” who rose from the dead and “were seen of many” on the day Jesus rose (it does not specify the day but makes sense in context).

    1. Hi trutherator. Thanks for your comment. I couldn’t quite understand what you were expressing as your conclusion. Are you concluding that Christians who die will go straight to heaven?

      1. Not me, but those verses indicate that it DID happen several times in the Bible, Old Testament and New. I do not see emphatic evidence that it is true for all, in the sense of deductive logic. However, Paul’s writing about it seems to indicate that it would happen for more than himself. That is, he does not add any such qualifier. All that is from Bible text and standard English rules of logic. (I forgot to include Enoch, Elijah, and Moses to the list.)

        So that is as much as I am willing to “conclude” on the subject.

        God bless you for parsing the word, though, and seeking truth. This is not an issue that affects salvation, anyway.

        1. Thanks for clarifying so that I could understand your conclusion, which I don’t say in any form of disrespect of what you strongly believe is a factual belief. For myself, I see it as difficult to conclude that Paul was speaking for more than Himself when he only said “I” in the verse. With regards to Revelation 19:10, while I can see through the term brethren one could think that was a Christian, this being still exercised powers that were supernatural with the voice of many waters and like the sound of thunder. Anything Old Testament, it doesn’t apply to the parameters which I’m speaking of in this post of saved Christians.

          But yes, it’s fine for us to agree to disagree on this issue. 🙂

          Peace to you in Christ.

  50. Two verses off the top of my head are when Jesus told the thief on the cross, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). and in Revelation the martyrs are crying out, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then 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” (Revelation 6:9-11). Seems present tense to me. I think as with the Calvinists versus the Armenians, there are verses that prove the point on both sides. It may be that we’ll find out who was right when we get there (:

    1. Hi chandagriese. Thank you for your comment. If you don’t mind, I’m going to copy and paste my response to two other commenters that brought up those specific verses. And it’s okay if you didn’t see comments, there’s been a lot of them over this year and I can barely sort through them all myself.

      “I conclude the thief’s experience was specific to him and there’s nothing to suggest it should be generalized to the Christian’s death experience given he was not a Christian. If there were a verse that explicitly stated a Christian goes to heaven immediately after death, or a scriptural passage illustrating a Christian person that did, then I would reconsider.”

      “I do see your point within those verses though about the altars being before God, an angel throwing stuff from the fire of the altar down to earth in one verse, which if it’s going down, the angel has to be above it somewhere, and thus the altar as well. The verse in Revelation 6 says the souls are under the altar, so I can see where one would think in their mind, “therefore, the dead souls in Christ are resting in heaven”. But one thing to consider here, is it states specifically within verse 9, “the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;” Now this could go back to my debate in my mind currently of whether this is talking about future or past events because some people have the thought that Revelation has more to do with the destruction of the temple in 70ad than some future event yet to happen, which could potentially explain why it is specifically the slain souls that are under that alter in that verse. I don’t say that as a definitive conclusion that I hold, but more so just a thought. But let’s say one were to concede and conclude that thought is not accurate at all, I think one would still perhaps have to concede, the slain souls that maintained their testimony is again seeming to refer to a specific circumstance of a specific people much like the “non-Christian category” I highlight in my post, in which case, perhaps can not be generalized to the Christian death experience as a whole, given there’s no explicit statement concluding that to be the case.”

      As you express, we may not find out the full answer until the end of our time comes, but an interesting topic of discussion this has definitely been.

      Peace in Christ 🙂

  51. This took me back to a bible study I had in church a couple of months back and most of the points you touched on (and those in the comments) were brought up. This was brilliantly written! God bless

    1. Hi HeavenlyGlimpse. Thanks for your comment, and it’s wonderful to hear this was discussed in your church. I think it should be discussed amongst all churches.

      Peace in Christ.

  52. Time is short Eric, we need to know God’s Truth before we share it and there is only one way we can, we ask God for His Wisdom and Empowering which none of us were Born with and than Jesus our only Spiritual Teacher will lead us into all Understanding.

    Sorry but a few of your Messages that I have read recently, by the Confirmation of Scripture parts of them are in error, it seems you have partial Truth but not all Understanding, you don’t seem to know the Scripture in Revelation because it confirms you are in error too.

    We see that Christians are in Heaven in the Scriptures below and we too will be when Jesus returns at the Rapture or the First Sickle as it is called in Revelation, at that time we will be go to Heaven if we haven’t been Martyred or died before The Rapture and gone there already.

    Those that will rise from their graves physically are those who died before Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, The Holy Spirit did not come until Pentecost, they had the promise, we have the reality of being fully Resurrected in Christ Jesus when we die.

    Yes we do have the confirmation of Scripture below that we do go to be with Jesus fully resurrected when we die. Jesus told the man on the Cross that He would be in Paradise (which is not Hell as some wrongly claim) with Him that very day, this was in reference to His Spirit because when Jesus appeared to Mary in the Spirit on Sunday Morning, she could not touch Him because He was not fully Resurrected meaning His body but when He appeared to the Disciples He was and so are we. But those who died before Jesus was Resurrected , their bodies sleep even though their spirits are with God, we know this because of Moses and Elias and it also being confirmed in other Scriptures (see below) if we are Martyred during the first part of the great Tribulation we will go to Heaven fully resurrected.

    Matthew 17:2-3 And was Transfigured before them and His face did Shine as the Sun and His raiment was white as the Light. And behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him.

    Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld and lo a great Multitude which no Man could number of all Nations and Kindreds and People and Tongues stood before the Throne and before The Lamb clothed with white robes and palms in their hands and cried with a loud voice saying; Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the Throne and unto The Lamb.

    Revelation 7:14 And I said unto Him; Sir thou knowest. And He said to me; These are they which came out of great TRIBULATION and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled ye believe in God believe also in me. In my Father’s House are many Mansions if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I Am there ye may be also.

    Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience I also will keep thee from the hour of TEMPTATION, which shall come upon all the World to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    Luke 21:35-36 For as a SNARE shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore and Pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.

    In reference to the Devil and the Beast……

    Revelation 20:10 And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the Beast and the false prophet are and shall be Tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne (Granny Annie)

    1. Hi Anne. Thanks for your comment. Specifically what I’m looking for in scripture is a statement in some form of “Christians go to heaven when they die” or some story of a person who became saved by the gospel which Jesus commanded his Apostles to preach (Mark 16:15-16/Acts 2:38) going to heaven after they died. To my knowledge I know of no verse that explicitly states or expresses these things. You cited the thief on the cross, but the thief does not seem to fall in the Christian category. You cited Matthew 17:2-3, Moses and Elijah do not seem to fall in the Christian category I’ve referenced as what I’m seeking an answer for. You make the presumption that the people in Revelation 7 are Christians, but no statement of such is made. You say tribulation relates to Christians who have died or were martyred, but I don’t know of any verse that explicitly states that idea. And all the verses you cite after that also don’t explicitly state Christians go to heaven they die. I think it’s really important if we have a belief, that belief is based on specific words stated in the text. I appreciate your challenging comment and I look forward to any response you have.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

      1. God makes it very clear Fact Based Truth as confirmed in the Scriptures below that only Christians will be in Heaven not those who continue to Sin without Heart Repentance. Jesus also tells us that some of us will be Martyred during these end times and to date many have been since His death and Resurrection. (Revelation7:9) and when the Beast who is not the Devil comes, (Revelation20:10) many more Christians will be Martyred before the Rapture or first Sickle as it is called in Revelation.

