#AskLS: Where do we go when we die?
Q:I was told by a friend that none of our loved ones who have passed away are in heaven yet because all will go to Heaven when the rapture happens. They suggested people are just in the grave. However I know that Heaven is currently a real place and that God is there etc. So could you please explain this to me?
A:The reason why there is an issue around this is because there are different beliefs around the term ‘rapture’.Whether it will happen pre-tribulation or post-tribulation and how it will happen. To answer the question about Heaven being a real place, firstly heaven IS a real place. It is a literal place. The Bible gives various scriptures for that. We see in Revelation 21:2 that the city of new jerusalem came out of Heaven. Jesus even said that He’s going to prepare a place (John 14:3). According to Hebrews 9:27, after a man dies comes judgement.
In terms of someone staying in the grave, there is only really two places that a person can be once they pass away. If they are outside of Christ, they will die in sin and unfortunately be in the place of hell. Or if they died in Christ, they would be in Heaven.
The scripture does speak about people being asleep so some may interpret being asleep as meaning when their body dies, they themselves would be sleeping. This could lead to the possible interpretation that the body doesn’t go to heaven. However, I don’t agree with this. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13 onwards that people would sleep but sleep here is in the context of rest. It doesn’t literally mean the person would be in the grave because when a person dies their body goes to the earth and their spirit returns to their maker. When the spirit returns to their maker, they are judged. After judgement, as I’ve said before, they go to one of two places depending on whether they are in Christ or not. But the Bible does speak of Christ’s second coming and it tells us that the people who are in the grave will take on a glorified body. This is where the understanding comes from that they would go to heaven. Their spirit is already redeemed and their body will be glorified at that point. The Bible speaks of the graves rising up and death taking on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). If you look in 1 Corinthians 15, this is explained even further.
This week’s answer is provided by Pastor Emmanuel Adeseko. Emmanuel is the founder of New Covenant Ministries based in Birmingham. He is also a prolific teacher, author and speaker. You can find more answers to questions about Christianity and life after death in his latest book ‘Grounded’.
Facebook: Emmanuel Adeseko
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