Do people go to heaven immediately after they die?

Pastor Doug:We had a question just before our break from Luce who is calling from Florida regarding what happens when people die.

Co-Host: Luce, are you still with us?

Caller: Yes.

Co-Host: All right.

Pastor Doug:Now your question was connected with Daniel chapter 12 verse 2 - speaking of the great time of trouble in Daniel chapter 12 verse 1 and then it says, 'After that time of trouble, many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.' This is a reference that Jesus makes when He says, 'the hour is coming in the which all who are in the graves will hear His voice they that have done good unto the Resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation'.

The Bible tells us there are two resurrections that take place, but they do not take place until Jesus comes. Luce, if you look, and anyone else listening, in the New Testament in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, it tells us - especially if start reading at verse 13 - that Christians do not need to sorrow as others that have no hope regarding those who have died. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, He'll also bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. Now here's the part we don't want to miss: The Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the Trump of God, and the Voice of the Archangel, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. The Resurrection of the dead in Christ is first, but when does it happen? When Jesus comes!

And then you read again in the Gospel of John it says three or four times, 'the Resurrection in the Last Day.' It's very clear from the Bible that people are not resurrected with their glorified bodies until Jesus comes. Now as far as they are concerned, if a saved individual dies, the next conscious thought they have it's like a moment, the twinkling of an eye, instantaneously they are caught forth from their dusty graves with a glorified body. So to be absent from the body for them is to be present with the Lord because it's their next conscious thought.

Co-Host: But it might be a thousand years.

Pastor Doug:Yes just like King David died. The Bible tells us in Acts chapter 2 David is dead and buried and not yet ascended to Heaven - but David died 3 thousand years ago - for him it will seem like three seconds and he's resurrected when Jesus comes. The dead in Christ rise at that point.

We have a study guide Luce that deals specifically with this we will send you or anyone else, for free, if you have more questions. You know Pastor Dick I want to remind our listeners - the reason why we keep pumping the study guides - the Bible Answers Program is a catalyst to touch on many subjects, but for thoroughly study, we'd have to take the whole broadcast just on one question.

Co-Host: Yes that's right.

Pastor Doug:So the study guides give us a chance to put more information and more Scriptures in your hands in a very colorful and attractive format. There are color illustrations, thought provoking questions, lots of Bible references, and other illustrations, so please take advantage of these study guides. They're free!