It’s rather comforting for the bereaved to hear the funeral rites of their loved ones that include the assurance he or she “is now in heaven with Jesus and His angels,” looking down on those left behind.”
When a dear loved dies, it’s a gut-wrenching experience only time can heal. Yet, we cannot escape death, as “it is appointed for man to die once,” (Hebrews 9:27). Humanity has been seeking ways to soothe the pain death leaves behind, but no matter how many times we see death, we cannot get used to it; death has become intrinsic to the human condition and existence. We cannot get rid of it until our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ strikes the final victory over death. Death, too, is going to die (1 Corinthians 15:54).
However, what happens when a human being dies? Do they go to heaven at death? Is the pastor right when he tells the bereaved their loved ones are in heaven? Where do we go to get these answers? The Holy Bible has a lot to say about death. It speaks of heaven as well, but what does it say about human beings going there after death?
What Jesus meant when he said “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven,” John 3:13.
How about the parable of Lazarus and the rich man found in Luke 16? Doesn’t that text clearly show Lazarus went to heaven after he died?
There are many other scriptures that seemingly point to a heavenly realm, but how can we be so sure that when a person dies that’s where they go? Are these beliefs supported by God’s holy word? Remember, if one texts or a number of scriptures appear to contradict one another, something is wrong with the interpretation. If the Word of God consistently points to Jesus returning to Earth to establish His everlasting Kingdom and other scriptures supposedly show that Christians are going to heaven where they will dwell with God for eternity, again there is a contradiction and God’s word does not contradict itself.
Here’s an opportunity to learn the truth about What happens when you die?