        Psalm 1:5 Therefore the Ungodly shall not stand in the Judgment nor Sinners in the Congregation of the Righteous.(KJV)

        Psalm 101:7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my House, he that telleth lies shall not tarry in My Sight.(KJV)

        Psalm 5:4-7 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing The LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful Man. But as for me, I will come into thy House in the multitude of thy Mercy and in thy fear will I Worship toward Thy Holy Temple (KJV)

        Luke 21:16-18 And ye shall be betrayed both by Parents and Brethren and Kinsfolks and friends and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all Men for my Name’s sake.

        Blessings – Anne ( Grannie Annie )

        1. Hi Anne. Thanks for your response. Respectfully, you didn’t respond to the points I made in response to you. You cited the same verse in Revelation 7 again to re-assert your original point in your first comment. But the question you didn’t answer is what makes you conclude that passage is referring to Christians when that is not explicitly stated in the text? That is the reason I’ve given you why I don’t conclude your scripture reference is a credible source of proof of Christians being in heaven when they die. I hope that you may address that point for me. I’m eager to understand if I’m misinformed as much as you’re eager to show me I’m misinformed. One other point with Luke 21, I think we have to ponder that Jesus was speaking to the Apostles in the passage you reference. And there are specific things stated related to that specific time period that brings into question whether it’s referring to a future time period beyond our present time period, or a future time period that would just be beyond their present time period.

          Peace in Christ.

      2. It is not just me who is eager to show you that your misinformed Eric I’m sharing God’s Truth with you as confirmed in Scripture as He leads me to do so and as confirmed below all Scripture regardless of who it was originally written for is for us too and we all need to ask for God’s Wisdom and Empowering so we can understand His Truth because we can’t understand it in the Flesh but only through the empowering of The Holy Spirit – see link below and 1Corinthians 2:9-16.

        Timothy 3: 17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction,for Instruction in Righteousness.That the Man of God may be Perfect and thoroughly equipped to do all His Good Works.

        Wisdom- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-gaining-of-wisdom/

        It seems what your not understanding Eric is what it means that they have washed their robes and made them White in the Blood of The Lamb, below is the Scriptures that confirms those Martyred in Heaven were Christians but as confirmed in the Scriptures I shared with you before those who are not Christians don’t go to Heaven, so they had to be Christians.

        Daniel 12:9-10 And He said; Go thy way Daniel for the Words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be Purified and made White and tried but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand but the Wise Shall Understand. (KJV)

        Revelation 3:5 He that Overcometh the same shall be Clothed in White Raiment and I will not blot out his Name out of the Book of Life but I will confess his Name before my Father and before His Angels.

        Isaiah 1:18 Come now and let us reason together saith the LORD though your Sins be as Scarlet they shall be as White as Snow though they be Red like crimson they shall be as Wool.(KJV)

        Revelation 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to Him for the Marriage of the Lamb is come and His Wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, Clean and White for the fine linen is the Righteousness of Saints.(KJV)

        Revelation 7:13-15 And one of the Elders answered saying unto me; What are these which are arrayed in White robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them White in the Blood of The Lamb. Therefore are they before the Throne of God and serve Him day and night in His Temple and He that sitteth on the Throne shall dwell among them.(KJV)

        Revelation 19:13-15 And He was clothed with a Vesture dipped in Blood and His Name is called The Word of God. And The Armies which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses clothed in fine linen White and Clean.(KJV)

        Revelation 4:4 And round about the Throne were four and twenty seats and upon the seats I saw four and twenty Elders sitting clothed in White Raiment and they had on their heads Crowns of gold.(KJV)

        Blessings Anne ( Grannie Annie)

        1. Hi Anne. Thanks for your response again. I’m enjoying this conversation and I think you and me are getting a little bit closer to understanding each other with each reply. So you say a person who is not a Christian is not in heaven right now, therefore any reference of anyone in heaven has to be a Christian. But the premise of your argument seems to be false according to scripture. Jesus said in Matthew 8:11 that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are reclining at a table in the kingdom of heaven. These three were not Christians, along with many others in scripture before people could obey the Gospel and become Christians. And just to make sure we’re on the same page on the meaning of the word “Christian”, we’re talking about people who obeyed the command of the gospel that Jesus told the Apostles to preach to be saved in Mark 16:16, and that the apostles preached in Acts 2:38, and that we see the first Christian salvations occur in that chapter. Is there something I’m misunderstanding about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Look forward to your response.

          Peace in Christ.

      3. Yes you are misunderstanding Eric although not just me but the Scripturestoo, it seems you do not know what Salvation is based on today or before The New Covenant in Christ Jesus.

        All the Saints until Pentecost were considered Righteous in their actions but they were not made Righteous, they had the Hope and were covered by the Blood of Christ but not the reality like we do , they Sacrificed animals to atone for their Sins, today we Trust in Jesus as the final Sacrifice.

        Please ask in Faith for God’s Wisdom Eric none of us were Born with it so we all lack it and you will than have Understanding of God’s Truth (1Corinthians2:9-16)

        Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the Principal thing therefore get Wisdom and with all thy getting get Understanding.

        James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him. But let him ask in Faith nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that Man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded Man is unstable in all his ways.

        Colossians 2 :2 -3 That their Hearts might be comforted being knit together in Love and unto all riches of the full Assurance of Understanding to the Acknowledgement of the Mystery of God and of the Father and of Christ In whom are hid all the treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge.

        Blessings – Anne (Grannie Annie)

        1. Thank you for continuing to be patient with me as I hope my words have been patient with you. And likewise, I hope we both continue to pray for understanding of God’s Word the way God wants us to understand it. If you may indulge me with one more question, which verse do you reference as stating the saints before Pentecost were covered by the blood of Christ?

      4. It seems Eric just like Don some others who have Commented on your Post that like them you don’t understand where Paradise is but sadly others including Cults don’t either, even though as we can see confirmed below in Scripture it is in Heaven were is also The Throne of God and of The Lamb.

        Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.(KJV)

        Revelation 22:1-2 And he shewed me a pure River of Water of Life clear as crystal proceeding out of The Throne of God and of The Lamb. In the midst of the street of it and on either side of the River was there The Tree of Life which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month and the leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the Nations..(KJV)

        Below is the Scriptures in response to your request Eric to share the Scripture that confirms the Old Testament Saints Sins were Covered and there is only one way they can be and it’s the same with us today until we are Born Again and that is by The Blood of Christ, when we are Born Again and Perfected in Love, we have than been washed by His Blood and our Salvation is shown to be Eternal, yes God knows those who are His and He tells us not One of us will be lost including the Old Testament Saints who will be Resurrected fully on Judgement day.

        Psalm 32:1-3 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose Sin is Covered. Blessed is the Man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity and in whose spirit there is no guile.(KJV)

        Psalm 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people thou hast Covered all their Sin. Selah.(KJV)

        Psalm 31:23 O Love The LORD all ye His Saints for The LORD preserveth the Faithful and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer..(KJV)

        Psalm 37:27-28 Depart from evil and do good and dwell for evermore. For the LORD Loveth Judgment and forsaketh not His Saints they are preserved for ever but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.(KJV)

        Psalm 40:16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee let such as Love thy Salvation say continually The LORD be magnified. But I am poor and needy yet the Lord thinketh upon me thou art my Help and my Deliverer make no tarrying O my God.

        Blessings Anne ( Grannie Annie)

        1. Thank you for all of your responses, Anne. I have to admit, your comment was one of the most challenging ones I’ve ever responded to on this post. It’s opened me to re-evaluating scripture more on this issue. I try to do my best to continually study and follow what God’s Word is stating specifically, and I think it’s great to always consistently re-evaluate our understanding of things. Thank you for pushing me to think more.

          Peace in Christ.

  53. Hi, I find your article interesting in that you, like myself, look at things “outside of conventional teaching”. I have not yet reached an opinion on if I agree or not. I will have to give it some more thought, but just wanted to say I appreciated your deeper thinking.

    1. Hi Mary’s Fingerprint. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I believe it’s important to challenge every commonly held belief of Christianity to see if it’s explicitly stated in scripture. I’ve come to be surprised time and time again to find out much of what I was taught to believe was mostly just based on human tradition. But yes, very wise to reach your own conclusion from your own studying.

      Peace in Christ.

  54. Greeting and Salutations in Christ;
    I may have missed someone else commenting the same but so forgive me if this has been explained:
    “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor 5:6-8
    Paul is speaking directly to believers telling them they will upon their death be immediately present with the Lord. In fact Paul himself states his bewilderment of his desire to serve Christ and be with Him “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” (Philippians 1:23)
    Jonathan Edwards gives a lengthy exposition of the meaning of departed souls of saints going to be with Christ… (1) They go to dwell in the same blessed abode with the glorified human nature of Christ… (2) The souls of true saints, when they leave their bodies at death, go to be with Christ, as they go to dwell in the immediate, full and constant sight or view of him… (3) The souls of true saints, when absent from the body go to be with Jesus Christ, as they are brought into a most perfect conformity to and union with him… (4) Departed souls of saints are with Christ, as they enjoy a glorious and immediate intercourse and converse with him… (5) The souls of the saints, when they leave their bodies at death, go to be with Christ, as they are received to a glorious fellowship with Christ in his blessedness. (Note for a lengthy exposition of each of these points read Edward’s full sermon = True Saints, when Absent from the Body, Are Present with the Lord — Preached on the day of the funeral of the Rev. Mr. David Brainerd)
    Call it Heaven, a temporary heaven, whatever the bible seems to clearly teach that our (saints) soul goes there immediately after our death to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, our bodies will be resurrected, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 with our soul. It is at this resurrection of siants, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21-22).

    1. Hi Director. Thanks for your comment. And it’s okay, there are a lot of comments and little time even for myself to go through all of them. With regards to the first two verses you reference, it’s my understanding the Apostles were speaking of themselves. I think an interesting thing to consider here is what I call “pronoun designation”. Not every we in scripture refers to you, me, and Christians as a whole. I’ll give you an example from the chapter you quoted from, 2 Corinthians 5. 2 Corinthians 5:12 it’s clear the we here is the apostles referring to the themselves, “We (apostles) are not again commending ourselves to you (Corinthian Christians) but are giving you (Corinthians Christians) an occasion to be proud of us (Apostles), so that you (Corinthian Christians) will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.” In general I conclude both chapters you cited are following this pronoun pattern, and thus the verses you cited I conclude are referring to what would be the apostle’s specific experience upon death.

      I’m not as much of a student on past well known writers/preachers of the Word (vaguely familiar with this name though), but if Mr. Edwards was citing the same verses you cited just now, then I refer back to what I was discussing just now with regards to pronoun designation. As far as the other two verses prior to revelation you cited, my contention with those verses is the process of bodily resurrection reuniting with souls is not explicitly stated in those verses. So I opt for the simpler explanation that those who are dead are sleeping in Christ (wherever that is), and then when the time comes when Jesus returns, they will rise to meet Jesus in the air. I hope this all clarified my position further.

      Peace in Christ

      1. We are all One Spiritually in Christ Jesus Eric our destination is the same…

        Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither Male nor Female for ye are all One in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and Heirs according to the Promise.

        Please seek The Lord for His Wisdom Eric and do not continue to depend on your own understanding or what you have heard from others unless what they share is confirmed as God’s Truth in Scripture, which is what Directorfsm shared with you.

        Blessings – Anne.

        1. Hi Anne! Good to hear from you again. I do think the destination is the same, the only distinction is the scenarios to the destination. It’s stated the apostles will sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Judah in Matthew 19:28. Does this seem like a distinction here?

  55. There is quite a lot having been said here, and I will have to read this more thoroughly to get the full gist of the scriptural thrust. However, as I have been a piano player for many churches throughout my many years, and have heard the pastors of different denominations preach their varying views on this according to their ever-so-slightly different leanings, I have normally been content to conclude that if one is of the elect and passes from this earth via death and not consummation as described in 1 Thessalonians 4, then one will be “sleeping in Christ” until the time of the consummation of the saints; or so-called rapture, if you will. As to whether or not they are Christians who walked with God prior to the time of the dispensation of grace; i.e., the time of the life of Jesus, I think the bulk of the scriptural evidence confirms that these two are of the elect, as opposed to the condemned, and Scriptures such as 1 Kings 2:10 point to this. Also, Romans 2:15 point to the existence of “de facto Christians” who know, love and serve the Lord without prior exposure to the Bible or to specifically Christian teaching from those who identify as Christians. David and Asaph themselves did not have access to Bibles when they wrote those beautiful psalms, and yet their psalms illustrate the dynamics of their personal relationships with God, who after all is Christ in the mystery of the trinity. John 10:30, Hebrews 11:3, Revelation 13:8. (I don’t mean to be vague, only brief One can look up the Scriptures and hopefully we can all take it from there.)

