Do People Go To Heaven When They Die?
Question: Where are all of the people that have died up until this time?
Are any people in Heaven or are they waiting for the time of the Rapture?
Name: Brandon T. Ward
Answer: Eric, thank you for the question.
First, we must understand that we are spiritual beings, we have a spirit which is our soul and it resides in our body of flesh and bone here on earth.
Now what happens when we die?
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it,” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Obviously, our body of flesh and bone returns to dust when we die, but notice what happens at “death“…
“Death” simply releases our spirit from our body of flesh and we essentially transition into our true body which is our spiritual body that never gets sick, old or dies. Never forget, ‘to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,’ (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Yes, we have two bodies, we have a body of flesh and we have a body of spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:35-55 will go into depth and explain the differences to you.
Our spiritual body has weight, if you recall from the days of Lot, the angels were able to eat the food he prepared. Likewise, during the time of Moses the Israelites consumed “Manna” which is angels food, (Genesis 19:1-3, Exodus 16:15, Psalms 78:24-25). So the two bodies; flesh and spirit are alike in that regard.
Another fact that we should understand is our Father “is not a God of the dead, but of the living,” (Luke 20:38). He is “the living God” and referred to as such 30 times in the King James Bible.
He is “the living God” as no one truly dies until some of Satan’s angels do at the end of the Tribulation. Then finally when we have Judgement Day, also known as the White Throne Judgement which takes place after the Millennium, just before the Eternity, (Revelation 11:13, 20:11-15).
In essence, “death” has no power over us, it is simply a transition from flesh to spirit (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
John And The Angel Of Revelation
Please turn your Bible with me to Revelation 22 where John was shown the future by an angel. We are going to pick it up with verse 9.
9 “Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”
John makes the mistake of falling down on his knees and worshiping the angel in verse 8. I am quite sure John was simply caught up in the supernatural moment and did not mean to offend God, but notice what the angel says to John.
“I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets“.
The angel explains that he was one of the prophets from the Bible who walked on the earth, “died” and made the transition from a body of flesh to a body of spirit and continued working for our Father in Heaven. So not only does everyone go to Heaven when they die, but some people even have special duties once they arrive in Heaven.
The Souls Under The Altar
Please turn your Bible with me to,
9 “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:”
Stay focused for me.
In this verse, we have souls which are spirits, being people who lived on earth that were killed. They are now in Heaven under the altar of God. These souls were killed for the Word of God and for their testimony on earth. This would include everyone who has ever died for God.
10 “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
What did these souls do?
They cried, they were alive, they were talking to our Father and they want Him to avenge their blood that was spilled where?
11 “And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
This verse drives home the point. These souls are some of the Saints who have been killed for their testimony down through the years, for their belief in God. Unfortunately, this happens every day in our world. Just know, they return to our Father, after “death” brings about the transition from flesh to spirit.
Christ Preached To The Spirits In Prison
How could we forget when Jesus Christ went to Heaven when his body of flesh was crucified?
If you recall, after the flesh death of our Lord and Savior He “went and preached unto the spirits in prison,” (1 Peter 3:18-19).
What spirits, what souls, what people in prison?
Those on the wrong side of the Gulf in Heaven. Christ went to preach, to teach the Word so they would have an opportunity at Eternal Life. No doubt this preaching will continue for these souls during the Millennium.
After this Bible Q&A, we all should understand when people die, their spirit instantly returns to our Heavenly Father.
Never forget Ecclesiastes 12:7 and 1 Corinthians 5:8.
The rapture doctrine is not Biblical. I invite you to read our Bible study on the subject titled, “The False Hope Of The Rapture“.
Thank you Eric.