Are Believers Going to Heaven?

The Bible doesn't teach that we will go to Heaven after death nor in the resurrection.

Going to church or attending funerals, we often hear leadership say that when we die, if we died believing in Jesus, we will go to Heaven. But is this what the Bible teaches?

While it is a beautiful thought to believe one goes to heaven when they die, it is not what the Bible teaches. And as God’s people and disciples of Him, we are called to teach what the Bible teaches, not what we think, feel, or sounds nice.

From the Old Testament to the New, the Bible describes the dead as asleep.

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” Daniel 12:2

“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” John 5:28-29

Jesus Himself says to us in John 3:13, “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man”. But some may say, “what about Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11?”. 2 Kings 2:11 says, “As they [Elijah and Elisha] were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven”. The Bible uses the word Heaven to describe different things here on Earth, above Earth, or in different dimensions. This website did a great job of breaking down the different heavens that the Bible discusses and explaining what happened to Elijah after he was taken.

So, the Bible doesn’t teach that we go to Heaven after death. The Bible is trying to teach us that the soul, which is “Man” (learn here and here), is sleeping. The body is dead, but the soul is very much still alive. It’s just in dormancy until the return of Christ. And when Christ returns the Bible says:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” Revelations 21:1-2

Remember Jesus said:

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. 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” John 14:1-3

Going back to Revelations 21:3:

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them’”

Therefore, the Bible is trying to teach us that God is bringing the New Jerusalem to the New Earth from Heaven. The New Earth is the Spiritual side of Earth that was made in Genesis Chapter 1 (learn more here). The first one that passed away is our physical Earth that we see now. Peter says, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). Here is another website that can explain that the Kingdom of God is coming to us and that we do not go to heaven after death.

Again, this is a beautiful and peaceful thought, but it's not what the Bible teaches.

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