    So although I could be wrong, I tend more to agree than disagree with Eric on this matter. What is more important, all I know is that when I walk right with God, and I make Him the primary Person in my life, not seeking to please anyone at the expense of pleasing Him, then the desires of my heart are given me (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:1-4). I then find myself blessed in that he confirms His love for me in His involvement in my life, and my faith is increased, not because of the value of my works toward my salvation, but because of His gift to me to confirm that I am of the elect, and not of the condemned, otherwise this blessing would neither occur nor be detected in my mortal experience on this earth. If I stray, however, and indulge or rationalize the sin that displeases him, my faith dwindles, for my iniquities separate me from Him (Isaiah 59:1); without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6); and whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23.) So whatever the final destination may be — and we all may continue to ponder this due to our lack of absolute knowledge — God will see to it that those who are His will in one way or another be gathered up to Him to an expected end, according to many promises in His Word, and we will appear in His presence, holy and blameless in His sight (Ephesians 1:4, Colossians 1:22), though exactly how this will manifest it is impossible for us to picture, for no mortal has seen God at any time (John 1:18), and we walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), not by sight.

    So the important thing is for one to have his heart right with God, and to seek to know Him, and to love Him, all of one’s days on this earth. Ecclesiastes 12:13. Then the good work that He has begun in us He will perform until the Day of Christ (Philippians 1:6). Thank you for this study, and may the Lord bless you richly.

    1. Yes. But again, this is from a composite of having processed different things I was taught over my many years of being exposed to different denominational teachings. This exposure, by the way, was not due to any great valor of research on my part; but rather to that I kept losing jobs with churches, dropping out of Bible colleges, and so forth. My incompetence and disability have had the positive fringe benefit of exposing me to many different jobs for different types of churches, because I kept losing my jobs.

      At Bible College, I was taught that David, for example, was a “spirit filled Christian.” This may seem, at the very least, awkward, because he was before the time of Christ. This was at an Assembly of God (Pentecostal, charismatic) Bible college.

      Later, when exposed to Reformed Doctrine, I put together that somebody could be a “Christian” (so to speak) before the time of Christ, because God wrote all the names of the elect on the Book of Life before the foundation of the world, and the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. In other words, the elect include those before the time of Christ and those after the time of Christ. Many will be in heaven who did not consciously know Christ, and many will be condemned, and in hell, even though they tried hard to please God. Esau could not get the inheritance “though he sought it carefully with tears.” This is an analog to those who would come before Him saying: “Did we not cast out demons in your name?” And He will say: “Get thee hence, ye workers of iniquity. I never knew you.”

      So I have to come to believe that the historical event of Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross is independent of whether or not a person lived before or after him. 1 Kings 1 – David slept with the young woman, did not know her, and then later it says he went to “sleep with his fathers.” Jesus is “the root and the offspring of David: the bright and morning star.”

      I feel it is difficult to express exactly how these Scriptures, and the ones cited in my earlier comment, combine to give me this belief. But it is what I have grasped, by intuition, much reflection, and faith. I could of course be wrong.

      1. Sorry A.P your understanding of God’s Elect is not based on His Truth as confirmed in Scripture, it sounds like Calvinism teaching which is very much in error but yes all are written in The Book of Life but only those of us who have Faith are written in The Lambs Book of Life, including the Old Testament Saints who had the Hope of the reality that we have in Jesus Christ, shown by their Righteousness, they were covered by His Blood, we are washed in it when Born Again.

        God knows the beginning to the end and by His foreknowledge, He knows if we will have Heart Repentance during our life showing we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and accepting His Free gift of Salvation in Christ Jesus and yes He is the only way to God The Father, not fleshy works. We have free will God does not want Puppets but for us to Freely choose to Love and Obey Him.

        God knowing that we are His by our future Faith in Jesus even before we are conceived, chooses us to than be conformed into the image of Jesus and He tells us not one of us will be lost Eternally and when we are Born Again and Perfected in Love (Matthew 5:48 – Hebrews 6:1-Philippians 3:14-16 -2Timothy 3:17-1John 4:16-19- 1John 2:4-6- 2Corinthians 13:11) which we are to all to Aim for as we work out our Salvation not meaning work for it, than we will no longer Sin,(1John3 KJV) we will walk as Jesus did on this earth in complete Holiness doing God’s good Works that He has prepared in advance for us to do, no longer being controlled by our Carnal flesh Nature, which has been put to death (Romans 8 :12-15- Romans 6 -Colossians 3:4-6 -Galatians 5:24 -26) by The Empowering of The Holy Spirit that worketh in us according to God’s Good Will as we choose to walk in His Fruit, (Romans8 K.J.V) we than have God’s seed or Nature (1John3:9 K.J.V) the Old has gone the New has come.

        When we are Born Again being empowered by The Holy Spirit we will show we are in our Lives , as we see confirmed in the Scripture below and so our Eternal destination is our choice, yes we reap what we sow good and bad, what we do for others we are doing for Jesus or not doing for Him.

        Matthew 25 : 31 -40 When the Son of man shall come in His glory and all the Holy Angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the Throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all Nations and He shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand; Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger and ye took Me in. Naked and ye clothed Me, I was sick and ye visited Me, I was in Prison and ye came unto Me. Then shall the Righteous answer Him saying; Lord when saw we Thee an hungred and fed Thee? or thirsty and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger and took Thee in? or naked and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick or in prison and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto Me.

        Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand; Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was an hungred and ye gave Me no meat I was thirsty and ye gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and ye took Me not in, naked and ye clothed Me not, sick and in prison and ye visited Me not. Then shall they also answer him saying; Lord when saw we thee an hungred or athirst or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister unto thee?Then shall He answer them saying; Verily I say unto you Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these ye did it not to Me, and these shall go away into everlasting punishment but the Righteous into Life Eternal.

        James 2:18 Even so Faith if it hath not works is dead being alone. Yea a Man may say; Thou hast Faith and I have works, shew me thy Faith without thy works and I will shew thee my Faith by my works.

        Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.( Grannie Annie)

  56. My comment was deleted before but In reference Eric to the Apostles who will sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Judah, it’s the same as The Godhead or Trinity as They are called today, They too are One in Spirit but They have different Roles in The Godhead.

    Although you and I are One in Christ Jesus we also have different Roles, for more detail I will leave a link for you below but to condense here with you being a Man and under God’s Authority in the Church and in Marriage, you are to be in Leadership.

    As a Woman I’m a Helpmate and not just with Cooking and having Babies but I’m to willingly submit to those Men who are in Authority over me which shows my Submission to God too. I can share His Truth as Confirmed in Scripture but not in Authority over Men. As an example, I’m not to Teach in a combined Church Congregation of Men and Woman, which means I’m not to be Ordained as a Preacher or I would be in Authority over Men in the Church.

    Husbands are to Love their wives as Christ Loves the Church and yes they are to always make the final decision in matters concerning the family having Prayed for guidance and having considered first all the needs of those who will be affected by their decision.

    God given Roles- https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/woman-are-precious-to-god/

    Christian Love and God’s Blessings
    Anne ( Grannie Annie )

    1. Hmm, not sure what deletion occurred, but I’m glad your comment is back up here. The point I was making with the distinction is that because the scenarios are different, Apostles being on the twelve thrones, Christians not being on the twelve thrones, it seems inaccurate to state we’re all going to be in heaven the same way. And that follows with my point in the comment you responded to that the Apostles were referencing themselves about immediately being with Christ upon their deaths, and then follows to my main point in this article, that Christians rise to meet Christ in the air at a later time after death.

      Peace in Christ

      1. I’m sorry Eric but by your response you either still don’t understand or your ignoring the Scriptures that others and myself on this Post have shared with you, they confirm fully all of us in Christ Jesus go to Heaven when we die just as the Apostles did.

        You may get many Comments but they won’t give you God’s Wisdom or Empowering so you can understand His Truth, only by asking Him and believing you have received will your eyes be opened and you will than believe in your Heart instead of doubting His inspired words in Scripture.

        God’s Wisdom – http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-gaining-of-wisdom/

        I have no wish that others follow me Spiritually, we have only One Spiritual Teacher Jesus Christ the same as we only have One Spiritual Father who is in Heaven waiting for us to join Him.

        Blessing for the New Year,
        Anne (Grannie Annie)

        1. Hi Freedomborn. Thanks for your comment again. And I apologize if any of my previous responses to you in our conversations we’ve had have come off harsh at any point. In explaining my points, the directness and challenging thoughts of my writing can sometimes appear pointed in tone when that’s not my intention. With each word I write in response to you and others, I do my best to write them as I would speak them to you, in the soft and thoughtful tone that I speak in only seeking for the highest truth and understanding of things. In the time we’ve communicated in listening to your perspective carefully and with an open-mind of always being ready to change my mind, I just haven’t connected the same dots and understanding that you seem to see so clearly see as divine connections revealed to you by God. Perhaps it’s for lack of intellectual ability to understand, or maybe I’m not as connected to God as you are, which I’ll humbly submit, I’m far from the smartest or holiest person to ever read and try to understand scripture. But I try my best to to come to all of my perspectives intellectually in carefully reading the text, and honorably to God in trying to be true to what God’s Word states. I hope if I’m really missing something here that perhaps your persistence is a sign of something I’m supposed to see, that I may see that someday. But at this point in time, I still just don’t see the clear evidence of a statement or a story that when a Christian has died, they immediately have entered heaven. But I welcome any more of your comments to help enlighten me.

          Peace in Christ.

  57. Thank you factbased for liking my blogs. I had time to drop by today. People used to tell me I was good at apologetics – at defending the faith. I had a group of friends that I was comfortable sharing my beliefs, my desire to understand, my convictions with, without condemnation. It’s encouraging here to see that though some may disagree, there is a hearty discussion. I have nothing to add to this topic, as I’m late to the party. But as I was revisiting the scriptures, regarding my convictions on the topic, I found this passage:

    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16

    12 Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us stay true to what we have already attained. 17 Brothers and sisters, together follow my example and observe those who live by the pattern we gave you. 18 For there are many, of whom I have often told you, and now tell you even with tears, who live as enemies of the cross of Christ [rejecting and opposing His way of salvation], 19 whose fate is destruction, whose god is their belly [their worldly appetite, their sensuality, their vanity], and whose glory is in their shame—who focus their mind on earthly and temporal things. 20 But [we are different, because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself, will [not only] transform [but completely refashion] our earthly bodies so that they will be like His glorious resurrected body. Philippians 3:12-21 Amplified

    Thank you for having a safe place for people to share their views. Sincerely, from my heart to yours and this community’s. This blog challenges all of us to be able to give a reason for the hope we have. It also encourages me to remember that whatever points we as followers of Christ may disagree on, it will all be made clear. – Jessica

    1. Hi Jessica. Thanks for your comment. And I’m happy this space has spurred lots of discussion from many people of many different backgrounds. What conclusion do you offer for pondering through the verses you shared in your comment?

      Peace in Christ

  58. You have made an interesting assumption – namely, that the just who die are in the same state before Christ’s own death and Resurrection as they are after. Why do you make this assumption? What exactly was Christ doing among the dead for 3 days? You’ve also assumed “Heaven” as something monolithic… As if there can’t be partial experiences of it, such as for disembodied souls who by grace see God. Why?
    Peace… CRM

    1. Hi CRM. Thanks for your comment. I’m a little confused with what you’re suggesting. Are you suggesting that those who died before the resurrection of Christ changed to a different state after Christ’s resurrection? I think I know what verse you’re pointing to when you mention Christ among the dead for 3 days. Are you using that verse also to make some conclusion of Christians being in heaven now? And what verse or verses do you point to that you conclude there are partial experiences of heaven? I might have a suspicion of one verse you’ll be pointing to.

      Peace in Christ.

      1. Hi there,

        I’m seeing a pattern in our discussions and your posts – which is proof-texting. I actually don’t have any particular verses in mind (though what I am saying is certainly supported and not contradicted by Scripture). The message is in the WHOLE of Scripture, together with the testimony of the organic structure from which Scripture comes and therefore rests upon, the Church. I am a fallible person – how dare I try to figure out what Scripture REALLY means? That just does not seem like a plan God would leave us with in the final age of salvation history… “Here’s a book in ancient languages, it’s a big puzzle, try to figure it out.”

        Anyway, what I am suggesting (and insisting upon) is that the dead before the death and resurrection of Our Lord waited in the underworld according to their merits and demerits, as the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man demonstrates. When Christ rose, after manifesting Himself among the dead who awaited Him, the vision of God was now possible because Adam’s debt was finally paid and there was a fitting vessel through which to participate in that vision of God, namely, the Risen Christ. With this, the damned remained in their spiritual torments, and those who die out of grace today go to join them, where they await a resurrection unto judgment and bodily suffering as well, according to their sins. The blessed who died before Christ’s resurrection either immediately began to enjoy the Beatific Vision (the central experience of Heaven), or they entered a process of purgation to pay off personal debt so that their charity might be purified in order to have the “clean heart” needed to see God. Those blessed who die today have the same paths before them. Together they all await the resurrection, at which time they will receive bodily reward as well, such as we see in the Lord’s own bodily activity after the Resurrection (agility, subtlety, etc.).

        I could go through all of Scripture and give support for these things, but that is so tedious… And to do that for every idea involved with the life of faith is just plain impossible. It’s why God gave us the Church: to do it infallibly for us.

        Peace…
        -CRM

        1. I don’t know if I would completely articulate it that way. I see things more as not necessarily trying to figure it all out, but making sure we’re listening to all of what it says.

          If I’m understanding you in language that I’m communicating it, basically you’re saying that all people, including Christians, are in heaven after they die, or they’re waiting in some other area to pay off their debts through charity, and together all of them await the bodily resurrection. Is that what you’re basically saying?

          “It’s why God gave us the Church: to do it infallibly for us.” How do you believe your Church does that infallibly for you?

          1. Fair enough.

            Yes, or they go to Hell. Don’t forget that one.

            The charism of infallibility was given to the Apostles (for the sake of public preaching and teaching – NOT for private affairs or even the moral life, as the incident Paul describes in Galatians 2 demonstrates), so when their successors operate as one, either in an ordinary way (through repeated, longstanding, basically universal teaching or piety) or extraordinarily (an explicit act of corporate teaching, namely, in an ecumenical council), then it is the Holy Spirit Who speaks… the Paraclete Who was given to lead us “into all Truth.” Furthermore, the teaching office belonging especially to Peter is singular in this respect, as that office carries with it the highest responsibility for teaching and preaching – so when Peter’s successor (the pope) defines a matter of faith or morals for the universal Church, this too is protected from error. (And it happens very rarely, despite what the Associate Press thinks.)

          2. For me, it gives me a confidence something is right if I hear it straight from the Apostles, who were given authority by Christ, and thus I’m hearing it straight from God. The only way I know of to have confidence (a high confidence at least) I’m hearing something straight from God is scripture. So I hope with that background information given of my thinking I’ll be forgiven if I sound like a broken record for asking this type of question again. Where do you understand this concept of succession of leadership to be instructed in scripture? Also, where do you understand the concept of a pope in scripture?

          3. Yes, that should certainly give you confidence! Unfortunately, they are all deceased. (Though the Mormons think John is living in a cave somewhere…)

            Regarding Scripture… We come to a very central problem, which is this: how do we know that these particular books are from God and others aren’t? Who gets to decide definitively what is inspired and what is not? This is very, very important. For me the answer should be clear from my previous comment…

            As for succession, you might look at Matthias succeeding Judas. Or you could look at 1 Timothy (especially 5:22). There are also glimmers of this kind of thing in the Old Testament (such as with Moses and Joshua – laying on of hands, transfer of power, etc.), or with Elijah and Elisha.

            As for the papacy, the major Old Testament type is certainly Eliakim. (Do a concordance search and pay special attention to Isaiah 22.) After this, it is a matter of Christ’s bestowal of special authority on Peter, his obvious pre-eminence among the apostles in the Gospels and in Acts, the logical need for a visible head of the teaching, governing, and sanctifying actions of the Church (such as defining what is Scripture!), and then the clear testimony of early Church history as to the importance of the bishop of Rome among other bishops. All these taken together have quite an obvious implication, at least to me.

    2. How sad CRM if you believe what you shared when you said …….” I am a fallible person – how dare I try to figure out what Scripture REALLY means? That just does not seem like a plan God would leave us with in the final age of salvation history”

      Don’t you believe CRM that we can receive the Holy Spirit when asked for and God’s Wisdom as confirmed below, if you don’t please seek Jesus our only Spiritual Teacher to lead you into all Understanding which The Roman Catholic Church cannot do because they have error in their teaching and also propagate Paganism as confirmed by what they believe and practice. This is the same as any other Denomination who deny, add to or ignore God’s Truth and His Guidelines for us as confirmed in His Inspired written Words in Scripture.

      2 Timothy 3: 17 All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction for Instruction in Righteousness.That the Man of God may be Perfect and thoroughly equipped to do all His Good Works.

      Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the Principal thing therefore get Wisdom and with all thy getting get Understanding.

      James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let that giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given them. But let them ask in Faith nothing wavering. For them that wavereth are like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      Luke 11:13 If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your Children how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

      John 16:13 -15. Howbeit when He The Spirit of Truth is come He will guide you into all Truth for He shall not speak of Himself but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me for He shall receive of mine and shall shew it unto you. All things that The Father hath are mine therefore said I that He shall take of mine and shall shew it unto you.

      1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of Man the things which God hath prepared for them that Love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit for The Spirit searcheth all things yea the deep things of God. For what Man knoweth the things of a Man save the spirit of Man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no Man but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the World but the Spirit which is of God that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we Speak not in the words which Man’s wisdom teacheth but which The Holy Ghost Teacheth comparing spiritual things with Spiritual. But the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him neither can he know them because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things yet he himself is judged of no Man. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? but we have The Mind of Christ.

      1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you but the Anointing which ye have received of Him Abideth in you and ye need not that any Man Teach you but as the same Anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath Taught you ye shall abide in Him.

      Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore for there is Nothing covered that shall not be Revealed and Hid that shall not be Known. What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in Light and what ye hear in the ear that Preach ye upon the Housetops. ( We can share on our Computers today too as we don’t meet on the Housetops in our homes anymore like the early Church did and everyday before they went to the Temple to hear the Scriptures)

      Blessings – Anne ( Grannie Annie)

      1. Yes, I have read the same passages. I see we disagree about their meaning. What gives me or you the right to insist that an interpretation is true? I believe we can understand and find the truth, but it is often a bit like drunken boxing… Occasionally you will land a punch.

        There is no paganism encouraged by the RCC. If you mean that there is appropriation of paganism, sure. So what? The Scriptures and the Life of Christ are full of the same thing… So what? My guess is you are wearing a wedding ring right now… Where do you think that comes from?

    3. God tells us CRM when we ask for His Wisdom and The Holy Spirit we receive them, as confirmed again below, are you saying He does not keep His Promises or what He tells us in the other Scriptures I shared with you is not True ?

      James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let that giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given them. But let them ask in Faith nothing wavering. For them that wavereth are like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      Luke 11:13 If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your Children how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

      Wedding rings CRM are Symbolic of the Unity in Marriage regardless of where they may have originated from but they are mentioned in the Tabernacle which was designed by God, so be careful of what Hearsay you believe.

      Blessings Anne- (Grannie Annie)

      1. To be given wisdom or the Holy Spirit in what capacity? If I ask for God’s wisdom, or the Holy Spirit Himself, why should I listen to anyone about anything – after all, I now have the wisdom and very being of God within me… I am not only infallible in interpreting Scripture, I am infallible in everything. I just “asked God for His wisdom.”

        Do you see how gravely erroneous this is? When nobody’s pope, everyone’s pope. I recall that ominous line in Judges – “In those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own mind.”

        Ring exchanges at weddings and betrothals started in pagan Egypt. Which is fine. My point is exactly that it’s fine – one can indeed take and “christify” pagan things. When I walk by Trajan’s column each day, I see a pagan war-pillar with a statue of St. Peter now standing on top… which is fantastic. (I have no idea where wedding rings are mentioned in the design of the Tabernacle… That does not sound right. You’ll have to show me.) So you will also have to show me what paganism the RCC is encouraging which is not a mere adaptation such as I have described already. My guess is you are from the South or Midwest (but maybe not!) and have been told myths your whole life about what Catholics actually believe and do. I am happy to answer any sincere questions you have.

        Peace to you…
        -CRM

    4. Sorry CRM for the late response, I had Commitments that took time to attend to, if you wish to understand about the Tabernacle please seek Jesus our Spiritual Teacher, He will reveal to you God’s Truth so you will have no doubts.

      But It seems if I’m reading it correctly that your saying CRM that you don’t believe what God tells us in Scripture just what your Pope says and the ones before him, how sad. We have One Spiritual Father in Heaven and One Spiritual Teacher Jesus Christ, we seek Him for God’s Truth not Man as confirmed below, so why is your Church disobeying God and teaching others to do the same?

      Matthew 23:8-10 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi for One is your Teacher The Christ and you are all Brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your Father for One is your Father He who is in Heaven. And do not be called Teachers for One is your Teacher The Christ.

      1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you but the Anointing which ye have received of Him Abideth in you and ye need not that any Man Teach you but as the same Anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath Taught you ye shall abide in Him.

      Yes we can be encouraged and uplifted when Christians share God’s Truth but what they share with us must be confirmed in Scripture and understood by the empowering of The Holy Spirit.

      Your Church CRM also claim Mary remained a Virgin but the Scriptures blow show clearly she didn’t, they confirm that Josph slept with her and that they had other Children.

      Genesis 4:1 – Matthew 1:24-25

      Matthew 12:46-50 KJV Confirms who Jesus’ Brethren were in this Scripture, they were His Brother and Sister, who were with Mary His Mother but yes with us being One with Jesus in Spirit we are also His Family.

      1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is One Spirit.(KJV)

      We have CRM only One Intercessor, Jesus Christ, He is the only way to The Father, He is our Advocate,(1John2:1KJV) we don’t pray to Mary or the Saints, they cannot forgive our Sins and nor can your Pope or your Priests whom you call Spiritual Fathers.

      1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and Men, The Man Christ Jesus.

      John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I Am The Way, The Truth, and The Life no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

      Blessings Anne (Grannie Annie)

      1. Hi there,

        No, you are not reading me correctly at all. I do not see any opposition between Scripture and Divine authority acting within living human beings due to their occupation of a particular divinely instituted office. So, I ask again – if I can simply ask for the wisdom of God and receive it (without qualification!), then why am I worried about studying for my upcoming exams? I should be able to ask God for His wisdom and know all the answers. But that is crazy: clearly, we can’t just become prophets by willing it to be so.

        Your argument about Mary’s virginity is quite misguided. There are numerous problems, such as an unnecessarily narrow reading of the word “until” (in Matthew), an culturo-linguistic projection onto the Greek word “adelphoi” (badly translated as “brothers” or “siblings”), an implied rendering of Mary’s question to Gabriel as a vain and stupid remark (if she is getting married like a normal person, she would certainly know how she will conceive!), internal problems with accounting for how these people would actually be related to Jesus through the same mother (Sheen has a wonderful treatment of this in his book on Mary), the lack of appropriateness of God’s own mother dividing her attention between multiple children, and finally the completely unanimous opinion among the early Church on the question. So no, I do not agree about this, even if it were not a matter of revealed teaching, which it is.

        Certainly we only have one Mediator. But we participate in His own mediation in various ways… Otherwise, there would be no need to baptize, to preach, to govern, etc., even though it is Him Who acts in us when we do these things.

        If you have any sincere questions about the Catholic faith, please contact me by email through my contact page. I do not wish to engage further in this combox.

        Peace to you…
        -CRM

    5. I have no intention of contacting you CRM you base your understanding on what Man tells you not what God tells us in His inspired Words in Scripture, by what you said you are claiming He does not keep His promises and so He lies to us.

      Read the Scriptures below they are very clear what is needed to understand God’s Truth which is not about Worldly wisdom which you seem to think is so important, I will leave this link for you about His Wisdom too.- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-gaining-of-wisdom/

      2 Timothy 3: 17 All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction for Instruction in Righteousness.That the Man of God may be Perfect and thoroughly equipped to do all His Good Works.

      Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the Principal thing therefore get Wisdom and with all thy getting get Understanding.

      James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let that giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given them. But let them ask in Faith nothing wavering. For them that wavereth are like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      Luke 11:13 If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your Children how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

      John 16:13 -15. Howbeit when He The Spirit of Truth is come He will guide you into all Truth for He shall not speak of Himself but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me for He shall receive of mine and shall shew it unto you. All things that The Father hath are mine therefore said I that He shall take of mine and shall shew it unto you.

      1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of Man the things which God hath prepared for them that Love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit for The Spirit searcheth all things yea the deep things of God. For what Man knoweth the things of a Man save the spirit of Man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no Man but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the World but the Spirit which is of God that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we Speak not in the words which Man’s wisdom teacheth but which The Holy Ghost Teacheth comparing spiritual things with Spiritual. But the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him neither can he know them because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things yet he himself is judged of no Man. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? but we have The Mind of Christ.

      1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you but the Anointing which ye have received of Him Abideth in you and ye need not that any Man Teach you but as the same Anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath Taught you ye shall abide in Him.

      Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore for there is Nothing covered that shall not be Revealed and Hid that shall not be Known. What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in Light and what ye hear in the ear that Preach ye upon the Housetops. ( We can share on our Computers today too as we don’t meet on the Housetops in our homes anymore like the early Church did and everyday before they went to the Temple to hear the Scriptures)

      In Christ’s Name – Anne ( Grannie Annie)

      1. Hi there,

        I reject your accusation that I am calling God a liar. I disagree with your personal interpretation of how God gives wisdom (which I have a very elaborate and subtle understanding of). So stop it.

        If what you are claiming is true, then there would be no disunity among Christians who pray for God’s wisdom unless when they receive it they try to contradict it. The first is just not true, and the second is question-begging, so there is something wrong with your understanding of those passages.

        We have gone in a circle. I leave you with the same question – who will decide about these passages between us (which we have both read and are infallible statements from the mouth of God)? You feel very justified in claiming that I think God is a liar publicly, but you don’t want to engage me privately in a sincere discussion? Goodness. Okay – good bye to you.

        Peace…
        -CRM

    6. In response to your last Comment CRM sorry for the delay I have once again had Computor Problems and I only found your Comment today.

      You said CRM I reject your accusation that I am calling God a liar. I disagree with your personal interpretation of how God gives wisdom (which I have a very elaborate and subtle understanding of).

      So how do you CRM change what God said to mean something else, Did He not say……

      James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom let Him ask of God that giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given them. But let them ask in Faith nothing wavering. For them that wavereth are like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      None of us were Born with God’s Wisdom CRM so I asked God for it and as He promised if I asked, He gave me His Wisdom and I doubt that He did. (see link below )
      .
      Wisdom – http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-gaining-of-wisdom/
      .
      I was never taught in Church CRM to ask for God’s Wisdom and it is the same for many others and it was one of the reasons I became so confused ( see Link below) as well as all the different Teaching even from well known Theologians, Evangelists and Preachers but with having been an Atheist in my Thinking although not my Heart for almost 30 years, I knew that was a dead end so I went to God for Help and He showed me the Scripture above that I shared with you and after asking for His Wisdom the Bible no longer was like a jigsaw with pieces missing , it started to be a Complete Picture from Genesis to Revelation,
      .
      Confusion- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/my-battle-with-confusion/
      .
      Although I’m still learning as I Trust in Jesus our only Spiritual Teacher to Teach me, I do not have any doubts of the Truth He has already shown me and Confirmed in Scripture or Creation and these are always in agreement and sadly although confirmed in Scripture and taught as very important in the early Church they are not being taught today in most Churches and it is why God said that in the End times the Church will be in darkness and the Shepherds will be leading their Sheep astray.

      If you wish to Continue our Conversation CRM feel free to visit my Blog and we will share there.

      Blessings – Anne ( Grannie Annie)

      1. Hi there,

        Well, we have gone in a circle a few times now, I think… You must simply face the central problem, which is that many people who claim to be “inspired by God” do not agree with each other. (To make no mention of who gets to say what is actually Scripture at all!) This is much like Babel, where many people try to build upward to God, ending in chaos – Pentecost is a top-down phenomenon, and today the essence of that same prophetic structure and operation continues in the office of that same person who first preached the Resurrection from the Cenacle on Pentecost: Peter.

        I do not think it is worth continuing our conversation unless you can acknowledge that there is indeed this problem of conflict among people claiming they are inspired, wise, charismatic, etc. If you can at least admit that this is a significant problem with what you are saying, then perhaps we can find some common ground. If you want to ignore it, then it’s a waste of my time and yours.

        Peace,
        -CRM

  59. I find you are a very Respectful person Eric in your responses to me and to others although I’m not sure if you are a Man or a Woman, it does seem strange when people don’t share their True Identity when Blogging, not saying you have but perhaps they have something to hide or they don’t value themselves as People of Worth but to be honest I never feel as close to them as those who share openly their details in their About, on their Posts or in Comments.

    In reference to your last reply to me, sadly as shown by your understanding of Scripture that you are confused about God’s Truth in His inspired written Words but not having been taught what was needed so was I and very much so as the Link below confirms and it also confirms with Scripture that there is an answer to resolve all our Confusion which I have shared with you before but it seems by your recent statements to me and to others that you are rejecting or ignoring God’s answer to our Confusion.

    Confusion- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/my-battle-with-confusion/

    Blessings – Anne.

    1. You can call me, Gene. And I will take a look at your post about battle with confusion. I look forward to gaining any insight your post can provide me.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

        1. Hi Anne! While I reserve the right to choose when and where I respond, I apologize that I have not gotten to your previous comment yet. I had planned to actually do that today, but thank you for reminding me, as I have many comments I receive and occasionally look over a previous comment I had yet to respond to.

          Peace in Christ 🙂

  60. Yes I have done the same Gene but I would never deliberately ignore someone’s Comment, I don’t believe I have the right to be rude but if they Mock God, are abusive or just continue to ignore the Confirmation of Scripture for what they think or have been told by others, than yes I don’t continue to post their Comments or Comment on their Blogs.

    God Bless you greatly Gene,
    Anne (Grannie Annie)

    1. Well, I’ve appreciated all your comments Anne. And you’re always welcome to comment on my blog. Thank you for the respectful dialogues we’ve had.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

  61. Thanks for visiting and liking DailyBiblePrayer. I think we would be colleagues. May you hear God’s voice continuing to lead and direct your writing and reaching people and making them think gifts. Be blessed. Laura

  62. Hello, Fact Based Truth. I had to look through the whole thread to see if I didn’t already post my two cents at some point along the line. Evidently, I did not, so here goes.

    I tend to think that Scripture supports that after we who believe die we will be “sleeping in Jesus” until the time of the consummation. However, it also supports that the experience of time will stand still during this period of sleeping. “And then, in a twinkle of an eye, etc.” So I don’t doubt that both of the seemingly contradictory conclusions are true. We do not go to heaven when we die. However, we do experience heaven immediately after the last earthly breath, because consciousness of time will have been suspended.

    Insofar as my endeavoring to support my stance with many Scriptures, all I can say is that I’m running late for Sunday School — but I saw you’d shown up on my “They Err in Vision” post, and just sort of had to jump in with my two (or three, four or five) cents of opinion before darting out the door.

    I’ll look into some of your other intrguing posts a bit later. If nothing else, perhaps I’ll have made some new Christian friends online.

    Grace and Peace,
    Andy

  63. Oops! Actually I *did* say something earlier on, I just caught it now. Well, whatever I said, I’ll read it later. I’m sure what I have just said is a basic capsulization. Anyway gotta go. Later, A.P.

  64. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:3, 5, 7). My thoughts are that the redeemed spirits in Christ return to Christ at death, but the corruptible body remains on earth until the resurrection, at which time, the dead (bodies) in Christ go through the final transformation of glorification, when corruptible is made incorruptible and we receive our glorious new bodies; where Father Himself delivers us from the very presence of sin. It makes sense from a progressive sanctification standpoint, ( ie: Romans 1-5*** justification – one time delivered evermore from the penalty of sin by the atoning blood of Christ and Romans 6-8*** sanctification via the Holy Spirit for deliverance from the ongoing power of sin in our lives. Paul does an excellent job differentiating our born-again regenerate spiritual man from our fleshly, sinful physical body. It’s the nebulous space that frustrates both the legalists and the hypergace folks. Paul says God Forbid…if we as born again believers shall go on sinning in the flesh without a care; but also he writes that without the power of the Holy Spirit, faith in Christ, prayer, thankfulness and depending on God completely, we shall fail miserably trying to remove/avoid sin in the flesh by ourselves….Progressive sanctification –> our mortal life on earth in fleshly bodies in a fallen world as born again regenerate spirits in Christ.

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